EE4 + Free Cloudflare Integration


#1

Has anyone done this yet? I know so many people recommend the free Cloudflare account option for websites but I’ve also heard some horror stories about redirect loops and such.

I was curious if anyone has used a fresh install of EE4 and integrated it with Cloudflare yet. What the experience is, what the process is, etc.

Also, how ‘free’ is the free tier. I’m seeing a lot of

  • First 500k DNS requests are free. $.50 per every 500k DNS requests after.

Stuff. . .like, I have no idea how many DNS requests I get.


So I guess another question is, how easy is it to move away from Cloudflare after you have begun using it as well.

Again, all with EE4.

TIA!


#2
  • First 500k DNS requests are free. $.50 per every 500k DNS requests after.

It’s came from Cloudflare load-balancing. If you don’t know what load-balancing is, or not using it, you will not charged.

And when you activate anything can be charged, you have to fill in your credit card so no worries about hidden fees.


#3

Free cloudflare is great. Speeds you up a lot.

Also if you switch site to another machine, the change is instant, no need to wait for DNS propagation.

As for redirect loops etc., I had probs in past but never since I realised just need to make sure if EE has SSL on, then CF SSL must set to Full. If EE SSL is off, then, CFF SSL must set to flex. If you get blank screen after moving sites around or playing with DNS/SSL this is usually the reason.

Free cloudflare is mostly all you will need unless you want extra pages rules etc. Paid version give some extra image compression etc, but I always do that on server anyway. I run all my sites through CF and have never paid.

For speed settings, Rocket Loader combines JS and loads after page paint, which is good, but if turned on, it may stop page builders like Divi and Elementor. You can fix it with a page rule that will turn off rocket loader for anything with page builder specific strings in the url.

Personally I find autoptimize faster, and leave CF minifications and Rocket Loader turned off. If Autoptimize gives you any issues, you might find the above better. They do speed you up.

Also be aware that GTMetrix will score you down for not having static files loaded from cookie-free domain, since cloudflare always has security cookies, cannot turn off. If you used say KeyCDN, it will strip your cookies and add none of its own so you will get higher score.

But speed beats score. I rather have 95/100 gtmetrix score with a half second page load on cloudflare, than a 100/100 with a full second page load. Seems to me so far that CF is fastest CDN. I have also read several benchmark reports showing it has fasster DNS than Amazon and Google.

Try it, you won’t regret it. Free DNS plus CDN + Security, and now domain registration at cost price.

And if you move away from it for any reason, no problem, except that your sites won’t load as fast…

Wow, gushing so much, sounds like I must be working for them! Sadly, not. I first found them as a feature in siteground. I have moved on from shared hosting to easyengine, but no reason to leave cloudflare behind


#4

Btw no need to give your credit card details for free version…


#5

Wow, thanks for that explanation, man. And you’ve done this with EE4?

I plan on moving my big sites over to EE4 this weekend (after testing smaller ones over the last 2-3 weeks).

It sounds like Cloudflare is all done on the DNS level so I can experiment with one of my smaller sites first and then gradually move up the ladder to my more active but still smaller) sites. Before finally making the big change to my big sites.

Does that sound right?


#6

Hi, yes I currently have about 10 sites running with EE4 plus cloudflare, several of them on EE4 for almost a month now.

Apart from the DNS, Cloudflare is really just copying your static files and redirecting all incoming requests for those to its own copies of them instead of your machine. In addition to a few other things. But it will not otherwise affect your site except for mentioned rocket loader potential issues.

Their html/css/js minification is also more foolproof than plugins like Autoptimize in my experience, in terms of potential to break things. Although Autoptimize can often get you faster load times, if you have issues with it, then usually better to just use Nginx+CF with their minifaction and rocket loader instead.

You will otherwise not have issues cause by cloudflare in my experience, expect for the SSL full or flex. I get those issues but it’s only ever … oops blank screen, oh yeah this site is SSL, go to Crypto settings and set to Full. Fixed.


#7

What plugin do you recommend to configure CF with the current setup of EE4 and the plugins that it comes with?


#8

Cloudflare by LittleBizzy is good. Light with no settings. Chooses the site it is installed in by default. Whereas with other plugins I have found it’s sometime possible to end up having wrong one of your sites under the cloudflare account selected.


#9

I just tested it on one of my sites and configured all the speed options etc. It took my TTFB from 7ms to ~1200ms and the load time spiked a bit. I will go without it since our visitors are only from 1 country anyway so don’t need the CDN aspect. Thank you for the tip though


#10

Yes, whatever is fastest!


#11

Almost all of our websites at rtCamp are on ClouldFlare and we haven’t had any problem so far.

Also, EE team is considering adding support of CloudFlare so the you won’t have to manually add TXT record while creating site with wildcard DNS.