CloudFlare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and DNS manager serving as Reverse Proxy for webservers. CDN delivers front-end contents to the end user, this can be done by another server which will release load from the main server delivering the back-end content. Most CDNs are paid but right from the beginning CloudFlare has the free plan which contains features for small startup sites
Why I don’t use CloudFlare:
- Cross Platform:
Using CloudFlare, all visitors are logged with CloudFlare’s IP – using CloudFlare as proxy server but this is not an issue at first, Apache was provided with mod_cloudflare which revert back the proxy IPs to the original client IP when logging. My server was running Ubuntu 14.04, checking the download page for mod_cloudflare as of when this post was made, support for Ubuntu only stopped at Ubuntu 12.04 not even 13 and now I’m using Ubuntu 15.04, it’s true CentOS is a good distro for servers but also many sys admin prefer Ubuntu like me. So, I need to log real client IP… had no choice than to jump outta CloudFlare.[Fixed]
- Bounce Rate: When a part of an orange is bad doesn’t mean the whole orange is bad, CloudFlare logs malicious IPs and use them again incoming IP to check if it’s a malicious IP too. Most times it gets this wrong and show up verification page for a real user, I’ve been experiencing this whenever I’m browsing with Globacom Nigeria Internet Service, if I visit 10 websites running on CloudFlare, 8 would show up verification page which sucks! Most times I just close the tab and look for other results in SERP, same as other users because I am one 🙂
- Minification/Optimization: This is one cool feature about CloudFlare, it helps alot in page load and size by minifying your CSS and JS files. I definitely have problem with this! I noticed, in the process of minifying – whatever package they use tampers my JS file, I have a case where I was using WordPress SyntaxHighliter and whenever there is an email in the syntaxhighlighter, some buggy JS code is appended there to replace the email but once I deactivated the CloudFlare, things came back normal.
- Caching: This is also cool, site loads faster with caching but once you activate this cache in CloudFlare, CloudFlare sends out massive traffic to your server to get content and cache them. This can seriously bring down low memory servers but this is only down once cache expires
Why I use CloudFlare:
- DNS Services: Great! I have only a server but I need my custom nameservers and manage my Records as easy as ABC. CloudFlare provides this, even without the main CDN services you can use CloudFlare as a DNS Server which is free!
- Page Load: Aha! Once you hear CloudFlare, it’s all about page load. It fastens your page load by caching your contents and deliver quickly from its server without your server serving them all over.
- Free SSL: Early this year CloudFlare introduced free Shared SSL means any site running on CloudFlare can run on HTTPS too which no charge.
- It is free! Of course the free package is always okay for me ^_^
There are alot more awesome features when you bounce into the paid plan 😉