Setting up free Cloudflare

13 replies
Hey guys,

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I have been looking into CDNs to help my website load faster. I get to the stage where I need to change my nameservers to the cloudflare ones. This is where I get confused, because if I change the nameservers, won't it try to load files that don't exist on that server?

Thanks!

P.S. I posted this question 2 times before - it was showing a blank page and it didn't show up in this subforum so I assumed it wasn't posted. Admins feel free to delete the other 2!
#cloudflare #free #setting
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gordelo
    Hi CutPasteProfits,

    Who is your hosting provider ?
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  • Profile picture of the author josephting
    Originally Posted by CutPasteProfits View Post

    Hey guys,

    Sorry if this is a stupid question. I have been looking into CDNs to help my website load faster. I get to the stage where I need to change my nameservers to the cloudflare ones. This is where I get confused, because if I change the nameservers, won't it try to load files that don't exist on that server?

    Thanks!

    P.S. I posted this question 2 times before - it was showing a blank page and it didn't show up in this subforum so I assumed it wasn't posted. Admins feel free to delete the other 2!
    Cloudflare is a dns resolver and also works like a proxy but in this case, it's a proxy for your server instead of end users.

    You have your domain to point to Cloudflare and Cloudflare will will then resolve the domain name into IP address you specify in Cloudflare.
    This IP address will be automatically configured during the setup process if the domain name was already setup and working before.

    By getting all the traffic to go through Cloudflare, they can then deliver the website from their cache instead of going through your server every single time.

    In short, Cloudflare scans the domain name and retain the information like your server IP so it can grab whatever that's needed into their CDN.

    You can also change all the information later on. Just like any other DNS manager.

    Hope this help you understanding Cloudflare a little bit more.
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  • Profile picture of the author damoncloudflare
    Hi josephting,

    Thanks for answering

    "This is where I get confused, because if I change the nameservers, won't it try to load files that don't exist on that server?"

    No. A common misconception is that people think nameservers/DNS=hosting (it isn't). As long as you have the correct server IP in your CloudFlare DNS settings for the domain, not to mention all other relevant DNS records, everything will be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Zachuth
    Take it from someone who learned the hard way, cloudeflare will not help much with site load times, speed, or uptime. If you have a crappy host, best bet is to move and upgrade to a more professional service.
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    • Profile picture of the author damoncloudflare
      Originally Posted by Sam Zachuth View Post

      Take it from someone who learned the hard way, cloudeflare will not help much with site load times, speed, or uptime. If you have a crappy host, best bet is to move and upgrade to a more professional service.
      Sorry you had a bad experience. That is actually not the usual experience people have with the service. Did you contact support with what you were seeing?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sam Zachuth
        Originally Posted by damoncloudflare View Post

        Sorry you had a bad experience. That is actually not the usual experience people have with the service. Did you contact support with what you were seeing?
        No longer interested. I just used it to supplement my crappy host. When I buy a new dedi later this month it will all be solved.
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        • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
          Originally Posted by Sam Zachuth View Post

          No longer interested. I just used it to supplement my crappy host. When I buy a new dedi later this month it will all be solved.
          The other advantage of Cloudflare is that they eliminate a lot of unwanted traffic. For example I don't want any traffic from China, Ukraine or Russia, and they can head that off at the pass so to speak.
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          Robin



          ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sam Zachuth
            Originally Posted by RobinInTexas View Post

            The other advantage of Cloudflare is that they eliminate a lot of unwanted traffic. For example I don't want any traffic from China, Ukraine or Russia, and they can head that off at the pass so to speak.
            That would interest me... However, I am sure my next host will have a similar service. I'm not going cheap this time around!
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  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    Once you have your site set up normally just go to Cloudflare and follow the step by step instructions there. Don't change anything on your hosting or nameservers until the cloudflare step by step instructions tell you to.
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    Robin



    ...Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just set there.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeffatrackaid
    CDN services and 2nd gen services like Cloudflare work by proxying and caching your content.

    Basically, when a request comes to Cloudflare (which is does after you update your DNS), their systems see if they have the content. If not, then they fetch the content directly from your server and cache it on their systems.

    The caching part is what CDN's have always done. CloudFlare goes a bit further in that they try to optimize images, js, css and provide some web application security.

    If you do move to Cloudflare, test your load times with tools like WebPagetest - Website Performance and Optimization Test or www.pingdom.com.

    I've seen highly variable results when using their services. Your hosting must be configured correctly to maximized the effectiveness of Cloudflare or any CDN for that matter.
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    Server support services for small businesses. Remember, Faster sites sell more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Testomato
    Have a look at Testomato from Automated Website Monitoring | Testomato
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyFanta
    I tested it recently with my own site an found it worked great and now I'm deploying it on clients site. The FTP issue is a but frustrating be it's only a small problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author damoncloudflare
      Originally Posted by JohnnyFanta View Post

      I tested it recently with my own site an found it worked great and now I'm deploying it on clients site. The FTP issue is a but frustrating be it's only a small problem.
      We actually shouldn't affect ftp in any way (that should go direct without our proxy running over it). What issues were you having? Were you using ftp.yourdomain.com?
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