Some of you might notice the load on Astronyu.com has improved and this blog load significantly faster than usual. This was made possible by using a service called CloudFlare.

What is CloudFlare

CloudFlare is a cloud-based, distributed network with multiple data centers spread over the web. It’s acts as a CDN but with a little bit of an additional features compared to traditional CDN. CloudFlare acts like a proxy, it route the visitors to its own network, filtering a lot of junk traffic before sending them over here. This in turn accelerate the page load time for visitors as it optimize packet routing and caching static assets such as images, javascript, css etc and results in shorter page loading times and bandwidth savings.

From their blog, the team behind CloudFlare claims their service are able:

  • Stop attacks directed at a website
  • Dynamically modify content in order to improve performance
  • Insert applications into web pages
  • Provide rich analytics on all the requests to your website
  • Automatically determine what objects are static and cacheable at the network’s edge without any user configuration
  • Provide a network gateway between protocols like IPv6 <-> IPv4
  • Make installing SSL flexible and one-click easy
  • And many more things a traditional CDN can’t provide….

Does it works?

In an essence, I would say yes. You see, prior to using CloudFlare this blog have ridiculous load time but now I am satisfied to see it load faster. One thing worth mention, do not use the beta Rocket Loader option in CLoudFlare as it seems causing Adsense or third party app to not showing, in my case OIOPublisher.

Features

  • CloudFlare CDN
    Distribute your content around the world so it’s closer to your visitors (speeding up your site).
  • CloudFlare optimizer
    Web pages with ad servers and third party widgets load snappy on both mobile and computers.
  • CloudFlare security
    Protect your website from a range of online threats from spammers to SQL injection to DDOS.
  • CloudFlare analytics
    Get insight into all of your website’s traffic including threats and search engine crawlers.
  • CloudFlare apps
    CloudFlare apps makes installing web apps on your site fast, safe and one-click simple.

The feature I like most is CDN and optimizer. Using CDN, I can be sure all visitor to my site are served from the closest server from their location, meaning they can load my site faster, unlike normal connection whereas if the server located in US, visitors from Malaysia would experience a light longer page load time especially in peak hours (thankfully, my site isn’t that big to worry about it..lol). Optimizer means, CloudFlare will help me minify all the javascripts and css into single file thus reducing the server call. It will cache this site and will still load the site even if my real server is down, that’s handy isn’t it?

Where to get it?

Get what? There is not much to get apart from registering for an account, start put your domain in the search bar and let them do the rest. Once they finished searching your domain and DNS, they will copy your DNS zone records to their server and later will ask you to point your DNS to their server instead, just go to your domain provider and change your nameserver settings.

Sure, I saw reviews online mostly concerned of why would they need DNS to offer caching, protection and so on, it doesn’t really matter to me. I have my backup of my site just in case but looking at the numbers of people using CloudFlare as their CDN, it should be alright.

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