- Feb 20, 2012
- by Dave Matteson
By now most developers know about Content Distribution Networks (or CDNs). Even if you didn’t, you’ve used one if you’ve ever accessed any major website such as Amazon, Netflix, eBay, Youtube, etc. Some major companies such as Akamai have been around for awhile now providing enterprise-level CDNs at enterprise-level prices. Briefly, CDNs make your website faster to end users by mirroring your static content on different servers around the world. They can also protect your site from known mischievous IP addresses by filtering traffic before sending it to you.
But CloudFlare has come along with the goal of providing CDN services to the rest of us. The amazing thing is they’ve succeeded fantastically well. CloudFlare is not only easy to use and set up, it works extremely well. In fact, they were given an award for protecting a particularly controversial website from a denial of service attack.
Many small sites can make use of CloudFlare absolutely free. That includes A2 Hosting customers! If you have a Web Hosting, Reseller, Managed VPS or Dedicated package with A2 Hosting, you already have the CloudFlare cPanel plugin available for one-click setup. VPS users can get set up as well, even manual set up is pretty easy. See CloudFlare’s website for more details and information.
If your site has any SSL (HTTPS) pages, or uses multiple domains, that may require an upgrade to a paid CloudFlare service, but the starting prices are very affordable. If you’re not using HTTPS, or don’t need CDN on your HTTPS pages, you probably can use the free account and gain all the benefits of CloudFlare’s CDN by just going into cPanel and doing the one-click setup. How cool is that?