Cloudways has continually, relentlessly prioritized quality, performance, and security on our platform. Today, we are so very excited to announce our latest partnership with Cloudflare, that opens up enterprise-grade security and performance to agencies, web professionals, and SMBs of all sizes.
Why We Partnered with Cloudflare
As helpful as the CDN add-on solution we’ve been offering over the past years was, over time, it failed to meet our expectations in terms of quality and performance. There have been several incidents, including the unavailability of the service during last year’s Black Friday-Cyber Monday period, that convinced us we needed to quickly find a reliable alternative. There was also customer feedback that requested increased security, especially protection against hackers and DDoS attacks.
Therefore, after a thorough evaluation by our engineering team and an extended beta testing period inviting users to try the service, we decided to partner with Cloudflare, an innovator with the strongest product and strategy in cloud edge technology. Cloudflare was named a 2020 “Customer’s Choice” for CDN and WAF in Gartner Peer Insights and is the leading cloud edge development platform according to Forrester’s Q4 2021 evaluation.
We Invited Our Customers to a Cloudflare Beta Test. Here is What They Had to Say.
“Cloudways has made it possible to effortlessly activate Enterprise-grade security and performance on a per-application basis at a fraction of the cost. With their Cloudflare partnership and already top-tier support, our clients can rest easy knowing that we’ve got their back.”
Founder & Director, Code Resolution
“Bringing powerful tools and scalable hosting infrastructure to everyone is something Cloudways gets right every time. The Cloudflare Enterprise integration once again brings us industry leading and otherwise unattainable security and performance gains, at a price every business, agency or freelancer can afford.”
WordPress & Digital Designer
What are the Benefits of the Cloudflare Enterprise Add-on?
Enterprise-grade DDoS and firewall protection
The loss of customer confidence and revenue can be a devastating consequence of downtime for a company. But it’s one that’s easily prevented by Cloudflare’s enterprise-grade mitigation of DDoS attacks against layers 3, 4, & 7. This comes with reserved IPs for Cloudways whose traffic is routed and prioritized over all other traffic on the Cloudflare network. This is a feature you can’t find on any other free or paid Cloudflare plan.
WAF, an intelligent web application firewall, updates itself with the most recently discovered threats by analyzing 32 million requests per second and millions of websites. WAF identifies & blocks attackers at the edge before they reach your server. It also comes with firewall rules (including OWASP ModSecurity Core Rule Set) that allow us at Cloudways to make configurations specifically for the protection of your WordPress sites, Magento stores and more.
At the end, you get a managed intelligent firewall for your application with zero effort from your side. Combined with the free wildcard SSLs issued for your domains, you also achieve compliance with the latest PCI DSS 3.2 standards
Enterprise-grade CDN and performance
The Cloudflare Enterprise version of its CDN comes with dedicated IPs. Compared to the regular CDN traffic of the free or other paid plans on Cloudflare, it prioritizes routing to ensure maximum speed. In addition, Argo-tiered caching uses regional Tier 1 Cloudflare data centers to propagate content, which minimizes static content requests to your server and reduces costs. Tier 1 infrastructure is self-optimized, resilient, and non-disruptive to better serve enterprise level needs.
Polish and Mirage are additional performance enhancing features. Polish applies “lossless” image optimization on the fly to reduce image sizes by an average of 35%. Mirage automatically optimizes image loading through virtualized and lazy loaded images. It detects the browser type of a visitor and optimizes performance for the particular device, improving image performance on a mobile connection.
Comparing Cloudflare Free vs Enterprise Offering on Cloudways
What Does the Pricing Look Like?
At a starting price of $4.99 per domain, cost should not be a barrier for users to join. In addition, we’ve introduced volume discounts that drop the price down to $1.99 per domain, meaning your costs can remain low even if you activate the add-on for hundreds of applications. Agencies and developers will find that upselling this feature to end-customers can generate healthy recurring revenue.
Existing CloudwaysCDN (Stackpath) subscriptions
The Cloudflare Enterprise add-on will cost $2.99 per application per month, a special forever price reserved for customers with existing CloudwaysCDN subscriptions. Volume discounts can drop the price further down to $1.99 for switching 25 domains or more to the new add-on.
We are planning to gradually phase out the old CloudwaysCDN solution, leaving plenty of time for users to evaluate the new add-on before making the switch. End-of-life for old CDN subscriptions is expected to fall towards the end of Q2, 2022. We will be sending out detailed instructions the following weeks, so stay tuned.
How to Activate and Manage the New Cloudflare Enterprise Add-on
Staying true to our core value of freedom of choice, Cloudflare Enterprise is an optional add-on for users. Activation on the Cloudways platform is a simple matter that follows a quick domain validation, with little variation depending on your current CDN and DNS provider. The remaining security and performance-enhancing features will work on the fly, with no additional configuration from your side. You can find detailed instructions on how to activate the new Cloudflare Enterprise add-on in our knowledge base tutorial.
Caching mode – You are able to easily enable and disable cache with a click. You might need to bypass the cached content saved on the CDN, to quickly check if your recent design changes look good on the live website.
Purge cache – You don’t have to wait for the CDN’s predetermined cache expiry time to push your website changes to visitors. As soon as you purge your cache, your updated content is served and the CDN will cache a fresh copy from your site’s hosting server.
Transfer CDN – Imagine you are building from scratch a new website for an existing hosting at Cloudways with Cloudflare Enterprise on. When you are ready to go live, you can simply transfer Cloudflare Enterprise from the old application to the new, without the need to change DNS records and IPs.
For a detailed step-by-step guide of how to activate or manage the Cloudflare Enterprise add-on, check out our knowledge base article.
As always, if you think we are missing a feature, or you have something to share with us feel free to reach out in the comments section below.
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Marianna Siouti is a Product Marketing Manager at Cloudways. She has over 14 years of experience in the hosting industry, in Marketing and Product. She is someone who falls in love with problems and works towards solving them with technology. You will find her working remotely from warm places, or on LinkedIn.