Here at PinkPHP we believe all websites should use a CDN (content delivery network) to serve up their website, so much so that we offer to configure your Cloudflare CDN for free with every site we build! Used by millions of websites worldwide, Cloudflare offer a huge array of optimisation and security features which help ensure your site is always online and served up as fast as humanly possible.
Here's just a few of the incredible benefits to using Cloudflare.
Cloudflare employs an array of measures to ensure your website is served up as quickly as possible, meaning your user's experience is vastly improved.
- Use of the lightening fast HTTP/2 protocol, which is two times faster than the more common HTTP/1.1. This is especially helpful for websites with lots of images and background assets as HTTP/2 is better optimised to deliver multiple resources at the same time.
- Using Cloudflare's caching options, it's possible to instruct visitors' browsers to cache files for a longer period, meaning faster loading times for them and less requests on the server, which in turn improves the performance of the site for other visitors.
- Multiple servers employ load balancing to serve cached files within Cloudflare's network. Your website's data is essentially hosted on multiple servers and requests for your site's data are distributed amongst them to lessen the load on each machine. This ensures the best possible performance even if your website is receiving huge numbers of visitors at once.
Additionally, Cloudflare offers a number of security features to protect your website and it's visitors, these include:
- Cloudflare can protect your visitors' information with their free SSL (secure sockets layer). Data is encrypted between your visitors' computers and your websites server, meaning all submitted form data such as passwords and personal information is protected from potential hackers with malicious intent. The SSL is GDPR compliant which makes Cloudflare one of the only free options available to allow users to make credit card transactions on your website.
- DDoS (direct denial of service) protection. These types of attacks are surprisingly common and can render your website unusable. A DDoS attack is essentially huge numbers of requests to load a website at the same time. As the server struggles to deal with these requests, it can often grind to a halt, rendering your website inaccessible to legitimate users. These types of attacks are often launched on companies by their competitors at peak times but can happen for less nefarious reasons. If your site is hosted on a virtual server or shared hosting platform, another site on the same site coming under attack could cause all websites on that server to become unusable. Cloudflare not only helps to filter out malicious requests ensuring your honest visitors are able to access you website when they need to, the caching features mentioned above also protect you from the knock-on effect of attacks to other sites on your server.
- Cloudflare's DNS security features can protect your users from CSRF (cross site request forgery) attacks. A successful CSRF attack can be used to cause victims to perform actions they did not request on your website, for example changing the email address or password on their account.
For more information or to signup to Cloudflare for free check out cloudflare.com.