Cloudflare CDN Review 2023


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Cloudflare is a leading CDN that offers reliable services that can help your website run better. With lots of options, they almost certainly have something for you.

Who should choose Cloudflare? Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and e-commerce businesses seeking site reliability and speed.

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For new WordPress sites

Starts at $2.95 per month

  • Guided onboarding
  • Recommended by WordPress
  • 24/7 support


Best security and scalability

Starts at $3.75 per month

  • All types of hosting
  • Enhanced security tools
  • Affordable as you grow

The easiest option

Starts at $2.75 per month

  • Great for absolute beginners
  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • 150+ free templates

What we like about 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 attacks against your site or server.
  • Ideal for global visitors: If you want 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 customers’ needs.

What fell flat

  • 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.’s Editorial Review

Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDNs for web hosting today. It has many 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.

See how we review hosting providers.

Plans & Pricing

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  • Free ($0 per month)
  • Pro ($20 per month)
  • Business ($200 per month)
  • Enterprise (Custom pricing)


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  • Advanced domain name services (DNS)
  • Unmetered DDoS protection
  • Global CDN
  • Universal SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate
  • Web application firewall (WAF)


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  • Free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate
  • Protection from DDoS attacks and excessive bot traffic


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Cloudflare’s goal is to make sure the websites of its customers are always operating quickly and reliably. You can contact the technical support team at Cloudflare 24/7 with any issues you have.

  • Live Chat
  • Phone
  • Support ticket
  • Community forum
  • Help center


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Cloudflare is dedicated to constantly improving its product. They are very clear about what is new and what’s coming on their Cloudflare What’s New page.

Plans and Pricing

Cloudflare offers many products and services, many tailored toward advanced environments. I reviewed the security and performance plans for websites and internet applications.

Free ($0 per month)

  • Good for: Small businesses, personal websites, blogs, and entrepreneurs.

Pro ($20 per month)

  • Good for: Small businesses, entrepreneurs, e-commerce sites, mid-sized businesses, popular bloggers, and social media influencers.

Business ($200 per month)

  • Good for: Midsize to large businesses, entrepreneurs, e-commerce sites, popular artists, busy websites.

Enterprise (Custom pricing)

  • Good for: Large businesses and very busy websites.

If you have Cloudflare CDN services through your web host, you will generally get the pro-level package or something similar.

See application plans from Cloudflare CDN:

Four plan options for Cloudflare CDN.


Cloudflare CDN helps to improve your hosting (among other things) with a large number of services that can benefit your website.

When choosing the top five features for Cloudflare, I looked at which services will help your website the most. That said, here are the top five features from Cloudflare:

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.

Cloudflare features including Application Services, Developer Services, Zero Trust Services, and Network Services.

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.

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.

What is a content delivery network?

Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) and not a traditional web hosting provider. You will need to have web hosting as well as the CDN service. You can choose a hosting service that automatically provides Cloudflare access or sign up for the service on your own.

A content delivery network is a system where servers (and supporting equipment) are housed in geographically diverse locations. This allows websites, apps, and other web services to be accessed from places as close as possible to the end users.

With traditional web hosting, your website is located on a server within a single data center. Whether a visitor comes from a house in the same city as the data center or they live on the other side of the world, the site is loaded from that same location. With a CDN, however, your website will be copied onto servers at multiple locations.

When a visitor types in your website’s address, the server closest to them (typically) will be used to send the necessary files. CDNs also provide many other services, including DDoS (distributed denial of service) protection, web security, and serverless applications.

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.

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.

Map of the world with orange dots to depict where Cloudflare is located.


Cloudflare can improve users’ website security levels. They offer a free secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.

In addition to SSL certificates for secure communication, Cloudflare also offers a comprehensive suite of security features designed to protect websites from a wide range of threats, including DDoS attacks, web application vulnerabilities, excessive bot traffic, and more.


Cloudflare’s goal is to make sure the websites of its customers are always operating quickly and reliably. You can contact the technical support team at Cloudflare 24/7 with any issues you have.

  • Live Chat: The chat feature of Cloudflare is the best way to contact its support team. You can use it to troubleshoot specific issues or errors. Response times depend on your plan.
  • Support Ticket: The support ticket is much like the chat feature. You can use it to troubleshoot specific issues or errors.
  • Help center: Cloudflare’s help center is full of tutorials divided into different categories and guides by product.
  • Community: You can join the community to ask basic troubleshooting questions and to view the latest resources (such as tips for resolving common issues and configuration guidance).

Recent Improvements

Cloudflare is very clear about what is new and what’s coming on their What’s New page. I especially valued how transparent they were about updates. You can sort updates by product or use case to find the updates you are most interested in.

Recent updates include:

  • Enhanced Network Speed: As of August 30, 2023, Cloudflare emerged as the fastest provider for 44% of networks globally. This performance is measured in terms of TCP Connection Time, with Cloudflare being within 2 ms or 5% of the fastest provider for 10% of the networks.
  • Leading in TCP Connection Time: In terms of 95th percentile TCP Connection Time, Cloudflare continues to be the top provider in the most networks as of September 2023, maintaining a significant lead over its competitors.
  • Real User Measurements (RUM): Cloudflare employs RUM to gauge network performance as of June 20, 2023. This involves fetching a small file from various CDN providers and having browsers worldwide report their performance. This process helps Cloudflare measure various performance metrics such as TCP Connection Time, Time to First Byte (TTFB), and Time to Last Byte (TTLB)​​.

Compare Alternatives

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:

Web Hosting Platform

Pricing + Basic Plan Features

Free to over $200 per month

  • CDN
  • SSL certificate
  • Managed rulesets
  • Unmetered DDoS protection
  • Advanced DNS

$2.99 per month

  • 1 website
  • 10 GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free email

Consider SiteGround if: You want to use SiteGround’s web hosting, and taking advantage of its CDN will make billing and management easier.

$2.95 per month

  • 1 website
  • 50 GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free nightly backups

Consider GreenGeeks if: you want to use Cloudflare but don’t want to manage the technical aspects on your own.

What You Need to Know

Who owns Cloudflare?

Since Sept. 13, 2019, Cloudflare has been a publicly traded company. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NET.

What support does Cloudflare offer?

Cloudflare’s goal is to make sure the websites of its customers are always operating quickly and reliably. This is done, in part, by offering exceptional customer support. You can contact the technical support team at Cloudflare 24/7 with any issues you have

Where are the Cloudflare servers located?

As a CDN, Cloudflare operates servers worldwide and is constantly adding new locations. Cloudflare operates in 275 cities and 100 countries around the world.

What are the best alternatives to Cloudflare?

For most websites, it is hard to imagine a better CDN than Cloudflare. That’s why many top web hosting companies offer native integration with Cloudflare. If you want to ensure you have great hosting that can be complemented by the Cloudflare CDN (or another CDN option), consider one of these: GreenGeeksSiteGround, and DreamHost.

How We Reviewed 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.

Learn more about our review methodology.

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