The pros and cons of using CloudFlare with Plesk
The Plesk CloudFlare extension is installed on our servers so that when clients wish to use it (and are willing to deal with any issues that arise from using it), our firewall will not start blocking CloudFlare IPs. The module ensures our servers and firewalls see the right visitor IPs when cloudflare is active.
CloudFlare has its upsides and downsides:
- In theory, loading your site should be faster when being accessed from other continents
- It can provide some level of security protection
- Speed analysis tools like GT Metrix will give you a higher score simply for using a content delivery network (CDN), without actually measuring the real-world performance benefits.
- If your website visitors are mostly local and CloudFlare's nearest server is farther or has worse connectivity than our servers in Montreal, then it'll actually slow down your site.
- Because you're adding yet another layer to the way your website loads, troubleshooting issues becomes very difficult. If your site goes down, we can't really help you because it could very well be a problem with CloudFlare
- Because CloudFlare takes over your DNS, when you add sub-domains or make changes to your DNS records in Plesk you will likely find they do not become live until you've also changed them in CloudFlare's panel. Similarly, your MX records will not be automatically created in CloudFlare's DNS panel, resulting in incoming mail no longer functioning after enabling CloudFlare unless you explicitly create them manually.
It's up to you to choose whether you wish to use CloudFlare, but be aware that our ability to help you with supporting your site if any issues arise may become very limited. If you plan to use CloudFlare, we recommend using it purely as a CDN by configuring your caching system to send static files to CloudFlare, rather than by having it take over your DNS entirely. Please consult the documentation for your caching system (ex: WP Super Cache or WP Rocket for WordPress) to learn how this is done.
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