One problem that many SEO’s often publicise is the lack of quality yet low cost hosting providers for PBN sites.
CloudFlare has become increasingly popular, but there is limitations to how much of your network you can safely host with them.
I’ll clarify that for all the people that have asked, yes, there are limits to how many sites you should host with CloudFlare. I personally would not have more than 25% of my network with them (even that is stretching it).
So, I was pretty happy to recently find a CloudFlare alternative that is also completely free to use.
It’s called Incapsula.
And it works practically the same as CloudFlare in terms of the setup process.
It definitely is not as popular as CloudFlare, but it is used by some large companies including Moz, Wix, and Trello. Meaning you won’t be sharing IP’s with only spammy sites and other PBN’s.
As with CloudFlare and why I am referring to this as an alternative, is because it also has a reverse proxy feature. This means that it completely masks your webhosting IP, and instead only shows a Incapsula IP, depending on the location of the visitor.
With that said, let me show you how to set it up with your sites…
How to setup Incapsula
The setup process is practically the same for Incapsula as it is for CloudFlare.
First, visit Incapsula.com and click the green “Pricing & Sign Up” button at the top right of the page:
At this point it’ll look like it costs money, but if you scroll down you’ll find the free package, then you just click the sign up button.
Now you do the standard sign up stuff as shown below. As you can see, I can’t even spell my own name, lol. As with CloudFlare, the email address is irrelevant, they do not verify it works.
Next you add the website you want to setup Incapsula with, again, this looks like a copy of CloudFlare.
It will scan the DNS records and try to grab the IP that it is currently pointed to. This does not matter at all to us because we setup Incapsula before pointing it at our hosting. Click Continue when it is complete.
Now you’ll be given 2 A records and a CNAME to set in your DNS records. If you are not making a change of your DNS records immediately, make sure to keep a note of this info.
Based on the information above, if you go to NameCheap (as an example), click onto your domain then onto ‘All Host Records’, you can access and modify your DNS records.
If the ‘All Host Records’ link is not there, you will need to do this first:
This is what the Host Records / DNS records page looks like below. I’ve pre-filled in the information provided by Incapsula so you can see how it works.
After this you click save changes on NameCheap, and “I completed the DNS changes” on Incapsula.
What is cool about this is that there is no MX records leak, unlike CloudFlare where you have to deliberately delete the MX records. This is because you manage the DNS records with your registrar, not hosting provider.
This will mean you won’t be able to receive emails at this domain though, unless you setup forwarding with your domain provider, or use an email platform – remember using the same one all the time will be a footprint.
Next we need to make sure it is pointing at the correct host, since we are setting up Incapsula BEFORE pointing it at our hosting provider.
From the dashboard, once logged in, click the site URL in the “Website” column.
And then click Settings in the top right corner:
Now enter the IP address from the webhost, we covered how to find it in cPanel in the CloudFlare post. Click the save button…
… and you’re done. Incapsula is installed and ready to go.
You’ll know it is working if your site is loading, and if it shows a little Incapsula logo on the lower right side of your website.
Frequently Asked Questions
By FAQ, I mean questions I presume people will ask, lol. If common questions come up in the comments, I’ll update it to reflect this.
Do I need to create a new account for each PBN site?
No. Turns out they provide unique DNS records for every website, regardless of whether they are in the same account. With that said, to be safe I wouldn’t have too many sites on a single account, you wouldn’t want to lose it.
Do I need to use a valid email address in registration?
No, they do ask you to verify it but it does not seem to matter. HOWEVER – as you do not need one account for each website, it makes sense to verify the email, at least that way you have a backup to access it, should you forget the password, and it may save you in the future in case they do something with accounts that don’t have verified emails.
Should I use this for 25% of my network too?
No. CloudFlare is a very popular service, allowing you to get away with using it a lot in your network. I may be mistaken, but Incapsula does not seem to be nearly as big, therefore I personally won’t be using it for more than 5% of my network.
Creating systems to have VA’s do this for you
If you have one client, you should not be wasting your own time doing this. Unless you’re creating training on how to do it of course 😉
I’ve gone ahead and created a spreadsheet that my VA can fill in when setting up Incapsula for our websites, and to save you all of 2 minutes it took to create it, you can download it here:
You’ll also get email updates about the blog, our PBN re-indexing guide, access to our Facebook mastermind group, and a few other goodies exclusive to Lion Zeal VIP members.
(Existing Lion Zeal VIP’s – check the email you received for this post)
How can we help you next?
That concludes this post, probably the shortest one yet on the blog – but a cool hosting solution for you to use.
In the next training I’d like to collaborate with Armando again to bring you something cool, but first we need to know…
What is your current biggest problem with growing your SEO business?
Leave your answer in the comments below and we’ll try to cover it for you in the next post.