All websites hosted by FireSpike now have an additional layer of performance and protection included, at no additional cost, provided by a global service called Cloudflare.
As a speed booster, Cloudflare works in a few different ways.
First, it can deliver a copy of your website to site visitors using website servers that are physically closer to the person viewing the site. This is just the most “direct” way of speeding up service – by literally reducing the distance that the signals have to travel between the server and the site visitor.
Second, Cloudflare can act as a “Content Delivery Network”, or “CDN”. A CDN helps a website by serving “static” content—such as images and PDFs—from a different server than the website pages come from. By serving content from more than one location, Cloudflare helps reduce the work that our server has to do in order to display your website—like reducing the weight that someone has to lift in order to do their job. This also helps to prevent our servers from getting overwhelmed if there is an attack, or even if there is just a large rush of traffic to one of our clients’ websites.
Speaking of attacks, Cloudflare acts as a security wall, blocking malicious software that is used to attack websites.
By acting like a “security gate”, Cloudflare moderates any large rush of traffic to a website—which usually comes from an automated attack. Such attacks are technically called “distributed denial of service” attacks (“DDOS”), but are more commonly just called “denial of service” attacks. Denial of service attacks are caused when large numbers of computers all around the world are coerced into all viewing the same website right at the same time.
Basic Cloudflare protection is available for all of FireSpike’s “Hands-On Monthly Maintenance” plans and is included by default on all websites that are hosted by FireSpike. Contact us if you would like to learn about higher levels of Cloudflare’s speed and security services.