Jon Levine

Author Archives: Jon Levine

Cloudflare’s privacy-first Web Analytics is now available for everyone

Cloudflare’s privacy-first Web Analytics is now available for everyone
Cloudflare’s privacy-first Web Analytics is now available for everyone

In September, we announced that we’re building a new, free Web Analytics product for the whole web. Today, I’m excited to announce that anyone can now sign up to use our new Web Analytics — even without changing your DNS settings. In other words, Cloudflare Web Analytics can now be deployed by adding an HTML snippet (in the same way many other popular web analytics tools are) making it easier than ever to use privacy-first tools to understand visitor behavior.

Why does the web need another analytics service?

Popular analytics vendors have business models driven by ad revenue. Using them implies a bargain: they track visitor behavior and create buyer profiles to retarget your visitors with ads; in exchange, you get free analytics.

At Cloudflare, our mission is to help build a better Internet, and part of that is to deliver essential web analytics to everyone with a website, without compromising user privacy. For free. We’ve never been interested in tracking users or selling advertising. We don’t want to know what you do on the Internet — it’s not our business.

Our customers have long relied on Cloudflare’s Analytics because we’re accurate, fast, and privacy-first. In September we released a Continue reading

Free, Privacy-First Analytics for a Better Web

Free, Privacy-First Analytics for a Better Web

Everyone with a website needs to know some basic facts about their website: what pages are people visiting? Where in the world are they? What other sites sent traffic to my website?

There are “free” analytics tools out there, but they come at a cost: not money, but your users’ privacy. Today we’re announcing a brand new, privacy-first analytics service that’s open to everyone — even if they're not already a Cloudflare customer. And if you're a Cloudflare customer, we've enhanced our analytics to make them even more powerful than before.

The most important analytics feature: Privacy

The most popular analytics services available were built to help ad-supported sites sell more ads. But, a lot of websites don’t have ads. So if you use those services, you're giving up the privacy of your users in order to understand how what you've put online is performing.

Cloudflare's business has never been built around tracking users or selling advertising. We don’t want to know what you do on the Internet — it’s not our business. So we wanted to build an analytics service that gets back to what really matters for web creators, not necessarily marketers, and to give web creators the Continue reading

Start measuring Web Vitals with Browser Insights

Start measuring Web Vitals with Browser Insights

Many of us at Cloudflare obsess about how to make websites faster. But to improve performance, you have to measure it first. Last year we launched Browser Insights to help our customers measure web performance from the perspective of end users.

Today, we're partnering with the Google Chrome team to bring Web Vitals measurements into Browser Insights. Web Vitals are a new set of metrics to help web developers and website owners measure and understand load time, responsiveness, and visual stability. And with Cloudflare’s Browser Insights, they’re easier to measure than ever – and it’s free for anyone to collect data from the whole web.

Start measuring Web Vitals with Browser Insights

Why do we need Web Vitals?

When trying to understand performance, it’s tempting to focus on the metrics that are easy to measure — like Time To First Byte (TTFB). While TTFB and similar metrics are important to understand, we’ve learned that they don’t always tell the whole story.

Our partners on the Google Chrome team have tackled this problem by breaking down user experience into three components:

  • Loading: How long did it take for content to become available?
  • Interactivity: How responsive is the website when you interact with it?
  • Visual stability: How Continue reading

Introducing Cache Analytics

Introducing Cache Analytics

Today, I’m delighted to announce Cache Analytics: a new tool that gives deeper exploration capabilities into what Cloudflare’s caching and content delivery services are doing for your web presence.

Caching is the most effective way to improve the performance and economics of serving your website to the world. Unsurprisingly, customers consistently ask us how they can optimize their cache performance to get the most out of Cloudflare.

With Cache Analytics, it’s easier than ever to learn how to speed up your website, and reduce traffic sent to your origin. Some of my favorite capabilities include:

  • See what resources are missing from cache, expired, or never eligible for cache in the first place
  • Slice and dice your data as you see fit: filter by hostnames, or see a list of top URLs that miss cache
  • Switch between views of requests and data Transfer to understand both performance and cost
Introducing Cache Analytics
An overview of Cache Analytics

Cache Analytics is available today for all customers on our Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans.

In this blog post, I’ll explain why we built Cache Analytics and how you can get the most out of it.

Why do we need analytics focused on caching?

If you want Continue reading

Introducing Browser Insights

Introducing Browser Insights

Speed matters. We know that when your website or app gets faster, users have a better experience and you get more conversions and more revenue. At Cloudflare, we spend our days obsessing about speed and building new features to squeeze out as much performance as possible.

But to improve speed, you first need to measure it. That’s why we’re launching Browser Insights: a new tool that measures the performance of your website from the perspective of your users. Browser Insights lets you dive in to understand where, when, and why web pages are slow. And you can enable it today, for free, with one click.

Introducing Browser Insights

Why did we build Browser Insights?

Let’s say you run an e-commerce site, and you want to make your conversion rates better. You’ve noticed that there’s a lot of traffic from visitors in Peru, but they have worse conversion than users in North America. Maybe you theorize that it takes a long time to load your checkout page, which causes customers to drop off before checking out. How would you verify that this is happening?

There are a few ways you could do this: you could check your server logs to look at timing Continue reading

Live video just got more live: Introducing Concurrent Streaming Acceleration

Live video just got more live: Introducing Concurrent Streaming Acceleration
Live video just got more live: Introducing Concurrent Streaming Acceleration

Today we’re excited to introduce Concurrent Streaming Acceleration, a new technique for reducing the end-to-end latency of live video on the web when using Stream Delivery.

Let’s dig into live-streaming latency, why it’s important, and what folks have done to improve it.

How “live” is “live” video?

Live streaming makes up an increasing share of video on the web. Whether it’s a TV broadcast, a live game show, or an online classroom, users expect video to arrive quickly and smoothly. And the promise of “live” is that the user is seeing events as they happen. But just how close to “real-time” is “live” Internet video?

Delivering live video on the Internet is still hard and adds lots of latency:

  1. The content source records video and sends it to an encoding server;
  2. The origin server transforms this video into a format like DASH, HLS or CMAF that can be delivered to millions of devices efficiently;
  3. A CDN is typically used to deliver encoded video across the globe
  4. Client players decode the video and render it on the screen

Live video just got more live: Introducing Concurrent Streaming Acceleration

And all of this is under a time constraint — the whole process need to happen in a few seconds, or video experiences Continue reading

Introducing the Workers Cache API: Giving you control over how your content is cached

Introducing the Workers Cache API: Giving you control over how your content is cached
Introducing the Workers Cache API: Giving you control over how your content is cached

At Cloudflare, we aim to make the Internet faster and safer for everyone. One way we do this is through caching: we keep a copy of our customer content in our 165 data centers around the world. This brings content  closer to users and reduces traffic back to origin servers.

Today, we’re excited to announce a huge change in our how cache works. Cloudflare Workers now integrates the Cache API, giving you programmatic control over our caches around the world.

Why the Cache API?

Figuring out what to cache and how can get complicated. Consider an e-commerce site with a shopping cart, a Content Management System (CMS) with many templates and hundreds of articles, or a GraphQL API. Each contains a mix of elements that are dynamic for some users, but might stay unchanged for the vast majority of requests.

Over the last 8 years, we’ve added more features to give our customers flexibility and control over what goes in the cache. However, we’ve learned that we need to offer more than just adding settings in our dashboard. Our customers have told us clearly that they want to be able to express their ideas in code, to build Continue reading

How Cloudflare protects customers from cache poisoning

How Cloudflare protects customers from cache poisoning

A few days ago, Cloudflare — along with the rest of the world — learned of a "practical" cache poisoning attack. In this post I’ll walk through the attack and explain how Cloudflare mitigated it for our customers. While any web cache is vulnerable to this attack, Cloudflare is uniquely able to take proactive steps to defend millions of customers.

In addition to the steps we’ve taken, we strongly recommend that customers update their origin web servers to mitigate vulnerabilities. Some popular vendors have applied patches that can be installed right away, including Drupal, Symfony, and Zend.

How a shared web cache works

Say a user requests a cacheable file, index.html. We first check if it’s in cache, and if it’s not not, we fetch it from the origin and store it. Subsequent users can request that file from our cache until it expires or gets evicted.

Although contents of a response can vary slightly between requests, customers may want to cache a single version of the file to improve performance:

How Cloudflare protects customers from cache poisoning

(See this support page for more info about how to cache HTML with Cloudflare.)

How do we know it’s the same file? We create something Continue reading