There are lots of hates on CloudFlare as far as I’ve seen on the internet. Bashers and many previous customers said their service sucks. But come on, CloudFlare is one of a few web optimization services that does the job well, and hell, for free. I remember their brand as far back as when I was 17, didn’t know what they do though, just remembered that they offered some kind of website protection then. Recently, I dabble with blogging, experimenting with website optimization, and found it very interesting. My selection skill allowed me to filter through junks and search for good services on the internet, and that’s what I did with this blog.
I hate “www” prefix in an URL, I think it’s disgusting and make a site look bloated, especially in a trending market of short domain names. I had been deciding back and forth on whether or not to keep using Google PageSpeed (which is free, giant with absolute DDoS protection, but forces the use of www) or to use Cloudflare (freemium service, allows root domain and some more advanced optimizations). Both services are awesome in their own way, it’s just the desire to make an URL look clean that got the most of me, I would take viet.vn over www.viet.vn any day.
- DDoS Protection: This is a no brainer. If you use Google PageSpeed Services, you use the same data centers that Google has around the world, so you are pretty much invincible against any type of DDoS attack. This is an important aspect to look at if you run a big website and you favor DDoS protection over using naked domain & optimization
- Latency: CloudFlare wins, by a hair. Google PSS has a reputation of slow connection to Australia, New Zealand and the area around it. I’m not sure why but it would suck for people with purpose of delivering fast website content to virtually everywhere around the world and have to leave some area out. CloudFlare seems to do a pretty good job at delivering content equally fast everywhere.
- Optimization: CloudFlare wins. Google PSS is still in Beta with some functions still need work. I actually wouldn’t mind this at all if they support naked domain. After trying out CloudFlare optimization though, especially their Pro plan (which includes more optimization functions that Google PSS doesn’t have), I was blown away by how faster it makes my site
- DNS Flexibility: CloudFlare again. I wouldn’t say this lightly. I have tried out so many different DNS providers, such as DNSMadeEasy, DNSimple, AWS Route53, EasyDNS, and they all have different characteristics. What make CloudFlare DNS stand out to me is naked CNAME services that doesn’t interfere with CDN latency.
- Secure Connection: You can see the https as prefix for my website address, it’s because connection to my website is secure. Usually, you will have to go through lots of technical steps to setup secure connection for your website. CloudFlare makes it easy by providing Flexible SSL, which I think is pretty clever.
To the people who are skeptical about using CloudFlare, I’d say give them a chance. Sure there are people with bad experience using their services. I think it’s pretty good so far. I like the fact that CloudFlare applies many clever techniques to solve internet limitation, and provide ease of use to functions that are supposed to be complicated to configure. After all, it’s free, so you will always have a chance to experience it for yourself.