CloudFlare Free Plan Users, Beware – They Earn While your Website Goes Down

by on May 12th, 2012

CloudFlare with its services like CDN, website optimizer, website security, analytics and apps – claims website security and its uptime. They say that they supercharge website and due to cloud services your website will never go down. For free plan their promise is the same. Dreamhost offered cloudflare within their control panel few days back. You can create free account at cloudflare, add your websites, do few conformational tasks to enable cloudflare services for your website but if you are a Dreamhost user, you can enable cloudflare for your websites from dreamhost.

I did the same and enabled cloudflare for my websites with free plan and felt thankful towards Dreamhost to include and indicate this amazing facility for free. But my spirits dampened when I spotted my website behaving oddly.

For security measures, cloudflare was asking me to solve a captcha and displaying ads before letting me enter my website index page. Sounded strange! I solved the captcha and that brought me to the homepage of my site.

Before that I was welcomed with a ‘page not found’ page by cloudflare several times which was same as we see when domain goes down, website becomes unavailable or experience heavy traffic.

cloudflare ads

So I encountered three problems with the cloudflare free plan.

  1. The website will go down and they will just display that page not found with cloudflare logo, URL and messsage. You can create a page not found page yourself if this is all cloudflare has to offer.
  2. The website will be restricted for some users sometimes and they will ask them to solve a captcha before entering in the website.
  3. They will display ads while your users will see ‘not found page’ – meaning that while your website will be down, they will earn money from it.

Heads up…Avoid cloudflare free plan and go for pro – if you really need to.

3 Reviews

  1. Marcelo says:

    I use CloudFlare free plan for several websites and am very happy. The best you can do in those scenarios is to disable or lower the security settings. The captcha is presented because your IP is listed somewhere in any of the black lists they use to block traffic.
    Best regards

  2. Usman says:

    I don’t think even the Pro plan is worth a go. If you really want a CDN, just use Amazon or MaxCDN. They are far better than others.

    • Hiroshi says:

      I have used MAXCDN. After sometime you won’t feel difference with them or without. And they will start charging for extra bandwidth used. I removed them. Not satisfactory solution.