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I've been reading the CloudFlare FAQ, I understand that is acts as a reverse proxy and all requests to your domain will go through CloudFlare.

They say in the FAQ that it won't slow down dynamic content, is this even possible?
because all dynamic content requested will be requested from their server, than their server needs to request it from your server and than send it to the client.
That's at least they I understand it.

It seems to me like this would slow down dynamic content.

So is it true? CloudFlare doesn't affect dynamic content?

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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

CloudFlare, in most cases, does not cache HTML. This is because we don't want to show stale dynamic content. That said, the system can help the performance of even dynamic content in four primary ways:

  1. CloudFlare can route traffic over preferred network routes that are often more efficient than what a request would normally take.
  2. For sites that get a lot of traffic, CloudFlare can keep a connection open between the origin server and the CloudFlare proxy which ensures a more stable and performant route.
  3. CloudFlare's servers are optimized for a very high level of lossless compression so even for dynamic pages the content can be compressed (and therefore delivered more quickly) than the typical GZIP settings most people implement on their web servers.
  4. CloudFlare can modify even dynamic content on the fly to optimize it for the particular device accessing the page depending on the options you select. Features such as Auto Minify will reduce the size of dynamic HTML on the fly to eliminate comments and whitespace, where Rocket Loader will more aggressively rewrite the way resources on a page are delivered to ensure the maximum performance for the particular device accessing the site.

While dynamic content is typically only a small fraction of the overall bytes needed to render a page, CloudFlare does a number of things to ensure that even it is delivered as fast as possible.

Thanks for the question!

Matthew Prince (@eastdakota)

CEO, CloudFlare, Inc.

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I guess I kinda have to vote for the other answer here... –  Su' Aug 29 '11 at 0:24
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That's not what the FAQ says:

CloudFlare does not cache HTML, we only cache static files like images, CSS or Javascript. So if your HTML content is constantly changing, CloudFlare will not affect this content.

It won't slow down your dynamic content–or help it, either–because they don't do anything with it.

(If you read something else that conflicts with the above, then you'll have to provide your own link for review.)

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I didn't read that it slows down dynamic content, I'm just trying to think this out on my own, won't the dynamic content take longer to be served because it has to be sent to the CloudFlare server and only than to the client? –  fiftyeight Aug 26 '11 at 19:47
    
@fiftyeight, content already travels through multiple hops to get from your server to the client. Cloudflare has some tricks to reduce those hops, but even if its adds a slight lag on 5% of the content, when the other 95% is cached and delivered faster, your page displays faster. On servers with some actual load you can see this even more noticably because Cloudflare reduces the work the server has to do, it can render the dynamic pages faster and thus the overall time is reduced. –  n8whnp Aug 28 '11 at 22:11
    
@n8whnp Would it be better to Make a new domain for the static content and use cloudflare only for the static content? –  fiftyeight Aug 31 '11 at 23:26
    
@fiftyeight, I would not ... just more work to get a negligable effect. Let cloudflare proxy it all, and it will take care of things without issue. –  n8whnp Sep 1 '11 at 0:35
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