W3 Total Cache is currently the best WordPress plugin for cache-based, performance optimization. W3 Total Cache improves the overall speed of your site by caching multiple elements on your pages which improves the overall responsiveness of your webserver.
We’ll be adding DNS records in Liquid Web’s Manage dashboard. If your site isn’t using Liquid Web’s nameservers, you’ll need to make changes at your registrar or DNS provider.
We’ll be using cPanel to set up an .htaccess redirect. If you don’t have access to cPanel, you will need to edit your .htaccess file directly; if you’re using a web server other than Apache (such as Nginx or IIS), you’ll need to set up the redirect manually. You can find tips for doing so in the bonus content section of this article.
Note: If your site’s DNS records are managed by CloudFlare or any other external source, our Heroic Support® team can provide the records you will need to add there to configure CloudFlare, but we will not be able to access your DNS records themselves.
Step #1: Get Your CloudFlare DNS Settings
Once your site has been added to CloudFlare via Manage, select Domains from the left menu, click on the CloudFlare tab and click the [+] button next to your domain name to expand the CloudFlare dashboard.
Now click on the DNS Settings link near the bottom-right corner to view your settings.
The popup window will show you the specific changes you’ll need to make for your site:Specifically, you’ll need to:
Add an .htaccess redirect to ensure all traffic to your site uses the “www” subdomain.
Add a CNAME record for the subdomain “cf-landing.yourdomainname.com”.
Change your CNAME record for the “www” subdomain to point to “www.yourdomain.com.cdn.cloudflare.net”.
Step #2: Redirect Traffic to Your ‘www’ Subdomain
If you have access to cPanel, setting up the redirect is a simple process using the method detailed below. If you don’t have access to cPanel, though, you’ll need to set up the redirect manually. You can find tips for doing so in the bonus content section of this article.
Because CloudFlare acts as a proxy, all visits to your website and web applications will, by default, be logged as originating from a CloudFlare IP address — not the visitor’s actual IP address. However, the Apache module mod_cloudflare can be used to ensure that visitors’ actual IP addresses are logged and displayed. We recommend that you activate mod_cloudflare as outlined in this article to accurately log website visitor IP addresses and prevent unwanted behavior. Without this step, your server’s firewall could block CloudFlare’s IP addresses, making your site inaccessible. If you need to check whether the module is already enabled or need assistance installing it, please open a ticket and Heroic Support® will be happy to help.
Caching, as it pertains to hosting a website, is the temporary storage of content. This content could be images, files, bits of PHP scripts that are precompiled, HTML pages, results of database queries, and other web objects.
The Liquid Web Content Delivery Network (CDN) is comprised of thousands of CDN nodes via the Akamai Intelligent Platform. This platform effectively gives our customers the ability to increase global reach over 2,000 percent further than any previously available option. Below is a complete list of the Liquid Web CDN Nodes:
The Liquid Web CDN improves your website’s load time by taking all of your site’s media (pictures, music, etc.) and distributing it to a worldwide caching network. When a visitor reaches your CDN-enabled websites they will receive the basic elements (text, framework code, etc.) from your server as normal, but all the media will be handled by the CDN’s worldwide network of caching servers (also referred to as “nodes”).
If you have a CDN plan with Liquid Web, it is probably a good idea to keep tabs on your bandwidth usage. Bandwidth overages can lead to additional charges. There are preventative and defensive measures you can take to prevent overages.
Liquid Web’s Content Delivery Network is a fantastic way to get elements of your site to your global customers in a timely manner. As part of the set up process, you may need to add a Canonical Name (CNAME) record to your domain’s DNS.