A happy, healthy and also more secure year to you, dear reader!
I generally don't do any new years resolutions, but of course there are things that need to get done at some point. I"ve been planning to update this site for quite some time, so the quiet start of the year is a good time to do that. Or at least starting somewhere, since this will probably be more of a step by step process over some time.
One thing I"ve been planning was to get a SSL certificate to serve the pages via a secure connection. There's been a few articles on that in the recent time and I also wanted to find out how much of an impact on performance it had. If you"re interested to find out more about the why and how of serving pages via SSL, have a look at this question on Quora and this document from Google.
I started off with a SSL certificate from my hosting provider, but after setting it up and testing it only achieved an overall rating of B with issues that could only be resolved on the server, which in this case isn't possible for me to do. Since I was looking into setting up a CDN as well, I now went with Cloudflare as the CDN and also use their SSL certificate, which in the end was much easier to install and rates with an overall A.
So far everything seems to work very well and I can't notice any big difference in performance. SSL negotiation seems to slightly increase the wait for a first response, but overall it doesn't affect the load times much. So far I can't really say if the use of a CDN makes asset loading faster in turn, but this will show over time I suppose.
Have a good start into the new year and happy secure browsing!