Trying Out Cloudflare

In my previous post, I mentioned that my hosting account has been suspended because of too much server activity. One of the recommended steps of tech support was to install CloudFlare on my sites. It was an optional recommendation so I decided to just install it on a couple of sites to see how it goes.

I’m a bit cautious when it comes to installing third party apps on my sites. This is not a game for me and maintaining sites is not as easy as choosing pallet covers, you know. Questions like, what if I lose all content, what if I lose my traffic, what if I lose the little Adsense earning I get? And so on.

So it was with a lot of caution when I tried CloudFlare coupled with a day’s worth of reading reviews. But first things first, what is Cloud Flare?

CloudFlare Web Service

Well its a web service that:

protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.

CloudFlare Overview

Not bad right? It simply servers as a buffer so that your site can be delivered fast.

So I added it on some of my sites. Set up is easy, some webhosts have 1-click installation, or you can also manually add your site on CloudFlare but be prepared to do some tweaking on your domain registrants.

Here’s what I observed for the past few weeks.

  • Fast loading website. Seriously. Specially my sites with a lot of photos.
  • Significantly lower traffic. Like almost half of the traffic went kaput. I’m guessing its all those bots and spammers. But I’m not turned off with this coz this means the bad traffic is filtered out and I get genuine visitors accessing and reading the site.
  • Visitors tend to stay longer on a page. I don’t know why? Perhaps because the page loaded fast and they have more time to read?
  • Surprisingly more clicks on Adsense. I’m attributing this to faster loading, and filtered traffic. People who actually want to be there on the site. They have more potential to click on related ads.
  • Oh yes! Less spam comments!!!

As for the Cloudflare dashboard/functionalities. I like their analytics, threat control and its also easy to switch on/off most features. But since I’m a tweaker, I like playing with my blog themes etc, and CloudFlare caches the site, it takes awhile to see the changes. Thankfully they have the feature called ‘Development Mode’ which you can turn ON in cases you are making site changes.

All in all  (for now) I like CloudFlare and it helps a lot. Check out CloudFlare, they have free and paid services. If you wanna try them out, the free one is a good deal.

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