Your website’s loading speed matters. A lot. Your visitors are not very keen on waiting. If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, about 47% people will just leave and never come back. That’s why you need a CDN service like CloudFlare vs CloudFront. Below, we will see the comparisons between these two leaders in the CDN market.
Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The features and capabilities of CloudFlare and CloudFront
– The overall performance & reliability of CloudFlare vs CloudFront
– The ease of use and support of CloudFlare and CloudFront
– Which CDN service that is generally more recommended
First of all, you need to know that although CloudFlare and CloudFront both provide CDN services, they have very different inner workings. On the one hand, CloudFlare is technically not an actual CDN. It is more of a reverse proxy that sits between the visitor and your hosting provider.
CloudFlare stores the cached versions of your content that has been received from the hosting provider. Then, it takes over all of your traffic to serve a cached version of your content to the visitor from a nearby location whenever possible. This way, it ensures lower loading times and it can also provide additional security services.
On the other hand, CloudFront from Amazon is an advanced CDN that is offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is built on Amazon’s infrastructure, with geographically distributed proxy servers and data centers. It is designed to help you deliver static as well as dynamic content, including bulky multimedia content and streaming. However, being a pure CDN, it does not offer built-in security features.
CloudFlare has a big advantage in terms of pricing: it has a truly powerful free tier. In fact, many companies with busy websites can already run properly with the free tier, which includes unmetered DDoS mitigation and shared SSL certificate.
However, there are three paid tiers of CloudFlare with advanced features. The Pro package ($20/month) adds transparent Web Application Firewall (WAF), image optimizations, and mobile optimizations. The Business package ($200/month) further adds custom SSL certificate, PCI compliance, accelerated dynamic content delivery, and prioritized email support. Finally, the Enterprise package has a custom pricing for 100% uptime guarantee, enterprise-grade DDoS protection, advanced WAF, full customer support, and access to China data centers.
On the other hand, as a pure CDN, CloudFront charges you according to your bandwidth usage and how many HTTP/HTTPS requests that have been handled. There is the AWS Free Usage tier, though, which provides free 50 GB bandwidth and 2,000,000 HTTP/HTTPS requests every month for a year. Afterwards, you will need to pay.
See also : Hootsuite vs Sprout Social.
Installation and Features
CloudFlare is often preferred by new websites due to several reasons. For sure, CloudFlare is much easier to setup. It has a very nice interface, through which you can easily make configurations. It even has an independent integration with WordPress; you only need to assign new DNS servers to your domain name, and CloudFlare will handle the rest.
CloudFlare can optimize various things. It is not only limited to static assets. So, despite being free, it is already quite powerful and versatile. It has analytics features to help you measure how well the service is helping your server. And don’t forget about the awesome security features. The DDoS mitigation is very impressive.
On the other hand, CloudFront is quite more limited. With CloudFront, you need another service to handle the security. CloudFront is more difficult to set up. It can integrate with WordPress by using the W3 Total Cache plugin, but you have to configure the Amazon AWS setup first before enabling the plugin.
Still, CloudFront deserves a consideration if you need extensive control or if you need support for highly dynamic content. CloudFront has the ability to invalidate a cache on an individual asset. The performance for delivering bulky and dynamic content is very good. And, if you are already using other services from the AWS stack, you may want to choose CloudFront for full integration, including metrics and automation.
CloudFlare vs CloudFront
|- More of a reverse proxy between the visitor and your hosting||- A real CDN that is a part of Amazon Web Services|
|- Has a powerful free tier||- Has a free package for one year|
|- The paid packages are priced according to the feature sets||- Pricing according to bandwidth usage and HTTP/HTTPS requests|
|- Comes with security features, including DDoS mitigation and SSL||- No security features|
|- Versatile, suitable for static as well as some dynamic content||- Great for highly dynamic content|
In general, CloudFlare is more recommended. It has a much better value for the money. It is easier to install, and it comes with great security features. CloudFront doesn’t come with security features.