Cloudflare: Benefits of integrating Cloudflare with WordPress

What is Cloudflare and why is it so cool?
Cloudflare is an extremely useful tool that helps me improve my websites in many different ways - from improving speed and security to providing features like WAF (Web Application Firewall) and page rules. Cloudflare is essentially a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that offers a range of services to help improve website performance by speeding up site performance, including caching static content and delivering it from different data centre locations. Static content includes things like images, stylesheets and JavaScript files. Caching static content means Cloudflare stores a copy of it on its servers so it can be delivered faster the next time someone requests it. This is particularly useful as they would otherwise have to wait longer to download the content. By storing copies of static content in multiple data centre locations, Cloudflare can deliver it to visitors much faster than if it came from a single server. This results in a significantly better website experience for users. Additionally, their whole setup just works well and once you learn how to use the various features (properly) it is both intuitive and beneficial to use.

How to make your website faster
The loading speed of a website is important for two reasons. First, faster websites provide a better user experience. Studies have shown that even a one-second delay in loading time can lead to a significant drop in engagement. Second, fast sites are also important for SEO. Google has stated that website speed is one of the factors that Google uses to rank pages in search results. So if you want your website to perform well, make sure it loads quickly. There are a number of ways to improve your site's speed, including the simplest being making sure your images are optimised (Cloudflare can also help with this in their pro version), minifying code and additionally using a CDN network such as Cloudflare. By taking these steps, you can help ensure your website is faster. What Cloudflare helps with so basically is speeding up the delivery of content by caching it in different locations around the world. In fact, Cloudflare CDN consists of a global network of servers that are constantly working to deliver content as quickly as possible. When a user requests a piece of content from a website using Cloudflare CDN, the request is forwarded to the nearest server. The server then retrieves the content from the server and delivers it to the user. Cloudflare CDN is an extremely efficient way to deliver content and can improve website speed and performance.

Some good Cloudflare pointers

Cloudflare DNS
Cloudflare's DNS resolver is now the fastest on the market, offering speeds of up to 1.1 milliseconds. This is 40 % faster than the second fastest DNS resolver and is due to Cloudflare's use of anycast networking. Anycast is a technique that allows multiple servers to share a single IP address. When a user sends a request to an anycast address, the request is automatically forwarded to the nearest server. This reduces latency and ensures that users always get the best possible performance. Thanks to the use of anycast, Cloudflare's DNS resolver is the fastest on the market, offering speeds of up to 1.1 milliseconds.

Websites with high traffic
Cloudflare's high traffic solution is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding websites. With unlimited bandwidth and storage, it can handle even the largest traffic spikes without breaking a sweat. And since it uses Cloudflare's global network, your site will always be available, no matter where your visitors come from. If you're looking for a high-performance solution that can scale with your site, Cloudflare High Traffic is the answer.

Improve your website's security with Cloudflare's WAF service
Cloudflare's WAF service adds an extra layer of security to websites. By filtering incoming traffic and identifying malicious requests, the WAF can help block attacks before they reach the server. In addition, the WAF can be customized to match a website's specific security needs and by routing traffic through Cloudflare's global network of servers, they can absorb and deflect many of the requests that would otherwise hit your server. For example, rules can be created to block specific IP addresses or user agents. Cloudflare's WAF is constantly updated with new signatures and protections, making it an effective tool for keeping websites safe from attack.

Cloudflare page rules
Page Rules allow you to customise the behaviour of individual pages on your site. You can use page rules to control caching, security levels, apps and more. For example, you can create a page rule to ensure that certain pages are never cached, or that other pages are cached for longer than the default cache TTL. Page rules are applied in the order they are created, so you can control precedence for your rules by creating them in the order you want them to be applied. To create a page rule, simply select the URL you want to target and then specify the settings you want to apply. It's that easy!

Cloudflare Zaraz **BETA**
When you put different scripts on your website from different third parties, it can slow down your website. Cloudflare Zaraz is a tool manager that can be used for third parties so that they are loaded in the cloud and away from the browser. This improves speed, as well as security. Cloudflare Zaraz makes it easy to load analytics tools, advertising pixels, widgets and other third party tools such as Google Analytics. I've only tested this tool a little, but on the face of it, it works as it should.

Cloudflare.

.. can improve the speed of your site by caching static content and delivering it from different data center locations.

.. can help protect your website from DDoS attacks and other malicious traffic with web application firewall.

.. can help you save bandwidth and server resources by delivering content more efficiently, thereby reducing the load on your server.

.. can increase the availability of your WordPress website by providing redundancy in the event of a server outage.

.. offers website analytics tools to help you better understand your website traffic.

.. can help you optimise your website's performance with optimisation and caching tools.

.. offers many more powerful and useful tools in their free subscription - such as page rules, zaraz and others .

.. paid plans offer additional features and benefits, such as advanced DDoS protection and priority support.

Thanks to Cloudflare for helping make the internet a better place 🙌