When discovering what is CloudFlare you must first understand a few key pieces of information. The first piece of info you need to know is what cloud hosting is. Cloud hosting is a hosting technique that dramatically increases your web page speed by using multiple servers, in different locations, to host your data. When you are on a cloud-hosted network, your visitor can be served data from many servers at once. This makes the user experience much quicker than shared hosting.
Cloud hosting is much faster than shared hosting and your server data can be accessed from anywhere in the world. This makes your website virtually crash proof. Your growth potential is infinite and all of your information is safely stored away in redundancy.
CloudFlare uses a CDN (Content Distribution Network) to speed up your website response load times even more. A CDN has all the aspects of a cloud-hosting network, with one very important addition. A CDN can examine your visitor’s geographic position to create a user profile. It then uses that information to decide where your traffic is coming from.
Once your traffic gets analyzed, the CDN will automatically cache certain parts of your website in locations closer to your user. This reduces the number of networks your request has to go through. The more networks your request has to hop, the slower your page speed will be. Reducing this helps guarantee an optimal user experience. It also helps your search engine results. Google has stated multiple times that they rank websites that load faster much higher in their search results. This is because long load times can cause visitors to become disconnected. Disconnected visitors mean lower click results.
CloudFlare specializes in CDN hosting and they have a free service that can dramatically improve your page speed. By optimizing your images and coding, CloudFlare can improve your bandwidth up to 60%. No other company offers so many specialized tools for free. CloudFlare includes:
CloudFlare Free Optimization Tools
· Optimization tools. CloudFlare includes a robust tool set that includes Mirage. This is an application that creates a visitor profile and uses that to determine the best content delivery strategy.
· SSL certificates. These digital certificates are used to protect your sensitive data such as credit card numbers. They work by helping to establish a secured connection.
· Performance monitoring. CloudFlare provides real-time analytics that can help you zero in on your performance problems with ease.
If you have considerable traffic, you should consider upgrading to their professional version. There are significantly fewer restrictions and a number of additional tools including 24-hour support. When seeking to improve page speed, all of these added tools can be extremely helpful. It is also worthy of mention that the enterprise version allows 500MB of upload per visitor.
What is CloudFlare? – The Pros and Cons
· Easy to understand set up. It literally takes 5 minutes to register. The login process is quick and easy. Answer a couple questions and you will receive a confirmation email. Follow the link in the email and log in. Enter your URL and you are all set up.
· Price. CloudFlare has many hosting options that are completely scalable to meet your hosting needs. Their free version provides an abundant amount of optimization tools at no cost.
· Excellent customer service. 24-hour tech support and live chat are just a few of the recourses that make CloudFlare an exceptional hosting platform.
· Monitoring tools. The analytics are state of the art, and the interface is crisp and easy to navigate. You can easily see where improvements can be made
· Upload limit for visitors. 100MB per visitor are allotted in the free version, with the option to increase (for a fee) up to 500MB in the Enterprise version.
· Platform. Some of the optimizations can make your website not compatible with certain web platforms.
One of the biggest advantages to using CloudFlare is no contracts or vendor lock. This means you don’t need to sign any long term user agreement. This leaves you free to change your hosting network at any time.
CloudFlare Mobile Optimization
Cellular and mobile surfing have become the new norm. Mobile data networks put an increasingly larger strain on networks and traditional hosting techniques. A solid CDN provider like CloudFlare can automatically optimize your website for mobile devices. This is accomplished by eliminating any lag in your data transfer. Formatting your images for delivery on a mobile platform means quicker page speeds and better response times.
If you are currently not using a CDN network, I would recommend you seriously consider switching your hosting to CloudFlare. There are just too many reasons to make the upgrade. You will be able to see a noticeable increase in page speed from the first day you start.
If you are currently on a CDN I would recommend you do a price comparison analysis. You may find that CloudFlare’s free CDN service surpasses your paid service. If you have an extremely high volume site, you should consider speaking with a consultant at CloudFlare to see what improvements can be made by utilizing their business and enterprise packages.
For example, if you are expecting a huge spike in traffic you can rest assured knowing CloudFlare’s servers have been load tested to the highest of standards. Your visitor will be experiencing your web page at optimal speeds. This peak performance will help transform your visitors into customers by transforming clicks into dollars.
Data transfer rates are always increasing, and in this instant age, you can’t afford to have a lagging website. Don’t go another day losing traffic because of latency. Make the free CloudFlare upgrade today and watch your usability go through the roof.