Today we’re going to go over how to use the free Cloudflare CDN service. The entire explanation is done in the video below.
I normally have written instructions for these tutorials, but almost everything that you can configure in Cloudflare is somewhat easy to implement. Cloudflare (in specific, their free tier) is a service that I always put in front of new websites. Not only does Cloudflare provide the website owner with a free content delivery network (CDN) that will cache their site and serve it from over 180 data centers across the world, there is a slew of security benefits as well. Website owners will have a quick and easy way of securing themselves from DDOS and bot attacks, as well as implementing other security features like firewall rules.
From a performance perspective, Cloudflare offers website owners the ability to cache their website which helps deliver their pages quicker. Overall, Cloudflare has saved my server over 60 GB of data transfer this month by serving the data cached as opposed to getting the information from my webserver. That is a huge benefit because my origin server requires much less bandwidth and server resources than what would traditionally be required. It’s not all sunshine, however. If you have a website that often changes (if you’re posting new articles from a WordPress website, for example), you need to ensure that the cache is periodically refreshed so that you’re not serving outdated content to your users. Cloudflare’s caching can be somewhat extreme (if you’re using page rules), so it’s important to remember this.
Overall, these are just my thoughts. I’m not being paid by Cloudflare to say this, I just love the service so much that I think they deserve the credit. There are a ton of CDN’s that you can pay for, but as a free service, this one checks most of the boxes, especially for someone who isn’t migrating from a different CDN. Hopefully this tutorial helped you learn how to use Cloudflare’s CDN, but if you have any questions, leave them in the comments!