The Advantages of using Cloudflare on your Website

Cloudflare is a CDN and DDoS mitigation company with solutions that can improve a website’s security, performance, and reliability via its extensive network.

What is Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) mitigation company. In simple plain English, it is a service that protects websites from multiple types of attacks while simultaneously optimising performance.

The Company

It is an American company with its headquarters in San Francisco, created by Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, and Michelle Zatlyn in 2007 with the stated goal of helping build a better internet.


Lava Lamps and Encryption

An interesting fact:

Cloudflare has a wall of 100 lava lamps in the lobby of the Cloudflare headquarters in San Francisco.

They are used to help create random encryption, as the lava in the lamps never forms the same shape again. They are random, whereas computers behave logically and predictably. When used to generate encryption, patterns may develop that hackers can exploit. A mounted camera photographs the Lava lamps at regular intervals. They send the photographs to servers that interpret the pixels into numbers and use them as cryptographic seeds.

These are genuinely random inputs into a computer process called a pseudorandom number generator to produce random encryption keys and are used in SSL/TLS encryption.

Photo: Cloudflare

The Benefits:

The advantages delivered to your website will be improvements in the areas of:

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Reliability.

The following chapters will describe and expand on these areas and the underlying products that deliver the benefits.


Security is one of the most powerful advantages provided. The key features are:

  • SSL/TLS certificate
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • DDoS Protection
  • Reverse Proxy for web traffic

SSL/TLS certificate

Cloudflare issues and renews free, trusted Universal SSL certificates to their domains.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the industry standard technology that creates an encrypted link between a browser and a web server, protecting sensitive information. It verifies that a website’s identity is authentic.

Web Application Firewall (WAF)

YouTube video: Web Application Firewall (WAF) demonstration

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) creates a shield that can help mitigate many malicious attacks. With Firewall Rules, you can create rules that inspect incoming traffic and

  • block,
  • challenge,
  • log or
  • allow

specific requests.

WAF has two configuration modes for rules: Challenge or Block.

  1. In Challenge mode, it presents a challenge page with a CAPTCHA for any suspected attack.
  2. In Block mode, it will simply block any suspected attack.

Cloudflare’s WAF has a set of predefined security rules to protect against common web attacks.

You can also create custom rules for specific conditions.

Reverse Proxy for web traffic

Cloudflare serves as a reverse proxy for web traffic. A reverse proxy is a server positioned in front of web servers that accepts requests from a client, often a web browser, and then forwards client requests to those web servers. The client never communicates directly with the origin server.

DDoS Protection

Cloudflare detects and mitigates Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks with DDoS attack protection in all Cloudflare plans. DDoS is one of its primary and original services that it is an expert in handling.


Enhanced Performance is delivered by

  • Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Massive Network of Servers
  • Follows Edge Computing

Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS connects websites using domain names instead of IP addresses. So basically, it’s the internet’s phonebook, translating domain names to IP addresses.

Cloudflare is one of the most extensive and recognised worldwide DNS networks, handling billions of queries daily. From prominent companies to individual websites using it to ensure their website is always available.

It is one of the fastest DNS networks in the world, significantly increasing the speed at which a user accesses a page.

All proxied traffic will use the Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Cloudflare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that caches website content at the network edge.

Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) functions by caching your website’s content at its network of data centres located around the world. When a user requests a website page, it goes to the closest Cloudflare data centre, which provides lower latency or little or no delay in load times.

This cached content can include HTML pages, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images, and videos. It significantly speeds up webpage and content loading times.

Massive Network of Servers

Cloudflare has a massive network of servers with a powerful Content Delivery Network (CDN).

It has a network of servers spread across 200 locations in 93 countries.

World map showing Cloudflare's network of servers spread across 200 locations in 93 countries.
Photo: Cloudflare

Follows Edge Computing

Cloudflare follows the theory of Edge Computing. Edge Computing deploys applications and data as close as possible to the users that need them. As a result, cloud processing is reduced and provided at or near the location required, reducing latency and bandwidth. Latency is the delay it takes for data to get to its requested location.


Reliability is enhanced further by these specific products:

  • Vast Network
  • Automatic Failover
  • DDoS protection
  • Load balancing
  • Always Online Feature
  • Domain Registrar

Vast Network

Its vast network of data centres means it can reliably deliver content to all visitors worldwide regardless of location.

Automatic Failover

Its automatic failover feature ensures that traffic gets routed to available servers in cases of an outage or server failure.

DDoS protection

DDoS protection enables a variety of technologies to block malicious activity and ensure that a website remains available even under attack.

Load balancing

In the event of high traffic loads, the load balancing feature can distribute traffic among multiple servers, guaranteeing a website remains available.

Always Online Feature

With the Always Online feature, when your origin server is unresponsive, a limited static version of your cached website is displayed online for visitors, ensuring your popular pages are still available.

Cloudflare Domain Registrar

Cloudflare now offers a Domain Name Registrar Service. They aim to provide a highly secure, privacy-focused, and cost-effective registrar for everyone. You can register new domains or transfer existing ones to them.

They supply domain names at cost and free domain privacy and cater to large enterprises, small businesses or individuals running a website.

Create a Cloudflare account

Types of Plans

Cloudflare has four plans: Free, Pro, Business, and Enterprise.

  1. Free plan – basic performance and security for personal or small websites that aren’t business-critical.
  2. Pro Plan – $20/month – advanced performance and enhanced WAF for professional websites that aren’t business-critical.
  3. Business plan – $200/month – DDoS attack protection, prioritised support for small businesses operating online.
  4. Enterprise plan – a custom plan based on the business requirements with dedicated support for a mission-critical website.

How to set up a free Cloudflare Account

You can easily set up a Cloudflare account.

  1. First, go to the Cloudflare home page, and in the top right-hand corner, click where it says “Sign Up“.
  2. Enter an email and create a secure password on the sign-up page.
  3. Hit “Create Account” to create your new free account.
  4. As a security step, Cloudflare requires you to verify the email address you provided before going further. You will get an email soon afterwards.
  5. Go to your email account, and click on the link in the email sent to confirm your email address.
  6. Now login to your Account.

Add your Website

Afterwards, you then add your website to your account.

YouTube video: Add a new website to your account.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *