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Trying out Cloudflare


2013/08/29

I became aware of Cloudflare because of Bubblews. I've been seeing Cloudflare error messages like the one you see below. At first I thought something like "Oh, sheesh: these idiots have signed up with some crappy version of Akamai or whatever and it's not working!", but no, that's not it. Actually, it seems to mean that they are just growing too fast. Cloudflare help explained


The most likely cause is that something on your
server is hogging resources. The difference
between a 522 and 524 error is that with a
522 error, the connection times out before the
request is completed. This means that the server
is overloaded.
 

So, I started looking into it. I read their sales pitch and did some googling for reviews. I found a few unhappy people, but those were older reviews. The newer ones seemed to be more positive, so, taking a very deep breath, I signed up for their $20.00 a month "Pro" service.

That's likely in effect now. If you are reading at the site and not in RSS, you probably got here by way of Cloudflare, which (we hope) means that the page loaded faster and made you happier.

I hope you didn't see anything like this!

Cloudflare error page

And yeah, obviously I want to know if you did!

Set up was easy. It's a quick signup, they scan your existing DNS records and then have you change your name servers to point to theirs. Other than choosing just how you want stuff to work (amount of optimization, etc.) at their end, that's it and of course moving back would be even easier: switch your DNS back to where it was and that would be it.

I'll surely have more to say about this once I've rolled a few miles with it.

For now, I hope that this is an improvement for everyone. It should definitely be for overseas visitors and even some U.S. folks may notice some difference as Cloudflare has several data centers across the U.S. and should be serving this content from whichever one is closest to you.

Let me know!



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