Updated on Oct 24, 2016
Cloudflare became publically available as service during the second half of 2010 at the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt conference. The CEO Matthew Prince announced that Cloudflare will be available for everyone who want to have fast and secured website without any additional work on the code or the functionality of the website.
The core purpose of the service is to protect and accelerate every website that is using it. As long as the user adds a domain to the Cloudflare service the website under that domain immediately becomes part of a big and intelligent global network of websites. In this network all the contents of a website are distributed across the large amount of Data Centers Cloudflare uses. This is allowing no matter where the website is hosted for its loading speed to be on local level.
For example if a user website is hosted in Chicago USA and the users accessing that website are mainly from Europe Cloudflare will make the website load the same as it is hosted on European server.
Additionally when a website is under the Cloudflare global network it is immediately protected from large variety of malicious attacks and know vulnerabilities which can severely harm users' websites.
Cloudflare can be used by anyone. From System Administrators to website Owners everyone can use the service as long as the user points the DNS records of a domain to the provided DNS records from Cloudflare and that’s it. No hardware change or code changes are required for the use of the Cloudflare service which makes is the smartest choice for website optimizations.
The core functionality of the service is absolutely free for everyone who would like to optimize owned website and a domain name. Of course there are paid services Cloudflare provides, however they are not a mandatory and are usually purchased if the users are searching for concrete functionality like some additional security or some detailed Analytics on the fly.
The main Features offered by the Cloudflare service are quite handy for its free plan and bellow you will be able to find some additional information for each Feature.
Cloudflare CDN -The core functionality of the service. The abbreviation CDN stands for "Content Delivery Network" and it means that the static contents of your websites such as CSS and HTML files will be distributed across several locations around the globe so whenever a user from distant location loads your website the loading speed will be the best.
Cloudflare Optimizer - Sometimes it is not enough for your website to be delivered more promptly to the visitors especially if the website is not well optimized. In such cases Cloudflare offers additional optimization service based on their famous Rocket Loader or by reducing the amount of connections your website performs.
Cloudflare Security - Maybe the most important Feature of them all. Cloudflare implements outstanding security layer without even touching the code of your website. This incredible service is achieved on a web request filtering level and many other additional security Features. With even the basic free plan you are protecting your website from nearly 90% to the known vulnerabilities and exploits.
Cloudflare Analytics - Would you like to be able to review all the traffic coming to your website. This is now possible with the Analytics services Cloudflare provides to all of its users. With these services you will be able to see how much bandwidth Cloudflare is reducing on the server hosting your website and also many more statistics.
Cloudflare is available for use for all our customers and in this tutorial series we will provide you with detailed information on how to use the service and how to benefit the most of the Features it offers.