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CloudFlare Guest Blog Post: Gabe Arnold of ZigZap

by Guest Author.

Tell me about yourself

I run a small technology firm and write on my blog GabeArnold.com I focus on techniques and technology that help small business owners grow and succeed in a rapid and measurable manner. CloudFlare meets my criteria as a reliable tool for small business owners and freelancers.

How did you hear about CloudFlare?

I heard about CloudFlare from my friend Lane Campbell. He has been studying CDN's and ways to improve page load speeds since around the time Google changed to their instant search algorithm.

Why did you join CloudFlare?

After seeing the page load performance and blocked attacks that Lane showed me from one of the sites he had enrolled I decided to try it after a few weeks. I ended up joining one day because after reviewing what it takes to put a site in CloudFlare it was so simple that it literally took 5 minutes. Basically all a user has to do is change their name server records. I also like knowing that attacks have been blocked from my sites. Using a CMS like Wordpress for many of my projects presents a general security risk, so having my sites protected at another layer gives me peace of mind.

One of the other reasons I joined CloudFlare was because I had to find a service that helped me start out my projects on an affordable hosting service and grow from there. CloudFlare has allowed me to use budget hosts while conceptualizing a site or project. CloudFlare's performance boost makes it look like I am running a dedicated server instead of just
a shared hosting account.

How many sites have you put on the CloudFlare network?

Right now I have 5 sites, and I load all my new project sites into CloudFlare. In most cases even when I have the site under development I will load it into CloudfFlare at the beginning.

My goal is to put any new sites I run into CloudFlare. For me the process of setting up a new website is a three step process and goes like this:

  1. Buy a domain
  2. Setup hosting
  3. Enroll in CloudFlare

zigzap1

What's been the biggest surprise for you using CloudFlare?

Honestly, the ease of enrolling the sites was so much easier than I expected. 99% of the time it will be as simple as typing in your domain name, clicking "Add this website" and then updating your name servers at the domain level. It really takes 5 minutes, and the performance makes all the difference in the world.

What's your favorite CloudFlare feature?

I like the performance boost that my sites get. That is probably the first thing that I realize when enrolling a new site. The other piece that I enjoy is the dashboard that shows stats with blocked attacks and saved bandwidth:

zigzap2

What would you recommend that new customers to CloudFlare know?

There are two things that I think make a big difference when I recommend a new service:

First - will it be easy?

The answer with CloudFlare is YES! It's incredibly easy to use. You don't have to be an uber-nerd to handle this one.

Second, are there any risks?

No, everything happens seamlessly and there there is no downtime for the site. You can enroll immediately and see results as soon as DNS updates
across the Internet.

I personally love using CloudFlare and I would be happy to share my experience or answer any other questions you may have. Just contact me with any questions you may have.

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