The first thing I do when I buy a new domain and set up a website is add Cloudflare! I’ve been happy since I started using their service six years ago. It’s one of the best businesses I’ve come across.
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare currently handles around 10% of Internet requests
Cloudflare can’t be explained in a single word. They offer services like domain registration, DNS, CDN, security, performance, analytics, apps and a lot more.
All of the above and most of the features you want are free with Cloudflare.
Cheapest Domain Registrar
Pricing for registration and renewal is based on what it costs. Cloudflare Registrar safely registers and manages your domain names with transparent, no-markup pricing that gets rid of surprise renewal fees and hidden add-on charges.
“Domain Registrar” was just released by Cloudflare. Unlike GoDaddy or Namecheap, they don’t charge extra fees or commissions when you renew a domain name with them.
I just moved two domains from GoDaddy, which saved me $30.
N.B: You can only transfer domains right now. New domains will soon be registered.
Handle High Traffic
One of my blog posts was recently featured on Hacker News, and this is how many real-time visitors I got.
By caching pages on Cloudflare’s edge servers, my server only got a small number of requests. Cloudflare took care of all the load without any problems.
Later, I did a load test and found that Cloudflare can easily handle 10k users per second! Yes, that’s really big!!!
DNS, which stands for Domain Name Server, changes your domain, like “google.com,” into an IP address, like “220.127.116.11,” so that your browser can download the site.
The faster your DNS servers are, the faster your site will load.
By default, when you buy a domain, the domain registrar will take care of the DNS. You can move it to Cloudflare easily.
Here is a look at how Cloudflare compares to other popular domain registrars and DNS providers in terms of speed.
Free & Fast CDN
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) stores your static files in multiple data centers (edge servers) all over the world. Result? Your assets will load in milliseconds, and your server will be less busy.
Nearly every country has a Cloudflare edge server. Here’s where they are:
Based on performance reports, Cloudflare CDN is faster than paid ones like KeyCDN, CDN77, BunnyCDN, etc.
Google announced that Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’.
After Google said this, everyone ran to get SSL and change their website’s HTTP to HTTPS. With Cloudflare, it only takes one click!
You’ve probably heard about JS/CSS minification using several plugins if you’re running. Be aware that tasks like this one will use up a lot of your RAM and CPU. What if Cloudflare could take care of it?
There are many ways to improve Cloudflare, such as:
- Brotli compression
- Rocket Loader (for further optimizing JS)
- WebP and image optimization (paid plan only)
Have you ever thought about what you will do if you get a DDoS attack? Or, what if someone writes a bot that will try to log in to your WP admin using brute force? Unless you have really good managed hosting, your site will be down.
Cloudflare is also the best when it comes to stopping DDoS attacks. It will block threats on its own. If you notice something is wrong, just press “Under Attack Mode.” Cloudflare will check to see if the client is a legitimate user and then let them in.
You can also block traffic by writing your own rules for the Firewall. For instance, you could stop traffic from a certain country, IP/network, referrer website, etc.
If you’ve worked with server configurations, you know how hard it is to set up Apache/Nginx to redirect non-https to https, www to non-www, set up cache headers, etc. Setting these up is much easier through the Cloudflare UI, so you don’t have to touch anything in Server.
Having trouble adding new apps or scripts from third parties to your site? If you’re a programmer, that’s fine. Some people might find it hard to touch source code.
Cloudflare Apps is a group of scripts and plugins from third parties that can be easily added to your site without having to touch the source code.
Google Analytics is great, that’s true. But it is blocked in some countries, and there are several privacy extensions that stop reports to Google Analytics.
Cloudflare can tell you exactly how many people have visited, where they are from, and everything else without you having to add any script. Nothing can stop this from happening!
Just now, we looked at some of the best and most useful tools that Cloudflare’s free plan offers. There’s a lot more. Sign up, and try it out. I’m certain you won’t be let down.
Leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts. I read all of them and answer each one within 8 hours!