SiteGround’s Cloudflare integration SSL setting might cause issues

SiteGround’s Cloudflare integration SSL setting might cause issues

When using SiteGround’s Cloudflare integration choosing the correct SSL setting is crucial, but not simple.

SiteGround has built-in integration with Cloudflare, which is great because Cloudflare is great. I recently moved another client’s site to SiteGround and integrated it with Cloudflare. We then started getting complaints from some visitors about errors when trying to access the site. Some of the errors were about too many redirects, others about not being able to make a secure connection, and others more general and ambiguous. Only part of the visitors faced these issues, which made it very difficult to debug, maybe impossible.

I suspected SSL settings, so I contacted SiteGround to consult. They recommended having the setting on Full Strict, as it already was on Cloudflare’s platform, and said it is probably a caching issue. Their documentation also recommends Full Strict. So I didn’t touch the SSL setting, cleared every type of cache I could, and crossed my fingers 🤞

But we kept getting reports of errors while trying to access the site. So I went ahead and changed the setting to Full — and we didn’t get reports for a few days since.

I thought SiteGround recommendations were simply wrong and was getting ready to write about. But while doing some background reading I realized that the SSL setting can be changed both on Cloudflare’s and SiteGround’s side — and the setting isn’t being synced. In other words, you can have a different setting for the SSL on each side.

It can’t be good. It got me thinking, maybe it isn’t about having the correct setting, but about having the same setting on both SiteGround and Cloudflare.

So I went back to ask SiteGround. Their first reply was that the setting on Cloudflare’s side doesn’t make a difference, only the one on the SiteGround side.

graphical user interface, application
SiteGround first reply: Cloudflare’s setting doesn’t matter

But it didn’t make sense. Why would Cloudflare enable you to change a setting which makes no difference? Moreover, I changed the setting on Cloudflare’s side — and it did seem to make a difference. So I asked the SiteGround support agent to double-check. He did, and changed his reply:

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message
SiteGround second reply: Cloudflare’s setting DOES matter

So apparently the SSL setting both on SiteGround’s and Cloudflare’s side matter, and they should be matching, but they aren’t automatically synced — so it is up to you to make sure they are.

Conclusion

When using SiteGround’s Cloudflare integration it is not clear what SSL setting is the best — is it Full or Full Strict? — but it is clear that whatever it is, it should be the same both on SiteGround’s and Cloudflare’s side, and it is up to you to make sure it is.


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