How to make a site available from the cache 24/7 using Cloudflare?

Hi all!
I have a media blog. I post there several times a day.

Sometimes there are problems when my site is down due to errors, hosting and so on. I want to make it available 24/7 using Cloudflare.

Are there Cloudflare services that allow me to show users a cached site while my site is down? It’s enough for me to just show the pages of the block (record). Comments and other functions are not required in an emergency.

It is enough for me that the data is shown from the cache for no more than 12 hours until I fix the site (if it is broken or I just slept). Right now I’m using the free Cloudflare DNS (Proxy).

I found the Automatic Platform Optimization for WordPress feature, but I’m not sure if that’s what I need for 24/7. The Always Online feature is updated infrequently and is slow, so I need a fresh cache.

Any ideas?

Yes, it’s called Always Online: https://www.cloudflare.com/always-online/

Basically caches your site and returns the old cached page when your webserver is down. But notice, that on top of your site there is a small banner that shows, that this is not live, but an older version of your site.

Is it possible to make the cache full?
Without Always Online Web Archive

Yes and no. There are several tricks and problems. This still is “just” a reverseProxy CDN. Not a Push CDN.

First: every ressource you want to be available when your web server is offline must be cacheable and cached at Cloudflare before it goes down.
To do so use Cache Everything and set the EdgeTTL to as high as possible.

Second: you need to call your page from everywhere you want it to be available afterwards, multiple times. As Cloudflare does have over 300 POPs all of them need to be able to serve your cache. You can use online “test tools” which will call any URL from over 50 POPs worldwide, that makes it easier.

But on the other hand, even then it is not guaranteed that when your site goes down Cloudflare will be serving your site, since a TTL is not a guaranteed thing, but acts more like a recommendation. So Cloudflare may or may not clear your cache earlier.

So to make it short, there are many ways at Cloudflare to conceal the fact that your web server went down, but not any solution yet.

Anyway, if your site technically is able to be fully functional without any server behind it, there are chances that it indeed might be a site that could be a fully static site. If that is the case, just migrate over to Cloudflare Pages and forget about your server, if the page is fully static, you do not need any server anymore.

So if you share your domain with us, we could inspect your domain and give you a more precise answer :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thank you! This helped me better understand how Cloudflare works.

Does Automatic Platform Optimization for WordPress affect website cache availability time? It’s supposed to create a cache of HTML files.

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