Having a website is one of the most powerful tools any business can have. It connects companies to their customers, introduces organizations to potential clients and gives a face to a business. But if the website does not run properly, if it loads slowly, or if it gets hacked, that once powerful tool is rendered useless. In fact, it can even damage a company’s reputation. It is for this reason that businesses need to consider protecting their website with Cloudflare. This content delivery network provides every size of business with website security and speed. Here are just a handful of the benefits that it offers:
As previously stated Cloudflare helps your website be faster. In fact, it has a new service, Argo, that routes the site responses through the Cloudflare optimized network. After testing, on average, Argo Smart Routing reduces connection errors by 27% and internet latency by 35%. This means that all of your content loads and it loads quickly. And while this new service does come at a price, unlike the basic version of Cloudflare, the basic version will also increase speed.
It is able to increase speed by filtering so that only real, human traffic passes through. This means that the resources being used on your site are reduced, which in turn increases its speed. Additionally, Cloudflare’s CDN is global. Their servers are strategically located all around the globe. In other words, when Cloudflare caches the static files on your website (i.e. the images, videos, CSS, and more) to their servers, they use their Anycast technology to load the files to website visitors from the server that is located nearest to them. This, in turn, reduces latency and increases load time.
This practice of providing content based on the server with the nearest location is called load balancing and its benefits go beyond this service. It also distributes web traffic to different servers, ensuring that no server is overloaded to an extent that is slows down load time. The practice of load balancing also means that the website will never be unavailable, even if one of the backend servers goes down.
DoS And DDoS
DoS stands for a Denial of Service attack. This is when a single computer or single internet connection floods a server with packets, or automated requests. The goal of this is to overload the server’s resources, including its bandwidth. This attack makes the server unreachable to others. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service Attack. It is similar to a DoS attack, but instead of a singular computer or internet connection, it is multiple. Cloudflare blocks these attacks. This means that you never have to worry about your website crashing. It will always be available when customers want to purchase a product or potential customers want to find out more about your business and the products or services that might benefit them.
Websites are vulnerable to attacks. This is simply because of the code that makes them up. Generally speaking, there is only so much a website owner can do to protect the site’s safety. Cloudflare is one of the best safety nets available. The service protects sites against everything from email harvesters and cross site scripting to excessive bot crawling, SQL injection, and comment spam. The beauty of Cloudflare’s protection goes beyond the fact that it prevents all of these attacks, though. It is also smart technology. Over time, it learns about the patterns in your site traffic so that it can adjust its security. It also enables users to set their level of security and it refrains from reconfiguring the settings on other security tools and plugins that you use on your website.
DNS Lag Times
When ever you need to change a DNS record on your server, it can take up to 48 hours for the new DNS record to propagate. This is always a pain when
Normally, when you change your host, you are forced to wait a day or two for changes in the DNS to propagate. However, because your DNS is controlled by Cloudflare, all you have to do is change the IP address of the host. The change is then implemented in a matter of minutes.
WebSockets: If you use a WebSocket application most CDNs will require you to manually reconfigure to allow traffic from WebSocket to be forwarded to your origin server. Cloudflare does not require this.
Minification: Many pages load slowly because the file size of the page is too big. Much of the time this large size is contributed to by block delimiters, whitespaces, new line characters, and comments. Cloudflare eliminates these unwanted and unnecessary characters. This minification means website load time is sped up even more.
Optimize Images: Page size is also increased significantly by images. Cloudflare offers a feature called Polish, which optimizes these images to load faster.
SSL: SSL is a feature that every website needs, not just websites that need higher security (i.e. eCommerce sites). Since Google has added it to its algorithm, websites with SSL get ranked higher in searches. Cloudflare provides users with a free universal SSL certificate.
The Difference Between Cloudflare And Traditional CDNs
Traditional CDNs are not the same as Cloudflare. Most CDNs charge a fee, whereas Cloudflare’s basic service is free. Additionally, unlike other CDNs, which limit the amount of bandwidth allowed, Cloudflare allows for unlimited bandwidth on all of its plans. For many businesses, this reduces annual website spending by thousands of dollars. There are also a number of other features that Cloudflare offers on their free plan that are either not available on other CDNs or must be paid for.
But the advantages of Cloudflare go beyond savings. Other CDNs do not offer a functionality that provides safety from malicious hacking and DoS attacks. They also do not require all traffic to go through their networks, which Cloudflare does. This protects your server from direct attacks. Many CDNs are complicated to implement, requiring significant time and research to setup. Cloudflare is straightforward and fast to setup, even if you have not already integrated the W3 Total Cache plugin.
To find out more about utilizing Cloudflare or website design and development, please contact us.