It’s been some months since I put the Cloudflare in front of this blog. The results make me happy. Not only it puts a security layer by filtering the traffic that hits this blog, but it also gives me others.

Firewall

A firewall makes the job easier to block some countries or IP address. All I have to do is just including the country or IP address to the list.

Saving bandwidth

Ever since I set it up, the bandwidth usage reduces by 50%, when I compare it with the usages before the Cloudflare is guarding the blog.

I started using Cloudflare service on July 2019.

As you can see on the image above. I started using Cloudflare on July 2019. With similar amount of traffic, the bandwith usage reduced significantly from 4.18GB to 1.60GB. This will help you to avoid exhausting bandwidth on your web hosting.

Never trust them about unlimited bandwidth or unmetered one. When your bandwidth usage hits their fair usage policy, they’ll surely force you to leave or upgrade to more expensive plan.

Analytics data

Cloudflare provides analytics data for the requests that go through them. We can use this data as a comparison with AWStats. Since the analytics is from Cloudflare, I do not need to worry about it’s being blocked or filtered by ad blocks like uBlock origin

Help to mask the host

When someone is doing a query for the host of my blog, the Cloudflare will show as the host. It means people can’t find your host easily.

Filtering the suspicious visitors

I see on the logs that Cloudflare is checking the suspicious visitors by giving them a challenge before they visit my blog. It’s helpful to prevent DDoS attack

Ability to enable HSTS

HSTS will prevent anyone or anything accessing your site without using https. Even better, you can apply for inclusion so your site will get on the HSTS list for major browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. Just keep in mind that it requires some commitments (though it’s free)

DNS management without messing the current settings

Cloudflare enables me to copy all the settings to their DNS management dashboard when I decided to move my nameserver of the domain there. It’s really helpful so any custom DNS records like MX records for Gsuite e-mails will keep working without interruption.

Always online

When something is happening on the host, my readers can visit the blog without any problem. This because Cloudflare will serve those readers using their cache when the blog isn’t available. This improves the user’s experience.

Caching

Though this helps when the site is down, this can be annoying when we need to change something on the site. For developing the site, it’s recommended to turn it off until the development is complete.

Auto minify

Cloudflare provides us with an option to auto minify JS, CSS, or HTML, or all of them too. This can reduce the web page’s size significantly. In the end, it will improve the performance of the whole site.

Verdicts

I used to overlook what Cloudflare can do on my blog. After experiencing some attempts to DDoS attacks, I decided to put the Cloudflare in front of it.

So far, there’s only one drawback using Cloudflare. When I needed to update the theme or widget or any styles, I must go to Cloudflare dashboard to purge all the caches before I can see the result. When I am in a hurry, it can be a little annoying.

Although overall, I am happy with their free service. When the blog grows more, I may upgrade to their paid service.

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