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Many websites struggle with the challenge of making sure their visitor experience works well for every device and Internet connection, especially when it comes to mobile visitors. Not only must you build a website that will display well on desktops, tablets and smartphones, you must also take into account a wide range of connection speeds in determining how best to serve your content.
Cloudflare has developed Mirage to make it easy to deliver a faster experience for your web visitors. It:
Mirage comes free with Cloudflare’s Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans.
Cloudflare gathers information from your web visitor such as type of device and connection speed and uses it to determine how to best deliver content from your web page. The same way Cloudflare uses data about security threats to protect the sites on our network, we use information about real users’ browsers around the world to ensure everyone on the Cloudflare network has the fastest possible site.
When Cloudflare detects a mobile device on a mobile connection, it uses Mirage to ensure better performance. For example, an iPhone connecting to the web over a cellular network is optimized for different loading priorities than a desktop (or even the same iPhone) connecting over WiFi. Mirage was specifically designed to help you serve web visitors using a range of mobile devices on cellular networks.
Mirage starts with the idea of image virtualization, storing two versions of a cached image. The first version is the full-resolution image. The second version is a ‘virtualized’ image that includes meta data but is massively reduced in size, typically to as little as 1% of the size of the first one.
With Mirage enabled, Cloudflare will serve the virtualized images asynchronously so your web visitors can begin to interact with the web page as the rest of the page loads - think of it as a fully-functional placeholder for the full-resolution version (‘lazy loading’). Mirage can virtualize images served from your own domain as well as images served from third party domains such as Flickr or Imgur.
Mirage is a feature of Cloudflare’s Pro, Business, and Enterprise plans, which make websites faster, safer and smarter. To enable Mirage (and any of our features), you simply need to turn it on. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain.
Cloudflare can protect your website, make it run faster and improve availability with a simple change in DNS. We have re-thought the entire technology stack through the network, hardware and software layers, building out a reverse proxy service on a highly-available global network. Learn more about our global network.
For mobile devices and connections, faster web performance can be even more of a challenge than for visitors using a desktop device over WiFi. With mobile, you need to look at the content on the page, how the content is delivered and a visitor’s connection speed.
Since mobile devices rely on mobile networks, the bandwidth to a mobile phone or tablet is often slow. The network latency for each request can be very high and extremely variable. Also, there is no guarantee that once a connection has been established that it will be consistent. For example, a mobile visitor could be walking into a tunnel while accessing your site or moving from a 4G to a roaming connection. Mobile connections are also more likely to experience “loss.” To optimize for mobile performance you need to prioritize the most important data and download it first. You also need to minimize the number of individual connections to limit the impact of packet loss.
Mirage solves for all those problems and works well in conjunction with some of our other features such as Polish and Rocket Loader that are focused on increasing performance for visitors to your desktop website. Polish optimizes images (both ‘lossy’ and ‘lossless’ are supported). Rocker Loader streamlines multiple website requests into one (3rd party widgets, ad servers, etc) to speed the performance of the overall page.
You can also make it easy for mobile visitors to reach your mobile-specific site with Cloudflare’s URL re-direct feature. You can turn the feature on/off with the click of a button and can customize the URL path to meet your needs.
Cloudflare makes it easy to set-up a mobile re-direct.
Set up a domain in less than 5 minutes. Keep your hosting provider. No code changes required.
Everyone’s Internet application can benefit from using Cloudflare.
Pick a plan that fits your needs.