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Any benefit to Cloudfront with a Cloudflare Free DNS plan?

Discussion in 'Domains, DNS, Email & SSL Certificates' started by random, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. random

    random New Member

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    I have read several threads about people using Cloudflare, however most discussions surrounds their paid plan. For running a XF forum, is running the free Cloudflare plan good enough?

    Due to a decline in revenue, I am looking at the best options to minimize overall monthly costs. And at the moment, my attention has been focused on my AWS billing. I do not use AWS for hosting, only for these paid services:
    • Route 53 for DNS
    • Cloudfront for CDN
    • S3 for CDN storage
    • SES for transactional email
    If I change a site over to a free Cloudflare plan, can I completely eliminate using Cloudfront for a CDN?

    Are there any other pros and cons for using XF on a free Cloudflare plan?

    From what I can tell, if I move over to Cloudflare, my only costs for AWS in the future would be SES for email.

    Thanks for any insight and help.
     
  2. eva2000

    eva2000 Administrator Staff Member

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    Nginx 1.17.x
    MariaDB 5.5/10.x
    Save your $$$ switch AWS Route53 and AWS Cloudfront over to Cloudflare DNS and CDN. Even on Free plan is good provided your configure Cloudflare optimally. Though Cloudflare Pro is worth the $20/month too.

    As to Cloudflare Pro vs Free plans, Cloudflare Pro plan is beneficial for higher quotas or page rules, firewall rules, firewall ip/rule limits, rate limiting rules, user agent blocking rules and mirage/polish webp, enhanced HTTP/2 priorization, TCP Turbo etc which free plan won't have and/or has less quota limits for :) All these additional quota/features allow you to better make use of Cloudflare for security and performance.
     
  3. random

    random New Member

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    Thank you for the feedback. I signed up for a Cloudflare account and will give this a test run and see how it goes.

    Unfortunately, the Cloudflare paid plan at $20 a month per domain will eat up too much budget, because we will be upgrading multiple sites.

    Regarding their free plan, what additional optimizations can/should be made for XF 2.1 from within the Cloudflare control panel?

    Thank you.
     
  4. buik

    buik “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Premium Member

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    If $20 a month per domain is to much.
    Which, of course, is possible. Then the site is probably a bit smaller.

    Cloudflare Free is actually too good.

    Pro is a little too expensive if you ask me.
    It offers too little more than Free for 'small projects' where Cloudflare targets the Pro plan. Pro vs Free:

    - WAF is not needed for small sites unless you serve contaminated content (what some people might find) like sexual orientation, religion.

    - Enhanced performance with image and mobile optimization is a nice to have but you could optimize pictures yourself with the Centminmod tool or for example Kraken.io.

    - HTTP/2 prioritization is a nice to have for a small site but never a requirement.

    - Custom error pages is also a nice to have, but who cares on small sites?

    Same for their Business plan.
    Which I only advise if you the project is important, or having a lot of socket connections (you have to use Business as Free and Pro won't allow high volume of socket connections :) ).
     
  5. random

    random New Member

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    I understand and recognize the benefits of a paid Cloudflare plan, however going this route would incur more costs than what I've been paying for Amazon AWS Route 53 and Cloudfront. And if you're running multiple sites, the $20 per site per month can add up quick.

    I have no complaints with Amazon Route 53. My purpose is to minimize monthly expenses, and Cloudflare's free plan seems to be a viable solution.

    Doing some research about running XF 2.1 on Cloudflare, here is what I've gathered is best practices:

    Page Rule #1 - domain.com/admin.php
    Disable Security, Auto Minify: Off, Always Online: Off, Cache Level: Bypass, Disable Apps, Disable Performance

    Page Rule #2 - domain.com/register/
    Security Level: Medium

    Firewall Settings
    Security - Essentially Off

    Auto Minify enabled for Javascript, CSS, HTML

    What should Browser Cache TTL be set to?

    What other optimization is recommended for a XF 2.1 setup?

    Thanks.