More performance and security with Cloudflare
Peter Heck

Peter Heck

First we have to define the term “Content Delivery Network” (CDN). Here’s the definition from Wikipedia (translated german version):

“A content delivery network ( CDN ), also known as a content distribution network , is a network of regionally distributed servers connected via the Internet with which content – especially large media files – is delivered. A CDN provides scalable storage and delivery capacities and ensures optimal data throughput even with large peak loads.

CDN nodes are distributed across many locations and often across many backbones as well. They work together to serve requests from end users for content as economically as possible. Individual locations are referred to as PoP ( Point of Presence ) and consist ofs server clusters.

In the background ( transparent ), the data is stored in the network ( caching ) so that the respective delivery is either as quick as possible ( performance optimization) or uses as little bandwidth as possible (cost optimization), or both at the same time.

Large CDNs maintain thousands of nodes with tens of thousands of servers.”

Even if the performance of a website hosted by IONOS is sufficient for most customers, there are still some arguments in favor of using a “Content Delivery Network” (CDN) from Cloudflare:

  • The performance of a website as a ranking factor for search engines should not be underestimated, even if the content with a higher relevance is still included in the evaluation.
  • But the perceived speed for the visitor is also a factor that needs to be considered. User experience is better with fast sites and bounce rates are lower.
  • Security can be significantly increased with Cloudflare’s paid CDN products. The Web Application Firewall (WAF) used effectively filters out unwanted requests. There is also basic protection against bots.
  • There are also advantages to be gained in the area of SSL encryption (e.g. setting the TLS versions used, HSTS header etc.), DNS and the possible use of workers (e.g. to integrate http security headers).

I myself ordered and configured the fee-based Cloudflare CDN Pro (costs: 20 USD / month) for our company website. After a fundamental optimization, I now achieve the dream grades of “A” in all areas in the test from https://www.webpagetest.org/ :

Results from https://www.webpagetest.org/ for our homepage

The statistics that can be called up in the Cloudflare dashboard also show how effectively the service works – here are a few examples:

Here you can see that about 75% of the requests are answered directly from the CDN. It should be mentioned that during this time I had switched off the CDN as a test.
Number of home page attack attempts detected and blocked by Cloudflare

If you are also interested in using CDN, just contact us to find out more.