Improves your sites performance by increasing speed and boosting security. And its free!Cons
CloudFlare in certain occasions (rare), may accidentally block users from "risky" IP ranges and request for a "catpcha" to allow access.Verdict
IMO, CloudFlare's advantages far outweigh the negatives. Improving sites speed, increasing security, and reducing use of CPU resources are more than enough to give it a go. Hey it's free! Can't beat that.
CloudFlare CDN Review: Increase Site Speed and Security
So you have built a website and things are starting to look great. Your site is growing, visitors are coming, traffic is building up and all that effort is now beginning to pay off. After all, you worked hard to get where you are, and, If there is one thing that you have most likely learned with your journey, is that it is not easy to get “there”. Now, getting there is one thing and “staying” there and/or continuing to grow, is another.
With all this new found popularity of your website, comes, sadly a small (or perhaps not) drawback. You are now more exposed from “attacks” and under the “spammers or hackers” radar. Your websites security is now even more an issue than before. On the other side of the fence is your sites speed or page loading time. Lots of “movements” (traffic), addons, widgets and all that, can hamper seriously your sites performance. Coupled with the fact that you need to “pump” fresh content, you feel the need to boost your business, thus “using” more of your web hosting CPU resources. Suddenly, your site, which used to be snappy and loading within 8 – 9 seconds (sounds fast), now takes 12 – 14 seconds to load completely. You ask a question – is that bad?
Some fast facts for you to digest. A recent study…
- 1 in 4 people abandon a web page that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
- 50% of mobile users abandon a web page that takes more than 10 seconds to load (3/5 never to return).
- Amazon makes $67 million a day in sales. They could potentially loose $1.6 billion per year for just 1 second delay.
Note: Data sourced from a study made by OnlineGraduatePrograms about Instant America.
It’s quiet depressing to think that such a small factor could keep people from viewing the content and design that you slaved over. Your months or years of hard work could prove to be in vain. Luckily, though, a slow website can be fixed – you’re not dead in the water, yet. There are many solutions that will strengthen your website to run at its full potential and you don’t even have to invest anything to upgrade to a virtual private server or get a dedicated hosting. The solution?
CloudFlare’s [Free CDN]
CloudFlare.com is a service that not only protects your website from threats, but increases your sites speed dramatically. Claiming (and being vouched by thousands of users) to speed your website by as much as 60%, it’s as simple as a DNS redirect. Installation is done in less than 5 minutes and it works by caching your website among servers worldwide.
- Improves site Speed – boost your sites loading time (try different configurations for best results)
- Increases Security – blocks malicious attacks, bots and more. This alone is already worth using it.
- Setup in 5 minutes – easy setup (see video)
- Free Apps – loads of apps to compliment your sites performance (some are free and some are paid – not really an issue)
- Always online – even if your server is down, CloudFlare serves cached files to the users, to ensure that your site is always visible
- and more…
All this is free. As your site grows even more, you can upgrade to a premium version or use paid apps where more features are available. Such features may or may not be of interest to you. Example is “more detailed analytics”. I have been on CloudFlare for over a year and have multiple sites under their service. Up to now, I have not yet felt the need to go premium. So to show you that their free service is more the enough for the average website owner.
You may be asking, where do they get money from? They have partnerships with web hosting companies, web developers, larger sites that require even more resources, etc. You can stay on the free plan for as long as you need and there is no time limit.
As you can see from this review, I simply love CloudFlare and I don’t see any reason, why you should not give them a go, specially if you start feeling the “turtle syndrome” on your site. Even that, I still don’t see any reason why you can’t have your sites performance working better. Being prepared is half of the battle won.
Not everything is perfect, and CloudFlare is no exception. In some rare cases, the “always online” would fail, this primarily due to some DDoS attacks that they occasionally encounter. Also, users that are arriving from certain “risky” range of IPs may be blocked and asked to enter a “captcha” to prove they are humans. Could be annoying for certain people.
Anyway, I believe that the benefits outweigh the risk and this review is not sponsored nor I receive any compensation for doing so. CloudFlare has been good for my business and this is just my way of giving something back. Still hard to believe that such an incredible services is free.
One last note. If you are on BlueHost web hosting, or any other shared hosting provider, using CloudFlare in conjunction with those services can prove to be cost effective, too. Try it, if you don’t like it, all you have to do is switch the “off” button. Its even easier than setting it up.
Visit the official site for CloudFlare
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