More and more frequently technology companies pop up to try to solve all of our problems. The phrase "there's an app for that" has never been truer. Whether it be a mobile app, or a web app, it seems like we are spoilt for choice with the range of problem solving apps around today.
Cloudflare isn't a new company, they've been around for a little while now, but they have a simple goal; to make the web a safer place. How do they do it? By getting in front of your website visitors and acting as a firewall to protect you from bad visitors or malware robots.
The concept is simple to understand, but their implementation is amazing. So I want to take a minute to go through some features of Cloudflare to try to encourage people to get their sites protected.
First, what is the cost?
Well for most people's circumstances… Nothing.
There are paid upgrades that can supercharge your websites speed and add additional security and analytics, but for the most part the free account is perfect right out of the box, and better yet, you don't need to make one change to your website code to take advantage of it.
Checkout the visitor flow chart below from Cloudflare that shows how your website visitors flow though their network.
Can you see how it's their network that is exposed and your web server is hidden behind their network? Your web pages load as they normally would and nobody's the wiser… Unless you're a baddy, in which case you're quickly rejected from accessing your web pages at all. Pretty neat right?
I need an SSL certificate on my website to encrypt transactions.
No problem; with the free account your website will be available on http: and https: meaning your website in encrypted and protected from prying third parties. The same type of encryption your bank uses for Internet banking.
What about if my website goes offline?
Not a worry; Cloudflare cache your web pages in the global distribution network, which means your visitors have your pages loaded from the closest geographic location to them (meaning faster page loads) and your site will continue to load even if your web server is offline.
So you're convinced, you want to get started. Ok, well getting your site on Cloudflare is as easy as updating your websites name servers. I can't tell you how to do that here, as each setup's different, but basically if you have a website now, it has 2 or more nameservers, all you have to do is change the nameservers at your domain registrar from what you have to what Cloudflare issue you, from then on, you are taking advantage of Cloudflares network, and will be working hard to protect your website from the many threats we have to deal with in this modern world.
So a quick recap, it's free, it's secure and it protects and speeds up your website. I use it wherever I can and it has never let me down. As a Cloudflare partner, we believe that their solution is second to none, and can bring many benefits to your website, and all without anyone noticing, and that's the truly amazing part.