Through our hosting provider, I was introduced to CloudFlare. I was absolutely astonished at the service… especially the starting price (free). When I worked for a major SaaS provider, we configured geocaching services and it cost us tens of thousands of dollars a month. CloudFlare isn’t built for a SaaS provider, but it’s perfect for your website or blog.
CloudFlare is a service that utilizes proprietary technology to make websites run safer and faster around the world. CloudFlare currently runs 12 data centers (with more on the way) on three continents to provide static content caching, bot filtering and more. Here’s an overview of the service:
The service has already been fantastic for the MarTech Blog. Take a look at the analytics below, especially for the charts at the base of the reports.
Prior to utilizing CloudFlare, I was exceeding some usage limitations on my hosting account. CloudFlare has cut that usage in half – intercepting half a million page views and saving over 5Gb of bandwidth. In case you’re curious how these systems do this… the data centers are set up regionally around the country. When someone in the geographic region requests your page, the page is saved locally. When the next person visits – rather than serving from your server again, the local CloudFlare data center serves the page.
In addition, since using the service, I’ve seen a significant reduction in BOT SPAM submitting comments. It appears CloudFlare is doing a great job at blocking that traffic from reaching the server as well. The only criticisms I could find out on the web about CloudFlare was that they don’t serve pages too quickly; however, I have not seen any latency and my host is out of California.
If you’re running a blog, a web site or an ecommerce application and can’t afford development for cache enablement, or high-end caching services like Akamai… this is the perfect solution for you! Page load times are critical for increasing click-through rates and ranking on search engines. A couple DNS changes (which are well documented) and you’re up and running with CloudFlare!