Learn How to Set Up Cloudflare for Your Website

One way to help prevent spammers from hitting your server is Cloudflare. Not only do they help prevent spam but they can help speed up your site. Here’s how to set it up.

  1. After you join, sign in.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Add Site and then add a domain in the box.  Click Begin Scan, and it will scan for records. This can take up to a minute sometimes.Cloudflare1
  3. Click continue when it finishes scanning and it will go to a page listing the DNS records. You can choose which ones to enable through Cloudflare (orange cloud) or disable from Cloudflare (grey cloud).Cloudflare DNS
  4. Click continue if everything shows “automatic” and once you are done configuring your DNS Zone preferences.
  5. Select a plan and click continue. We use the Free plan but you can choose any plan you like.
  6. Now you’ll need to choose the caching performance level and the security settings.  For starters the Basic Performance Level is recommended as it is unlikely to interfere with any of your existing settings.  Medium security settings are good to prevent spam-bot attacks on your website.  You may choose a higher security level if your website is under attack,  however,  don’t do so under normal circumstances as it may cause inconvenience to genuine visitors. More info is found via the Cloudflare FAQ at their site.
  7. It will now show you what to change the NS to.  Go to where you host your domain and change the NS records.
  8. For Godaddy, log in and click to manage your domain if you host your domains there.Godaddy manage
  9. Select the domain you are needing to change the nameservers for.
  10. You will see the nameservers. Click Set Nameservers to manage them.Godaddy ns
  11. Choose custom and click enter custom nameservers.Godaddy ns2
  12. Enter the nameservers from Cloudflare.
  13. Click continue and you might have to wait 24 – 48 hours for propagation. The next few steps might not be necessary if everything works with the above. I found it necessary for this particular site.
  14. For mine, I had to add the A record to point to my server’s IP address in the DNS zone file. To do that, I clicked to Manage DNS.Godaddy manage dns
  15. I then added the A record to point to my server IP address.Godaddy A record
  16. At Cloudflare I also had to change the wildcard A * to point to my server’s IP address.
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