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You probably won’t mind keeping your blog or a website at a small level because, it’s not causing you more overheads & hence, not getting any spam attacks either, because you’re not popular enough to break into. Does that sound great or insulting? Wouldn’t your like to safeguard your website from known attacks, taking place every minute?
Wouldn’t you like to put it on a cloud server? So that, visitors can reach your website through the closest server & at a faster speed without spending any money? Make your website or blog faster, popular & secured at the same time?
How about letting the visitors browse your website even if your web server is down for some time & then in such cases, serve only the cached pages! If the answer to all these questions is, Yes – then you must read further without hesitation.
In the past, I tried making the blog load faster so decided to use HostGator (only recently shifted to WPEngine. Nothing on this page is related to WPE hosting). Back then, I performed some optimization tweaks to improve my blog’s page speed and improve overall caching on the server with W3 Total Cache. Everything went well, worked great & site was loading faster.
But, how will I secure my self-hosted WordPress blog, this question remained unanswered.
Then, I found CloudFlare
CloudFlare is a combination of CDN (Content delivery Network), a website optimizer & a firewall for your website. It takes your entire website’s content, irrespective of the web hosting company, and caches it, optimizes for delivery through their intelligent global network around the world.
It also blocks threats and access to unwanted crawlers to help save bandwidth as well as the excess load from the precious website hosting. CloudFlare helps in improving the website load faster by an average 40% performance boost; well don’t take it literally for page loading time.
CloudFlare is serving tens of thousands of websites that gets millions of monthly unique visitors & stops almost 600 million website attacks.
Basically, it’s a result oriented service to optimize & secure your website. I recommend using CloudFlare no matter which web hosting service you’re using — whether you’re looking to speed up your website.
What is CloudFare?
CloudFlare can be used by anyone with a website and their own domain, regardless of your choice in platform. From start to finish, setup takes most website owners less than 5 minutes. Adding your website requires only a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code. If you are ever unhappy you can turn CloudFlare off as easily as you turned it on. Our core service is free and we offer enhanced services for websites who need extra features like real-time reporting or SSL.
Features & Pricing
- CloudFlare in 90 seconds: Running a website includes all sorts of hassles like making sure your site loads quickly and that it is protected against spammers. CloudFlare makes running a website easier by taking care of it for you.
- Stats and reports: You have good tools to check human traffic coming to your site, but no insight into search engine crawlers and bots. With CloudFlare, now you do. You get an Analytics report with information that you didn’t have before.
- Threat control dashboard: CloudFlare protects your site from online threats like spammers and hackers. The threat control dashboard shows you the threats that have been stopped from accessing your site. You can also easily block IP addresses and countries.
- Always online: As a website owner, you want your site available for your visitors. Sometimes things happen and your server goes down. CloudFlare’s “Always Online” feature keeps your site online, even if your server goes offline.
There are 3 distinctive types of packages available for CloudFlare: Free, Pro and Enterprise. The free package has basic features but does its job very well & the Pro package comes with all the advanced features and security.
- You can check more detailed features and pricing section here.
This is the screenshot of what CloudFlare did with my website in one day.
How to use CloudFlare?
It’s very simple to use & extremely easy to configure. There is no software to download & we don’t need to add any sort of code to the website, no matter what development tools we used.
During the set up process, CloudFlare can detect all the DNS settings of your existing web host & use them to configure your website. one in thousand cases, you might need to give more DNS settings or edit the ones it was able to scan.
The only thing you need to change is the Name Servers for your domain, to the ones provided by CloudFlare as soon as you finish configuration wizard. You shall also receive them over email, so don’t bother writing them down in a hurry.
If you’re using CMS like WordPress or Drupal then you can download and install their plugins for added benefits such as reflecting the correct website IP. You can find CloudFlare plugin here.
It can take up to a few days before you start seeing some real benefits of using CloudFlare for your website. Trust me, you won’t regret at the end.
Everything is mentioned on CloudFlare’s website and is very easy to follow. I am sure about its benefits such as setting up Maximum expire TTL, IPV6, Auto Minify, SSL without hassles. I am using it for this page you’re reading & it should work also for you.
You may also end up upgrading to the Pro package for additional benefits of aggressive caching & getting benefits of using modern technologies such as SPDY (Speedy) – an open networking protocol.
I hope this helps. Do share your feedback about CloudFlare.