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Boost Your Websites Speed With CloudFlare, Good For Business

by DiTesco on April 12, 2011

CloudFlare Review
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There are so many things we have to worry about when managing our own home based business, that it makes us wonder where or when all these worries will ever stop. Truth to be told, as your online business grows, so are your requirements, ergo your worries. One of these requirements is most definitely, the speed in which your website loads and serve your users. While your visitors may not notice when your pages loads fast, they will notice when its slow. Slow sites drive people away and that is not good for business, period.

Before I go further, I warn you that this post will be slightly longer than usual, so please bear with me, as I think it might interest you, should something like this happen to you in the future and want to increase blog speed.

The Problem

Due to a number of reasons, I started to have some serious “load time” problems this past week, in addition to some “minor” security issues. All of my websites were suffering from too much downtime. Pages where loading really slow and someone (no names) even managed to publish a post here, without my permission, despite their role being limited.

Additionally, my admin area was affected and even had complaints from guest bloggers who said that it was virtually impossible to submit a post. All these combined was a real headache, but the one that I could not live with, was the slowness of my websites, specially this one. So after finding a solution to the security issues, I had to dig deeper and find what was causing the “speed” problem.

The Culprits

These people, along with the blogging contest, has been sending so much traffic to my website that it consumed all my servers CPU resources, hah! Please visit them and give my website a break. Just kidding, lol. They really all rock and I can’t thank them enough for being so awesome!

OK, back to business. Seriously, the real culprit was my web hosting provider. They have this so called “CPU Throttling” thing that slows down your site once you use too much of their CPU resources. I won’t be debating on this issue as depending on how you want to look at it, it can be good or it could be bad. Some web hosting companies will take down your site right out and then, you simply disappear. This “CPU Throttling” thing is designed to slow down access to your site with the guarantee that it will never go down. So, is it good or bad? You be the judge.

Anyway, I guess that I can’t complain too much as this is one of the downsides of “shared hosting”. Obviously, if you are in the beginning, this is not a problem you will be facing, and for this purpose my web hosting provider serves its purpose well. However, as your site grows, setbacks will eventually come. Sad, but true, and you have to deal with them.

Your Home Based Business Down The Drain

Needless to say what could happen when your website starts to slow down or even worst, if it disappears all together. Your home based business will loose traffic, revenue and at a certain point, even your loyal readers will start to fade away. In addition, search engines will start to hate your website too :). You do know that Google is now pushing for a faster web. All these is bad for business and for your community.

The Solution: CloudFlare – High Speed Performance With Added Security

VPS, dedicated whatever, and other alternatives for increased speed and performance where not really very accessible solutions (financially speaking). If you know a little more about me, I like free things, and quite frankly, who does not? To cut this short, and after having spent many hours of research, and a lot of questions to CloudFlare’s support team, I am proud to inform that iBlogZone, along with a few more websites, are now powered by CloudFlare. The support alone these people provided me, was reason enough to “bite the bullet”. CloudFlare’s support team is top notch, swift and they made my decision easy, and transition flawlessly. Can’t beat that.

What Is CloudFlare?

Featured at TechCrunch and one of the finalist of the TechCrunch Disrupt on September 2010, this is how they said CloudFlare at that time:

CloudFlare Wants To Be A CDN For The Masses (And Takes Five Minutes To Set Up)

Did you read that? A CDN (Content Delivery Network) for the masses. In addition, and to avoid being repetitive, here’s an excerpt of what CloudFlare says about them:

CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance.

How Do You Setup CloudFlare?

It is really very simple to start using CloudFlare as it only takes less than 10 minutes to set it up. The only requirements that you need is access to your DNS settings and that’s it. Anyone with a website and their own domain, regardless of your choice in platform, can benefit from CloudFlare’s system. It can boost your site speed, performance and security to known threats to as much as 60%. I won’t even bother writing up a tutorial, as it is really annoyingly easy. Just enter your domain, and, then “click next”, “click next”, set DNS Records (they pull this automatically), “click next” again, and you are done. Following below is a video tutorial on how I got CloudFlare up and running on one of my websites. Quality is not very good, but it gives you an idea on how easy it is to install CloudFlare. BTW, if you want, you can subscribe to DitescoNetwork video channel for future tutorials.

There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code, your files, database, etc. They all stay where they are, with your existing web hosting provider.

If for some reason you are not satisfied with the system, just click the “deactivate” button, and return to your previous DNS settings. CloudFlare’s core service is free and they do offer enhanced services for websites who need extra features like real time reporting or SSL. If you ask me, I am of the opinion that the free service s all you need.

Disadvantages Of CloudFlare?

As far as I can tell, one of the disadvantages of CloudFlare is that it requires you to change your DNS settings, something that many people may not be comfortable with. Up to this moment, I do not have anything else to add, but if something does arise, rest assured that I will retract if need be.

The Obvious Questions About CloudFlare?

Does it work? Does it actually enhance your sites speed, performance and strengthen security? YES, at least for me, and I think that you too will feel it if you decide to use it. Just for you to have an idea…

Test Of Page Speed On Pingdom.com

Pingdom Test

CPU Throttling Before CloudFlare:

CPU Trottling Apr 2

CPU Throttling After CloudFlare:

CPU Trottle After

Not even a “red” warning” Sweet!

Even includes analytics!

CloudFlare Review Results

Click To Enlarge

There you have it. This is not a paid post or an affiliate link. I simply like the service, their support team, and decided to give you a heads up, in case you are facing the same problem, or simply, if you want to turbocharge your website and boost your home based business. You’ve got nothing to loose and a lot to gain. Obviously, I do not know if you, my visitors, actually felt any improvements, but I certainly did :)

Top Tips For New CloudFlare Users (UPDATE: June 2011)

CloudFlare has been generating a lot and well deserved Buzz lately. Since the time of this posts, many additional improvements have been made and new features available. Aside from some answers I was able to provide in the comment section, Damon has suggested that first time users should read their top tips for new CloudFlare users. I also encourage you to do so as it is filled with information that might help you decide whether or not, CloudFlare is an option you might want to consider using.

Want to receive future updates about CloudFlare or other related topics? Do subscribe to my newsletter, for free updates.

Before I forget, special thanks to Michele of PackageYourGenius.com for being very helpful and supportive. She gave me some few pointers on how to optimize my .htaccess file which also helped a great deal.

What say you? Have you ever heard about this service before? Do you think that CloudFlare can help you in any way?

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Article by

+DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Consulting Services.

Francisco has written 708 articles at iBlogzone.com

1 Paul Salmon April 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I have used CloudFlare in the past, and it has saved my blog a few times. When my host goes down, CloudFlare used a cached copy to serve to my visitors, so my blog could still be displayed to my visitors.

I recently had issues with CloudFlare and my host, where I had difficulty with the dashboard in my blog. I have temporarily disabled CloudFlare until I can find the issue. The other reason I disabled CloudFlare was to monitor the uptime of my host. With CloudFlare enabled, there was little downtime, so I couldn’t get an accurate reading.

I am planning to switch hosts (I know one that supports CloudFlare), so I’m hoping to use that service again.

2 DiTesco April 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi Paul. I am sorry to hear that you had problems in the past. I think that sometimes it is just a question tweaking it a bit. Not sure when was your last time, but they have made “major” improvements and are up and ready to setup new servers across the globe.

Also, you are right they have partnered with some web hosting companies, like Hostgator, Coolhandle, etc. This is makes it even easier to use as it is part of their “one click” install. Thanks for stopping by. If you do reactivate your account, let me know how it goes. Would love to hear your “new” views about it.

3 Brian April 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

This is exactly what I needed without even knowing I needed it. Thanks!

I do have one question, though. You mentioned, Paul, that if your host goes down, CloudFlare starts delivering a cached copy. When this happens, how does the site deal with dynamic content? Like, if a visitor tries to leave a comment on the blog, what happens?

4 DiTesco April 17, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hi Brian. The way I understand it (and seen it happen) is that if CF goes down, your cached website is shown in “read only” mode. User can still be able to navigate but can not comment until your website goes live again. this is unusual though and when it happens, it is because they are having some serious issues and normally are back up again quickly. Kinda like when Twitter shows a “fail whale”.

5 tonyknuckles @ 113tidbits April 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hey DiTesco, I have also added my sites nameservers to Cloudflare. Didn’t know if it was me or their system issues that were causing my sites to constantly cache. But whatever it was in the beginning. Their support guy disabled RrocketScript” on their end and now I am buzzing along nicely.

I also like the analytics and the threat control mechanism they have set in place. If you get all of this for free..I can only wonder what a paid version would do for a site.
I’m looking to swap hosts for a more CloudFlare friendly one soon as I win that blogging contest…:-)

6 DiTesco April 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Hi Tony. I am glad that you are here vouching for the service too. It is always a confidence booster :) Like you, I have heard of CloudFlare way back and did not really use until I finally decided to just go for it the past week. Nothing like having a problem and seeing it solved. It is a sign of relief.

7

Michele Welch

April 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm

You are too sweet… thanks for the shout out! ;-)

OK, now, CloudFare….I think you sold me on it! Not that there’s anything to sell. ;-) I’m a fanatic about site speed and if it can help even a little then it’s definitely worth giving it a try. Like you say, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Great article DiTesco. These are one of those post that can really make a difference for a lot of people. Will let you know how it goes with the switch. :-)

Two thumbs up!

8 DiTesco April 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

You are welcome and thanks again for helping on that .htaccess thing, lol. Now it is also turbocharged. Anyway, you should really give CloudFlare a go. It won’t hurt and at the very least you will see some improvements. I was kinda hesitating at first but I guess my problem warranted a more prompt and decisive, let’s do it, lol. Turned out that I am loving it. Can’t beat this one, really. It is FREE and if you don’t like it, just deactivate. One thing is sure, you don’t know, what you don’t know, right?

9 Ana @ MarketMeSuite Review July 13, 2011 at 3:50 am

OK, I am way too curious now to see what kind of changes Michele suggested for your .htaccess, Francisco – I want to turbocharge mine too!

Seriously…

10 DiTesco July 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm

LOL. No problem Ana, I will send you a copy of my .htaccess by email sometime between today and tomorrow. If you don’t get it, just please send me a quick note, in case something happens :)

11 Dave April 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I have try CloudFlare for short time and just remove it because I got many troubles more than benefits.

12 DiTesco April 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Hi Dave. I am sorry to hear that your experience with CloudFlare was not to your satisfaction. If you don’t mind, can you please tell me what troubles you were having with it that made you decide to stop using them? Not everyone can obviously be satisfied, but your input will greatly enhance for anyone who wishes to know more about the pros and cons of the system. Thanks for stopping by

13

nazimwarriach

April 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Hi Ditesco,
Thanks for sharing your personal user experience with CloudFlare. I am also going to change my DNS records with this service.

14 DiTesco April 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi! Why not? I mean, you have nothing to loose and if CF provides you with even a slight improment, I say it is already worthit.

Just for your info, last week I ran a test on the new Google Page Speed Online tool. My score was 80, and then it with all the way to 71. Today, I ran another test it is already at 88. How’s that for an improvement ;-)

15 Andrew Lippert April 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Please be sure to review the Help forums before making a switch to CloudFlare. The team is terrific, the promise of the service exceptional, the security additions, bandwidth savings and potential performance boost impressive, but there are still many rough edges.

I’ve been a paying customer of CloudFlare since their beta. The company is still quite young and experiencing growing pains. This week, the San Jose data center was effectively disabled for over 15 hours with serious consequences for users. This problem has not been an isolated incident.

I’ve asked the team on a number of occasions to work on improving the service level and communication provided when problems occur, but little has changed in the past 6 months. While truly exceptional in dealing with customer questions and configuration issues, there is a significant problem remaining when problems are detected, especially when problems are detected and reported by customers in the middle of the night. Their status report page is an inaccurate reflection of the actual impact experienced by domains protected by their service. The system is far from bullet proof at this point, but for small businesses and blog sites, the benefits may outweigh the risks.

I will continue to follow the developments at CloudFlare as they are generally moving in the right direction – investing in new data centers and improved infrastructure – but for my business, I can’t suffer the downtime introduced with the service in it’s current form.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Here are some links to specific exchanges and a summary of the outage that occurred this week:

San Jose DDoS Outage (18+ hours of significant customer impact)

My beeper went off at 2:00 am yet CF was not aware of the issue or working on a resolution for several hours

Problems all the way back in October with promises to address reporting and communication issues – still waiting on the fixes

A precursor event tot he outage this week in San Jose. While good things are coming, you might want to wait to see them deployed

Again, please don’t get me wrong, I think CloudFlare will one day be an essential tool in my toolbox. Right now, it is a fairly blunt tool in need of a bit of refinement before I bet my business on it. Watching and waiting…

Andrew Lippert
CTO – Biznik

16 DiTesco April 13, 2011 at 2:18 am

Hi Andrew. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your experience with CloudFlare here with us. Actually, I have felt the problem yesterday and sent an email to Damon to find out why several of my websites were only showing a cached version. Damon replied in a matter of minutes (maybe I got lucky), saying that the San Jose data center was suffering a huge DDoS attack and also directed me to the same page that you mention here. I never met nor know Damon personally, but as said, maybe I got lucky, because he was top notch as far as answering all of my questions and solving some issues I had with sub-domains. Anyway, read Matthew’s response and I found it to be very transparent. Waited a couple of hours and slowly my sites (the smaller ones) started to normalize.

Andrew, I totally understand that these problems can happen and when they do should be addressed quickly and efficiently. Fortunately, since my business is still small, I was not affected by this downtime. Right now, I am better off taking a calculated risk with CF as my current web hosting is no better, specially since I am still on shared hosting. I have been bombarded with “CPU Throttling” for the past two weeks and believe me, I am right now more relieved. Since I have several websites hosted on a same account, CF effectively is saving me with CPU resources and accordingly less throttles. The benefit is that my other sites are not affected. Anyway, I took particular attention to what you said here: “The system is far from bullet proof at this point, but for small businesses and blog sites, the benefits may outweigh the risks.” Really, that’s good enough for me.

As my business grows, most likely I will have to find other alternatives, but on the other hand, and like you said, CF is still young and has a promising future. I like their concept and would support them as much as I can. Let’s hope that they deliver what they promise for a better future ;-) Thank you once again for your valuable input. I’m sure that this will help users to make a better and well informed decision.

17 Sreejesh April 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I’ve used Cloudflare for few weeks, but things really didn’t go well with me. I had some DNS issues which delayed my site response time. Since then I have not turned back. My old hosting was on a stupid server. However, I’m now on Hostgator hosting, So I think I should try again.

18

DiTesco

April 13, 2011 at 2:28 am

Hi Sreejesh. Yeah, I think that one could only benefit from CF if and when it is backed by at the very least a good server. Hostgator I understand has partnered with CF and I see that as a sign of more confidence, considering that Hostgator is a reliable company. Anyway, they are improving and as I said, it is easy to set it up and equally easy to turn it off.

19

Tia

April 13, 2011 at 5:04 am

Hi DiTesco – Great article and really nice comments and responses. I don’t know if I’m ready to try it but I know that I need to increase site speed. It has not been a big priority for me but I really need to make it one.

It seems like there is always something to do!

20 DiTesco April 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Hi Tia. As always, good to see you here. Site speed should really be a priority, specially a site like yours. It is growing fast and depending on your hosting package, you might end up with the same problem I had. Hopefully this will not be the case. CF although intermediate, can be a good solution, and maybe, if all things go well, I will remain using their free service for a very long time :) We’ll see. thanks for stopping by.

21 William King April 13, 2011 at 5:04 am

I have not used CF but I was checking about the low speed factor on Google Page Speed Online, it explains almost every factor that is causing low speed for your website. Very helpful for webmasters, as they can check their mistakes and can rectify. But after reading such a detailed described post of Ditesco, I am thinking about CF.

22 DiTesco April 13, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Thanks William. CF is no brainer and very easy to install. If you do decide to use it, let me know how it goes. Your feedback will be very much appreciated.

23 Sam @ Weekend Getaways April 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

In internet marketing speed is the most important thing ,Because everybody can’t wait for extra time, And i appreciate the time you have taken to share your experience

24 DiTesco April 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm

You are welcome Sam. CF helps, that’s for sure.

25

Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing

April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

It’s a hosting company or something similar?

26 DiTesco April 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hi Dennis. “Something similar”, lol. Actually it is not one or the other, and I am not so sure how to define them :) They don’t host anything as you do not change your existing hosting company. Think of it as something in between the users and your host. The merely provide access to your site via the several data centers they have. It is really very close to “cloud computing” or if you prefer, it is very similar to that of Amazon’s CloudFront. Hope this helped :)

27

Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing

April 15, 2011 at 12:40 am

Not even a little, but it’s not your fault. lol I don’t understand the whole cloud thing outside of the fact that I really don’t think I need it anyway.

I did read one say, don’t believe the hype it’s just a fancy way of saying “outsource”.

28 Jaypee April 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Great review my friend! I’ve read about CloudFlare a couple months back and if not for me already using MaxCDN, I would’ve tried and installed it on my blog.

Btw, I ran your blog on Pingdom and it shows different results. Sometimes it’s 7 seconds, sometimes its 9. Nevertheless, it’s still a good page load time as it’s less than 10 seconds. I’m working to get mine below 10 seconds but I think I’ll have to do a theme reboot and use a theme that uses less graphics and scripts in order to achieve that.

29 DiTesco April 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Good day my friend. Always good to see you here. Yeah, I am giving this a try for now and still have your recommendation under the hood :) This is a great alternative and I think “other” people can benefit from it too. Also, I noticed that running the test results on pingdom does give some different results sometimes, in particular depending on the time of day. Under 10 sec. is great and I have to admit that I am satisfied, for now :)

BTW, saw your post about the “100 things WP….”. Don’t mind if I borrow it for WPJ, with proper credits of course, as usual :) Have a great day bud..

30

Sandeep@CuriousLittlePerson

April 14, 2011 at 3:11 am

can this be looked at like a free CDN.. if so, can this be used with the W3 Total Cache plugin… appreciate your efforts to share information (pros & cons) about these guys..

31 DiTesco April 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hi Sandeep. Yeah, this could be seen somewhat like a free CDN. One of the questions I asked CF staff was if it was OK to use it with a “cache” plugin. No problem is what they responded to me. I was actually using W3 before but due to some incompatibility issues, I decided to use Super Cache instead. Bth are working in tandem right now and I think it is safe to say that they are doing just fine :)

32 Alex April 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

Not using cloudfare, although I have an account, this is mainly to my complicated dns setup which I have to solve one day, but until then my dedicated server is managing pretty well, and with millions of views per day it didn’t freeze once (except when I had some big logs precessed – but I fixed that by changing the crond to start the jobs when the traffic is low ).

But, I think I will give them a try on one of my shared accounts, just to see how they work.

33 DiTesco April 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Hi Alex. In your case, maybe it will only be interesting on sites that are on shared hosting. Having a dedicated connection is obviously the right choice depending on how much traffic and usage your website is getting. I am using CF because it appears to be an excellent boost for shared hosted sites. Thanks for stopping by

34 lawmacs April 15, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Glad you mentioned it Ditesco had a look at it in my control panel and has been thinking about it ssince will have a play around with it one day Thanks for the heads up.

35 DiTesco April 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Hi Gary. CF is definitely worth the try. Been running it for over a week now and still up and pumping… woot. Glad I decided to risk on it. Hopefully it will stay an awesome service for a long while. Go for it and if you do, let me know how it goes.

36

Garen

April 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Hey DiTesco,

I actually never heard of CloudFlare until you mentioned them. That is great that they offer solutions for traffic throttling and everything. Especially, since you are a professional blogger and at times when you have something very interesting your servers can get congested very quickly. I might see if I can partner with them and evaluate their service.

Garen

P.S. I really like your theme design it is really slick.

37 tonyknuckles @ 113tidbits May 6, 2011 at 4:38 am

UPDATE: ClouFlare is really hosing up my interactivity in my site. i can’t clear a comment without seeing the dreaded “Cloudflare| Error” page.

I’m only averaging roughly 450-700 uniques a day and getting slammed every time I try to make a post too.

Thinking about heading over to the amazon cloud if it starts getting to frequent.

38 DiTesco May 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Hi Tony. That is really odd. With the exception of one time only, I have not to date had any problems with CF. Try setting your security to low, basic cache and turn off “Rocket Script” (known to have some issues). Also please ensure that you have the CloudFlare WP plugin installed. Did you do this?

39 tonyknuckles @ 113tidbits May 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Yes, I have the CloudFlare plugin installed..RocketScript is disabled and even have the “minify” settings enabled on W3C Edge and on the CloudFlare interface…loading at 13+ seconds = extremely slow

40 DiTesco May 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I am assuming that the site you are referring to is 113tibits, right? Just ran a test on pingdom.com and it timed out on me. I guess you have an awful lot of external calls and also some images that are broken. You might want to test it over there and see what is causing the problem. I don’t think it is CF. It is a good on the fly tool (free) and I have found many small problems that helped. Also did you install the cloudflare plugin?

41

Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

May 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Nice write up. We just added CloudFlare to our site yesterday and I’m not sure if it totally screwed things up or not. A couple of hours after we added it, our site started to load extremely slow. It would take like 2 minutes to load a page. Our site is normally really fast, but we wanted to add CloudFlare for the extra security and for those times when we get a traffic spike.

We deactivated CloudFlare and now our site loads fine. The weird part about it though is that Textpattern worked fine while our site was loading slow so that rules out anything with our server. I’m just wondering if anybody has had this same issue when adding CloudFlare. I still want to have it on our site, but now I’m nervous to add it again. I don’t want to lose a bunch of traffic. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

42 DiTesco May 12, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hi Christy. Not sure what happened because that is really unusual. Most of the time when there is a problem it simply won’t load and you will get a message from CF saying that your site is down. the only thing that I can think of right now is that for some reason your DNS settings was not set up properly. In addition, did you install the CloudFlare plugin? Many people forget to do so and it can cause problems. Another known issue is RocketScript. Try it again and disable this function. See how it goes. If it does not work, just deactivate it and go back again, just like you did before. Hope this helps

43

Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

May 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Thank you for taking the time to reply! I appreciate your suggestions. We have been talking with CloudFlare support now and we are having them help us with the kinks so we don’t lose any traffic next time. :)

44 DiTesco May 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm

That’s great and a wise move. Hope they can help you get it up and running so that you can take the advantage of improved performance and added security. Good luck!

45

Greg

June 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for your write up!

I installed cloudflare yeesterday and all seemsed OK.
Today I could not access my dashboard or blog from any links.The message that the server could not be found kept showing up
I first changed my DNS recordsd back to Hostgator,then de.activated my site in cloudflare dashboard,removed the wordpress cloudflare plugin and after 2 hours I could eventually login to my dashboard!

I have sent email to cloudflare and await response as to why this happened

I am now doubly cautious to re-activate cloudflare again.I also intergrated clouflare with W3 Total Cache
At least my blog and dashboard can be reached again
Apologies if this sounds a negative response but I felt it needed to be said for other readers to be aware of

Best Regards
‘Greg Barr

46 DiTesco June 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hi Greg. Your apologize are not warranted. On the contrary, I very much appreciate that you have left your experience here and let us know about it. Sadly, it does not appear to be positive. I have just updated this post (towards the end), and you might want to check it out, as it answers many questions about and provide tips to first time users.

I am really boggled with this issue as it appears to be the same as others who have tried using CF as well. You should contact Hostgator and ask them why this is happening. Hostgator is CF partners and their integration should be working well. I have already ten sites and counting, including this one, running on CF and I have never had any issues with them, except for a DDoS attack they suffered and of which was solved timely. I am positive that it has to do with the DNS settings. Shoot Damon (support) an email too, he might be of help. The man is very supportive.

47 DiTesco June 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Oppps Greg. So sorry, something just popped into my fried brain this morning. You mentioned that you installed it yesterday. You do know that your “new” server settings does require something between 24 – 48 hours to propagate. This may also be the reason why you were not able to access your dashboard. It happened to me… If you want, try it again, flush your DNS and browser cache. If you still can not access it, see if you can via a proxy server. If you can, then it is just a matter of waiting a while longer for your site to propagate. If not, oh well… switch back as nothing will happen as you may already have seen.. Hope this helps

48

Greg

June 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hi and thanks for helpful tips

I am determined to insatall CF.Either that or upgrade to VPS hosting
When you mentioned about DNS propogation to CF,Did your sites become unobtainable for the 24-48 hours?

If so I believe it wise to inform my subscribers before activating CF

49 DiTesco June 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Hi Greg. In this site, my propagation time was pretty fast actually and I did the change at night (my time) because this is when I normally have less traffic. In other sites I had to wait longer, then again, it also depends on the registrar on your domain. If you have another site that you use less, why not experiment things there first and see how it goes.

50

Greg

June 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for that and maybe I will try another site.
However now getting some 2500 page views a day on a shared host I believe it is time to install CF.
Either that or I go VPS or risk loosing readers due to high bounce rate
Thanks for your advice and I shall post now expecting a day or two of not being able to login to dashboard

At least my subscibers bknow

Best Regardfs
Greg

51 Cole June 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Cloudflare is really looking good to improve your traffic, I must use these services.

52

Roxy

June 17, 2011 at 6:20 am

I just installed CloudFlare and I can’t login to my Wordpress blog, can you please tell me how to do it? My site does not show up, it may be because I just changed the DNS an hour ago.

Thanks!

53 DiTesco June 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi Roxy. This is not a normal issue and if you have done everything properly, you should be able to log in your wordpress account. If your site is traverusesxxx, it is redirecting into a loop. The immediate suggestions I can give you right now is to make sure that your DNS settings are correct and that you have changed your DNS nameservers exactly as CloudFlare suggested. If all this has been done and you continue to experience the problem, I suggest you deactivate CF just to keep your site normal for now and send an email to their support. After receiving the response, set it up again.

You can also check their tips for first time users. It is very helpful: http://blog.cloudflare.com/top-tips-for-new-cloudflare-users

Where do you have your site hosted?

54

Rajesh @Tips and Tricks

June 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Nice tutorial, now I am using CF and all working fine! But I don’t seen any performance improvement!

55 Dan | Confidence Course July 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been back and forth with this service – it works great on my actual site, speeding up and stopping all the naughty people of the world.

BUT… and it’s annoying to say the least… I use SuperCache and another plugin that I paid for and with cloudflare active, I can’t see or set any of the options for either plugin – all the other ones I use work fine, just these two.

Damon (very helpful and fast) told me to disable the minify settings, but to be honest, that’s one of the best features about the whole service – not having to use a plugin for that is brilliant!

At the moment, I’m trying to work out if there is a way to have my admin set up to run in a subdomain and not enable that for cloudflare… proving tricky…

56 DiTesco July 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Hi Dan. I hear you about CF and I too have had some setbacks with it. In this case however, the good outweighs the bad and I would not be able to solve my issues if I decided to deactivate CF. As for some plugins being incompatible to CF, I am surprised about that. The only issue perhaps is a cache plugin where I decided to use SuperCache in “mininal” mode.

I have a website that s running on CF with sub-domains. Under the settings I just “disabled” the sub-domain and it is working fine.

57 Dan | Confidence Course July 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm

It’s something to do with the way it minifies the css or the html… strange problem though!

58 Jan Husdal July 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences in a highly informative post. Your post was one of the reasons I signed up with CloudFlare six weeks ago. Since then, however, I have discovered a service that is better suited for my purposes: Incapsula, which I compared to CloudFlare in this post:

http://www.husdal.com/2011/07/01/incapsula-versus-cloudflare/

CloudFlare did improve the performance of my blog, no doubt about that, but I wasn’t 100% happy with what I got. Well, I’m not 100% happy with Incapsula either, but happier.

59 DiTesco July 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Hi Jan. Just read your post and left my two cents there. Really, thanks for sharing this service which I was unaware about. Incapsula does sound interesting too, and no doubt I will give them a spin. Good to know that there are other alternatives, although I have to admit that I am happy with CF… Does not mean I can not be happier, lol

BTW, do you know where Incapsula’s data centers are? Thanks for stopping by

60 Jan Husdal July 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Not sure where Incapsual’s DCs are. When checking my site speed with Wathmouse I see that some of the IPs resolve to “Amazon Web Services, Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2″, something that is confirmed here: http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/solution-providers/incapsula/

61 DiTesco July 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hi Jan. Hmmm, they might be using Amazon’s Cloudfront to some extent and that is good. Thanks again for taking the time..

62 Marc Gaffan July 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Incapsula currently has 8 data centers (Across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia). They are a combination of both physical DCs and public cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon’s AWS. We are constantly building out more DCs to meet our growing capacity requirements.

Let me know if you would like any additional info.

Marc

63

Greg

July 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Hi,
I thoughyut some of yopur readers may be interested in this:
There is another CDN service and unlike CF you not have to chjange your DNS Settings
Thet are called http://www.speedymirror.com

You get the fist 50Gb free and then a small charge of 0.39 cents per GB there after

This is important for users who do not wish to change their DNS mameservers to cloudflare
Speedymirror offer a pull service so no problems uploading files and I found them faster than CF with tests done on pingdom
I hope this is helpfull
Besr Regards
Greg

64 DiTesco July 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Hi Greg. Thanks for your suggestion. I have heard about this service sometime ago and did not decide to go forward with it because while it does not require any DNS changes, it works I gather, by having to enter your domain name to their system and in turn they will give you a new URL, which I am not sure if it will have any impact on a lot of things, e.g., SEO, Rankings, metrics, etc… It appears that works like a 301 redirect, but I am not sure. Anyway, it is another option and perhaps. I will revisit them to get more info. Thanks a bunch!

65

Greg

July 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi DiTesco,
You are able to direct the CNAME to what ever you choose.This is what I settled for asd with cloudflare I was getting no Google Adsense clicks for a week
Appantly with Cloudflare yuou need to0 add a mod rule in apache

Regards
Greg

66 Ana @ aweber review July 13, 2011 at 3:56 am

Thanks for sharing the link on Google+, Francisco.

I am still quite vague as far as what CloudFlare really is, but I suppose that’s what research is for, right?

Tomorrow…

Looks like with all the somewhat negative comments, you still think that the advantages far outweigh any potential problems. I am happy to hear that there’s a solution that wouldn’t require me switching the hosts – as much as it sucks what Hostgator did to me, I am not in the mood for a move.

67 DiTesco July 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Hi Ana. As with everything else, it is not possible to please everybody. It is a difficult tasks and I totally understand all the somewhat “negative” comments that have been given here. I have been on CF since I wrote this posts and I have added some 8 sites in it. That’s how I like the service. Since, they have made several additions to the service and have improved it considerably. I know many people from our “circle” that have adopted it, and so far all seems well. Try it, nothing to loose and a lot to gain. What Hostgator did to you, although not right, is something that could happen with any hosting company, specially if it is shared. Sadly other alternatives can be costly. CF is free and it solved my problems.. that’s for sure.

Anyway, and on a side note, I am preparing a review of “another” site that offers similar services, and free :) Love free stuff, hehe. Stay tuned. It is another great option… I am currently using it on another website, just to make sure all works out well ;-)

68 Ujjwal Kumar July 26, 2011 at 11:27 am

cloudflare is cool i think i’ll use it
thanks for the great review :D

69

cris

August 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I never heard of CloudFlare until your post. I know loading times is very important when it comes to your “money” page, but I never gave much thought as to the loading time on my blogs.

Sure you don’t want to drive people away because people don’t want to wait a few seconds til your site loads. It seems people are getting more and more impatient..(.they want it now!)..so it makes sense to cater to that sort of mentality. I’ll have to add CloudFlare to my “to do” list. Great explanation of Cloudflare by the way…good job!

70 jehzlau September 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Stumbled upon this blog while searching for disadvantages of Cloudflare. So the only disadvantage is changing my DNS settings. Hmmmm… I think I’m ok with it. ^_^

Now I’m convinced to implement Cloudflare in all my domains.

71 DiTesco September 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Hi Jehzlau. I have been using CloudFlare for a while now and I have to admit that I am very satisfied with its performance. I totally recommend using it, specially if you are on shared hosting and with lots of websites. One of the disadvantages can see clearly now, is by not using it :)

72 Luqman Khan February 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

Thank you for making my life easy!

You did not mention CloudFlare also helps against DDOS. As I previoulsy learned. I am trying CloudFlare now.

73 Anuj@Google SEO Techniques February 14, 2012 at 7:04 am

I recently moved over to cloudflare about a month ago as well. At first I noticed nothing different. Google page speed and YSlow showed no changes in load time. But about two weeks later I did some more tweaks on cloudflare’s side and I notice a big difference. I am about remove a bunch of plugins and theme change so, I guess I will be making more tweaks to cloudflare again as well…

74 Jasmine March 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

I am researching for a good CDN to use for my blog. I am undecided between CloudFlare and MaxCDN, but after reading your great article, I am leaning towards CloudFlare, just too good to be true!

75 DiTesco March 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

Hi Jasmine. Yes, it is true. CloudFlare is free. If I were you, I can always try CF first and see how it works for you. Since it is free, you got nothing to loose and a lot to gain. If however, you are not satisfied, you can use MaxCDN. I have been on CF for nearly a year now and I have to admit that it was one of the best decisions I made. All the best

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