|Cloudflare standout features|
|Performance||Helps to dramatically boost your website’s speed and reliability|
|Average load time||Approximately 0.65 seconds|
|Average response||Approximately 23 milliseconds|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDNs for web hosting today. It has a number of services that help to boost the performance of websites while also adding significant levels of protection that will keep your site and your visitors safe. Learning about the pros and cons of going with Cloudflare should help you to decide if it is a good option for your website.
Pros of Cloudflare
- Included with many hosts: Cloudflare’s CDN is included with the hosting services from many companies.
- Excellent DDoS protection: Cloudflare has a premium DDoS protection service that will help mitigate many types of attacks against your site or server.
- Ideal for global visitors: If you are looking to get people from around the world to visit your site, using Cloudflare is a great idea, since it will let your pages be generated from local servers.
- Cutting-edge services: Cloudflare does a good job at monitoring the digital environment and updating its services to meet the needs of customers.
Cons of Cloudflare
- Can be overwhelming: Cloudflare offers a lot of different services that may be overkill for the average user, which can make it confusing to pick and choose what you need.
- Limited firewall rules on some options: If you choose one of the cheaper options, you will have very limited firewall orders that you can put in place.
- Technical requirements: If you are managing the Cloudflare services on your own, you will need to have significant technical experience.
1. Advanced domain name services
When you use Cloudflare, your website will be managed by its advanced DNS systems. DNS is an essential tool for every website since it directs visitors to the location where your webpage’s files are stored.
With many web hosting companies, if you update your DNS records it can take a day (or even longer) for the changes to be reflected. This can cause website downtime or require changes in multiple locations to ensure every visitor sees them.
The Cloudflare DNS offers an easy-to-use interface so you can update your site’s records any time you want. Most importantly, you will get near-instant updates to any DNS changes you make. This means if you move to a different hosting company (while still using Cloudflare) your visitors will almost immediately be pointed to the new servers.
2. Unmetered DDoS protection
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are among the most common types of hacking attacks that occur on the web today. These attacks can take an unprotected site offline for extended periods. And DDoS attacks are becoming larger and harder to overcome each year.
Cloudflare offers unmetered DDoS protection to all its clients. Whether your site is attacked intentionally or is simply suffering from an attack on another site managed by your hosting company, Cloudflare will give you the protection you need.
3. Global CDN
Global CDN is what most people are looking for when using Cloudflare. When you have your website use the Cloudflare CDN, it will be housed on servers around the world. Anyone who attempts to access your site will be instantly directed toward the servers that have the best response times (typically the ones that are geographically nearby).
A good CDN can dramatically increase the speed at which your website loads, especially for visitors who come from distant parts of the world. If your website is an important part of your business, having a CDN in place just makes sense and Cloudflare’s is one of the best.
4. Universal SSL certificate
All Cloudflare accounts get a free universal SSL certificate. If you already get an SSL certificate from your hosting provider, Cloudflare can incorporate it. Either way, you will get the extra security and other benefits that you want from a great quality SSL certificate.
5. Web application firewall
The web application firewall (WAF) is a dashboard that will allow you to create advanced rules for your website to help ensure only valid traffic makes it to your site. While you may think that’s overkill for many small websites, it can actually be very beneficial.
Having a firewall that you can configure allows you to limit which visitors come to your website. For example, if you run an e-commerce company that does not ship to Europe, you can create a firewall rule that will detect all European traffic and direct it to a custom page. The page could tell them that you do not currently ship to their location, or it could direct them to a digital product or service that they could buy.
Firewalls can also be used to block invalid or attack traffic so that it never reaches your servers. This can help to protect your page from hacking attempts or other issues that can cause serious problems.
Of the top five features listed here, this is the only one that does not come with the free Cloudflare security and performance package. If you want this feature, you need to have the pro, business, or enterprise package.
What Are Some Good Alternatives to Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is one of the most popular and respected content delivery network services available today, especially for small-to-midsize websites. This service is easy to use and provides benefits that almost every website owner can take advantage of.
There are other CDN options out there that can also give you good service. In addition, many web hosting services offer Cloudflare’s CDN as a free feature when you use their product.
See how Cloudflare compares to other CDN solutions or to hosting companies that include Cloudflare as a feature:
Frequently Asked Questions About Cloudflare
Who owns Cloudflare?
What are the Cloudflare name servers?
Unlike most hosting companies that just have two (or maybe a few more) name servers, Cloudflare has a lot of options. In addition, it is possible to use the name servers of your existing web host in many cases. In general, however, your nameservers will look something like this:
What support does Cloudflare offer?
Where are the Cloudflare servers located?
What are the best alternatives to Cloudflare?
How I Rated Cloudflare
Rating a service like Cloudflare is a lot different than rating a traditional web hosting company. This is because the services are very different, and there are many options available that you may or may not need. I have used various CDN products, ranging from the basic Site Accelerator from Jetpack to Cloudflare.
I have always been a big fan of Cloudflare’s excellent services, whether I used them directly or only as a feature through a traditional web hosting company. I have been thrilled with the tech support offered. Having so many options available makes it an excellent company to work with when your site needs to be as fast and reliable as possible.
When working on this specific review, I incorporated my experience with the company and many other customers’ testimonials. I also put Cloudflare’s services through a number of third-party tests to ensure they performed as expected.
Ultimately, I was very impressed with everything about Cloudflare, so I have no hesitation in recommending this CDN to anyone who needs one.