At Kinsta, website performance and security are two of our core focuses. We are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that can have a positive impact on your website’s security and performance.
After our migration to Google Cloud Platform’s C2 VMs, our next big infrastructure enhancement will be integrating Cloudflare. That will enhance security and performance for all sites hosted on Kinsta.
To make the integration process as transparent as possible, we’ve prepared this list of questions and answers so you can learn how the integration with Cloudflare may impact you.
Why We’re Integrating Cloudflare
Cloudflare is an industry leader in security, web performance, and edge computing with data centers in over 200 cities around the world. For WordPress sites, Cloudflare’s product acts as a proxy that sits between the origin server and visitors. By acting as a proxy, Cloudflare can block malicious traffic, cache static files, optimize images, and more. According to data from W3Techs, 81.2% of all websites that use a CDN or reverse proxy rely on Cloudflare, allowing it to dominate market share.
WordPress powers over 38% of the web. While WordPress’ ease of use and ubiquity is overwhelmingly positive for bloggers and businesses who need an online presence, the flip side is that WordPress sites are also popular targets for hackers and other malicious actors.
According to statistics from EnableSecurity, over 70% of WordPress installations are vulnerable to hackers. Furthermore, over 90% of CMS-based sites are powered by WordPress!
Cloudflare Security Benefits
At Kinsta, offering you a secure and powerful application, database, and managed WordPress hosting experience is very important to us. In addition to our hack-free guarantee, we also run proactive malware scans to help secure your sites.
By integrating Cloudflare at the infrastructure level, we’ll be able to take advantage of Cloudflare’s intelligent firewall and DDoS protection. That means your site on Kinsta will be more secure than ever!
Cloudflare Performance Benefits
Website performance is what we’re known for, and Cloudflare will make sites hosted on Kinsta even faster! Cloudflare’s CDN is an HTTP/3-enabled global edge network that spans over 200 cities. This means static assets like CSS, JS, image files, and web fonts can be served from locations even closer to your visitors.
That’s not all, however! In recent years, Cloudflare has made a huge push into the edge computing space with the launch of Cloudflare Workers. As an upcoming part of our integration process, we’ll leverage Cloudflare’s edge computing technologies to cache your site’s HTML pages in data centers all around the world.
That will result in much faster page speed for visitors far away from your origin server!
What is the Timeline for Kinsta’s Cloudflare Integration?
The Cloudflare integration will begin in 2021 and will be split into two phases.
- In Phase 1, our focus will be to enable Cloudflare’s security features, such as their secure firewall and DDoS protection, for all Kinsta customers.
- In Phase 2, we’ll extend the Cloudflare integration with performance-boosting features like CDN and edge caching of HTML.
In order to take advantage of Cloudflare’s security and performance benefits, Kinsta customers will be required to update their DNS records to point to Cloudflare. To make the process easier, we’ll send you a notification email when your DNS is ready to be pointed at Cloudflare.
All IP addresses for the Cloudflare integration are dedicated and unique to Kinsta. This means you won’t have to worry about sharing an IP address with a site that is not hosted by Kinsta.
Both phases have been completed and are now fully functioning.
As part of our Cloudflare integration, Edge Caching saves your Kinsta site/page cache to any of Cloudflare’s global network of 260+ data centers.
Edge Caching is included free with all Kinsta plans, doesn’t require a separate plugin, and cuts the time needed to serve cached WordPress HTML by an average of more than 50%!
How Will Cloudflare Affect My Website?
Kinsta’s hosting infrastructure is designed following cloud security best practices because our customers’ sites and data are at the core of our business.
Thanks to Cloudflare’s intelligent firewall, DDoS protection, and other security features, your site will be able to take advantage of a complete suite of technologies and tools and be instantly more secure than ever. But that’s not all: in the future, we’re planning to add additional performance-oriented features powered by Cloudflare’s global infrastructure.
Can I still manage my DNS records with my current DNS provider?
Yes. Enabling Kinsta’s Cloudflare doesn’t require any change to your name servers. Your DNS records will still be managed by you at your current DNS provider.
Is Kinsta’s Cloudflare Integration Using Cloudflare’s WAF?
It is important to recognize the difference between the naming scheme of Cloudflare WAF vs the smart firewall rules we manage at Kinsta. This terminology is Cloudflare’s way of differentiating the managed vs user rulesets.
|Cloudflare WAF||Managed by Cloudflare||Cloudflare’s custom ruleset, built on top of the Cloudflare layer 7 firewall.||Not used by Kinsta|
|Cloudflare Firewall Rules||Managed by Kinsta||Kinsta’s custom ruleset, built on top of the Cloudflare layer 7 firewall.||Used by Kinsta|
At Kinsta, we utilize Cloudflare’s layer 7 capable ‘firewall rules’ product. In other words, we are not using Cloudflare’s WAF product (Cloudflare’s predefined rulesets such as OWASP), but through the use of their firewall, we use our own custom rules.
Will Cloudflare Affect My Site’s SEO?
Yes, we expect to see potentially positive effects on SEO following the Cloudflare integration!
In Phase 1, your site will be secured by Cloudflare’s firewall and DDoS protection.
Without DDoS protection in place, an attack on your site can make it inaccessible to search engine crawlers. That has the potential to send negative ranking signals to search engines. With Cloudflare’s DDoS protection, attacks on your site will be stopped before they cause issues for search engine crawlers.
In Phase 2, we will offload page caching to Cloudflare’s edge servers around the world.
That means your site’s cacheable HTML pages will always be served from a location close to your visitors. By caching HTML on Cloudflare’s edge, you can expect to see lower response times (TTFB) and faster page loads. That’s very important because Google has made it clear that site performance will be a key SEO ranking factor starting in May 2021.
Will the Change to Cloudflare Affect the Price of My Kinsta Plan?
The Cloudflare integration along with all new features that are introduced will be 100% free. Cloudflare DDoS protection, web application firewall, edge caching, and more will be available as part of your Kinsta hosting plan at no additional charge.
I Don’t Have a Cloudflare Account. Should I Sign up for One?
Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration does not require you to create a Cloudflare account.
I Have a Cloudflare Plan Already, Do I Need to Do Anything?
Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration is separate from your personal Cloudflare plan, so there is no need to cancel your existing plan. When the Cloudflare integration starts:
- For newly created domains, you could follow this in-depth guide on how to add a domain.
Can I Opt-Out of Using Cloudflare?
We’re integrating Kinsta’s technology stack with Cloudflare to provide an enhanced hosting experience that’s more secure and even faster. Security and speed aren’t negotiable terms for us and we can’t compromise by providing only one of the two. Cloudflare integration is a key aspect of Kinsta’s hosting stack from a security and performance standpoint.
Therefore, in order to take advantage of the most secure and fastest hosting experience, Kinsta customers will be required to use Cloudflare.
Can You Help Me Configure My Cloudflare Settings?
All Cloudflare settings are managed by Kinsta. If you have any questions about Kinsta’s Cloudflare settings, please feel free to reach out to our support team.
If you, on the other hand, would like to manage your own Cloudflare account and need assistance with configuration, we recommend working with a qualified developer.
Will Kinsta Have Access to my Cloudflare account?
No, neither Kinsta or its employees will have access to your Cloudflare account.
Will I Still Be Able to Use Kinsta CDN?
Kinsta CDN (powered by KeyCDN) will remain active throughout Phase 1 of our integration with Cloudflare. In Phase 2, CDN functionality will be provided by Cloudflare.
Can I Use My Own SSL Certificate with Cloudflare?
Yes, if you use a custom wildcard SSL certificate, you will still be able to use it with Cloudflare. For Kinsta customers using our free Let’s Encrypt certificates, SSL will be provided by Cloudflare wildcard certificates after moving to Cloudflare.
Note that Kinsta does not support standard, non-wildcard SSL certificates. Only wildcard-friendly SSL certificates integrate with Kinsta’s services.
Are my Plugins Compatible with Cloudflare?
WordPress plugins that are compatible with Kinsta’s current caching configuration will remain compatible following the Cloudflare integration.
How Does Cloudflare Affect My Site If I’m Already Using a Proxy?
If you are already using a proxy service in front of your site like Sucuri, there may be some conflicts that need to be resolved by a developer. For example, Sucuri also offers caching as part of their service, so there may be caching conflicts with Cloudflare.
Unless you have a specific reason to use an external proxy service (e.g. granular firewall rules for your specific use case), we recommend using Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration exclusively in order to prevent service conflicts.
We are extremely excited to integrate Cloudflare into our hosting infrastructure. With Cloudflare’s broad range of services ranging from intelligent firewalls to high-performance edge computing, we’ll be able to provide your sites with even more security and performance benefits.
If you have any questions about how the Cloudflare integration will impact your site, our support team is available 24/7!