Many developers consider it their duty to connect a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to the site in order to speed up the site, make it safer, and also guarantee the availability of the site when the hosting is down.
Moreover, the same GTmetrix strongly recommends using a CDN. Moreover, there is a feeling that the very fact of its presence is important, and not the effect of it.
One of the most popular CDN-services in our country is Cloudflare.
Cloudflare is notable for offering the starter package for free. The service has a lot of settings and features, even for free clients.
From our own experience, we can say that using Cloudflare really speeds up the loading of sites. You can expect a 10-30% increase in speed and a 5-20 point increase in PageSpeed (depending on your site).
However, there are also serious disadvantages.
The first and obvious drawback is the complexity of the setup. It will take a beginner 1-2 days, and without a guarantee of the correct result. The thing is that setting up on Cloudflare is only manual, no wizard is provided.
The second, unobvious disadvantage of Cloudflare is pages loading errors. CDN seems to speed up, but often pages on it load slower than before. And sometimes a screen like this is loaded instead of a page.
This 522 error message is very sad for the optimizer and for the site owner. In it, Cloudflare claims that the problems are on the hosting side: the hosting is blocking requests from the Cloudflare servers. But if you contact the hosting provider, you will hear that from their side everything is working as usual. Here is such an ambush.
What to do? Think.
Thinking what is more important to you: constant and stable site performance or a few PageSpeed points and
questionable selective speedup.
It should also be borne in mind that the fastest download occurs from the physically closest server. That is, if your clients are located in Kyiv, then the site should be hosted in Kyiv. Where are the Cloudflare servers located? The answer is in the screenshot above.
If we have not convinced you and you still need a competent Cloudflare setup, contact us.