Disclosure: I was a free customer of Cloudflare for many years because they have free SSL (a previous hosting provider I was using made you pay for SSL if you wanted it). When I moved to a hosting provider with free SSL I just simply didn’t want to take the time to get off Cloudflare.
There aren’t 100% accurate numbers on how many websites are using Cloudflare (only Cloudflare will know those numbers but doesn’t publicly share them). W3Techs estimates Cloudflare is used on around 15% of all websites in the world. This may not seem like a big number until you read on W3Techs that out of all the reverse proxy services that W3Techs tracks, Cloudflare is used by over 80% of them.
The thing about using such a popular company is if they make a mistake and bring down something they will bring down a huge number of websites. Which has happened many times. I stopped wanting to be one of “those websites” that went down when Cloudflare was having issues.
You have to change your DNS records to Cloudflare, now CloudFlare gets to control who gets to view your website. You can go into the settings of your dashboard and turn things off (or to low) but ultimately Cloudflare makes that final decision. I didn’t want Cloudflare to make that final decision of who can view this website, now I get control over who can view my website. Ultimately, some people like the control of who gets to view their website and some people don’t want to worry about that.
In getting control over who views your website, Cloudflare blocks anyone who is using Tor from accessing any website behind Cloudflare, or makes it very difficult for that person to view the website. Tor has many people using it to get online without censorship and if Cloudflare is blocking Tor then those who are using it are unable to view many websites.
Not many people think about if a company is profitable before using them (you can use a site like Crunchbase to find out if they are raising money). If a company isn’t profitable then a company will have to keep taking money from investors, and the investors will want their return on investment back and if the company can’t give them their money back the investors may take over the company. As of the time of writing Cloudflare is not profitable and has raised around $330 million. There aren’t any public documents detailing how CloudFlare plans to become profitable.
Website speed is very important and when tested on a staging website, this website was actually slower when on Cloudflare (vs not).
Other related articles to read:
Why I Stopped Using CloudFlare – Review Hell
Turns out half the internet has a Single-Point-of-Failure called “Cloudflare” – easyDNS
Cloudflare considered harmful – Hugo Landau
What Is Cloudflare And Should You Use It? – HostingReview
Don’t use Cloudflare CDN: build in speed quality instead. – Pagepipe
why you shouldn’t use Cloudflare – tiq’s tech-blog
The Great Cloudwall
Why Should You Use Cloudflare Like I Do – Kevin
I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 45). You can learn more or join in by going to https://100daystooffload.com/.