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Indeed. At the office we’ve said the phrase, ‘CloudFlare is having issues again,’ more frequently than we should. Also it’s the “…having issues again,” versus just, “…having issues.”
QUIC.cloud has had issues too but generally has been pretty solid.
No matter what – the more third party systems and services you involve the more likely there is to ultimately be a failure of some kind.
If you do not have a global audience or your hosting server is not too far, not adding any additional layer is the better solution. If the server is too far, consider a server within ~150ms in latency. As always, the faster the server, the less noticeable impact the latency will have on the page load times.
I found it humorous when CloudFlare was down and I couldn’t even get into their portal to turn off proxying for them to return straight DNS. And by funny I mean … not funny.
Indeed – while it will show the cached content – it will still show a message at the top letting you know you’re viewing a cache and that the origin server is down. I have not looked to see if this can be changed.
That sounds like an excellent question for CloudFlare!
That said – the whole idea of a cache is to not hit the origin server. So no, generally it won’t hit the origin if there is a cache.
Purging the cache is really easy – and there are even plugins, last I checked, that allow you to do it from within your site [such as if you’re using WordPress].
It’s doable, but I’ve never personally done it. I know people that have but I don’t have direct experience with it.
They don’t fail more than a decent web hosting provider – their failures are just way more … public?
CloudFlare handles traffic for a massive portion of the internet – when they have issues it’s apparent. When XYZHost goes down – only those using their services and trying to access sites hosted by them will notice.
CloudFlare has had more issues lately than historically – but not to the point that I’ve stopped using them.
Again – having a proxying/caching CDN is not a solution for a bad hosting provider. The solution is using a quality hosting provider.