When you first create a StackPath account, you will be prompted to select what type of Stack you want to create. Depending on what your needs are, you can select a predefined Stack that includes multiple delivery components, or you can build your own Stack and only choose a single service.
Think of a Stack as a collection of services and settings that you create for a project or website. Many customers use just one Stack. If you manage multiple web properties that you'd like to track separately or require a different set of tools, then creating multiple stacks is the way to go.
For the purposes of this article, we will walk you through the recommended steps for setting up each delivery component: CDN, DNS, Monitoring, and WAF.
Setup StackPath DNS
After naming your first Stack, you will be prompted to setup DNS. StackPath DNS is available through our build your own package option and also through one of the preconfigured Stack options. Both include unlimited DNS zones and unlimited DNS records.
If you are migrating over a DNS Zone from another provider, StackPath will automatically scan your existing zone and import any supported DNS record types. If you are creating a new DNS zone, you will have the ability to add any records immediately.
To get started, though, you’ll need to create a CDN Site.
Create a CDN Site
Next, the setup wizard will scan your domain and enter your origin server for you. Either confirm the setting or enter your CDN Origin Server. An Origin Server is where your CDN source files are stored. The currently supported sources are:
- A Web server (Hostname or IP Address)
- Amazon S3
- Google Cloud Storage Bucket
Select whether SSL should be on or off.
On the following page, your CNAME Target will be displayed. It includes your CDN Site’s 8-digit alphanumeric hash and will look something like this: a1b2c3d4.stackpathcdn.com
Finally, click Continue.
Tip: To understand the performance you gain from the StackPath CDN, you can should get an in-depth benchmark for page load speeds. We recommend using running a scan before and after your integration using either GTMETRIX or Pingdom.
To complete the configuring your CDN Site, you’ll need to do one of the following:
- If you plan on using StackPath for your DNS provider, which is recommended for the best speed, please update your Nameservers with your domain registrar. This option supports Apex domains (an Apex domain is the root domain in your zonei.e http://testsite.com).
- If you plan on using a different DNS provider you will need to set a CNAME with your DNS manager to point to your CDN URL. This option does not support Apex domains and requires a CNAME like "www." to be used.
- If you plan on using the StackPath with a popular CMS plugin (like w3tc) then you need to update the CDN URL inside of the plugin
- If you need help setting up a custom CDN integration and need help, please contact our 24x7 Support team through Live Chat or a Ticket.
It's important that you whitelist StackPath IP Blocks in your firewall or other security devices protecting your origin server. The most common source of 502 errors when using StackPath come from being blocked by a firewall.
Edit a CDN Site
There are many ways to customize your content delivery. From instantaneous cache purge to query string control, you can customize TTLs and more to configure the delivery of your content across the CDN for a fully optimized experience.
Read our help center article to learn more about editing a CDN Site.
Configure the StackPath WAF
StackPath’s WAF is the only enterprise-grade web application firewall that was designed from scratch to outwit today’s real-world threats, rather than yesterday’s theoretical problems. StackPath developed a behavioral WAF, which has the ability to differentiate real users from attacks based on how the requests behave. Our WAF main security engine calculates and predicts users’ risks by looking at their whole sessions, their interactions with the website, their histories and then uses that data to block the malicious requests while allowing the legitimate ones.
Our setup wizard will automatically enable the WAF for you, but there are a few key steps you should take afterward.
- Whitelist any administrative IP blocks for corporate offices or website administrators. This will help prevent false positives.
- Add any API URLs into our WAF interface to ensure we protect them properly.
- If you use a CMS, please enable the correct CMS protection
- Enable WAF to start protecting your website and applications. We've prepared a few help articles to acquaint you with what exactly StackPath WAF is and setting custom rules for WAF.
For more articles, check out the Web Application Firewall (WAF) section of the help center.
Enable StackPath Monitoring
StackPath features monitoring services, powered by ServerDensity. After setting up DNS and CDN services, a monitor to watch your Origin will automatically be created and will alert your account email address if the server were to go offline. You can also set up additional monitoring to watch other HTTP endpoints. A few important notes about monitoring:
- You should whitelist our monitoring systems IP blocks, similar to CDN.
- You can set up monitors from any of our locations
- Monitors will check your targets every five minutes
To learn more about the entire Monitoring setup process, check out this article on setting up Monitoring.