"Always Online" Free Version Not Working?

We have Cloudflare’s free account and we’ve enabled “Always Online” and the best I understand is it will show pages (Not all) from the “Waybackmachine” (https://web.archive.org/) when our primary site goes down. We had an outage and tested “Always Online” and the browser reported “Webpage not available” net:ERR_Connection_Timed_Out.

Does this “Always Online” feature actually work in the Free Version?

Yes, the “Always Online” feature should work on the free version. However, it won’t cover 100% of your site, and there are specific rules to follow for it to work correctly. You can check the following article for more information on why it may not be working:


Basically there are two types of rules that need to be in place, right?

  1. Enable “Always Online”
  2. Verify the “Wayback Machine” has site data.

What other rules are needed?


From the documentation I linked to:

Note that Cloudflare does not save a copy of every page of your website, and it cannot serve dynamic content while your origin is offline. If the requested page is not in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the visitor sees the actual error page caused by the offline origin web server.

Visitors who interact with dynamic parts of a website, such as a shopping cart or comment box, will see an error page caused by the offline origin web server.

No dynamic content. Not every page of your site. And as for Wayback Maching having a copy of your site, this may or may not be the result of Aways Online crawling. So, if a page is available at WM but it’s not part of CF’s algorithm it may not be served out of WA. Having said that, I have no idea, other than the generic knowledge of what that documentation says, about why Cloudflare behaves one way or another when it comes to Always Online.

Thank you! I understand dynamic content will not be shown. All we really want is our main page to show which has links but no dynamic content. Our dynamic content is on sub pages but not on our main entrance page and does show on Wayback Machine. Trying to avoid having to host server on AWS or other hosting sites. For the rare times our server goes down, looking for a main page to pull up, and not error out. I thought “Always Online” would work that way, but it doesn’t appear to work for me. Do you have any other suggestions for caching your main web page if the primary site goes down?
Thank you Again for commenting. Appreciated.

We would be satisfied if we could display “Under Maintenance” page if the main site goes down. We’re trying to avoid 404 error basically.

Always Online is hard to predict, and therefore not very dependable when we have a specific need.

The documentation says:

When submitting targets to the crawler, Cloudflare identifies the most popular URLs found among GET requests that returned a 200 HTTP status code in the previous five hours.

At the same time the crawler may only visit your site every 30 days, depending on plan level :man_shrugging:

I’d suggest you investigate Load Balancing as an alternative in case you have another server you control that can return the same or similar content.

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Thank you, I’ll look at the load balancing options.