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CloudFlare is a great free CDN. Some CloudFlare web hosting partners support activating CloudFlare directly from within cPanel.

Is this the recommended way of doing so?
What are the pros and cons of going through cPanel rather than activating via cloudflare.com directly?

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From my basic research into the topic:

Pros of enabling CloudFlare through cPanel

  1. By far the best pro is that you can often get free access to RailGun™ (if your web host supports it) which normally requires a very expensive Business or Enterprise account.
  2. It may potentially be slightly easier to setup, but using cloudflare.com is not difficult.
  3. You may possibly get greater assistance from your web host if you have a CloudFlare issue since they are more easily able to debug it.
  4. Subdomains that you create through cPanel are automatically added to your DNS. When using cloudflare.com you would need to add your DNS records manually in addition to creating a subdomain in cPanel.

Cons of enabling CloudFlare through cPanel

  1. It does NOT support universal free SSL (requires a paid plan to support SSL).
  2. It does NOT support activation of CloudFlare on your naked domain, it requires the “www” or another subdomain.
  3. (Unconfirmed.) You may not get the speed benefits of using CloudFlare's globally distributed DNS servers. Your nameservers may still be tied to your web host.
  4. You may find it more difficult to get support from CloudFlare as they may direct you to your web host.
  5. You may run up against cPanel bugs like this one where some subdomains don't appear when you attempt to activate them.

So there's issues on both sides, but I've found I've had many less issues with just setting up via cloudflare.com rather than using cPanel. The only reason I would consider the cPanel path would be if I really wanted to use RailGun.

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