How Does Cloudflare Work?
If you own a website, you should know that the loading speed of any webpage is extremely critical when it comes to someone checking out what you have to offer or abandoning your site to go elsewhere. People’s impatience with waiting on a page to load has become a major pain point for website owners.
This post provides some stats on this topic:
In a study done by Akamai, about half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. If it isn’t loaded within 3 seconds, those users tend to abandon the site.
An even more alarming statistic is that 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with an online store’s experience & loading time will take their business elsewhere.
See more here: Importance of Website Load Time
Not only is load time a big issue, but the security of your site also ranks right up there. As a small business owner, how can you manage these two relevant problems without purchasing a bunch of extra software/hardware?
A product like Cloudflare could be exactly what you need.
So what is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a U.S. company that launched in 2009 which provides a content delivery network, DDoS mitigation, Internet security services and distributed domain name server services.
It automatically optimizes how your web pages are presented, giving your visitors fast page load times as well as blocking threats. Cloudflare also limits harmful bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources.
Cloudflare is known for managing the safety of your site by mitigating DDoS attacks, which are cyber attacks that can take out a server, as well as offering firewall, caching, and routing for your site with no extra hardware needed.
This video gives an overview of what Cloudflare can do for you:
Even though the above video might be a little biased since it was made by Cloudflare, it gives you an idea of its potential. There are other companies that offer similar services, such as Amazon’s CloudFront, KeyCDN, Imperva Incapsula, and Akamai.
The key for your business would be to decide exactly what your needs are and choose what best fits those requirements. To make that decision easier, Cloudflare recently rolled out a new feature.
Consumer DNS Service
As of April 1, 2018, Cloudflare launched their own consumer DNS service that promises to keep your internet more private and make it even faster than before.
The DNS resolver resides at https://188.8.131.52 and claims to open a page at 14.8ms. Why is this important? Nearly everything done on the Internet starts with a DNS request.
Here is more on how Cloudflare’s new DNS service came to be:
Cloudflare has worked with APNIC to offer its DNS service through 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. Lots of people have used 18.104.22.168 as a dummy address, and APNIC have tried in the past to analyze the flood of traffic to the IP address and been overwhelmed. “We talked to the APNIC team about how we wanted to create a privacy-first, extremely fast DNS system,” explains Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. “We offered Cloudflare’s network to receive and study the garbage traffic in exchange for being able to offer a DNS resolver on the memorable IPs. And, with that, 22.214.171.124 was born.”
Cost of Cloudflare
Cloudflare offers a free plan that is for personal websites and blogs, but if you have a business and want a higher level of speed and protection, you will want a paid plan. It’s hard to put a price on keeping your site free from hackers, and even though it isn’t cheap, consider the damage a cyber attack can cause.
If using a service like Cloudflare seems like a no-brainer, you’re probably right. To try out their new DNS service, head over to https://126.96.36.199 and check it out. It only takes a couple minutes to set up and the instructions are all there.