Cache Anything and Speed Up Load Times

One of the most common methods that webmasters use to speed up their sites is to cache content (such as HTML pages, JavaScript, images or CSS) to reduce bandwidth and server load and speed up delivery.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of content that can't be cached, and when websites need to utilize that it can be problematic for performance and user experience. CloudFlare, a provider of cloud-based services to help secure and accelerate websites, is looking to alleviate this problem for its users by "caching the uncacheable" through a new Web optimization software called Railgun.

CloudFlare users are already at an advantage, because the service will not only cache content, but also deliver it to users from its various datacenters around the world. However, according to the company's blog, "only about 66% of content is cacheable," meaning the remaining 34 percent has to be recovered from the server of origin. That is why the company developed Railgun, which can cache dynamically generated and/or personalized Web pages using a scheme that reduces bandwidth and speeds up the loading process.

Railgun starts the acceleration process for non-cached pages by speeding up the downloading of the initial HTML, which must happen before the rest of a page can even begin downloading.

Primarily, though, Railgun is able to send Web pages across the 'Net much more quickly because it will compress them to an astonishingly smaller version, which it's able to do by looking at changes on a page "from download to download." It will reduce the pages to just 0.65 percent of their original size to ensure that they travel faster from the origin server to the user's screen, no matter where they are.

This new service is currently only available for CloudFlare Business and Enterprise customers as a part of their service packages.