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InfoQ Homepage News Cloudflare Announces the General Availability of Cloudflare Pages

Cloudflare Announces the General Availability of Cloudflare Pages

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Recently, Cloudflare announced the general availability (GA) of Cloudflare Pages: a fast, secure, and free way for frontend developers to build, host, and collaborate on JAMstack sites. 

In December last year, Cloudflare announced the beta of Cloudflare Pages, including benefits of hosting on Cloudflare Edge, integration with GitHub repositories, and the Cloudflare Workers Platform. With the GA release of Cloudflare Pages, the company added a few new features such as web analytics, built-in redirects, protected previews, live previews, and optimized images.

According to a Cloudflare blog post on the GA release, Web analytics is a free built-in feature allowing developers to observe traffic to a website from the go-live date. With a single click, developers can start tracking their site's progress and performance, including metrics about your traffic and web core vitals.


Source: https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-pages-ga/

Next to web analytics, Cloudflare Pages also offers:

  • Redirect file support –developers can add a _redirects file to the build output directory for their project - to redirect users to the right URL
  • A new Cloudflare Access integration - restricting access to preview deployments by just clicking a button
  • Live previews with Cloudflare Tunnel – allowing developers to expose their localhost through a secure tunnel to an easily shareable URL; hence they can get live feedback from their teammates before committing
  • Two new types of compression: image compression through Polish to compress images and serve fewer bytes over the wire - and Pages will serve content compressed with gzip or Brotli, based on the type of compression the client can support

Currently, Cloudflare is in direct competition with two cloud hosting companies Netlify or Vercel, allowing developers to build and deploy sites using JAMstack frameworks. A respondent comparing Cloudflare with Netifly wrote in a Hacker News thread:

Regarding analytics, Cloudflare provides some very basic analytics, which I think are convenient; in Netlify, you need to include your own analytics script or use the paid version. I also noticed pages loaded noticeably faster in Cloudflare Pages.

On the other hand, Netlify is specialized in the kind of sites you would host with Cloudflare Pages, so the overall product is more polished towards that. Also, the site build (at least using Hugo) is a lot faster in Netlify. Instant rollbacks in Netlify are wonderful.

It's also important to consider the limits of Netifly and Cloudflare. In the free versions, Cloudflare limits the number of builds, Netlify limits the total build minutes. Netlify has a bandwidth limit, Cloudflare does not mention any bandwidth limit.

John Graham-Cumming, CTO Cloudflare, told InfoQ:

Cloudflare Pages saw an incredible amount of interest from developers during its few months in beta – thousands of developers deployed over ten thousand projects built on the platform. With the launch into general availability, everyone can now build and deploy websites with more incredible speed, collaboration, and security; the platform is designed to take care of the tedious parts of development so developers can focus on fun and creativity. 

Furthermore, Graham-Cumming also disclosed what's ahead for Cloudflare pages:

New features like built-in web analytics and live previews are only the beginning; we plan to continue developing features to make full-stack application development on Pages as seamless as possible.

The blog post also mentions specific updates like GitLab / Bitbucket support, Webhooks, and A/B Testing. 

And lastly, developers can get started by signing up and leveraging the available documentation.

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