GreenGeeks: Now offering CloudFlare Railgun technology.

CloudFlare on GreenGeeks

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers FREE. Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your control panel and select Railgun “On”. Read on for additional details and instructions:

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Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.

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When a request is made to a CloudFlare server for a web page that is not in cache CloudFlare makes an HTTP connection to the origin server to request the page. It’s that HTTP connection that Railgun accelerates and secures.

Even highly dynamic websites change slowly

Railgun works by recognizing that uncacheable web pages do not change very rapidly. For example, during an experiment, the CNN.com homepage HTML was captured once, and then again after 5 minutes and then again after one hour. The page sizes were 92,516, five minutes still 92,516 and one hour later 93,727.

CNN sets the caching on this page to 60 seconds. After one minute, it is necessary to download the entire page again. However, looking inside the page, not much has changed. In fact, the change between versions is on the order of 100s of bytes out of almost 100k. Here’s a screenshot of one of the binary differences between the CNN home page at five minute intervals. The yellow bytes have changed, the rest have not.

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Experiments at CloudFlare have revealed similar change values across the web. For example, reddit.com changes by about 2.15% over five minutes and 3.16% over an hour. The New York Times home page changes by about 0.6% over five minutes and 3% over an hour. BBC News changes by about 0.4% over five minutes and 2% over an hour.

Although the dynamic web is not cacheable, it is also not changing quickly. That means that from moment to moment there’s only a small change between versions of a page. CloudFlare Railgun uses this fact to achieve very high rates of compression. This is very similar to how video compression looks for changes from frame to frame; Railgun looks for changes on a page from download to download.

Railgun Technology

Railgun consists of two components: the sender and the listener. The sender is installed at every CloudFlare data center around the world. The listener is a software component that GreenGeeks manages on our local network for our customers.

The sender and listener establish a permanent TCP connection that’s secured by TLS. This TCP connection is used for the Railgun protocol. It’s an all binary multiplexing protocol that allows multiple HTTP requests to be run simultaneously and asynchronously across the link. Or in other words, a persistent connection is opened between CloudFlare’s network and ours and eliminates the overhead of TCP.

We have made it simple for our customers to get the benefits of Railgun with one click. Visit our knowledgebase for additional information and instructions on how to activate CloudFlare Railgun on your GreenGeeks web hosting account.

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GreenGeeks: 4 Reasons why you should be using CloudFlare

CloudFlare on GreenGeeks

 

Late last year we announced a partnership with CloudFlare, where we make it easy for you to enable CloudFlare on your account to take advantage of the benefits that CloudFlare offers. If you aren’t using CloudFlare on your hosting account, here’s 4 reasons why you should:

1. Increase in Site Performance

We use the best quality hardware and network available, so naturally our web hosting is already fast… but CloudFlare provides an increase in website performance through their global CDN (Content Delivery Network). When enabled, the CDN will automatically cache your static files (JavaScript, CSS, Images, etc.) on their servers located across strategic data centers around the world. When a visitor visits your website hosted with GreenGeeks, CloudFlare’s Anycast technology will load those static files from a server located nearest to the visitor and your dynamic content will load from our servers. This results in faster load times due to decreased latency between server and visitor. Through feedback from customers, we’ve seen increases of 50% or more on site performance when CloudFlare is enabled.

2. Built-in Security

Security is a big focus here at GreenGeeks. We do everything to ensure our servers and customer sites are secure from a server standpoint, but most website defacement’s occur due vulnerabilities in the website code it self.  With CloudFlare, you’ll be protected against a range of threats: cross site scripting, SQL injection, comment spam, excessive bot crawling, email harvesters, and more. This is done automatically and will stop most attacks without the confusing configurations that are required with other security plugins and tools. Simply select your security level from High, Medium, Low and Essentially Off. CloudFlare will even learn about your site and traffic patterns and adjust its security on the fly.

Of the sites that are using CloudFlare with our web hosting, CloudFlare stopped over 200,000 threats in just one week.

3. Easy to Enable with GreenGeeks

It’s dead easy to install, so there’s no excuse not to enable CloudFlare. Here’s a video that Lawrence made that shows exactly how to enable CloudFlare on your GreenGeeks shared and reseller hosting accounts. For our VPS and Dedicated customers, simply contact our support by opening a ticket from within your GreenGeeks Account Manager. One of our technicians will install the Plugin for you.

 4. It’s free!

The basic service which will satisfy most of our customers will cost nada, nothing, zilch! Need I say more?

If you’re not using CloudFlare, I strongly recommend that you do. A faster site and a secure site helps with search engine rankings and really, your customers will have a much better experience on your website.

Thanks for choosing to host green!

Karl D.

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