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Cloudflare CDN Overview

Cloudflare improves the speed and responsiveness of websites globally by caching frequently requested files and web pages to optimize page load time and reduce latency.

In this article, we will discuss the following topics:


Pros and Cons of Cloudflare CDN

Advantages

  • Improved site performance
    Cloudflare CDN improves text, image, and video content speed, which reduces load time. Quicker load time means a better experience for your users.
  • Global content delivery
    Cloudflare CDN consists of over 150 edge locations strategically positioned across the globe. These locations cache frequently requested files and web pages to serve optimized web content to visitors from the location closest to them.
  • Reduced latency
    Cloudflare CDN helps reduce the time a request takes to reach the server and return a web page with locations around the globe. Your content is served up fresh, anytime, anywhere.
  • Spam reduction
    Cloudflare CDN leverages data from third-party resources to reduce the number of spam comments on your site.
  • Lower CPU usage
    With Cloudflare CDN, fewer requests will hit our servers, reducing CPU usage attributed to your account.
  • Always available
    Cloudflare has an offline browsing mode where visitors should still access your site if our server is unavailable.

 

Limitations

  • No option to customize
    Currently, you cannot customize cache settings (for example, which content gets cached, the cache timing, etc.) for the CDN.
  • Cached content
    Cloudflare caches the static content from your site, so while this will reduce the load on the server, it means if you change to an existing static file (like an image), then there may be a delay before the change appears.

Do I need to change my name servers to use Cloudflare?

If you purchased and registered your domain with HostGator, you can automatically enable Cloudflare. However, if you purchased a domain with another provider, you will need to ensure that your domain is using HostGator name servers. You can reference our guide for more information on checking and changing name servers.


How to enable/disable the Cloudflare CDN

To manage Cloudflare CDN:

  1. Log in to the Customer Portal.

    HostGator Plesk File Manager

  2. From the dashboard, locate your hosting package.
  3. Click on the Cloudflare CDN link under Manage.

    Cloudflare CDN Manage Link

  4. On the Cloudflare CDN page, you will see the CDN Status.

    On

    The On status is green to indicate that the CDN is active on the domain.

    Cloudflare CDN - On Status

    Off

    The Off status is light gray to show that the CDN is not applied to the domain.

    Cloudflare CDN - Off Status

     

    Error

    The Error status is red to indicate that the CDN could not be applied to that domain. It's possible that the domain is not connected/pointing to HostGator. You can click the reach out to our support team link for assistance.

    Cloudflare CDN - Error Status

  5. Under the CDN column, toggle the switch On or Off, and the status of turning On/Off the CDN will appear to the right.
  6. A pop-up window will appear requesting confirmation.

    Turn On CDN

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn On

    Turning on the CDN may take a few minutes to complete.

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn On

    Turn Off CDN

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn Off

    Turning off the CDN will slow down your website performance and affect your search ranking.

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn Off

  7. Select preferred action.

Caching

Caching makes your websites faster by storing a copy of the content on the globally distributed data centers servers. Content can be either static or dynamic: static content is "cacheable" or eligible for caching, and dynamic content is "uncacheable" or ineligible for caching. The cached copies of content are stored closer to users, optimized to be fast, and do not require recomputing.

However, if, in any case, after you publish your website and the changes are not reflected, you can clear the cache, and the files will force Cloudflare to fetch a new version of those files from your webserver.

To clear cache:

  1. Click the Clear Cache under Caching.

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn Off

  2. A pop-up window will appear requesting confirmation.

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn Off

  3. Click Clear cache.
  4. Congratulations! You have successfully cleared the cache.

    HostGator Cloudflare CDN Turn Off

Need additional help? Contact us via phone or Live Chat so that we can assist you.