Using Cloudflare with vBulletin forums

vBulletin is one of the most widely used forum platforms around, if not the largest, and many site owners turn to Cloudflare to help speed up and protect their vBulletin forums. As with any service, using Cloudflare with vBulletin may create some areas of confusion and solvable problems and we have created this guide with basic steps recommended for all vBulletin users to help make your transition to CloudFlare as smooth as possible.

Step #1
Cloudflare acts a reverse proxy for sites using our service, which means that all of the visitor IPs will show as ours until you install something to restore original visitor IP. vBulletin users can install a proxy to real IP conversion module.

Why do this?
If you are using something like Stopforumspam and/or block registrations by IPs, you will not be able to properly do this without restoring the original visitor IP.


Step #2
Create a Cloudflare PageRule to exclude the admin section of your site (by url) from Cloudflare’s caching and optional performance features. While users may not always see an issue, we have seen cases where an optional performance feature can negatively impact certain admin functions (visual editors, etc.).

Why do this?
Prevent admin functions from possibly being impacted by caching or performance features. You will also see that PageRules can allow you to extend our caching beyond static content and will also give you the capability of doing redirects with Cloudflare.

Step  #3
Login to your Cloudflare account and whitelist (or blacklist) IPs in your Threat Control panel. If you expect certain services to access your website, such as an API or IPs you access frequently from, then you would want to make sure their IPs are whitelisted  so they may not be affected by security options that are set for your site. If you don’t want certain IPs to access your site, then you can also use Threat Control to stop those IPs from hitting your site.

Why do this?
Prevent valid services you want accessing your site from being blocked or challenged by Cloudflare’s Basic Security Level or Web Application Firewall.

Step #4
Review your Cloudflare DNS settings to make sure you have all the records for your domain present (subdomains, etc.). While Cloudflare will pick up many common records for your site during the signup process, we will not pick up custom named subdomains and other uncommon subdomains during the signup process. If you find that a subdomain is not working on your site after switching to CloudFlare, then you simply need to add the records in your DNS settings and the subdomain will start working shortly after that.

Note: Not required if you activated through a Cloudflare hosting partner.

Why do this?
You want to make sure that all of your DNS records are present or they won’t resolve when visitors try to access them.


Step #5
Review your Cloudflare Performance and Security Settings

While we step you through some of the features available during the signup process, there are still other things you can turn on and off for your site in your Cloudflare settings. If you want to turn your security level up or down, for example, you can make the adjustment in the security settings for the domain. If you want to make changes to your optional performance features or caching, then you can do so in your performance settings.


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