Are you using a shared hosting server? Maybe you have wanted your site to run a whole lot faster, but you’re not quite ready to take the financial plunge of VPS or a dedicated server. Well, we have great news! There is a free way to significantly speed up your website or blog without having to dig deep into your wallet. Let’s get going!
What is Cloudflare?
“CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through their intelligent global network. CloudFlare automatically optimizes the delivery of webpages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. They also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.”
On average, a website on CloudFlare loads twice as fast for its visitors, sees 65% fewer requests and saves 60% of bandwidth. That is a pretty big improvement over simply relying on your shared host to serve up your content. And guess what, the baseline plan that CloudFlare provides is absolutely FREE… (As in Free beer Free (cool huh?))
Set up your new CloudFlare account:
Getting going with Cloudflare is easy, but first things first. Head over to the Cloudflare website and click Sign Up in the top navigation menu. Next, fill out your account details. After you fill out your details we are ready to put the pedal down to the floor! Once you create your account you will be led to the next screen wherein you can add your first web site (or as many as you would like… go nuts!).
After you add your website, Cloudflare will begin the scanning process by gathering the appropriate DNS records. Check through the list that is displayed and make sure that your records are correct.
Next, you will configure your individual domain settings. Here, select your Cloudflare plan, choose your performance settings and adjust the security. Now this is the part that I can’t quite tell you exactly what to do as your mileage may vary depending on your site’s requirements.
You’re All Done! (For Now)
Once you have successfully set up your domain on Cloudflare there is not much more to do than just sit back and watch as day after day your content is served up to more visitors, faster than ever!
Why Speed Matters
According to national surveys done by Gomez.com, if your website is slow to load you may be losing revenue and possibly customer loyalty. A recent study found that 78% of online consumers went to a competitor’s site due to poor performance at peak times. According to the study, nearly half of web users expect a site to load up in a matter of two seconds or less. If the site does not load quickly, visitors are statistically more likely to navigate elsewhere after three seconds. Moreover, according the the survey, 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online. Speed matters.
With CloudFlare CDN, you can make a significant speed improvement on the cheap. In a future post we will show you how to integrate the super speed of CloudFlare and power it up even more by pairing it with one of our favorite WordPress plugins.