Do you support the Cloudflare service?

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The third-party Cloudflare service offers features that, in some cases, can enhance the performance and security of websites. In particular, it can offer protection against some (but not all) types of denial of service attacks.

It can also make your site handle large bursts of traffic that would overwhelm any site hosted on a single server (no matter how fast that server is), because it spreads temporary cached copies of your pages on many servers all around the world.

While that probably sounds good, we don’t recommend Cloudflare for most customers because it adds another layer that makes your site more complex. If you use Cloudflare, you’re fully taking over the technical aspects of DNS and SSL certificates for the domain name, which we normally manage for you. Unless you’re familiar with that, this may cause problems we can’t help you solve.

If you’re considering using Cloudflare to make a WordPress site faster, be sure you’ve done everything described on our speeding up WordPress page first; those tips will probably give your site far more of a speed boost than using Cloudflare, and using Cloudflare probably won’t be necessary at all.

If you want to do it anyway, you can use Cloudflare with a site that’s hosted on our servers — it should work properly. However, you must set up your “DNS Zone File” in the Cloudflare control panel a certain way. You can’t just use the default entries that Cloudflare automatically suggests: if you do so, they’ll “hard-code” the current IP address of your website into their records, which will stop working when the IP addresses eventually changes. We’ll repeat that again because it’s so important:

Never use an IP address in the Cloudflare DNS settings.

The instructions below do not include any IP addresses or “A records”. You should never enter an IP address at Cloudflare. Doing that will cause your site to eventually stop working because your IP address is not permanently “static”.

To see the correct settings to use, enter your domain name into the box at the top of this page.