What is CloudFlare? Webandrank has been using a new system as part of its Host Gator set up. The new system is pretty interesting and worth telling you guys about. The new system is called CloudFlare it acts as a proxy between the people visiting a website and the Host Gator server. A proxy basically stores (or caches) static content from a website reducing the amount of requests to the server. Visitors can still access the site without accessing the server, which means nice benefits for websites using the system. What are the benefits?
• Improved speed and performance: CloudFlare servers exist all throughout the world meaning a request for cached information comes from the closest proxy server and not all the way from the main server.
This increases the speed of page loading and makes visitors happy.
• Protection against Bots and Threats: Project Honey Pot is one of many organisations that exist to gather data on malicious software. CloudFlare uses this data to stop potential attacks before they even get to a website. This considerably reduces the threat a website faces.
• Spam Comments Protection: Spam comments are really annoying; CloudFlare again uses third party data to help reduce the amount of spam comments.
• Visitors with Infected Computers will be Alerted: CloudFlare will block infected computers from entering a website.
It tells the visitor to run a full system scan and then enter using CAPTCHA technology.
• Backup for the Server: There are times when the server is unavailable; if this is the case the CloudFlare proxy server is able to send the cached information.
• Search Engine Crawler and Threat Stats: With CloudFlare it is now possible to get this kind of information.
• Reducing CPU Usage: Fewer requests from the server less CPU being used. What are the disadvantages?
• CloudFlare can affect internal statistic programs that read directly from Apache logs. The Apache logs will show fewer requests to the server inevitably showing a reduced load.
• Cached pages are static, if a webmaster changes a page it will take some time for the change to appear. It is possible to work around this problem by putting CloudFlare into Development Mode when making a change. This will make changes appear immediately.
• Using CloudFlare basic mode means you cannot use SSL certificate. If you want to find out more, go to CloudFlare and Project Honey Pot.
The CloudFlare caches static content from your site. While this reduces the load on your server, it means that if you make a change to an existing static file, like an image, there may be a delay before the change appears. While you are updating your site, you can put CloudFlare in Development Mode so changes appear immediately.