Getting Started with CloudFlare: Recommended First Steps for all CloudFlare users

1. Best way to resolve a CloudFlare issue or problem  after activating is to use the 'Pause' button.

When you sign up for CloudFlare, the service should just work right out of the box. However, if you notice a problem after activating CloudFlare, please do not change nameservers away from CloudFlare to try and fix an issue. (we can’t help you troubleshoot the issue when the site is not on us).

You can temporarily deactivate CloudFlare by choosing the 'pause' or 'deactivate' option on your CloudFlare My Websites Page by going to:
Settings- (gear icon)>Pause/Deactivate CloudFlare

Also see: Troubleshooting CloudFlare Problems

Note: Customers that signed up through a hosting partner should turn us off in their panel at their host, which can be done by moving the cloud from orange to gray.

2. Preserving IP information --> Install mod_cloudflare (or equivalent)

Since CloudFlare acts as a reverse proxy for websites, CloudFlare's IPs are going to show in your server logs. There is an easy fix to restore original visitor IP for any web server. If you have issues with things like GeoIP or .htaccess blocks not working properly on your site, installing mod_cloudflare will resolve the problem immediately.

You should also whitelist all of CloudFlare's IP addresses with your hosting provider and on your server.

Note: This is not required if you have activated CloudFlare through a CloudFlare Certified Partner.

3. Review your DNS settings

CloudFlare will scan common subdomain records when you first add your domain (mail, blog, mx, etc.). More custom subdomains that you may have created, such as, we won’t catch when we scan the domain. If any of your subdomains are not working, then please add them in the DNS settings for the domain.

4. Create PageRules

PageRules will give you more performance and configuration options to extend what you do with CloudFlare even more, including:

Cache HTML (our default configuration only caches static content files)

Exclude certain URLs from CloudFlare features and caching

301 and 302 redirects

We recommend that you use PageRules to exclude the admin section of your website from CloudFlare's optional performance features. Features like Rocket Loader or Auto Minify may inadvertently break back end functions in your admin section, so setting a PageRule should fix the problem.

The PageRule you will need to create for WordPress, for example,  has the following structure for WordPress:

5. Familiarize yourself with your CloudFlare performance and security  settings

While we may have surfaced some of the more popular features and settings when you first signed up, you will still find additional options in our UI relative to performance and security that we didn’t surface. You can also turn on features on or off as you want to make changes to your site.

CloudFlare Performance Settings

CloudFlare Security Settings

6. Whitelist the IP(s) of services you expect to or want to access your site

If you expect certain services (APIs, crawlers, payment providers, etc.) to access your site on a regular basis, we would highly recommend whitelisting the IP addresses of services you want to access your site in your Threat Control panel. While we have a great deal of information about good services in our macro list already (Google, Facebook, etc.), a service we’re not aware of may trigger a security challenge for your site if we haven’t seen it before and/or if it was exhibiting behavior similar to a DDoS attack or other attack.

7. Search our Knowledge Base for FAQs
While we love answering questions from our customers as quickly as possible, many questions can be answered by doing a quick search through CloudFlare's help content. We have found that nearly 90% of customer service issues we receive could actually be addressed if a customer took time to search the knowledge base first for an answer.

8. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

We use Facebook and Twitter as our primary communication channels for announcing new product releases, known system issues and to give users early access to beta features. If you want to know as much as you can about CloudFlare, or if you only have a really quick question to ask, Facebook and Twitter are the best places to go.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.