Why I am leaving Cloudflare CDN? Cloudflare Routing Issue

Cloudflare Routing Issue

Cloudflare is one of the best CDN but now I am going to leave it. Because I saw what no blogger would want.

I am using Cloudflare for the last 5 years. This is a very good service from website speed optimization to security. I just don’t look at it from a CDN perspective, this is more than that. Most people use it for free CDN and I was also one of them. But it is making my site slow.

No doubt, I love Cloudflare and its services like DNS, on-the-fly optimization, APO, Full page cache, bot protection and firewall. But, in terms of free CDN, it is more than worst for me. See how:

What is CDN?

CDN is a content delivery network. It delivers website assets files from all over the world improves website loading speed and reduces website load. BunnyCDN, Cloudflare, and KeyCDN are some examples of it.

Content delivery network (CDN)
1. Without CDN (Left)
2. With CDN (Right)

What is Cloudflare and Why do I love it?

Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDN on the earth. It is a revers-proxy CDN that is different from a typical CDN. Cloudflare covers your website as an umbrella covers you from rain. It not only gives you the benefits of a CDN, but it also protects your site from bad guys. And that is why I love it.

I am using Cloudflare since 2017 and I had a good journey with it. It protected me from many bad people whose intention was not good for my site 😡. It also provided me with a free CDN service which saved a lot of my money 🥰.

A DNS is an important link for website speed. If someone wants to make their website a little faster then one should think about using premium DNS. You will have to pay extra to use a premium DNS provider, but Cloudflare offers it for free.

Cloudflare Routing Issue

Anyone uses a CDN so that his website loads fast. CDNs have been created to deliver the components of your website faster to all locations in the world. A CDN stores the website’s assets files such as images, css, js etc. on its worldwide network and delivers it when needed from the nearest data centre to the user.

Cloudflare’s free plan is doing just the opposite. It has been found that Cloudflare delivers most of the files to Indian visitors from its data centres in Singapore, London and France. This data centre is located far away from India.

See the screenshot. In this, Cloudflare is delivering a file from its Singapore data centre instead of any Indian data centre. But why? Same like this, many times, it delivers files from its London data centre which is far away from India.

HTTP header of a file from Cloudflare CDN
The HTTP header of a file that uses Cloudflare CDN

Thanks to Gijo Varghese who is a great guy. He all explained me over Cloudflare. He runs an amazing blog wpspeedmatters.

Gijo Varghese's response on the Cloudflare routing issue for free/pro plan
Gijo Varghese’s response on the Cloudflare routing issue for free/pro plan

Why I am leaving Cloudflare?

Cloudflare free plan is delivering files from a far data centre which took more time to connect than the nearest data centre. And that’s why I was feeling some slowness when I was using Cloudflare free CDN. So, I decided to move on from Cloudflare.

YOU MAY READ: How to Use WebP Images on WordPress

What is my next plan?

After all these, there are two options for me next.

  1. Upgrade my plan
  2. Choose an alternative

The first option is good but some expensive for me. I have many sites including this and Cloudflare’s business plan charges me $200/month which is huge and expensive. There are multiple alternatives that are less expensive than it.

The second option is quite less expensive and gives more value for money. There are the three best alternatives in my mind for now.

  1. FlyingProxy – Uses Cloudflare Enterprises with a full-page cache at just $10/month.
  2. quic.cloud – Great option for LiteSpeed + WordPress user.
  3. Cloudways Cloudflare Addon – Use Cloudflare Enterprise network but without full page cache at $5/month
  4. Use BunnyCDN + No Reverse Proxy

Update: Currently I am using Cloudflare + BunnyCDN. Here I used Cloudflare for its security and BunnyCDN for static file delivery. I also used Jetpack CDN for on-the-fly image optimization and WEBP image conversion.

1. FlyingPress

It uses the Cloudflare Enterprises plan and comes with a Full page cache, on-the-fly optimization and WebP Convert, image optimization, managed WAF etc. It is a great solution to loading a website super fast. Because it caches the whole page including HTML on the Cloudflare edge network. So whenever the browser request, it directly deliver a webpage from its edge network. Thus, TTFB will be improved(<50ms).

FlyingPress starting cost is around $10 per month. Which is a great pocket-friendly option with pro-level features.

2. quic.cloud

To be honest, I am a big fan of quic.cloud and LiteSpeed. Quic.cloud is an all-in-one solution for WordPress including static cache, and dynamic cache. It cache and stores your WordPress full page on its edge server and delivery them to the user when requested. Thus, it improves TTFB.

It is free for starting and enough for a small traffic website. I also suggest you use BunnyCDN or any other good CDN. The reason behind doing this is just because save some quic.cloud credit.

Quic.cloud CDN plan and pricing
Quic.cloud CDN plan and pricing

3. Cloudways Cloudflare Addon

Similar to FlyingProxy, Cloudways also has a Cloudflare add-on for its user. It comes with:

  • Enterprise CDN
  • Managed WAF
  • Image Optimization
  • Mobile Optimization
  • Full Page Cache (coming soon)

Cloudways’s Cloudflare CDN currently does not support full page cache, still, it is a value-for-money option.

4. Use BunnyCDN + No Reverse Proxy

This is my current setup for my many sites which don’t have global traffic. I use a server-level cache + BunnyCDN.

Server level cache improves server response time and TTFB and BunnyCDN deliver static files like images, CSS, JS files etc. BunnyCDN is my favourite typical CDN choice because it is fast and cost-friendly.

Try BunnyCDN for 14 days for FREE. No Credit or Debit Card is required

My thoughts on Cloudflare Free

Cloudflare’s free plan comes with free CDN, basic DDoS protection and some performance optimization which is good for free. We can not complain about this because we are not paying anything. I still love Cloudflare’s may feature like on-the-fly modification, APO, early hints, basic security, Analytics and DND.

I also use Cloudflare register which provides domain names at a cheap price than any in the market. I remember, Cloudflare saved almost 292GB of bandwidth within the last 30 days. This is amazing, see screenshot.

Cloudflare save bandwidth
Cloudflare save bandwidth

Conclusion

Cloudflare is a good option for overall performance optimization and basic security. But from a CDN point of view, using other CDN along with it is a wise move toward fast page load. Cloudflare + BunnyCDN is also a good choice with a basic security and performance point of view. But it totally depends on the website and its traffic.

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