SPDY on joshkerr.com with Cloudflare

If you look up in the browser bar at the URL you should see joshkerr.com running HTTPS. At first glance one would think “why would he need SSL for his blog?”

Good question. The answer is SPDY a new technology designed to speed up the transmission of webpages. The technology works with supported browsers like Chrome to deliver web pages faster than sites without it. Google invented the technology and now many popular websites have adopted it.

The technology is based on TLS encryption so it requires that the web host uses SSL encryption certificates. Now you know why joshkerr.com uses SSL now.

Enabling SPDY was very easy because I use CloudFlare to control DNS and they make a very simple 1 click control panel to enable SSL and the SPDY protocol on your site.

CloudFlare offers a service called Flexible SSL that encrypts traffic between CloudFlare servers and the customer but not between CloudFlare and your web server. A great benefit of this feature is that you don’t need to purchase an expensive SSL certificate for your personal domain. It also activates instantly offering you an immediate upgrade to SPDY.

Now this isn’t a recommended way to increase security on your site as data is not encrypted the entire trip but if your goal is performance it works great. (CloudFlare does offer full SSL, I just didn’t need it.)

I’m running Ghost on nginx on a Linode box which I manage myself. Installing SSL and SPDY would require quite a bit of configuration and I just don’t have that kind of time these days. With CloudFlare I’m able to enable this feature in seconds.

Frankly my blog doesn’t get enough traffic to justify the need for something like this. From a geek perspective it is a lot of fun running with this sort of technology. That is enough of a reason to do it no?

Published by joshkerr

Josh is an 8x startup founder and angel investor.

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