Add a website to Cloudflare, Configure and activate the Cloudflare CDN

Created in 2009, Cloudflare is one of the best CDN ( Content Delivery Network ) on the internet. In French we speak of Content Distribution Network, RDC . Adding a website to Cloudflare and passing traffic through it offers many advantages.

How a CDN works is simple. It consists of a set of powerful computers (Servers), networked to facilitate access to certain data by Internet users. “  Content Distribution  ” as its name suggests.

A content delivery network has multiple servers deployed in different geographic locations. This causes users to receive requested resources from the servers closest to them. Cloudflare is much more than a CDN.

Summary 

  • How does Cloudflare work?
  • Create a Cloudflare account
  • Add a website to Cloudflare
  • Configure Cloudflare Name Servers, Name Servers
    • Quick setup to add a website to Cloudflare

How does Cloudflare work?

Before seeing how to add a website to Cloudflare, let’s try to understand how its network works. As I just said, Cloudflare is much more than just a content delivery network. It also works as a reverse proxy system and offers protection options.

Cloudflare has one of the largest networks in the world. It has servers installed almost everywhere on the planet. Once your site is added to their network, a copy of it (your site) is sent to each of Cloudflare’s servers for faster access by visitors.

It caches your site in its locations. Then all requests are forwarded by reverse proxy through its network. The content, being cached, is then provided by Cloudflare. Cloudflare is free to use, but with paid offers on the side.

What about reverse proxy? By visiting your website, users do not directly query your origin server. After all the configuration, when you finish adding a website to Cloudflare, it sits between your visitors and your site/server.

Add a website to Cloudflare

Visitor requests then go through the Cloudflare network, which in turn routes them to your server and vice versa, all very quickly.

This feature offers many security benefits. It makes it possible to mitigate, or even radically block, multiple forms of web attacks, including DoS ( Denial of Service Attack  ).

Cloudflare Schema

Aside from DDoS protection and those few other details, adding a website to Cloudflare offers tons of other benefits. Among them the use of different firewall rules, caching, etc. If you subscribe to a paid plan, you can also use an application firewall.

Create a Cloudflare Account

You will need to create an account in order to add a website to Cloudflare. From this account, you will manage your different domains. A Cloudflare account offers many features, you will see. No fees are required for creating the account.

Go to this link to create your Cloudflare account . Enter your email address, it doesn’t matter which one, and your password. This is the access password to your future Cloudflare account. Once the account is created, the UI will ask you to add a website on Cloudflare.

Add a website to Cloudflare

Here’s how to add a new domain on Cloudflare:

Step 1  : In your account, click on “  Add a site  ”. Enter the name of the site and click on “  Add a site  ”.

Add a website to Cloudflare

Step 2 : Go to the bottom of the page to choose your offer. You will have the choice between the Pro offer for $20 per month, Business for $200, Enterprise for an even higher sum, or the free offer, $0. Each offer has its advantages. If free click on it, then on “ Continue  ”.

Step 3 : Cloudflare will attempt to automatically identify your DNS records. It will analyze your site to search for DNS to automatically import into your configuration. The operation usually only takes a few seconds.

Cloudflare DNS Records

Verify that the specified DNS records are configured correctly. If you think there is something missing, in most cases everything is fine, then you can add it manually. They will take effect in Cloudflare as soon as you update your nameservers.

Proxy recordings will show the small orange cloud icon. Make sure the A ,  AAAA ,  and  CNAME records show the status → Proxied . Otherwise you risk adding a website to Clouflare and still exposing its original IP address. This corresponds to the risk of attacks.

Step 4  : Click ”  Continue  “. To add a website to Cloudflare, changing nameservers is required. This is one of the final stages. Scroll to the bottom of the page, Cloudflare will show you your current nameservers, nameservers to remove, and nameservers to add, unique to Cloudflare.

Configure Cloudflare Name Servers, Name Servers

Step 1  : Go to your administrator account with your domain registrar to change the nameservers for your domain. Your registrar, don’t be afraid of the term, is quite simply the service from which you bought your domain name.

Step 2  : In your account, look for the “  My domains  ” section, click on “  Domain names  ”. You will be redirected to the management page for your different domains. Locate the domain being set up on Cloudflare. Click on the Settings icon, then on “  Manage nameservers ”

Managing domain nameservers

To add a website to Cloudflare, you must change its name servers. This will allow the Cloudflare network to route your website traffic.

Step 3  : In the configuration page, modify the DNS 1 and DNS 2 zones. Change the existing nameservers, and paste those of Cloudflare. The nameservers to add are displayed to you on your Cloudflare configuration page:

Add Cloudflare nameservers

Copy those from Cloudflare and, in the registrar account, paste them successively in place of: DNS Servers 1 and DNS Servers 2  :

Add Cloudflare nameservers

Save the changes and voilà: Changes saved successfully! Now go back to the Cloudflare account to click ”  Finish  ” and verify the nameservers.

Changing/updating your nameservers does not change where your website is hosted. Adding a website to Cloudflare is ultimately not that complicated.

Quick setup to add a website to Cloudflare

Cloudflare will offer you a small ”  quick setup guide  “. This will allow you to quickly configure your domain’s settings to improve security and optimize its performance.

Point (1), click on it, is about automatic HTTPS rewrites. Make sure the feature is enabled. It allows you to correct, for better site security, mixed content by replacing “http” with “https” for all the resources or links on your website. Save .

Point (2) concerns automatic minimization. This feature helps reduce the size of source code files on your website. This allows for a much faster website, a faster loading of pages in visitors’ browsers.

Cloudflare Auto Minimize

Complete the configurations, click on ” Finish ” and empty your caches after applying the parameter. Cloudflare will automatically check and update nameservers. Wait a few hours to see the changes.

Add a website to Cloudflare

Registrar servers, after nameserver changes, may take 24 hours to process nameserver updates, this is referred to as “Propagation”. You will receive an email when your site is live on Cloudflare. Do you use WordPress? Add Cloudflare extension for better working .

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

The blog of a computer enthusiast who shares news, tutorials, tips, online tools and software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Web designer and Video games.

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