This has been a huge selling point as many other shared web hosts in the industry charge a premium for this feature.
Cloudflare has gained huge popularity over the last decade as they offer a quick and easy way to speed up your website and help protect against DDOS attacks.
Their Railgun option, accelerate your website up to 200% and if purchased directly from Cloudflare, you have to have their business package with is $200/month! Being free at NameHero, this is a huge savings!
Unfortunately Cloudflare can be a bit challenging for some of our customers to integrate with, therefore I try and update this guide each year to show how to do it (as their interface frequently changes).
Setup Partial Integration Inside Of cPanel
To get started, you want to setup a Partial (a/k/a CNAME) Integration inside of cPanel -> Cloudflare:
Once you click the Cloudflare icon, you’ll be brought to a screen where you need to register for your free Cloudflare account or login to your existing account:
Create A New Cloudflare Account
If you don’t already have an account with Cloudflare, you’ll need to register one. It’s quick, easy, and free, just follow these instructions:
- Click the green Create Your Free Account button:
This will spawn a new pop-up window where you need to enter your email address and create a password:
Once you click Create Account close out the window! That’s all you need to do here!
Login To Cloudflare
Regardless if you just created an account with Cloudflare or you already have one, the next step is to login to your account from inside of Cloudflare -> cPanel:
Once you get logged in you’ll be sent to a dashboard:
You’ll notice there are two different integration methods.
You’re going to want to select the first one; Provision Domain with CNAME Setup:
The Full Zone Setup requires you to change your name servers away from NameHero, hence we’re unable to provide support for it. If you choose to go this route you may not have access to their Railgun.
Once you click the Provision Domain with CNAME Setup option, it will add your domain to their network. You want to make sure your domain matches these settings:
If you have subdomains or addon domains setup on your account, you may see more DNS records. That’s fine; you just want to make sure you’re using the partial Zone Type and the Use Cloudflare option is green on your domain. Do not change any of these settings!
Allow 24 Hours For DNS Propogation
Since you just made changes to your DNS, you need to allow a full 24 hours for propagation to take place.
This is similar to when you first signed up for your web hosting account. It takes time for your ISP to recognize the DNS changes and show that Cloudflare is active on your website.
Once 24 hours has taken place, you can then check your website to ensure Cloudflare is active. It’s important you don’t change ANY Cloudflare settings until you’re sure your website is active.
How To Check Cloudflare On Your Website
Once you’ve enabled Cloudflare and have waited a full 24 hours, you can check your website to ensure it’s active.
Since we did a Partial Zone Type Integration it’s important that you use ‘www’ on your website to connect to Cloudflare.
In my example, I setup realbonds.com, therefore I need to make sure I call the website from https://www.realbonds.com. If you’re using WordPress or a similar content management system, this may require you going to Settings -> General (in wp-admin) and modifying your site URL.
Checking Using The Dig Command
If you’re using a Mac, you can open the Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and run the command:
Make sure to replace yourdomain.com with your website.
The output should look something like this:
You specifically want to look for cdn.cloudflare.net:
If you see this and are able to load your website in your browser, then Cloudflare is activated successfully!
Check Using Cloudflare’s Claire Chrome Extension
Cloudflare has developed a browser extension for Google Chrome called Clarie that you can download for free and check your website.
Once you add the extension to Chrome, you can visit your website in the browser, and check for the orange Cloud:
As you can see, Cloudflare has been enabled successfully.
How To Enable Cloudflare Railgun
Many of our international customers like this feature as it helps prevent network latency and gives the appearance the website is hosted in a datacenter next door to the visitor!
If you’ve followed this tutorial exactly as I’ve mentioned, you can easily enable Railgun by going to cPanel -> Cloudflare and selecting the Railgun on under Connected to Website:
Depending on the node your website is hosted on the name of the Railgun maybe called something different. That doesn’t change anything as long as you select it to On (if there are multiple Railguns, just select one).
How To Check Cloudflare’s Railgun
Once you enable the Railgun, it’s also a good idea to wait a full 24 hours before checking it.
Most of the time it is activated instantly, but I have seen it take a few hours, especially with new accounts.
When you’re certain it’s been at least 24 hours, you can use the Claire Chrome Extension to check for the presence of the Railgun:
If Cloudflare’s Railgun is not active after 24 hours, you want to go through this guide again and make sure you’ve followed all the steps exactly.
As mentioned above, if you’re not doing a Partial Zone Type integration, you may run into this issue. Since that requires DNS to be taken away from NameHero, we unfortunately do not have access to that backend and cannot guarantee the Railgun will function properly.
Inside of the cPanel -> Cloudflare dashboard, you’ll notice several different settings.
Personally, I recommend leaving them all default unless you specifically know what you’re doing.
Sometimes even a minor change to these can break your website if you’re not fully aware of how things were coded. This is especially true if you’re using WordPress or another content management system that comes with a custom theme/plugin.
Enabling Cloudflare Development Mode
If you don’t the changes made to your website may not show up immediately and this can create a lot of confusion.
To enable developer mode, simply go to cPanel -> Cloudflare -> Settings and select Development Mode on:
I believe Cloudflare will automatically re-enable after four hours, but it doesn’t hurt to check once you’re finished making changes to your website.
How To Purge The Cloudflare Cache
In addition to Development Mode, you can also clear the Cloudflare Cache when you’ve uploaded changes to your website to ensure they’re displaying correctly.
You can do this from cPanel -> Cloudflare -> Home Dashboard -> Purge Cache:
I’ll do this after I run a WordPress (or other software) update just to make sure everything is fresh and clean.
Cloudflare Integration Tutorial – 2019
I’ve also filmed an updated video where I walk through all of these steps and discuss integrating your website with Cloudflare in detail:
Feel free to reach out to our Superhero Support team 24x7x365 by Phone, Live Chat, or our Ticket Desk if you run into any issues!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.