I’ve spoken at numerous events and conferences on the topic of web hosting and security and I’ve been quoted in the New York Times about that same topic over the years. Website security is something near and dear to my heart and I made sure to bake that into the very essence of every website build I’ve done since 2004 and since the founding of Harrelson Agency back in 2012.
The last few years have presented incredible challenges for website hosting companies and developers (and those that care about online security). Just think… applications like Bleachbit and terms like “private email servers” and “DNS hacks” and “SSL” have gone completely mainstream due to the 2016 Presidential election here in the US and high profile hacking of celebrities’ personal iCloud accounts. Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s oversight of American citizens’ online privacy as well as the ongoing drumbeat of news regarding the manipulation of Facebook and Google to sway news consumption around the globe has put online security in the crosshairs of attention.
I didn’t realize just how much Harrelson Agency would grow into a website host when we first fired up the servers six years ago. But over the years, our insistence on ethical website hosting as well as transparent and ultra-secure hosting have become one of our selling points with clients. It’s why we get so many nonprofits and churches and political groups coming to us for both hosting and consulting as well as website design work. We sweat the small details and it’s fun to work with a team that gives a damn about protecting our customers and clients. Seriously, I never thought website hosting would be something that would be a big chunk of our revenue but it’s becoming more and more a larger piece of the pie as groups, companies, politicians, and religious organizations realize the need for quality over something cheap like … well, those “start a free website today!” ads you see during the Super Bowl.
So, I’m proud to announce that we’re now a “Certified Partner” with Cloudflare. I personally trust and use Cloudflare on all of my sites (this one included) as well as our home’s DNS. It’s a fantastic service and I couldn’t be more proud to work with such a great group of people who are as passionate as I am about online security. Plus, their solutions are fast.
Here’s the email I’m sending out to our clients tomorrow in our newsletter with some words from the Cloudflare team:
“Harrelson Agency is excited to announce our partnership with Cloudflare, the website performance and security company.
Cloudflare is a content delivery network (CDN) that increases the performance and security of every website on its network, protecting from a broad range of threats and attacks. Over 7,000,000 websites run on the Cloudflare network—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments. Cloudflare powers almost a trillion monthly page views—more than Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple, Bing, eBay, PayPal and Instagram combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through our network.
Cloudflare increases the speed and security of your website and delivers faster web performance
Cloudflare was designed to take a hosting platform like Harrelson Agency’s and make it more fast, secure, and reliable.
Cloudflare runs 151 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for Cloudflare, we begin routing traffic to the nearest data center.
As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.
Cloudflare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, Cloudflare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that Cloudflare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.
Broad web security
At the beginning of 2016, Cloudflare experienced and mitigated against some of the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks ever seen. As attacks like these increase, Cloudflare is stepping up to protect websites.
Cloudflare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the Cloudflare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.
In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the Cloudflare network.
We’re proud that every day more than a thousand new sites, including some of the largest on the web, join the Cloudflare community. If you’re looking for a faster, safer website, you’ve got a good start with Harrelson Agency.”