CloudFlare is not all roses and candy, nor is it thorn bushes and tofu (my apologies to everyone who loves tofu). On one hand, CloudFlare does offer a degree of DDoS protection, and who doesn’t need that in 2021?
The speed factor
On the other hand, I’ve seen many comments on web hosting forums from members who claim it slowed down their sites. In an industry driven in large part by speed, in terms of CPU power, throughput, port specs and so on, this constitutes a real concern.
The CDN factor
CloudFlare is also a Content Delivery Network. These are designed to speed up delivery of your website content across vast demographics via strategically placed data centers.
The one-two punch
So not only does CloudFlare speed up delivery of your website content to a global audience, it also provides some type of protection against common attacks.
In addition to DDoS protection, it offers safeguards against SQL injection (which is responsible for numerous exploits of data driven systems). This particular type of attack allows cybercriminals to tamper with, disclose or destroy data, spoof identities and allow them to become admins on the database server.
Is CloudFlare for the small business owner, webmaster or enterprise site owner?
The answer is yes, yes and yes. CloudFlare provides each of them an outstanding solution based platform to not only improve delivery performance, but also provides some degree of protection.
Can CloudFlare create some issues?
Unfortunately, yes, issues can arise when setting up CloudFlare. I’m aware of a recent incident whereby CloudFlare was set up by a client and their email stopped working. Ultimately, that turned out to be a DNS issue which was resolved fairly quickly.
Using a cPanel plugin
There is a cPanel plugin available for CloudFlare, so if your provider hasn’t enabled that yet, ask them if they could set that up. It’ll make enabling CloudFlare for your sites so much easier.
From the top, here are some pros and cons of CloudFlare
- It speeds up delivery of your website content on a global scale
- It offers some degree of protection against DDoS attacks
- It offers some degree of protection against SQL Injection attempts
- It’s well documented
- It helps not only small business owners, but enterprise site owners and everyone in-between
- It can adversely affect the performance of some websites
- The use of CloudFlare presents some issues combined with SSL
One of the features I love about CloudFlare is the ability to monitor your website from a Smartphone. To kick it off, you don’t need to install any hardware or software, and if you’re using the cPanel plugin, it could not be easier to set up.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks are on the rise
DDoS attacks can slow websites and entire networks to a standstill. If you’re running mission critical data on your site, you need every advantage possible to keep your site online.
How can you beat FREE?
The free version of CloudFlare works great, but you always have the option to upgrade their services. My recommendation is to give the free version a run for its money, then decide whether their advanced services are appropriate to your hosting requirements.
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