Sucuri VS Cloudflare

Throughout the last two years Sucuri has suffered many issues with maintaining reliable uptime, the response to massive outages was poor and the excuses repetitively similar. With issues apparently never fully resolving we’re now reconsidering our endorsement of Sucuri and exploring alternatives. Unlike other online reviews of “Sucuri VS Cloudflare” this article won’t be skewed by affiliate links nor personal motivations, just purely our experiences, analysis and recommendation after having placed several hundred sites on Sucuri/Cloudflare.

Cost Of Services

First things first, let’s examine the prices and services. To be as fair as possible, we’re going to examine Sucuri’s Basic Firewall/CDN against Cloudflare’s FREE Firewall/CDN offering.

SucuriCloudflare
Basic Plan$9.99/MonthBasic PlanFREE
Global CDN
YESGlobal CDN YES
Global CDN Reliable Uptime?NOGlobal CDN Reliable Uptime?YES
SSL Renew ReliabilityNOSSL Renew ReliabilityYES
Firewall / WAFYESFirewall / WAFNO
Security ScansYESSecurity ScansNO
Tested Pagespeed2.46sTested Pagespeed1.01s
Mobile EnhancementsNOMobile EnhancementsYES
User FriendlyNOUser Friendly?YES
SupportTickets + EmailSupportEmail
Support Speed1-2 DaysSupport Speed~1 Day
Support Competence1/4 starsSupport Competence2/4 stars

At $10 Sucuri seems to be a great entry-level product for CDN/security services, however, digging deeper into the product and analyzing sustained usage has shown a long standing issue with uptime reliability stemming both from their services themselves and from unexpected services such as the renewal of their free LetsEncrypt certificates, very annoying to wake up to an “essentially” offline website due to an expired certificate, even worse when the same issue occurs over and over.

Security

One of the first things we noticed about Sucuri was the comprehensive suite of security products included in the basic package, with a web application firewall, rate limiter, blocking by geography, bad bot blocker and more it would seem Sucuri has CLoudflare beat, but not so fast! Cloudflare free plan doesn’t include a WAF, but it does provide multiple free security products, some of which Sucuri doesn’t have such as email obfuscation (bots can’t see email addresses on your site), hotlink protection (prevent theft of your images/content), 5 firewall rules to increase security, tiered security levels for suspicious visitors, unmetered DDoS mitigation and a browser integrity scanner. Both services include basic security for https/ssl, reverse dns proxy, however, Sucuri has had multiple issues with DNS uptime and renewing SSL certificates which leaves a lot to be desired.

Pagespeed

Probably the most important contributing factor, most people will trade being offline once in a while if it means they can have outstanding page load times that beats their competition. In our tests we ran GTMetrix through 10 scans to get an average, loading the site under the exact same conditions, during the lowest dip in traffic at 4AM EST:

Sucuri2.46 Seconds
No CDN2.33 Seconds
Cloudflare2.50 Seconds
Cloudflare Optimized1.06 Seconds

WordPressTechs On Sucuri:

wpt pagespeed on sucuri

WordPressTechs With NO CDN:

wpt pagespeed on no cdn
What can we say, we build FAST servers 🙂

WordPressTechs On Cloudflare:

wpt pagespeed on cloudflare
Not exactly where we hoped to be.

WPT Optimized On Cloudflare:

wpt pagespeed on cloudflare optimized
There it is!

As expected there was a drop in YSLOW score going from Sucuri to no CDN at all, just straight dns-to-our-server, however, we didn’t expect our pagespeed to actually be better, such a nice surprise! When switching to Cloudflare there was a small increase in pagespeed, not great for us, but adding some compatibility with Cloudflare using our caching through WP Rocket and optimizing the Cloudflare settings and there we go with an average of 1.06 seconds page load time! Even if we didn’t optimize our Cloudflare integration, we might actually stick with Cloudflare considering the various uptime issues at Sucuri (0.2 seconds isn’t a bad trade if reliability/uptime is 100%).

Support

Support is an important aspect to this comparison, not just for installation and troubleshooting everyday tasks such as plugin/cache/script compatibility. The nature of Firewalls and CDN’s is such that a careful balance must be made or errors and downtime can occur, even worse is when your site goes offline and you might waste hours trying to debug your site – only to find the issue ultimately lay with your CDN provider itself. This has been a repetitive case with Sucuri, when a site goes offline and their 12 hour SLA turns into a 3 day wait for a fix. Experience with Cloudflare support has been minimal, mostly because its uptime rate is unbeatable and they don’t suffer from basic issues that plague Sucuri such as renewing SSL certificates on time. With instant chat available for part of the day monday through friday they are more accessible, but really I’d rather have a less-accessible support team that I never need versus a more-accessible support team that I require constant help from due to their service performing poorly.

Cloudflare or Sucuri?

Sucuri has the better suite of services included in their basic firewall+cdn package, however, due to the extremely better reliability of Cloudflare, better compatibility with WordPress, better pagespeed, better $ value and all-around better suite of other products available, we wholeheartedly recommend and endorse Cloudflare (we’re using it on our site right now!). The downtime at Sucuri is inexcusable, especially for a premium paid service – adding to that the stellar performance in pagespeed offered in a free CDN, we simply cannot endorse Sucuri as a viable product anymore.

Perhaps their trouble began when Godaddy bought them in 2017, that does coincide with the time we began seeing cracks in their otherwise great service. Sucuri may simply go down as another failed corporate takeover, reminiscent of EIG’s takeover/destruction of the once-respectable Bluehost/Hostgator. Whatever the reason, as of the publishing of this article we will no longer advertise Sucuri products and we’ve closed our affiliate account with them. Clients still taking advantage of our free Sucuri slot offer on select WPT Hosting plans will continue to get that service included with their package, though we will gladly migrate clients and optimize their accounts on Cloudflare at no cost. Select WPT Hosting package will come bundled with Cloudflare Pro, we can also upgrade your free Cloudflare to Pro and manage that service at-cost as well.

Note on security: When switching to Cloudflare we recommend adding a local scanner/firewall, our top-pick has always been Wordfence as the ideal security suite offering the absolute best protection, absolutely free. See an upcoming article where we go over the configuration for Wordfence that will give your site impeccable security protection.

More About Cloudflare

During our analysis for this article, we explored many more great features in Cloudflare you might not have known about and we’re sure to start using:

  • DNS Hosting: We’ve recently started using their DNS hosting service preferred over domain registrars DNS or hosting DNS ourselves. The added security, speed, reliability and accessibility for WPT team members to quickly access and fix DNS issues for clients has made Cloudflare our go-to for all things DNS, it’s so good!
  • Analytics: Get details about traffic not available from Google Analytics, see how much bandwidth you’re visitors consume, how effective the CDN cache is performing and neat geographical data.
  • HTTPS: Automatically fix mixed-content warnings and bad http requests on pages by toggling a single button.
  • Domain Routing: Have a second or third domain name you want forwarded to your main site? Page Rules make that super easy.
  • Always Online: If there’s a server error Cloudflare can serve a cached copy of your most popular URLs, so even in an emergency situation your most critical pages will continue receiving pageviews.
  • Apps: Add functionality to your site without crippling pagespeed, Cloudflare apps have free addons for myriad services like instant chat, browser update warnings, cookie consent, exit-intent popup, ADBLOCK STOPPER, notification bar and a ton more great apps with easy one-click installs.
  • Domain Registry: Cloudflare’s newest service offers domain registration AT COST, $7 domain registry? We’ll take it!

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