CloudFlare

CloudFlare is a CDN as well as a Security Firewall for your website. CloudFlare is able to protect your website from many threats such as fake crawlers, spam bots, and much more all for the low-cost of free. CloudFlare does have a paid subscription model where you are able to pay for additional security and features that will protect your website even more, but these are not needed for most basic blogging websites. CloudFlare can act as a CDN or content delivery network by taking static items such as scripts and moving them to their server when the browser is loaded this will reduce bandwidth costs of your server and improve the speed of your website.

How CloudFlare Works
CloudFlare works fairly simple. A user goes to your website and CloudFlare will show them a cached version of several static files such as CSS, JavaScript, and when the user loads the page it will be delivered from CloudFlare servers and not your own. This is going to improve the load time for all users and not just local ones because CloudFlare has servers all over the world while your website is using a dedicated or shared hosting in one location. This will improve the load time as they don’t have to make a request for a file half way across the world and instead the server might be in the users backyard. The closer your web server is to the user the faster the connection as it does not have to traverse as long as a distance. Not only that but it is going to be faster because you are being served a cached version of the file.

A cached file is one where it is served from your systems cache and if it is not found then it is downloaded again from the server. A server can cache the file like does Cloudflare and it will display the cached item instead of the physical file.┬áThis simply means that CloudFlare contains all cached versions of your file and shows the viewers who don’t already have the file the cached version of it meaning that they are not going to have to download the file.

How CloudFlare Protects Your Website
CloudFlare is able to protect your website by adding a sort of Firewall to your site that is able to block known spam IP addresses from accessing your website. It has a lot of filtering tactics to block not only bots, but people who are known to cause issues or disturbances on other websites. This means the little twelve-year-old hacker who makes his name public, but doesn’t really know what he is doing. Simply his IP will be recognized and blocked before he can enter your website.

Cost

Cloudflare is a free service with premium options for a faster and safer website. Both the CDN and security are free for anyone to use, all you need to do is change your DNS records and your website will start to be optimized. If you use the plugin for WordPress then you are going to be even more secure and with additional settings you are even able to change the settings with W3C cache.

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