People have been telling me that my site was a little slow and sluggish in recent weeks so I’ve done a lot of fixes, including integrating CloudFlare ( CDN ) to my website. As an SEO I do believe that hosting location is important but I have always had a bit of a problem making that jump into using CloudFlare to help my website. I did also do other speed optimisation fixes to ensure my site loads that little bit faster. The main question I was asking myself was, Does using CloudFlare have any negative impact on my SEO rankings?
I did a few Google searches and some people were saying they saw no negative impact and if anything there was some benefit, but as always in the SEO industry you never do get a straight answer. There was folk out there saying that it was an absolute disaster and that they have dropped pages overnight as a result of this change.
I’m not normally one for listening to what others claim though, I like to try and test for myself, so I’ve gone in headfirst and installed CloudFlare on the website and we will monitor the results over the next few weeks to see if this CDN does have a negative impact on my current SEO rankings.
Pingdom is now giving me this score which I’m pleased about ( yes I know I need more work ) but it’s a great start to getting my website up to speed. I’m using a template which is a few years old but I am in the process of changing that as we speak.
I also like to check another tool, GTMetrix , I use this for a second opinion when checking out a websites speed and performance. It is always wise to run a few checks just to ensure you are getting a varied opinion from these tools.
The results from GTMetrix are pretty good too and I’m quite happy with the increase in speed and performance, although I will be doing more tweaks as I want the website to be as fast as it possibly can be. The reason for doing more work on that end is that I don’t want anyone coming back and telling me that my site runs slow again, I was quite ignorant to my own site as I’m sure most people are.
So a much better increase in my websites speed and performance so far, but as I say more work to be done. It’s not just about the speed, CloudFlare does offer way more than just helping your websites speed so let’s explain more about the benefits of CloudFlare in general.
CloudFlare is quick and easy to implement, there is a free version and of course, paid versions depending on the level of service you want to get. I decided to go for a paid version to get more protection. My main reason was to increase my page speed load time and by using a CDN it is simply going to double my speed without any other tweaks.
CloudFlare supports 3 types of Minification:
So, at the push of a button you can automatically minify all of these files by ticking a few check boxes:
There are many other tabs along the top that you can tweak to suit your website. CloudFlare also have a nice dashboard and you can very quickly see the impact CloudFlare has on your website.
You can clearly see that CloudFlare quickly eliminates any threats to your website but it can also still show you traffic and bots on your website too. Alongside this, it shows any bandwidth saved on my website too, as we don’t want all sorts of spambots eating up all of my server’s bandwidth.
CloudFlare filter out a lot of spam and they also help prevent DOS & DDOS attacks but the most important thing is the delivery of your website and pages to the end user from servers closest to their location which is exactly what everyone wants.
After 3 Days
After 3 days and so far there has been no impact at all on my SEO rankings as a result of using CloudFlare. What I can confirm though is that my website is working really well, so far the whole site has certainly increased massively in terms of speed so from a performance side of view this has worked really well and with no negative impact. There are many SEO’s already using this so I’m not actually expecting there to be any major impact at all, but it is good to have it confirmed one way or another.
After 3 weeks
There has been absolutely no negative impact on moving my site onto CloudFlare and the difference in speed has been worth making the change. For the cost of integrating CloudFlare with your website it is worth doing for the speed alone. I always had a fear in the back of my head that them being American would have some sort of negative impact on my rankings here in the UK but you don’t have to have that fear, take the plunge as it doesn’t have any type of negative impact.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I’ll happily answer them.