CloudFlare Guest Blog Post: Liew Cheon Fong

Liew Cheon Fong (a.k.a LiewCF) is a full-time tech blogger from Malaysia writing about tech news, tech tips and gadget reviews at: www.liewcf.com

My blog (http://liewcf.com) was frequently coming under heavy server load because of malicious traffic. The malicious traffic to my blog frequently brought down my dedicated server, with a server load pushing up to 100 CPU. While my hosting company worked very hard to keep the server online, even their 24/7 server monitoring only helped reduce the downtime associated with malicious traffic.

I was looking for help with my blog and was thinking about migrating my blog to a high-end secured web hosting company. Given the hassles of migrating hosting providers - not to mention the fact that I would likely be paying higher monthly fees for hosting - I was frantically looking for an alternative that would help my site stay up when my server went down. A friend of mine advised me that I should try CloudFlare, a relatively new service that could help mitigate problems with malicious traffic and other service outages. After doing a bit of research about CloudFlare on Google, I decided to create an account to see if that would help me with my problems.

Setting up CloudFlare was an easy process, one that took about five minutes for me to switch my authoritative name servers over to CloudFlare, and switching over the name servers would be a far easier task than migrating to a different hosting provider. If I wasn't happy with CloudFlare, it would only take me a few minutes to switch the name servers back to my original registrar. Much to my surprise, my server load dropped rapidly and I was no longer seeing the effects of the attacks on my server.

In addition to the free security protection that CloudFlare offers, CloudFlare also works like a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to cache your website static content and speed up the page load time. I personally decided to upgrade to the Pro account to take advantage of the more advanced security functions, which was important to me because of the frequent attacks, and because the more advanced caching with the website preloader helps make my pages load even faster.

My CloudFlare dashboard has revealed the following benefits to me as a blogger:

-My page loads are approximately 73% faster (.38 seconds after installing CloudFlare, 1.43 seconds before installing CloudFlare). CloudFlare calculates the speed by sending the same request twice: once through the CloudFlare system, and once directly to your site, bypassing the CloudFlare system)

-CloudFlare is saving me about 38% on my bandwidth costs.

I highly recommend CloudFlare to any site that is suffering a high server load or that has issues with malicious traffic. You can get started with a free CloudFlare account (yes, it is FREE!) to reduce server load, increase page load time, and get protected! In a nutshell, if you need a free (or paid) service to protect your website and increase site performance, try CloudFlare.

Notes: - You can only modify your name servers settings if you own your own domain name.

- You will have to switch your name servers to CloudFlare to get their protection and CDN services.

- Doing a dig or checking whois would reflect CloudFlare's name servers.

- CloudFlare, much like any other rapidly growing startup, has had some growing pains and is not entirely problem free. But they always solve problems promptly and are continuously improving the system. CloudFlare support has been highly responsive via both CloudFlare help or Twitter.

Disclosure: While I did receive a CloudFlare t-shirt shortly after subscribing to CloudFlare , I did not receive any compensation to write this article.