There is no doubt, implementing Cloudflare is one of the quickest ways to speed up and add security to your website.
Cloudflare is loved by millions of website to decrease the web page load time and protect from online threats including DDoS.
If you heard Cloudflare for the first time then here is one liner.
Cloudflare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network), and Security Company helps small to enterprise business to supercharge and secure the online assets.
The following are some of the benefits you can leverage by implementing Cloudflare.
Remove unwanted characters like whitespaces, comments, new line characters, block delimiters which are not needed for a web page to serve.
By eliminating those unnecessary characters, file size gets reduced. Hence it helps to load the page faster.
Cloudflare supports three file types of minification.
You can enable them under “Speed” tab.
2. HTTP/2 Protocol
Newly introduced HTTP/2 protocol are two times faster than HTTP/1.1
It helps to load multiple page elements parallelly over single TCP connection and have another advantage like header compression, push technology.
HTTP/2 acceleration is by default enabled, so you don’t need to do any configuration.
3. Free SSL
SSL is not just for an eCommerce website, or if your site has sensitive information transaction, it’s for everyone. Having your site accessible over HTTPS ensure data is encrypted from user computer to your server.
SSL is also new Google search engine ranking signal. Cloudflare offers FREE universal SSL certificate but if you need custom one from Thawte, Symantec, Rapid, GeoTrust, Comodo then you can always buy and upload your certificate.
4. DNS Security
Add DNS security to your domain by enabling DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extension). DNSSEC help to mitigate the request forgery vulnerability.
DNSSEC can be enabled under “DNS” tab.
5. Cloud WAF
WAF (Web Application Firewall) help to keep your site secure from OWASP top 10, CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc. ) vulnerabilities. Cloudflare WAF got more than 145 rules to protect from almost all types of web applications attack.
General myth is adding security will slow down the website, but that’s not true. Cloudflare WAF is built while performance in mind. It adds less than 1 ms latency.
The benefits of using Cloud WAF is you don’t have to worry about updating ruleset for any new vulnerability as cloud-based security provider will take that care.
Cloudflare WAF is only available from PRO plan.
6. Image Optimization
More than 60% of web page size is contributed by images.
If you are having lots of images on your website, then Cloudflare Polish can help to optimize them to a smaller size for fast loading. You can either choose to compress lossless or lossy.
Polish also support WebP compression and available in starting from PRO plan. Alternatively, you may refer this to learn how to compress images for WordPress, Joomla or another platform website.
7. Browser Caching
Instruct visitor browser to cache the static resources for a longer period, so repeat requests are loaded from the local cache to speed up the web page loads.
Don’t bother about using any third-party plugin or writing .htaccess for leverage browser caching instead you can get this done using Cloudflare under “Caching” tab.
Using WebSocket application? Cloudflare forwards the WebSockets traffic to your origin server without any manual configuration needed. It supports SSL too.
9. Load Balancing
Cloudflare recently announced cloud load balancer to distribute your web traffic to multiple servers. Load balancing ensures a website is always available when one of the backend servers goes down.
Load balancer not just helps in better availability but also decrease the page load time by serving the content from nearest origin server based on the user location.
Cloudflare load balancer support automatic failover, geographic routing, health checks
10. Optimized Network Routing
Argo, a new Cloudflare service to route the site responses over Cloudflare optimized network to deliver the content faster and securely. Argo aims to reduce the latency to deliver the best possible user experience.
Argo is an additional service billed based on usage. This can be activated under any plan.
Web Security & Optimization is challenging but leveraging right solution make that easy. If you are looking to optimize your site for speed and safety, then give a try to Cloudflare and see how it goes.
Cloudflare got a FREE plan so you can start from there.