How to add and configure your domain in Cloudflare for optimum security and speed
We've all been there. You type in a website URL only to be greeted by a blank screen or an error message telling you the site can't be reached. It's frustrating, especially if you know the site is up and running, but you just can't seem to access it.
There are several reasons why this might happen, but one of the most common is that the Domain Name System (DNS) associated with the website is not working or not correctly configured.
DNS is what translates human-readable domain names (like www.try360tools.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (like 192.0.2.1). If DNS is not working properly, then your computer or device will not be able to connect to the website in question.
Troubleshooting DNS related errors
If you are just visiting this website, I will advise you to clear your cache, check your internet connection and retry connecting to the site again, but if you are the owner, follow the following steps to fix this problem and protect your site once and for all.
One way to fix this problem is to use a DNS service like Cloudflare DNS or Google dns. Cloudflare DNS services are free, secure and reliable. It can be used as an alternative to your current DNS service provider, in most cases, is your domain registrar.
It's good to note that this process significantly increases the speed of your website. Before you start the process, kindly run a speed test on your site first to analyse its performance. So you can compare the results afterwards.
Setting up Cloudflare 22.214.171.124 DNS service is a simple process that can be completed in just a few minutes. The following step-by-step guide will show you how to do this the right way
Step 1: Add site
On the Cloudflare dashboard, click on add a site button
Next, enter your domain name without any subdomain. Subdomain can be created later on after successfully adding the domain. This can be done using A records.
In my case, that's hubvirals.com. Then click add site.
On the next page, you will have to select a plan. For this tutorial am going to choose the free plan since it contains most of the applications we need. You can always upgrade to another plan should the need arise.
Scroll down and choose the free plan, then click continue
Now Cloudflare will scan your domain name for existing DNS records. After a few seconds, it will show all the existing records from your current name server.
Please scroll down to review it, and possibly delete all the existing records, click continue.
If you already have email routing setup on your domain, you would want to leave those MX records a such.
Note: If your hosting platform is different from your domain registrar, then you will need to create A record and Cname, all pointing to the IP of your hosting server IP.
Step 2: Configure DNS server settings
Now you will need to change the name servers from your domain registrar to point to that of Cloudflare dns servers. Copy the following dns server addresses
In my case, I will log in to my Namecheap account dashboard and navigate to my domain DNS server settings and tap configure dns. Yours might look different, but regardless of the registrar, the process is almost the same.
Locate the existing dns server entries and change the first name server to the one we copied on Cloudflare into the dns entries field.
Repeat the same for the second record, then save the settings. In case your DNS records are more than two, you can ignore the remaining ones.
Now go back to Cloudflare and click on done check name servers. If you've configured everything correctly, you should see a page like this.
Step 3: Configure the domain for security and performance
If you're currently developing your website, skipping some of the following settings is a good idea. Click on get started to configure your domain settings for improved security and optimized performance.
From the drop-down menu on the control panel, you are going to do the following;
Uncheck the automatic https rewrite settings and do the same for always use https. To keep these two settings on, ensure your website is properly configured only to accept https traffic; otherwise, it might behave unexpectedly, including throwing all sorts of error codes.
- Always click to save before moving to the next item.
- For auto-minify, keep all three dots checked. This enables the system to make HTML, JS and CSS files as small as possible for fast load time.
- Finally, brotli compression is enabled by default which is a good idea.
- As soon as your website uses https, you can reduce page load time significantly with this setting, so make sure it is checked.
- Review all your settings and if everything looks okay, then click finish.
On the overview page, click on check name servers. Cloudflare will display a message saying that it is now checking the name servers for your domain name. That is because the changes you made on your registrar are not propagated yet.
- This is entirely normal. It can take a few hours for your name servers to propagate. To keep tabs on this, periodically check your email for confirmation message or use our DNS checker if this is taking too long.
Once your DNS settings are set up in Cloudflare, the next step is to configure Cloudflare's fastest DNS resolver.
The Cloudflare DNS resolver is a free and open-source DNS service which can be used to improve website performance by caching domain name lookups and providing additional security features such as blocking malicious domains.
Once the new nameservers have been added, you can begin configuring your DNS resolver settings. These include a number of options such as setting up DNS over TLS encryption which adds an extra layer of security when lookups are made from your server.
You can also set up caching rules to improve website performance by reducing latency, as well as enable geographic routing which directs visitors from specific locations to alternative IP addresses.
You can go ahead and run another speed test. This time determine if you've been able to improve from your previous score.
Google DNS vs. Cloudflare DNS, which is faster?
When it comes to the comparison between Google DNS and Cloudflare DNS, the answer isn't necessarily straightforward.
Both services offer reliable performance and high levels of security, so choosing one over the other ultimately comes down to personal preference.
That said, there are a few important differences between them that can influence your decision. One of these is speed, and many people prefer Cloudflare DNS service because its speeds tend to be slightly faster than Google's.
This advantage may be especially pronounced for those living in areas with slow internet connections or limited bandwidth availability.
The reason behind Cloudflare's perceived edge in speed lies in the way its servers are configured. For example, their servers have been optimized for low latency connections, which means they can quickly deliver data with minimal delays.
In addition, Cloudflare uses Anycast routing, meaning that it has multiple server locations all over the world, allowing for quicker response times to clients regardless of their location.
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network and cybersecurity company with the fastest dns service. Their services protect and accelerate websites and applications online.
Cloudflare provides network security for all the internet protocol version, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation, Internet Security, and Performance Enhancing Proxy (PEP) services.
They have data centers located in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.
What are nameservers?
When you register a domain name, you need to point that domain to a web hosting account. This is done by changing the nameservers for your domain.
Nameservers are like the phone book for the internet they keep a directory of all the domains and their associated IP addresses.
When you type in a domain name, your computer contacts the nameservers for that domain to find out the IP address, and then it connects to that IP address to view the website.
You can think of it like this the domain name is the "human-friendly" name for the website, and the IP address is the actual location of the website on the internet.
When you change your nameservers, you're essentially telling the internet where to find your website.
Most web hosts will give you specific private dns nameserver values to use when you set up your account with them.
Once you have those values, you just need to update your domain's settings to use those nameservers instead of the defaults.
And that's it! Now when someone types in your domain name, they'll be automatically redirected to your web hosting account and they'll be able to see your website.
What is DNS?
DNS, or Domain Name System, is a protocol that allows computers to communicate with each other over the Internet.
When you type a URL into your browser, DNS converts the domain name into an IP address that can be used to locate the server where the website is hosted.
DNS runs on a network of servers around the world, and each server contains a database of IP addresses and their corresponding domain names.
When a request is made, the DNS server looks up the IP address in its database and returns it to the requesting computer.
DNS is an essential part of how the Internet works, and it is one of the reasons why we are able to use domain names rather than IP addresses to access websites.
Is URL different from domain?
Domain names are the unique addresses that identify websites on the Internet. A domain name must be registered before it can be used, and registrars usually charge an annual fee for this service.
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) are the addresses of specific resources on the Internet, such as individual web pages or documents. While every URL includes a domain name, not every domain name corresponds to a URL.
For example, a company might register the domain name "try360tools.com" without using it to host any content. In this case, there would be no URL associated with that domain name.
Similarly, a single website can have multiple URLs (e.g., "try360tools.com/en/hex-to-rgb" and "try360tools.com/en/rgb-to-hex"). So, while all URLs contain a domain name, not all domain names are associated with a URL.
What is my current IP address?
Your IP address is a unique number that identifies your computer or device on the internet. It can be used to track your online activity and location.
To find your current IP address, you can use a this tool. Your IP address will be displayed on the screen.
If you're using a laptop or desktop computer, your IP address will likely be different from your phone or tablet's IP.
This is because each device has its own unique IP address. However, all of your devices share the same public IP address when they're connected to the internet through a router.
So if you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, all of your devices will have the same public IP address from the same IP.