Cloudflare is a CDN (content delivery network), it allows people around the world to view your website information faster. It places your websites data on multiple servers around the world, this way when someone tries to access your website they are connected to the closest source of data, reducing load times for customers. For more in depth information on the services they provide you can check out Cloudflare.
Using Cloudflare means moving your domains DNS management to them. If your domain isn't hosted with Rocketspark you'll need to make sure you have the ability to configure your domains Name Servers before proceeding.
- Once you have created an account at Cloudflare find the + Add Site button at the top right of the screen.
- Enter your domain name into the box. In my example I'm using rocketspark.biz. Make sure you remove the http:// and www parts from the front if you are pasting in.
- Click Begin Scan
- Once the Scan has completed click Continue Setup.
- On the next screen you need to review the DNS settings and make sure all your current DNS settings have copied across. My example below has pulled across the standard Rocketspark NZ Server settings, your own domain may have different settings depending on what emails and hosting you have setup.
- At the next step choose your plan. We'd recommend the Free plan which gives you everything you need to get basic SSL up and running. If you want to install your own custom SSL certificate you might want to upgrade to their Pro plan. You can review their plans here https://www.cloudflare.com/plans/
- At the next step you are given the Name Server settings to change on your domain. You will need to update these at your current domain registrar. If Rocketspark is hosting your domain name you can follow our Name Servers guide.
- Continue to the next step. Updating name servers can take upto 48 hours to complete. At the next step you can Recheck if the Name Servers have updated. We need to wait for these to update before we setup the SSL.
- Once you are getting a green bar & Status: Active indicating the Name Servers are pointing at the right location and your site is now running through CloudFlare!
Setup HTTPS / SSL with CloudFlare
Once your domain name is running through Cloudflare we recommend you follow these extra steps to force all traffic over HTTPS.
Follow the CloudFlare guide here to enable forced HTTPS
Use Full SSL
By default Cloudflare secures the website traffic between your browser and Cloudflare with their Flexible SSL option. But the connection between Cloudflare and Rocketspark may not be secure. To ensure this is secured make sure you choose the Full SSL option. https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/200170416-What-do-the-SSL-options-mean-
It's not possible to enable SSL / HTTPS at Rocketspark with CloudFlare
Due to technicalities and the way Rocketspark automates the verification of our SSL certificates it isn't possible to Enable SSL at Rocketsparks side if you are using Cloudflare's service. It is recommended you enable SSL with Cloudflare instead. Follow the CloudFlare guide here to enable forced HTTPS
Full Page Caching
If you're not worried about small changes appearing right away, but would like your full site to be cached around the world for faster loading in all countries follow these extra steps.