September 6, 2011

CloudFlare – Making Any Website High Performance

CloudFlare is an application for people whose websites could use some improvement. In less than five minutes, the application claims it can improve load times, decrease bandwidth usage, and increase the security of any website without charging the owner a dime.

CloudFlare works by running its users’ web traffic through its own global network. This leads to a decrease in spam attacks and helps websites run more efficiently. Check it out by signing up for an account and adding your first site – any website with its own domain name can be improved by using CloudFlare, so you don’t have to question whether the app will work with your site. After you enter the name of your website, CloudFlare will gather all the DNS records it can find. Look over those records and add any records that CloudFlare has missed. Configure your settings and update your name servers to begin routing your traffic through CloudFlare. Hackers or spammers who have been spotted on any site that runs through CloudFlare will be blocked from your site, too. Visit your threat control dashboard to see all the threats or hackers who were prevented from accessing your site. By stopping these people in their tracks, CloudFlare frees up more bandwidth for the visitors you actually want to get through.

In addition to protecting your site from attack, CloudFlare also helps sites stay up when individual servers go down. The protections offered on CloudFlare increase with paid plans, however users can still get access to a number of useful tools simply by signing up for a free account. The more people use CloudFlare, the more useful the service will become, which means this is a service that will prove increasingly important as time goes on.

Practical Uses:

  • Improve load times on your website
  • Prevent spam and threats from hackers
  • Decrease the bandwidth on your site
  • Ensure your website stays up even if your server goes down

Insider Tips:

  • Hackers who are spotted on any CloudFlare site are prevented from accessing other sites across the network
  • Sign up for a paid account to get real-time stats
  • Users can block traffic from certain countries or IP ranges
  • The website preloader feature loads your most requested resources while visitors are idle to improve page load times

What we liked:

  • CloudFlare will become more effective as more websites sign up
  • People don’t have to learn about code or HTML to use CloudFlare
  • Threat control dashboard shows exactly how many attacks have been thwarted
  • Websites that go through CloudFlare will stay online even if their servers go down

What we didn’t like:

  • Large companies may be hesitant to rely on a single third party company to handle so many of their website security needs


Company Info:

  • Launched: September 2010
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, and Michelle Zatlyn
  • Web site:


  • Free plan
  • Pro plan is $20/month for the first website
  • Enterprise plan is coming soon


  1. “Large companies may be hesitant to rely on a single third party company to handle so many of their website security needs”

    Thanks for the review. Just a quick comment on this issue…

    We still recommend that sites and services use their current security solutions in addition to CloudFlare. While CloudFlare will definitely add an additional layer of security to your site, we don’t position ourselves as a 100% solution (one of the reasons we started offering additional services in our apps).

  2. I am surprised more people do not know of this service provided by Cloudflare. It seems too good to be true! Not only is it free, it speeds up a website and even provides security! I think new startups would find this almost irresistable. I wonder how they can maintain that speed when they need to route traffic through their servers.

  3. Vick

    Cloudflare is a good CDN solution but if you are a big company you’d probably want to look for alternatives like Edgecast. This company fairly can be called one of the leaders of the industry with its Points of Presence located on five continents and offering a lot of useful features and add-ons. That’s why even so big names like Twitter choose Edgecast now. If you want, see the whole performance comparison of Edgecast vs Cloudflare at

Submit a Comment