This article covers how to improve the performance of Websites using Cloudflare. Website speed has a huge impact on user experience, SEO, and conversion rates. Improving website performance is essential for drawing traffic to a website and keeping site visitors engaged.
Along with the caching and CDN, Cloudflare helps protect your site against brute-force attacks and threats against your website.
Cloudflare has the advantage of serving million of websites and so can identify malicious bots and users more easily than any operating system firewall.
CDNs boost the speed of websites by caching content in multiple locations around the world. CDN caching servers are typically located closer to end users than the host, or origin server. Requests for content go to a CDN server instead of all the way to the hosting server, which may be thousands of miles and across multiple autonomous networks from the user. Using a CDN can result in a massive decrease in page load times.
How to get started on optimizing website performance with Cloudfare CDN (content delivery network)?
1. Optimize images
Images comprise a large percentage of Internet traffic, and they often take the longest to load on a website since image files tend to be larger in size than HTML and CSS files. Luckily, image load time can be reduced via image optimization. Optimizing images typically involves reducing the resolution, compressing the files, and reducing their dimensions, and many image optimizers and image compressors are available for free online.
3. Reduce the number of HTTP requests if possible
Most webpages will require browsers to make multiple HTTP requests for various assets on the page, including images, scripts, and CSS files. In fact many webpages will require dozens of these requests. Each request results in a round trip to and from the server hosting the resource, which can add to the overall load time for a webpage.
4. Use browser HTTP caching
The browser cache is a temporary storage location where browsers save copies of static files so that they can load recently visited webpages much more quickly, instead of needing to request the same content over and over. Developers can instruct browsers to cache elements of a webpage that will not change often. Instructions for browser caching go in the headers of HTTP responses from the hosting server.
5. Minimize the inclusion of external scripts
Any scripted webpage elements that are loaded from somewhere else, such as external commenting systems, CTA buttons, or lead-generation popups, need to be loaded each time a page loads.
6. Don't use redirects, if possible
A redirect is when visitors to one webpage get forwarded to a different page instead. Redirects add a few fractions of a second, or sometimes even whole seconds, to page load time