Setting up the cloudflare Free Plan For your WordPress Site (Bigscoots Managed Hosting)

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Do you need caching for your site? Do you need to add the Cloudflare free plan to your site? What is caching? I’ll answer all of these questions here, and give you a simple free solution for sites using Bigscoot’s Managed hosting.

A Quick Summary:

Every WordPress website needs a caching service, and most sites can easily begin with a free plan. Cloudflare offers a free basic plan that is a great starter plan. And, all managed WP Optimized plans with Bigscoots hosting includes a basic Cloudflare account that is easy integrate with your WordPress dashboard.

What you need to know:

Caching is when a site stores copies of its files in a cache (a temporary computing environment) so that the cached content can be accessed quickly by the reader.  Without caching, visitors have to download web pages every time whenever they visit your website. Caching enables fast websites, better user experiences, and higher ranking on Google.

To have an efficient WordPress website, you need a caching solution – either a free plugin or a paid service. Sites hosted with Bigscoots hosting receive access to a the Cloudflare free plan caching solution. I can show you how to set it up.

My recommendation:

I recommend that you consider hosting your site with my favorite hosting – Bigscoots hosting – and take advantage of the Cloudflare free plan included with managed accounts.

Your next steps:

If you already have a WordPress website hosted with Bigscoots managed hosting, read below to learn how to set up your Cloudflare account on your site.

If you have a WordPress site not on Bigscoots (or have shared hosting with Bigscoots), click here to learn how to set up the Cloudflare free plan for your site.

If you don’t have a site on WordPress (or are considering transferring), consider Bigscoots hosting and their included caching plan for your new site.

What is Caching?

Your website is built with hundreds of files that need to be downloaded for every pageview. There are HTML files, PHP files, text files, CSS files, and more. Every pageview downloads all of these.

If your site has a cache (pronounced “cash”), your site will store copies of your website’s pages temporarily for that reader and serves them for every pageview. This makes every page load faster.

Faster websites provide better user experiences, and also help your site rank higher in search engine results.

And, many times caching plugins are added to WordPress sites you need to clear your site cache every time you update content in order to clear outdated static files.

The different kinds of Caching

  1. Caching included with a Host – A lot of managed hosts include a caching service, like Bigscoots. If your site has a managed host with a caching solution, you won’t need to install another type of caching. But it is useful to integrate that caching with your WordPress site so you can clear the cache within your WordPress Dashboard.
  2. Free Caching Services – There are a lot of free caching plugins that work great. If you are on a budget or just starting your website, I recommend starting with a free caching service. The Cloudflare free plan works with the free Cloudflare WordPress plugin listed below. Keep reading below to learn how to set it up.
  3. Paid Caching Services – For professional websites or new businesses, it might be beneficial to invest in a paid caching service. Cloudflare’s Pro plan starts at $20/mo. You can see the pricing here. To find out which plan works for you, you can take this quiz here.

Bigscoots Sites – How to set up the cloudflare WordPress plugin for your site

If you have a Bigscoots managed hosting plan, the Cloudflare Basic plan is automatically included. This is how you connect it to your site.

01. Access your Cloudflare Credentials

  • To access your Cloudflare credentials (username/password), login to your Bigscoots WordPress Dashboard here.
  • This is different than your Billing dashboard. If you can’t find the login for your WordPress Dashboard, you can get it by logging into your Billing Dashboard here and clicking “Go to WPO Portal” on the bottom left of the admin sidebar.
  • Once inside your Bigscoots WordPress Dashboard, click your domain and the sub-menu item “Cloudflare. Click the Free “Basic” Plan and then “Access” on the far right of the top menu. You will see your login for Cloudflare.

02. Login to Cloudflare

  • Open up Cloudflare here and login with the credentials (usename/pw) you found in Bigscoots.
  • Confirm that your account lists all the domains that are hosted by Bigscoots.
  • Click your profile in the top right hand corner, and verify that your email is correct and is an email address you can access.

Bigscoots sometimes uses a auto-generated email address (like [email protected]) that is not something you can verify. If this is the case, start a support ticket with Bigscoots and they will verify the email address for you.

  • Under “profile” click “API Tokens” on the left sidebar.
  • You will be using the “Global API Key”

03. Adding the Cloudflare wordpress plugin to WordPress

  • Log in to your WordPress Dashboard
  • Go to Plugins and add the “Super Page Cache for Cloudflare” Cloudflare WordPress plugin. You can also download it here.
  • Click Settings
  • Add the Cloudflare email address that you are using, and the Global API key. (You will need your Cloudflare password to access this in Cloudflare.)
  • Update Settings
  • Choose your domain
  • Update Settings again
  • You’re done!
The free basic cloudflare free plan and wordpress plugin for Bigscoots sites.

Using the Cloudflare Free Plan and Plugin Daily on your site

Now when you log into your WordPress dashboard, you will see a “CF Cache” in the top menu bar. Click “Purge whole Cache” every time you update your site, and your site will automatically load the newest content. If your site feels slow, you can also clear the cache.

If you ever have a reader complain of not seeing the latest content on your site, you can clear your cache to make sure they see the latest content.

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