VCR Implements CloudFlare (updated)

Pingdom Test using CloudFlare 03/01/2014

Pingdom Test 03/01/2014

So last night I added CloudFlare to Vapor Cloud Reviews, and let me tell you, It has made my website super fast. The front page, with a bunch of large images, loads in about 1/3 of a second. According to Vapor Cloud Reviews is faster than 98% of all websites they’ve tested. Very cool. So, what is CloudFlare? CloudFlare is a free service that accelerates and secures the VCR website by acting as a proxy between you, my readers, and the HostGator servers which serve up the web pages. With CloudFlare, Vapor Cloud Reviews is protected against malicious hackers, saves bandwidth, and substantially reduces average page load times. “How?” do you ask (well let’s assume you asked anyway). CloudFlare is like a traditional CDN (Content Delivery Network), It stores copies of all my static content, images, CSS, JavaScript, and cached versions of my dynamic HTML pages. So you the reader, rather than receiving those items from HostGator’s servers in Texas, get them from the closest CloudFlare data center near you. CloudFlare has over 24 data centers spread around the world, so no matter if you are located in NYC, San Fran, or Hong Kong, you will get similar response time.

But CloudFlare is much more than that. It is what’s known as a caching reverse proxy. You see traditional CDNs would only serve a subset of internet requests being addressed by my server, in other words a request for an image would be routed to the CDN, while a request for dynamic HTML would go to my server. With CloudFlare every request first goes to their servers, whichever is closest to you. This allows for a new set of services not given by regular CDNs. CloudFlare can figure out on its own what items are cacheable, rather than have me do it on an item by item basis. Plus they can stop web attacks against VCR, be it an SQL Injection or a DDOS. CloudFlare also optimizes my connection to third party apps like Facebook & Twitter.

Chart showing with and without CloudFlare

Via CloudFlare

Here are the readings from before I installed CloudFlare:

Slow website response values

My readings prior to CloudFlare

So you can see, my page load went from five & a half seconds to a third of a second, and the number of http requests went from 57 to 25. I went from being slower than 72% of all tested websites to faster than 98% of them. All in all worth the few hours it took me to implement CloudFlare!

Related Article: VCR Website Optimization

About vapeAdmin

A Mac & PC guy who is continuously falling down the rabbit hole, while vaping with the Caterpillar & Mad Hatter.

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