Three key things are important when looking for a web host for your business website: speed, security, and scalability. A fast website can improve search engine rankings, improve traffic, and increase site retention. At the same time, enhanced security provides peace of mind for you and your customers. Plus, scalability gives you the tools to scale with few constraints.
Cloudflare can provide you with all three of these. But what exactly is it, and how can CDN increase speed, security, and scalability? Let’s find out.
WHAT IS CLOUDFLARE?
Cloudflare is a US-based content delivery network. Content Delivery Networks, also known as Content Delivery Networks, are geographically distributed content servers. Their data centers were created to provide high availability and performance. They distribute the services spatially in relation to the end users. Thus bringing the content closer to the geographical location of the user.
Cloudflare is one of the largest CDNs in the world, handling around 10% of global internet traffic. It was founded in 2009 and is present in more than 100 countries. Over 8 million internet properties are on Cloudflare.
HOW IT WORKS
Cloudflare acts as an intermediary between the client and the server. It is a reverse proxy server that mirrors and caches websites. It fetches resources from service providers and delivers them to customers.
The value comes from the CDN’s ability to store content on the nearest edge server. This brings the content closer to the user. This means that it takes much less time to retrieve the same resources than when you get them directly from the service provider.
This middle ground approach also allows Cloudflare to offer security and business scalability resources. For example, on-demand processing power and data storage.
If you’re wondering if you should use Cloudflare, the answer is a big — YES! Here are some of the benefits of Cloudflare for small and medium businesses.
• It reduces latency: Latency is the time it takes for a client to communicate with the service provider’s server. This is the amount of time between the initial service request from the client and the first response from the server.
Latency depends on many things. However, most important is the physical distance between communicating devices. The longer the distance, the greater the latency. With over 187 data centers in over 100 countries, Cloudflare brings content closer to users, reducing latency many times over.
• It reduces server load: Server load occurs when a server experiences more requests than it can comfortably handle. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Periodically, businesses get tons of traffic due to a viral social media post, successful Google ad, etc. This can sometimes even lead to server crashes.
Cloudflare addresses server strain in two ways. First, it acts as a proxy server between the client and the service provider. Protecting the company from potentially overloaded traffic. Second, it stores a cached version of your site and sends it to clients in case the origin server goes down. Thus, effectively keeping you always online.
• Protects against malicious traffic: Finally, we are all aware of the current state of cybersecurity. Unfortunately, this is an extremely worrying situation. On the one hand, the number of cybercriminals is constantly increasing. Worse still, criminals are constantly developing new tools, technologies and strategies to infiltrate organizations and break into business systems.
Cloudflare alone cannot ensure the complete security of your business systems. However, located between your site and the rest of the world, it protects your site from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, comment spam, content scalping, and many other common attacks.
In addition to the above three benefits, Cloudflare also automatically provides enterprises with Secure Socket Layer certificates for all proxy domains. Users also report reduced bandwidth costs. So yes, your business could definitely benefit from using Cloudflare.
Mike Gingerich is President of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing company. He is also a business blogger on technology, marketing and growth. Learn more about www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.