A friend of mine recently pointed out that I was not getting the best speed possible from my website and that I could have better website performance for my users if I used a content delivery network to improve the browsing experience of my users especially those in far away countries and he recommended CloudFlare which happen to have a deal with my current hosting provider HostGator so I could use their services for free and see how it improved my websites performance.
Cloudflare turned out to be a very good content delivery network that instantly boosted my website performance as I saw a drastic increase in my website in terms of load speeds and the website even became more secure as it was now being actively protected from threats. Based on feedback from across the internet Cloudflare is by far one of the best content delivery networks that you can use and if you already have Hostgator hosting you can activate the service for free, otherwise its simply sitting there and the extra speed is practically going to waste.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A content delivery network or CDN service is a service that allows webmasters to speed up their websites by caching content of a website on various servers that are strategically placed globally and results in content being delivered to users faster due to the servers location in proximity to your website users location,this is better than whats possible through a regular stand alone server, it can also provide extra layers of threat protection by actively blocking potential threads to a website. These services are also sometimes called content distribution network services.
How to activate the Free Content Delivery Network Service on Hostgator?
To activate the CDN service on Hostgator log into the Administrator control Panel of Hostgator, you can find it’s location in the first email you got from Hostgator.
1. Once you are in CPanel scroll all the way to the bottom of the control panel and look for Cloudflare, it should be under Advanced or Software and services.
2. Double click on the icon and find the website you want to activate the service on.
3. When you find the website the cloud icon should be grayed out, click Manage and then Run Cloudflare and you will be prompted for your email and to agree to the Cloudflare terms of service.
4. When you confirm your account in your Email you can go back and activate the service on the desired website. When the grayed out icon turns orange it activated.
How to Retrieve your Cloud Flare Password?
You will notice that due to the deal between Hostgator and CLoudflare setup is easy for Hosgator users, to retrieve your password:
1. Go over to Cloudflare website and go to the login section.
2. When asked for your password use the I forgot my Password feature and you will be E-mailed on how to easily change your password.
3. When you receive the E-mail click the link and proceed to set your new password and that’s it.
You can even log into your Cloudflare account and view your website stats after 24 hours to get a detailed breakdown of the bandwidth that Cloudflare CDN service has saved you along with threats blocked and more.
How to disable CloudFlare
Disabling the feature is easy simply go back into Cpanel and go to Cloudflare and under manage look for the website its enabled on and click on the orange icon to disable, it will turn grey once more as seen above.
How to Configure CLoudflare for Maximum Speed?
To have Cloudflare perform at its best there are some settings that need tweaking so go and log into your Account after activation and go to the speed Tab on the Cloudflare website.
1. Under Auto Minify check the boxes beside HTML, CSS and Java Script.
2. Next you will need to activate a feature called Rocket loader and set it to automatic and that’s it your website load speed and security will increase by leaps and bounds, you can confirm by doing a speed test before and after the feature is activated or simply browse your website and remember to empty your websites cache to see the results quickly.
CloudFlare Rocket Loader Issues with ADS
Cloudflare Rocket loader is still in Beta and while it gives your website a great speed boost it can also cause trouble with advertising such as adsense, if you notice a drop in earnings in adsense after activating the feature disable it to have your earnings return to normal. I have also noticed that when this feature is active it causes Amazon CPM Ads to stop displaying and revert to the secondary or backup Ads thus stopping impressions which will result in earnings becoming $0 due to the lack of impressions.
So if you are using Amazon CPM ads disable the Rocket Loader feature. In my test the Minify settings or the default untouched settings do not affect Adsense or Amazon CPM in any way.
I hope you were able to dramatically speed up your website with Cloudflare as I have and at the end of the day a faster website is better for you and your end users, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments its always great hearing from you our readers.