Why I Stopped Using CloudFlare: My Opinion
CloudFlare is a content delivery network (CDN) that has gained a lot of
popularity because of their alleged ability to supercharge your
website. A lot of so-called experts (and even some web hosts) claim that
implementing CloudFlare can help your site can gain a dramatic
amount of boost in terms of speed and security!
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
While that might have been a fact a few years ago, there’s no truth to all
of that anymore. It’s all just BS now.
To me, CloudFlare is nothing but a buzzword that helps hosts
attract customers who want speedy websites (i.e., everyone).
CloudFlare Makes Websites Slower, Not Faster
I used to implement CloudFlare on all my clients websites and it
served its purpose well during the first few months. As CloudFlare
became more popular, more and more webmasters used CloudFlare’s free plan. This is when performance started tosuffer, and CloudFlare was no longer something
that can help speed up your site with just a few clicks.
I noticed that my CloudFlare-enabled sites became much slower
and they would often time out. Email notifications from
my uptime monitor were common. The emails basically said my sites went down for a few
minutes because of a CloudFlare timeout (error 522), and I got
these notifications several times a day.
When I dropped CloudFlare, timeouts were a thing of the past and an improvement
in terms of speed
was apparent! So much for CloudFlare being able to “supercharge” websites…
How About Bandwidth Issues?
CloudFlare never failed to do wonders in terms of saving a ton of bandwidth,
but speed and uptime weren’t things I was willing to
compromise especially since there are other ways to save bandwidth
. Simply implementing my own caching rules helped a lot
and it’s been working well for me ever since.
Are you using WordPress and you’d rather not tinker with .htaccess and
other settings to implement caching? I recommend you use a
plugin such as W3 Total Cache. W3TC is a really powerful caching solution
and as far as I know, it has more caching options/settings than CloudFlare. It helps a
lot in saving bandwidth AND speeding up your WordPress site!
If you’re really inclined in utilizing a content delivery network to offload bandwidth,
I suggestyou try MaxCDN , KeyCDN,or Amazon S3. While these are paid
providers, I personally think they’re much better than CloudFlare.
Should You Use CloudFlare or Not?
If you’re hosting with a really bad host with toasters as servers (and severely
overloaded at that),then you might benefit speed-wise from CloudFlare.
However, you should also be looking for a new web host!
If you’re with an excellent host who utilizes a reliable network and knows how
to manage their servers well, then I think you’d be better off dropping CloudFlare for good.