What Is A Cloudflare Railgun™?

 

1. What is Railgun?

Railgun is a WAN optimization technology. CloudFlare’s Railgun technology greatly speeds up the delivery of non-cached pages. Although CloudFlare automatically caches 65% of the resources required to make up a page, 35% can’t be cached mainly because the resources are dynamically generated or marked as ‘do not cache’. That 35% is often the initial HTML of the page that must be downloaded first. CloudFlare Railgun speeds this remaining 35%.

 

2. What are the benefits of Railgun?

Sites running Railgun show a 143% improvement in HTML load times and a 90% decrease in Time To First Byte (TTFB) responses.

 

3. How does Railgun work?

Railgun opens a secure, tunneled connection between the CloudFlare network and your host’s origin server where the connection only sends differences from the last request. This is similar to how video encoding works.

The markup of websites does not change that frequently from one request to the next. Instead of relocating the entire request between CloudFlare and the origin server, Railgun will transfer only the alterations in markup from one request to the next. This cuts down on bandwidth, transfer time, and overall page load times. Railgun caches these differences in memory to make page processing as prompt as possible.

 

4. What kind of sites can use Railgun?

Any website can benefit from the effectiveness improvements Railgun offers, especially dynamic sites.

 

5. What much does Railgun cost?

If you purchase Railgun directly through CloudFlare, it costs $200/month. On the other hand, I provide it for Free with any package ordered.

 

6. How do I enable Railgun on my site?

Quicksteps:

Login to cPanel
Navigate to Cloudflare
Create An Account
Click Provision Account With CNAME Setup
Enable Railgun
Allow 24 Hours For SSL To Propogate
Remember, if you’re using SSL on your website, it will have to be regenerated by Cloudflare. This process takes up to 24 hours and may create errors on your secure pages.

Personally, I recommend enabling this during the weekend/off peak hours to avoid any interruption in traffic.

7. What if I’m having issues enabling Railgun?

If you experience issues when enabling Railgun, just Contact me

 

8. I’m not a CloudFlare customer, can I still use Railgun?

No. You need to be a CloudFlare client in order to use Railgun.

 

9. I’m seeing an error on my site and I think Railgun is causing it, what should I do?

If you are using Railgun via cPanel, you can turn it off straight from your control panel. Otherwise, log into your CloudFlare account, go to Performance Settings and turn Railgun off from there.

 

10. Remind me, what is CloudFlare?

CloudFlare provides performance, security and availability to web properties. CloudFlare runs a globally distributed network where they automatically cache static content, filter malicious traffic and help offload big spikes in traffic. On average, a site loads twice as fast, uses 65% fewer server resources and has an additional layer of security.