Cloudflare Security Guide: Simplifying Website Protection in 2024

Category : Security

In 2024, optimizing your website for speed and security is crucial. This Cloudflare Security Guide offers a range of features to enhance your site’s performance and protect it from threats. This blog will focus on Cloudflare’s free offerings and guide you through the steps to implement these features. However, keep in mind that every website is unique and its requirements are also distinctive, so please do your due diligence before changing the Cloudflare features/settings.

Why Use Cloudflare?

Enhanced Performance: Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) speeds up your website by distributing its content across multiple servers worldwide. When users visit your site, Cloudflare delivers the content from the nearest server, reducing load times significantly.

Increased Security: Cloudflare protects your website from various threats, including DDoS attacks, malicious bots, and SQL injections. Its free plan includes essential security features to keep your site safe.

1. Sign Up and Add Your Website

Adding your website to Cloudflare is the first step to enhancing its performance and security. This step initiates Cloudflare’s protection and performance enhancements for your website.

  • Go to the Cloudflare website and sign up for a free account.
  • After creating your account, add your website by entering its URL.Connecting domain to cloudflare.

2. Update DNS Settings

Updating your DNS settings directs your traffic through Cloudflare, enabling their CDN and security features.

  • Cloudflare will scan your existing DNS records. Review these records to ensure accuracy.
  • Update your domain’s nameservers to Cloudflare’s nameservers, which you can find in the Cloudflare dashboard.
    Changing the domain nameserver to cloudflare nameserver.
  • Go to your domain registrar and replace the current nameservers with the ones provided by Cloudflare.
  • After that, you can set up the DNS for your domain on Cloudflare (setting up A, CNAME record, etc.)

3. Enable SSL/TLS Encryption

SSL/TLS encryption protects data transferred between your site and visitors, ensuring secure communication. This is crucial for building trust and maintaining data integrity.

  • In the Cloudflare dashboard, navigate to the SSL/TLS tab.
  • Set the SSL mode to Full to ensure secure connections between your visitors and your web server.
    Exploring Cloudflare SSL/TLS Encryption Mode's.
  • Enable Always Use HTTPS to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS.
    Cloudflare Security Guide: Selecting 'Always use HTTPS' option

4. Configure Basic Settings

Configuring basic settings ensures all connections are secure, improving security and user trust. Automatic HTTPS rewrites help maintain a consistent and secure user experience.

  • In the Cloudflare dashboard, navigate to the Overview tab of your website.
  • Turn on the Automatic HTTPS Rewrites option.
    Cloudflare Security Guide: Selecting the 'Automatic HTTPS Rewrites' option

5. Optimize Performance and Speed

Optimizing performance is crucial for a fast, seamless user experience. Cloudflare offers several recent features to enhance your website’s speed by reducing file sizes, enhancing delivery, and optimizing content.

  • Argo Smart Routing
    • Enable Argo Smart Routing in the Traffic tab to route traffic through the fastest and most reliable paths in Cloudflare’s network.
  • HTTP/3 Support
    • Enable HTTP/3 in the Network tab to reduce latency and improve performance, especially for mobile and international users.
  • Rocket Loader
    • Enable Rocket Loader in the Speed tab to prioritize content loading and load JavaScript asynchronously for quicker page loads.Cloudflare Security Guide: Enabling HTTP/3 and Rocket Loader option

6. Enhance Security


Enhancing security protects your site from various attacks and unauthorized access. Features like the firewall and bot protection are essential for maintaining site integrity.

  • Navigate to the Firewall tab in Cloudflare.
  • Set the Security Level to Medium for balanced protection (You can adjust it according to your needs).Cloudflare Security Guide: Exploring the Security Level of the website
  • Enable the Bot Fight Mode to block malicious bots.Cloudflare Security Guide: Enabling Bot Fight Mode
  • “I’m Under Attack Mode”: In case of a DDoS attack, enable “I’m Under Attack Mode” in the Security tab to present a challenge page to visitors before they can access your site, filtering out malicious traffic. This mode helps mitigate the impact of the attack by ensuring only legitimate users can proceed. Additionally, monitor traffic patterns to adjust security settings as needed.Cloudflare Security Guide: Enabling 'I'm under attack' security mode
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): Cloudflare’s WAF protects your site from common threats by inspecting incoming traffic and blocking malicious activity. Enable the WAF in the Security tab for enhanced protection. Regularly update the firewall rules to adapt to new threats and ensure optimal security. You can explore the WAF templates or make your own custom template that suits your needs.
    Cloudflare Security Guide: Exploring the Web Application Firewall Settings and Rules
  • Configure IP Access Rules to block or challenge traffic from specific IP addresses or countries if needed.

8. Switch to DNSSEC

Switching to DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) adds an additional layer of security to your domain, protecting it from certain types of attacks, such as DNS spoofing. DNSSEC works by digitally signing your DNS records, ensuring that users are connected to the correct server and not being redirected maliciously. This added security is particularly important for maintaining the integrity and authenticity of your site’s DNS data, preventing attackers from hijacking your domain.

  • In the Cloudflare dashboard, navigate to the DNS tab.
  • Scroll down to the DNSSEC section and click “Enable DNSSEC.”Cloudflare Security Guide: Setting up the DNSSEC
  • Follow the instructions to add the DS (Delegation Signer) record to your domain registrar, enhancing the security of your DNS information.

9. Set Up Caching

Setting up caching stores parts of your website temporarily, reducing load times for repeat visitors. This improves the overall user experience by delivering content more quickly.

  • In the Caching tab, ensure the Caching Level is set to Standard.
  • Enable Browser Cache TTL to a suitable time, such as 4 hours(It depends on how frequently you update/make changes to your website).Cloudflare Security Guide: Configuring Caching options

10. Monitor and Review

Regular monitoring helps you understand your site’s performance and security, allowing you to make informed adjustments. Using Cloudflare’s analytics tools ensures your site remains optimized and secure.

  • Regularly check the Analytics tab for insights on your website’s traffic and security events.
  • Review and adjust settings as necessary based on the analytics data.


Implementing Cloudflare’s free offerings is a straightforward way to enhance your website’s speed and security significantly. By following the steps outlined above, you ensure your site benefits from Cloudflare’s robust CDN, effective security measures, and performance optimization features. Stay ahead in 2024 by making your website faster and more secure with Cloudflare. Start today and experience the difference a well-protected and efficiently running site can make for your users.