Why You Should Use Cloudflare To Supercharge Your Website/App

There are hundreds of services that help you make your website or HTML5 app faster and more secure, but probably none is as comprehensive as Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a DNS-level reverse proxy that acts as a gatekeeper to your website/app, while providing several performance and security enhancing features. It offers a feature rich free plan, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t try it out.

With Cloudflare,

You will save a ton of bandwidth fees

Save a lot of bandwidth with Cloudflare
Save a lot of bandwidth with Cloudflare

At its most basic level, Cloudflare is a traditional CDN that caches static resources, like images, CSS, and JavaScript, from your website and serves them to your visitors from its own servers. With over 30 data centers spread all over the world, this ensures that your website responds quicker and loads faster for your visitors.

If you pay by the bandwidth and CPU resources for your site/apps, you can save anywhere from 30% to 90% of those fees just by turning on Cloudflare’s CDN. Even if you pay a fixed amount, like for a shared hosting or VPS account, you can be certain that a sudden spike in traffic won’t lead to your website being throttled or taken down by your web host. Not many tools can save a site from a Reddit avalanche, but Cloudflare does it well and does it for free.

Cloudflare CDN

You get clean traffic

Pro-active security with Cloudflare
Pro-active security with Cloudflare

Cloudflare has several security measures that block “bad traffic” from ever reaching your website. Cloudflare blocks all IP addresses known for spamming and spreading malware from accessing your server. Every time a new threat is detected, Cloudflare adds it to its ever-expanding database and immediately protects all its customers.

All this junk, if left unblocked, would have taken up precious CPU cycles and bandwidth, but with Cloudflare, they don’t.

Cloudflare lets you set the level of security for your site. If you’re afraid that Cloudflare might show captcha screens to real human visitors, set the level to “Low”. If your site is being DDoS’ed by trolls, set the level to “I’m Under Attack!” and Cloudflare will challenge most visitors before they can get in.

Cloudflare Security

Your website loads faster and makes fewer requests

Cloudflare has a bunch of performance improving features that help your website load very fast on your visitors’ gadgets. Rocket Loader combines all JavaScript files and loads them asynchronously towards the end, thus vastly reducing the number of requests and keeping your website responsive while its loading. Auto Minify compresses the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of web pages on the fly, thus reducing page size and improving load times. Cloudflare also encourages local caching on visitors’ browsers so that returning visitors don’t have to download the same files twice.

If you sign up for the paid Cloudflare Pro plan ($20/month), you can make use of Polish to optimize images, and Mirage to lazy load images (both working together to greatly reduce page load times).

Cloudflare Optimization

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Other major Cloudflare features include full IPv6 support, custom page rules, flexible SSL support, full DNS hosting and management, IP firewall, content theft protection, and hotlink protection, all available for free.

Signing up for Cloudflare is a pretty simple, 5 minute process that you can follow on their website. If your web host is a Cloudflare partner, creating an account and turning it on is even simpler from the control panel.

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As you can tell, we are big fans of Cloudflare here at Tech Orbiter. We will be publishing a lot more Cloudflare guides in the future, so stay tuned.

What’s your thought on this amazing free service? Are you aware of, or a user of, any similar services? Let us know in the comments!

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