What is Cloudflare CDN

Updated on Mar 13, 2019

The core and main Feature of the Cloudflare service is the CDN functionality. The abbreviation CDN stands for "Content Delivery Network" and as the name suggest its basic usage is for distributing your website across several network independent locations around the globe.


These locations are considered as the backbone of the Internet as they are not only strategic but also enabling the users near the concrete location to load your website from that location instead of the web hosting server you are using to host your website.

In every single one of these 86 locations, Cloudflare is using a Data Center to host their own infrastructure. That is right! Cloudflare are maintaining and building their own hardware machines from the chips to the power cable which is allowing for millions of requests to be handled every single seconds pretty efficiently. This is critical when it comes to providing optimal page loading times and great performance for the end user.

But how does the CDN service actually work in terms of functionality and flexibility?

As mentioned Cloudflare operates under 86 strategic locations around the globe. The CDN service is automatically caching a copy of your website on each one of these locations. To be more precise - only the static elements of your website are cached there - like CSS, HTML and Javascript while the dynamic elements are still loaded form the web hosting server your website is hosted at.

This functionality is caused mostly due to the fact that dynamic elements (such as php codes) are results from the execution of dynamic codes on your website. Usually this is performed on the web hosting server and when the result is ready it is sent along with the static elements to the end user. However since the static elements are closer to the end user and since those are the largest portion of your website they are loaded fast because of the Cloudflare CDN.

As a result your website loads at least twice as fast to the end user than it normally does when loaded from a webhosting server directly. And this result remain unchanged no matter the location your end users are accessing your website from. Pretty cool, isn't it?

What about all that bandwidth spared by Cloudflare?

On a typical shared hosting server you should be aiming for your website to consume as less as resource it can so all other websites hosted on the same server can benefit from good loading times like your website does. However if your website generates large amount of bandwidth this becomes hard for achieving. And here the power of Cloudflare comes at hand. Cloudflare not only optimize your website loading speed but it spares nearly 30% of the bandwidth your website generates. This mean that your website will be consuming 30% less resources on the server and your website will be up and running for almost 100% of the time.

Cloudflare is an absolute mandatory for each website these days as it address the three most important web issues these days - speed, security and reliability. With Cloudflare you can even achieve 100% uptime depending on the plan you will be using and at the same time you will put nearly no efforts to setup the service and start benefiting from its functionalities.

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