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Can I use Cloudflare on Flywheel?

Updated on January 4th, 2022

Yes! Cloudflare is fully compatible with all Flywheel sites. If you’d like to take advantage of Cloudflare’s features, you can do so quickly and easily, thanks to their simple setup. Be sure to check out our guide to getting started with Cloudflare on Flywheel for details on how to get up and running.


What is Cloudflare? Why would I want to use it?

Cloudflare is a third-party service that acts as a go-between from your site’s server to your users. Cloudflare adds various features related to speed, security, and performance along the way. Free and paid plans are available, but some features are restricted to paid tiers.

To use Cloudflare, you enable your domain to use their nameservers, making Cloudflare the source for your domain’s DNS records and details. This means traffic will pass through Cloudflare on its way to your site’s server. You’ll set up your DNS records in Cloudflare’s dashboard rather than through your registrar, as we otherwise recommend.

There are a few reasons you might want to use Cloudflare. Perhaps your registrar doesn’t provide nameservers for you to use, or you’re interested in an increased level of caching and/or security.


Configuring Cloudflare for Flywheel

  • Don’t enable Cloudflare’s “Always Use HTTPS” setting. To restrict traffic to HTTPS, use the “Force HTTPS” option found on the Advanced tab of the Flywheel site dashboard.
  • Once “Force HTTPS” is enabled on the site’s dashboard, you can enable the “Full” SSL option in the “SSL/TLS” section of the Cloudflare dashboard.
  • Do not use Cloudflare’s “Flexible” setting for domains set to Primary on the Flywheel dashboard, as this can cause a redirect loop. For more details on these settings, see this Cloudflare support guide.

Cloudflare Polish

If you are running a Pro or Business CloudFlare account for your site and wish to utilize the Polish feature, please reach out to Flywheel Support to update our configuration to enable the Image Optimization service to work correctly.


Caching

Cloudflare caches content pretty aggressively, which can cause delays in new content showing, so we recommend enabling their Development Mode setting when making changes to your site. It may also be helpful to install the Cloudflare plugin to manage Cloudflare’s caching of your site.


DNS checkers

Cloudflare acts as a reverse proxy. As a result, when a domain uses Cloudflare, DNS detection tools such as whatsmydns.net or dnscheck.app won’t provide accurate results.

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