Cloudflare is a content delivery network, one of many on the web, and it has a variety of uses. Cloudflare themselves say their service can “protect and accelerate” any website. Is that true? Or are the darker rumors true, that using a CDN like that can have a negative effect on your site as a whole.
Let’s take a look at the issue from the inside out. First of all, how does Cloudflare work?
How Cloudflare Works
Good timing, subtitle! Cloudflare is a sort of content delivery network (which is essentially a server farm somewhere out there on “the cloud” or more generically just on the internet) that works by taking over your website’s DNS servers. The cloud is, after all, just a computer you don’t own.
When a user tries to visit your site, without a CDN, they make a connection with your web host’s servers. Those servers find the data they’re requesting and serve it to the visitor. This is fine and perfectly functional for most people.
Cloudflare steps in between your website and your users. When they try to visit your site, they are sent to a Cloudflare server, which does some digital magic and refers the visitor on to your site.
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