CloudFare is an online tool to make your website load a lot faster, even up to twice as fast. Cloudfare is an extra stop between the visitor and your hosting party and ensures that the components of your website and images are compressed.
Cloudfare is also known as CDN, which stands for Content Delivery Network. This network has servers spread all over the world. When you are visiting a website in Australia, the CDN in Europe will be used to load the website. And this is of course a lot faster than when it happens in Australia.
Just a little technical explanation… Usually, your DNS-server directs the visitor to the servers of your own hosting party. A DNS-server connects domain names and servers. Cloudfare replaces your DNS-server and performs a couple of tasks.
This way, Cloudfare ensures that the images will be downsized, which makes them load faster. The tool also uses a caching technique. The visitor of your website is then first shown the cache of the requested page, which is located at Cloudfare. This page loads a lot faster than your own website.
You can measure the speed at Google PageSpeed Insights.
Another benefit is the SSL-function. Cloudfare can ensure a secured connection, the so called SSL-certificate. Google finds websites which work with a secured protocol (you will then see HTTPS in the address line with a green lock) important and values them higher within the search results. You can install Cloudfare in such a way, that there can be worked with a secure connection.
Besides that, the tool also has a spam function; it keeps unwanted visitors away by scanning them on their IP-numbers.
Cloudflare, how does it work?
You can use Cloudfare for free. There is also a paid subscription with more options. How does it work?
You go to Cloudfare’s website and fill in your website address in the input field. Afterwards, you press the button and the system looks up all your DNS data. While waiting, you can watch a video on how it works. Useful!
After that, it gives an overview of all the data and you can put the tool to use.
BE AWARE: You are basically letting an external party ‘host’ your website. I myself think this is quite a big thing, and this is something you should realise. If there are any problems at Cloudfare, it can happen that your website won’t be accessible.
However, this rarely happens and technically it is a very trustworthy party. And as one of the few CDN’s, it’s free.