10 Hidden Gem Cloudflare Features - Windows ASP.NET Core Hosting 2024 | Review and ComparisonWindows ASP.NET Core Hosting 2024 | Review and Comparison

In this article, we will discuss more depth about Cloudflare features that you can use to accelerate your website speed. In previous article, we have written article about how to setup Cloudflare to secure your website. So, we will continue the features that you will get if you are using Cloudflare.

Cloudflare Best Features

Here are ten key Cloudflare configurations for your ASP.NET site:

1. Auto Minify

To speed up page loads, the Auto Minify feature reduces the size of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files by eliminating extra characters.

HTML files are cleaned up by Cloudflare of comments and empty lines. Cloudflare will only minify the cached files for JavaScript and CSS. Therefore, to view the changes on your WordPress website, be sure to clear the cache.

All Cloudflare plans include this optimization feature. You can enable it by choosing the type of file you want to minify under Speed Optimization Auto Minify.

2. Rocket Loader

By delaying the loading of JavaScript code until after your other content, such as texts, images, and fonts, has been rendered, Rocket Loader enables faster content display.

For pages using JavaScript, Cloudflare’s Rocket Loader feature primarily enhances the performance metrics listed below:

All users of Cloudflare have access to this feature. Go to Speed Optimization Rocket Loader to turn on this optimization feature.

3. Firewall

One of Cloudflare’s security features, the Web Application Firewall (WAF), aids in thwarting potential online attacks and offering DDoS defense.

The WAF safeguards your WordPress site with machine learning by preventing account takeover, halting data leaks, and blocking logins using stolen credentials.

With this function, ASP.NEt users can design unique rules for incoming traffic management, such as filtering requests based on IP address and location.

You will find four tabs to configure these Cloudflare settings under Security WAF:

  • Firewall rules – based on location, IP address, and user agent, make your own rules to manage incoming traffic.
  • Rate limiting rules – By preventing client IP addresses that go over your predefined threshold, you can defend your ASP.NET website from malicious traffic..
  • Manage rules – Find any suspicious activity, such as the common keywords used in spam comments, and remove it.
  • Tools – Make IP access rules and exclude particular users.

4. Image Resizing

The image resizing function caches image files and reduces their dimensions to improve the performance of your WordPress website.

Your images’ mobile optimization is also automatically adjusted by this feature. You can keep your website’s appearance consistent by turning on this Cloudflare feature.

Subscribe to the Business plan to access this image optimization feature. Up to 100,000 image requests may be made each month.

5. Page Rules Configuration

The steps to configure Cloudflare page rules are as follows:

– Head to Rules → Page Rules and click on the Create Page Rule button.

Add the page rule’s URL here. Click the Add a Setting button to add more than one rule to a particular page. After that, you have two options: Save as Draft to keep the rule disabled or Save and Deploy to make it active right away.

– You can rearrange the Position under Page Rules and edit the rule using the Settings icon. Click the X button to eliminate the rule if you so choose.

With a free Cloudflare account, you can create up to three page rules. For 20 rules, upgrade to the Pro version. The Business and Enterprise plans provide 50 and 125 rules, respectively, if you require more.

6. Brotli

A compression feature called Brotli makes sure that data transfers between servers and browsers happen quickly. Instead of sending the complete keywords, it sends keys using a dictionary.

To reduce the time it takes for pages to load, Brotli uses the keys to compress fonts, images, and texts. It typically transfers data much more quickly than GZIP compression.

For all plans, Cloudflare prefers to use Brotli compression as the content-encoding technique. If your server is unable to use this feature, this CDN will instead use GZIP compression.

Also included in all Cloudflare plans is this feature. Go to Speed Optimization Brotli on your Cloudflare dashboard to enable this feature.

7. Network

The network settings for Cloudflare help you control how visitors are directed and what they can do on your site. Your performance can be markedly enhanced with the right setup. The following are some of the key network features to take into account:

  • HTTP/2 – improaccelerates the HTTP requests and responses sent by Cloudflare for quicker page loads.
  • HTTP/3 – uses QUIC, a new transport protocol that provides your ASP.NET site with greater security and dependability.
  • IPv6 compatibility – All subdomains are enabled for IPv6. In the DNS settings, enable Cloudflare for your AAAA records if your origin server has IPv6 records.
  • WebSockets– speeds up data exchanges within the open connection. Useful for real-time applications like live chats and online games.
  • IP geolocation – maps IP addresses to countries and includes the country codes of your visitors. This function is excellent for international websites with various localized content..
  • Maximum upload size – establishes the maximum amount of data that users can send to your Cloudflare website in a single request. Each visitor is limited to 100 MB under the free plan, but you can get more with the Business plan or higher.
  • Response buffering – enables the origin server’s responses to be buffered. Before sending the entire file to the visitors, Cloudflare will wait for it to be ready.

Except for Response buffering and True-Client-IP-Header, which are only accessible to users of the Enterprise plan, the majority of network features are free.

8. Mirage

Without changing the original resolution, Mirage enables websites to load images based on the network connection and device type. Devices with smaller screens, for instance, will display smaller images.

The following techniques are used to shorten loading times thanks to the Cloudflare feature:

  • Image virtualizing – renders pages more quickly by swapping out images for low-resolution placeholders, allowing users to see content right away.
  • Request streamlining – combines several separate image network requests into a single request.

You must at least have the Pro plan in order to use this feature. You should be aware that this feature might cause problems when showing images that require specific JavaScript code, like for carousels and photo viewers.

9. Caching

For quicker access by browsers, caching stores copies of your static content in a temporary storage location.

Web browsers can load websites more quickly with the aid of Cloudflare’s cache. Additionally, it caches DNS servers to speed up record searches.

Go to Caching -> Configuration in order to access this Cloudflare feature. Among the key characteristics are:

  • Purge cache – gets the most recent version of your files from the server by clearing cached files:
    • Custom purge – clears cache from a specific URL.
    • Purge everything – caches all of the website’s files. To keep the site speed optimized, we advise removing specific pages.
  • Caching level – decides how much static HTML content Cloudflare should cache. These levels can be used to configure Cloudflare CDN to cache static content:
    • No query string – if there is no query string, which is a portion of a URL that specifies values for particular parameters, files are delivered from the cache.
    • Ignore query string – regardless of query string, all URLs receive the same resource.
    • Standard – changes depending on the query string and returns a different resource.
  • Browser cache TTL – outlines the time frame for which cached files are stored in a visitor’s browser. Longer expiration times result in quicker load times for regular visitors.
  • CSAM scanning tool – allows website owners to find potential Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and take appropriate action.
  • Crawler hints – After any changes, give search engines high-quality information. This feature stops unnecessary crawls.
  • Always Online – whenever your server is unavailable, displays trimmed-down versions of your web pages rather than errors.
  • Development mode – bypasses the Cloudflare cache momentarily to view changes made to your origin server in real time.

10. Polish

Only plans with the Pro tier and above have access to this feature. By using the following options, the Polish feature reduces your file size and speeds up image loading:

  • Lossless – reduces image file size without sacrificing visual quality. With this choice, extra metadata, like the date, time, and camera manufacturer information, is removed from PNG and GIF files.
  • Lossy – reduces the visual quality of JPEG images to reduce their file size.
  • Serve WebP images – displays the image’s WebP version, which performs better than the original image format.

To see the changes after changing the polish settings, be sure to clear your cache.

Conclusion – Cloudflare Helps Your ASP.NET Site

As you can see above that there are many great Cloudflare features that you can use on your ASP.NET site. I believe that you can test Cloudflare and once you have used their service, you can test your website speed using GTMetrix or Pingdom.