How to Add a free CloudFlare CDN to a Blogger blog or any website for faster page-load speeds
Can you use a CDN to speed up Blogger? Yes, you can! We'll share some page speed stats to make you a believer in the performance gains you'll reap by doing so. The main requirement is that you have your Blogger blog "MYSITE.blogspot.com" default URL changed over to a custom domain like "www.MYSITE.com". If you were on the fence about whether to get a custom domain name, you won't be now.
If don't have a custom domain name, it's easy, just follow Google's custom domain setup instructions (for Blogger). Once your custom domain is in place, or if you already have your own .com, .net, .org, or .anything, you're ready to implement the single most important thing that you can do to make your website faster (speed up page-load times). The CloudFlare CDN will work with nearly any website, CMS, or blog (WordPress, Drupal, Blogger, etc).
|Chromebook Mobile Blogger site page-load speeds b4 & after adding a CDN|
A great thing about CloudFlare, besides the faster page-load times and nearly automatic setup, is that CloudFlare is free. They have paid services, but they are mainly for top-dog super high-traffic or corporate sites. We're using the free version. If you decide you like CloudFlare, they have a $20 a month plan (+ $5 each for additional sites) that includes tweaks for your mobile visitors, a "cached static content" feature, and access to more detailed SEO and performance stats on your web site(s). Beyond that, the other plans are for big-business and include a boatload of advanced security features that your average website is not really configured to make good use of.
Now, as far as Google's Blogger goes, to the best of our knowledge, Blogger uses a version of the "Google PageSpeed CDN" automatically. We love the Google CDN, but with Blogger you can not use their PageSpeed CDN control console, or sign up for the PageSpeed service in the way everyone else does (because you're already on an intertwined Google service and they probably don't want to risk making the simple Blogger platform complicated for the average user). Either way though (with or without Google PageSpeed) the CloudFlare CDN service claims to compliment and work alongside any other CDN you have running, and in our experience, this is true. Also, as a side note, it's easy to get Google's "PageSpeed Service" and "PageSpeed Insights" mixed up in your mind. The PageSpeed "Service" is the actual CDN. PageSpeed "Insights" analyzes or tests website speed and performance kind of like "Pingdom" or "GTmetrix" does. While we're thinking about similar services, Amazon Web Services has another excellent moderately priced CDN called CloudFront.
Anyhow, the fact that we couldn't use Google's PageSpeed Service in the standard way is what led us into rediscovering the CloudFlare CDN. Years ago we looked into it, but most users were a little confused with their service back then, so we decided against it. Well, fast-forward to now, and CloudFlare is a slick and easy to use content delivery network. Actually, one of their claims to fame is the level of security their service allows you to implement into your site, but for our purposes, we're after the need for speed via their CDN and have no realistic use for the advanced security features.
CloudFlare was super easy to set up and is nearly automatic in its implementation, and the default settings are nearly perfect with no need for you to go in and change a bunch of things around. In our case, we signed up for free, entered our website address, and the only thing we had to do (that was anywhere near technical) was to log-on to our domain name registrar and simply change 2 simple nameserver settings. 10 or 15 minutes (no BS) and we were fully integrated into the CloudFlare CDN! Hopefully it goes that smoothly for everyone.
We would give you a step-by-step guide to setting up CloudFlare for your site, but their setup is so intuitive and automatic that we would end up doing nothing more than making it seem more complicated than it is. Just go to the CloudFlare CDN website, check out their features, and use their process for setup if you're interested.
This Chromebook Mobile site runs CloudFlare and if it starts screwing up, or we have difficulties, we'll let you know in an article without delay. So far, it's been a seamless and pleasurable experience. Also, we wrote this article, and every other article, to share great things with you and we're not going to hold back on any great finds to stay one step ahead of the competition by trying to keep something secret. Even if someone offered to pay us to say a crappy product was good, it not going to happen, because we want everyone to have a great website if they want one.
Lastly, we're not affiliated with CloudFlare in any way other than in using their CDN services, but when we find great stuff we'll make it known.