What is CloudFlare?
Who uses CloudFlare?
Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose CloudFlare in their tech stack.
In mid-2018 we made a big push for speed on the site. The site, running on PHP, was taking about 7 seconds to load. The site had already been running through CloudFlare for some time but on a shared host in Sydney (which is also where most of the customers are). We found when developing the @TuffTruck site that DigitalOcean was fast - and even though it's located overseas, we still found it 2 seconds faster for Australian users. We found that some Wordpress plugins were really slowing the TTFB - with all plugins off, Wordpress would save respond 1.5-2 seconds faster. With a on/off step through of each plugin we found 2 plugins by Ontraport (a CRM type service that some forms we populating) was the main culprit. Out it went and we built our own WP plugin to do push the data to Ontraport only when required. With the TTFB acceptable, we moved on to getting the completed page load time down. Turning on CloudFlare 's HTML/CSS/JS minifications & Rocket Loader we could get our group of test pages, including the homepage, loading [in full] in just over 2 seconds. We then moved images off to imgix and put the CSS, JS and Fonts onto a mirrored subdomain (so that cookies weren't exchanged), but this only shaved about another 0.2 seconds off. We are keeping it running for the moment, but the $10 minimum a month for imgix is hardly worth it (this would be change if new images were going up all the time and needed processing). The client is overly happy with the ~70% improvement and has already seen the site move up the ranks of Google's SERP and bring down their PPC costs. AND all the new hosting providers still come in at half the price of the previous Sydney hosting service. We have a few ideas that we are testing on our staging site and will roll these out soon.
For inboxkitten.com, an opensource disposable email service;
We migrated our serverless workload from Cloud Functions for Firebase to CloudFlare workers, taking advantage of the lower cost and faster-performing edge computing of Cloudflare network. Made possible due to our extremely low CPU and RAM overhead of our serverless functions.
If I were to summarize the limitation of Cloudflare (as oppose to firebase/gcp functions), it would be ...
- <5ms CPU time limit
- Incompatible with express.js
- one script limitation per domain
Limitations our workload is able to conform with (YMMV)
For hosting of static files, we migrated from Firebase to CommonsHost
More details on the trade-off in between both serverless providers is in the article
- WAF (Web Application Firewall)
- DDOS Protection