Cloudflare is a popular platform that offers an array of tools and services to improve website performance, security, and scalability. A majority of online businesses use Cloudflare with WordPress to integrate DNS, CDN, and firewall services. But Cloudflare offers a lot more than these features in its Pro, Businesses, and Enterprise plans.
Cloudflare premium plans come with advanced features and better limits for more serious businesses. The price increases as you move along these plans but the features you get are very effective in solving crucial performance, security, scalability, and tracking challenges. Cloudflare’s Enterprise plan is the epitome of Cloudflare’s creations. It comes with all the great features that set your online business apart from your competition.
The following guide covers the features of Cloudflare Enterprise and what benefits they bring when you integrate Cloudflare with WordPress.
What is Cloudflare Enterprise
Cloudflare Enterprise is a premium suite of tools built for online businesses that are in their hyper-growth phase or have become established organizations. The idea is to equip these businesses with flexible, scalable, and pluggable tools to support growth without creating friction with their existing setup. Cloudflare Enterprise is a simple answer to many complex challenges that businesses of such a size do not want to encounter but definitely want to solve.
Benefits of Adding Cloudflare Enterprise to Your WordPress Site
WordPress sites commonly use Cloudflare standard plan for adding CDN, free SSL certificate, and adding a secure DNS resolver. Switching to the Cloudflare Enterprise plan allows your WordPress site to access its most advanced and high-performance features and the benefits of these features are as follows:
Security is one of the most crucial elements that WordPress and WooCommerce sites have to face. Due to the increasing number of cyber security threats and their damaging capabilities, WordPress site owners have started to invest in WordPress security solutions that are effective and proactive in mitigating such threats before they can damage the online business.
Cloudflare Enterprise does exactly that. It comes with features that tackle cyber security from many different angles. Let’s look at some of these features.
Distributed Denial of Service of DDoS for short is one of the infamous cyber attacks. A well-planned DDoS attack can freeze your server and bring your site down for hours. Having one of the largest networks, Cloudflare fights DDoS attacks aimed at their customers every three minutes. DDoS means dealing with a very high volume of unwanted traffic that does not only strain your server but also increases your hosting bill.
Cloudflare Enterprise comes with an Unmetered DDoS Mitigation policy that protects the customer irrespective of the magnitude of the DDoS attack. It is capable of handling the largest DDoS attacks on the internet and Cloudflare identifies and mitigates these attacks automatically.
Bots roam the internet to serve various purposes like crawling your site for ranking, tracking traffic, or Chatbots to serve your customers. However, not all bots visit your site with good intentions. These are bad bots that create unwanted traffic and are used for malicious purposes like spamming, scrapping, and for creating DDoS networks.
Cloudflare Enterprise mitigates bad bots traffic through heuristics and behavioral analysis based on traffic data from thousands of websites on their network. This enables Cloudflare to spot these bots accurately and mitigate them proactively.
Cloudflare’s Rate Limiting feature protects your WordPress site from Brute Force and DDoS attacks. This simple yet effective technique allows Cloudflare to identify IP addresses that hit a certain URL excessively and block them to mitigate the risks of Bruteforce and DDoS attacks. This prevents your server from exhausting its resources and keep serving the legit traffic as usual.
Powerful HTTP Traffic Filteration
More than 20% of all the HTTP traffic goes through Cloudflare networks which allows it to learn various patterns and train advanced machine learning models to effectively filter HTTP traffic. These models trace the fingerprints of bad actors and filter them out from the incoming traffic of your WordPress site.
Cloudflare Enterprise delivers high performance to your WordPress or WooCommerce site through an array of features. These features enable your website to serve any number of customers globally with persistent performance. Companies like IBM, Garmin, Zendesk, and many more use Cloudflare Enterprise to solve performance and scalability challenges.
Tiered Caching is a smart and efficient way through which Cloudflare keeps its widespread network of data centers updated with the latest cached version of your WordPress site. Instead of the whole network requesting the origin server for the content, only the selected top-tier data centers request the origin server and spread content to lower tiers.
Cloudflare APO for WordPress
Cloudflare Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) is another performance enhancement feature that intelligently caches the dynamic content of your WordPress website and serves it through its edge network to your visitors. This drastically reduces Time to First Byte (TTFB) which is a key component of your site’s Core Web Vitals. It also reduces the load on your origin server by serving the HTML from Cloudflare’s edge network.
Cloudflare Global Edge
To further enhance the performance of your WordPress site, Cloudflare Argo Smart Routing identifies the congested network paths on the internet and creates the fastest path to serve your customers. It also reduces latency and timeout issues and all that translates into a better user experience.
Cloudflare Enterprise Pricing
The pricing for the Cloudflare Enterprise plan is not mentioned on their site but the estimated cost of the enterprise plan is $5000/mo which is billed annually.
Integrate Cloudflare via WordPress Plugin
You can use Cloudflare with WordPress via the plugin. Cloudflare WordPress plugin is free to use and allows you to easily configure its top features like CDN, SSL, DNS, and Security features. Let’s see how we can integrate Cloudflare with WordPress in a few easy steps. Go to Plugins inside your WordPress admin and search for the Cloudflare plugin. Install and activate the plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, go to Settings → Cloudflare and create your free account if you do not have an account, otherwise, simply sign in with your credentials.
If you are creating the account for the first time then you will have to create an API token from the Cloudflare dashboard in order to use Cloudflare with the WordPress plugin. And before that, you will have to configure your DNS settings with Cloudflare in order to use its services.
Once the account is created, enter your domain name and click Add Site.
On the next screen, select your desired plan or if you are not sure then pick the Free plan that also offers CDN, DNS, SSL, and DDoS protection.
On the next screen, you need to review and verify your DNS records. Do not get confused with so many IP addresses and statuses. Just confirm that there is an orange cloud in front of your main domain name.
Click on Continue and follow the directions to add Cloudflare’s nameservers. These directions might vary depending on your domain provider.
For me, the instructions were to first remove the old Cloudflare name servers and add the new ones on my domain that is registered with GoDaddy. This change may take 24 hours but usually, it is effective in a couple of hours — again depending upon your domain provider.
The following message will show once it is configured properly.
On the same screen, scroll down and click on Get your API token.
Click on Create Token and choose WordPress from the template options present on the next page.
After configuring the desired settings, copy the generated token and paste it inside the plugin to log in.
Soon after logging in, the first option you will see is for Cloudflare’s recommended Setting for WordPress. Click on Apply and Cloudflare will automatically apply all the optimization settings for you.
There is also an option to purchase Cloudflare Application Platform Optimization add-on or APO for short. You can purchase the add-on for just $5 a month and it significantly improves the performance of your WordPress site. It is powered by Cloudflare Edge which means both the static and dynamic content of your WordPress site is cached. This does not only reduce the latency but also keeps the origin server free from other crucial tasks.
Inside the Settings, you can manage performance and security-related features and also purchase premium add-ons for image optimization, Firewall, and advanced DDoS protection. Bear in mind that, all the above premium features are included in the Cloudflare Enterprise plan.
Integrating Cloudflare with WordPress via plugin is not very complicated. However, it does require you to create the account, configure various settings, and add nameservers. The plugin offers basic optimization and security features but for the more advanced features, you have to either upgrade to another plan or purchase the required add-ons.