Sharing my bad experience with Cloudflare+partner+SSL

Hi all,

Just wanted to share the pretty bad experience (waste of time, headache and site down for many hours) I had trying to use Cloudflare (CDN->Performance) starting a free plan from one of their hosting "partners" and having my own SSL certificate.

If you meet all 4 conditions above don't try to activate this CDN because, despite of their "Universal SSL usable by all customers also with free accounts", it does not actually work...because they basicallly have an odd idea of the word "partner" whose customers are very welcome to make Cloudflare's acquaintance but considered different from their direct customers (ok, that's my sarcastic addition but sounds like that).

Here's the message you read only after signing up and experiencing issues:

Manage Cryptography settings for your website. 
You do not have permission to view this page. 
Thank you for signing up for CloudFlare through our partner, XXXXX Universal SSL is not available for free partner plans. All paid plans can implement HTTPS to secure traffic."

So, hope this helps others not to waste time and a little face towards your community members...


  • i was initially interested by their scheme, until i found out the full details. i agree, their delivery does not match up to their marketing. the EFF will start serving free SSL certificates soon and you can use jsdelivr to serve open source files via many CDNs for free. i use them to serve some of my site's files such as jquery and jquery-ui.

  • Nice News @tunist. Definitely looking forward to pay/donate to them instead of purchasing elsewhere!

  • I have clients using SSL on their sites and it's working fine. I signed up with CloudFlare directly though. Maybe the problem is this "partner."

  • @cim yep, it's their policy with all partners...quite strange in my opinion. If I knew it I would have signed up directly and now it seems I can not anymore.
    Anyways, did you see significant improvements? Are you also under ssl?

  • Check my demyx site and see for yourself. I think it's made a huge difference since CloudFlare saves me HTTP requests.

  • UPDATE: I deleted everything, started from scratch with no partner in the middle, added my site and it seems now working, at least site is not down and after few hours I am seeing little improvements also with ssl.
    So, my final suggestion is: if you want to try do it directly from their website and not through "quick and easy" setup via."partners" :)

  • @michelle I confesss I work for (a Cloudflare alternative) and we've built a platform for developers using opensource tools such as Varnish and mod_security for caching, site performance, offload and WAF. You can easily upload your SSL and be up and running in under 5 mins. Would love to know your thoughts.

  • Glad it's working for you Michele.

  • @cookbenb Thanks for letting us know about your Company's service. I am now learning what CDN is and how it works (am struggling with subdomains now) and also if it is useful in my case. From a quick view at your Company's website, not having a free plan it discourages people like me who are learning and want to test before any (further) expense starts. About tech stuff I can't obviously compare the two services (at the moment?).


  • Michele it does say free on his site but almost at the bottom. 

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