Anyone using the internet will tell you that speed is the most important aspect when browsing. No one likes a slow loading website since they are very irritating and can force you to lose interest no matter how interesting the content is. Time is of the essence, and once lost it can’t be recovered. People want information and they want it fast. That is why you need to dedicate much of your time and resources to improve website performance. That is why you need CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a popular choice for website optimization and performance. CloudFlare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) used for sending traffic through its global network. The CDN automatically optimizes delivery of your site to give your visitor a great browsing experience. The content delivery network also designed to block threats from hackers and abusive bots and crawlers to help keep your site secure while also saving you bandwidth. You can expect to save 60% bandwidth and 65%fewer request and a level up security, using this service. This review will explore how this network works and how you can set it up. If you are interested in improving your website’s speed, read through for better understanding.
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Signing up for an account at CloudFlare CDN free and has numerous great features. These features would otherwise cost if working with another network, but it’s completely free. Here are some of the benefits you can get from free CloudFlare membership:
CDN service – Your website is displayed worldwide due to CloudFlare server’s massive reach. SSL Certificate – This encryption prevents your visitor’s identity theft and personal information making it safe and secure to be used.
Analytics – The system allows you to check and analyze how your site is performing using CloudFlare (Whether it’s performing or not).
Many third-party widgets – CloudFlare CDN allows you to optimize your site with many of the add-ons that are included. Website
Application Firewall – Online security threats can be automatically detected and blocked.
Fast DNS service – Your site will load faster due to CloudFlare’s powerful DNS service.
Access Filter – The network can easily block visitors you consider as a threat to your site.
Caching – It also has caching services for cached copy site to increase your site’s speed.
Always Online™ service – Your visitors see a cached copy of your site and the most popular post pages.
Encrypted Email Address – The service helps you keep your email safe and away from hackers by making it unreadable to them.
Hotlink Protection – You can also keep your images safe from being linked to a different site which saves you bandwidth usage. Free settings are also available but I have just given you the juiciest features. If you feel like these are not enough you can always upgrade to get more professional features like DDOs and many other performance options. This is suitable for site admins with large sites that have a lot of traffic.
Premium plans start at $20/month for one site and $5/month for an added site. The Business plan caters for those who want more advanced features and a 100% uptime guarantee. It is available at $200 a month per site. Specific pricing is also available for larger companies who require 24/7 technical support and multi-user access.
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CloudFlare has one of the easiest setups, which is another great feature. You can take their word when they claim that the setup process only takes 5 minutes. It even takes a lesser time to set up your domain with them, but you will have to wait for 24 hours for your site to fully switch over to its system. The switch is a breeze and you won’t notice any actual downtime during this DNS transfer.
To set up CloudFlare load balancing, you can start by clicking the Sign-Up link at the top of their homepage. The next step is to enter your email address, desired password, confirm it by typing it in again. Read carefully the terms of service and if you are comfortable you can agree with it. Enter your domain names on the next page and separate them with commas. The next step is to click the Scan DNS Records so CloudFlare DNS can access as much information as possible to transfer everything over to their system. It will take about 1 minute to complete the scan after which you will click Continue. Check all the records for any missing information and if there are any, click the Add Record button to add them in. You can tell if any are missing by viewing your DNS records in your hosting account. In cPanel, click on Domains > Advanced Zone Editor to view all your DNS records. The network will hide your server’s IP address for security purposes. Click this button on all records on the list where this icon appears and isn’t orange, to enable this option. This service also ensures your site goes through CloudFlare’s service instead of bypassing it to speed up your site. When done adding all the missing DNS settings from the list, click Continue at the bottom of the page. On the next page, choose the free plan option and click Continue. Click Continue, when done, to go to your account page and view the status of your domain. Right off the bat, the status of your site is usually pending while your CloudFlare DNS settings are resolved. To double-check whether everything went through, click the Recheck Name server’s button. Note that you can only recheck the status of your domain once per minute. Once your settings are entered, CloudFlare is setup and your site can start using the service right away. Finally, to temporarily suspend the CloudFlare service or Delete to remove your website completely click pause. By choosing to delete your site, remember your settings aren’t saved and once you click it, you can’t undo it so be sure you absolutely want to do this before making that drastic move.
The free version has many limitations but you can work around it if your website doesn’t have much traffic. CloudFlare helps to enhance your site’s speed and security. The service is loaded with extra features to secure your site therefore making it worth every penny invested on it. I must admit that not everyone will be impressed by it. But I’ll advise you to read other CloudFlare reviews for more insight. It’s still an excellent service to have because it’s certainly better than not having it all in most cases. Usually, it is a great tool for website optimization and does boost your site’s speed fairly well. It also increases your Google Page Speed ranking significantly.
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