Lot of talk about site speed recently – no wonder, with Google factoring page load speed into their Page Rank algorithm it’s becoming critically important for websites, including blogs. I was a bit surprised to read the list of the slowest loading websites on the TechMeme Leaderboard, lead by Scobleizer. Why surprised ? Because just days ago I read Robert bragging about how fast his site was – or so he thought:
Do you own a website or blog, like I do? Is it as fast as it absolutely could be? I thought so, after all, my site is hosted at Rackspace where we have huge datacenters and huge pipes and a great CDN.
Yet even he thought he could improve by installing CloudFlare, a CDN with a good deal of security features which has received a lot of publicity recently. Well, we don’t have those huge pipes, so why not try … installed CloudFlare both here @ CloudAve and over @ Enterprise Irregulars. The installation process was absolutely, amazingly easy – especially for a change involving DNS / nameserver setup, which normally is as painful as a root canal.
Next I checked page load times using Pingdom’s load test, which CloudFlare recommends themselves: our load times not only did not speed up, they got somewhat slower after the transition to CloudFlare I read a zillion reviews and 99% of them claim a speed improvement .. so this thing must be working… at least for everyone else. But speed issues aside, I decided to stay with CloudFlare at least for a while, as it promises to protect one’s website from all sorts of malware and attacks –ironically Public Enemy No 1 LulzSec survived several attacks since they were protected by CloudFlare.
OK, it’s not only LulzSec, all the good guys are also praising CloudFlare, so I am trying to love it… but numbers are numbers, and the first stats I’ve received from CloudFlare are rather shocking.
Let me get this straight: the 30-day numbers are actually lower than what we got in just one day? Something just does not compute. And it’s really too bad, because if I can’t trust these numbers, than why should I trust the threat control listing, or CloudFlare’s own numbers which show my sites run about 50% faster than before (contrary to Pingdom’s stats). I am trying to like this service, simply on the basis that so many smart people can’t be wrong, but these numbers are baffling.
What’s your experience? If you have a website, do you use a CDN, perhaps CloudFlare? Please chime in below. CloudFlare team is welcome to comment, too
- CloudFlare: A website security product accidentally makes sites 60% faster (thenextweb.com)
- With 3.5 Billion Page Views A Month, CloudFlare’s Speed And Security Hit Your Apps (techcrunch.com)
- CloudFlare Wants to Make Your Site Faster and Safer (siliconfilter.com)