Should I Use Cloudflare for My Blog? – Advantages
In this post, three questions about the Cloudflare DNS service are covered:
- Should I use Cloudflare for my blog?
- What is Cloudflare, and what does it do?
- What is Cloudflare useful for?
First, do you need Cloudflare for your blog?
Yes, it is recommended that blogs use Cloudflare for good reasons. It is an expensive service, but the good news is you can use it for free while taking advantage of many benefits. Try Cloudflare for free to get your site turbocharged within minutes.
The paid version of Cloudflare is not burdensome because it only requires a fee of $5 per month to pay for an upgrade.
The $5 fee accounts for an optimization upgrade. Assuming your host is WordPress (WP), your site will get a boost from Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimization for WordPress (APO) feature on top speed optimization and security from attacks from malicious bots.
While the free version allows users with small sites to test Cloudflare, paid versions – Pro, Business, and Enterprise – are designed for websites that require security features and heavy-duty performance.
WAF – a web app firewall
Advanced DDoS support
Railgun web optimization
What Is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) service that can boost your website’s security and speed up your pages’ loading times without costing you a fortune. What makes Cloudflare unique is that it is not a hosting provider like HostGator, BlueHost, and WordPress are.
All you need to do to get the service up and running for your site is change your domain name settings to the Cloudflare servers. By modifying these settings, you command these servers to cache a copy of your site.
Cloudflare functions in three different ways. It is a combination of:
Domain Name System (DNS) – function as a connector between websites and web browsers
Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Speed-boosting function
Web Application Firewall (WAF) – Security function
Cloudflare Benefits for Your Website
With those three combined capabilities, your site gets plenty of benefits.
Have control over site traffic for increased security– With Cloudflare, you can control your site’s traffic.
If you have malicious traffic, Cloudflare will monitor it and control it for you. If it sees any discrepancy, such as high traffic patterns or created security threats, the app will monitor and control what it perceives as a source of the malicious traffic.
Cloudflare’s DNS resolution affects how fast websites load. What many consumers have is the DNS resolver that their ISP provides. If their ISP’s server slows down, this also slows down the internet speed of these users.
Alternatively, users have the option of using another DNS resolver to replace their ISP-provided default resolver. One of these other DNS resolvers is Cloudflare, a DNS service that can increase your site’s response within 10 – 20 milliseconds.
Together with this ability, Cloudflare also performs load balancing, which can help prevent network overcrowding. With data centers in over 200 cities worldwide, Cloudflare can increase website performance and bring web content closer to web users.
With Cloudflare, you can also use WP plugins, the most popular of which is Google Analytics. Google Analytics, which you can use for site traffic monitoring and tracking, is available for free through the Cloudflare service.
What Cloudflare does is use the plugin and send the data it had gathered to Google Analytics. That takes away worries related to missing tags and downtime.
Cloudflare for Web Performance
Evaluating website performance is difficult because there are many metrics to monitor and track. Sometimes, it is even more difficult to determine the metrics that matter most for user experience.
Cloudflare’s customers have the support they need concerning this part of website management. It collaborates with webpagetest.org to simplify the process of performance tracking.
As a result of this collaboration, Cloudflare can now provide automated tests and present results, which are available numerically and visually in one place.
The visualized form allows Cloudflare customers to have a good idea of what users can see when browsing their sites. The results on critical loading time are ultimately the most valuable performance metric that Cloudflare can provide.
On top of providing results on performance, Cloudflare also provides recommendations for strategies for site improvement. If WordPress is your hosting provider, then they can test your website using APO.
There will be more updates on the Cloudflare service coming soon. The latest word from the company is they are working to collaborate with other web hosting services.
For now, they serve WordPress customers, accounting for 38% of all websites in operation. The time will come when Cloudflare can also accommodate customers using web hosting services other than WordPress.
With Cloudflare and its APO capability, your site users will not suffer slowness due to:
Slow database lookups
APO for WordPress – How It Works
Automatic Platform Optimization is Cloudflare’s ability to cache dynamic content using its Workers feature. With its ability to cache dynamic web content, the company can serve an entire website from its edge network.
[bctt tweet=”Supercharge your WordPress site with Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimization for only $5* month” username=”newblogmedia”]
With this particular feature backing you up, you can manage and update your content while leaving the hard work of keeping performance to Cloudflare.
For now, the main benefit of APO is it can deliver content to client devices faster, and it does this job by caching and providing HTML from Cloudflare’s edge location nearest to the client.
What Do Developers Think of Cloudflare?
Software developers and engineers think highly of Cloudflare and its service. According to most developers, Cloudflare excels because:
It offers free CDN by default – The service comes in handy for freelancers as it requires easy configuration to get started. For freelancers, that is beneficial for any company they work for or project they supervise.
It offers free traffic filtering – Given the numerous DDoS attack happening nowadays, you will be happy to be fully protected by Cloudflare.
It helps take care of simple issues – For instance, if your website receives a 500 error, Cloudflare can catch that and provide you with a cached version instead. So, there will be no more blank pages with only the nerve-wracking notice “ERROR 500” appearing on display.
So, is Cloudflare recommendable to bloggers? It is.
Overall, Cloudflare is more than just the ability to divert malicious traffic. It can serve your content much faster, so those who visit your site can access your content quickly.
You can also use its purge cache option that allows users to automate cache management, optimize images, and adjust the level of security. Options for security level range from the low level to the under attack level.
Cloudflare also offers an advanced DDoS capability that allows it to stand in front of customer websites regardless of the size or duration of the attack. It is website security at its finest.