Announcing Cloudflare integration for CrowdHandler

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I’m very pleased to announce that you can now provision CrowdHandler on Cloudflare, giving you a waiting room service that works directly from their CDN. 

We developed this integration because we know that many of the users who sign up to CrowdHandler also use Cloudflare's content delivery network (CDN) to speed up their site and deliver content securely. Now, it’s even easier for those users to use a waiting room with their setup. 

How easy? Well, the CrowdHandler integration utilises Cloudflare Workers. So rather than running on your servers or the user’s browser, everything happens on the Edge Network, meaning that you won't need to make any changes to your application code or configuration. 

If you've been waiting for this integration for a while, you probably don't need to know any more. Skip straight to our support pages to read about Getting Started with Cloudflare integration

But if you'd like to know a little more, read on. 

Why choose a CDN integration over JavaScript?

We offer a range of different integrations to get CrowdHandler onto your website, but if you’re selling a high-value, limited edition digital product – indeed, if you have any inclination that your website will be attracting a more technically savvy user – then a CDN integration is the better choice. By running the waiting room check on the Edge, using the CDN rather than the user’s browser, you’re removing the opportunity for a savvy user to bypass the check.

Likewise, if you're expecting to be inundated, the first page hit for each user will still need to be handled by your servers before our JavaScript can load, so if you're not completely sure that your site can handle those initial hits, go for a CDN integration. Handing the work of running a waiting room over to Cloudflare means the checks are done separately, on the edge, and the page on your website will never be pulled if it's not needed. This also helps when protecting SAAS platforms that rate-limit your page views based on fair-use or plan payments.  

What about Cloudflare's own waiting room?

If you're already using Cloudflare, you're probably thinking, ‘wait, doesn't it have its own waiting room feature?’ And the answer is yes, it does. Cloudflare announced a Waiting Room product in January. Aimed at the health and government sectors, the Cloudflare waiting room was designed to help with the problem of overwhelming demand for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

However, it's a fairly simple bit of kit. The most important difference for our users is that, unlike CrowdHandler, Cloudflare’s own waiting room doesn't give users a sequential queue number, instead it selects users at random and allows them through at a steady rate. Cloudflare’s waiting room offering also lacks many of CrowdHandlers advanced features, such as priority codes, autotune and multi-room schedulers to allow for a pre-sale build up. So, for those selling limited edition physical or digital items (like those merch drops or NFTs) it's less useful. 

Great - I am already using Cloudflare. How do I get started?

It's really easy to integrate the CrowdHandler waiting room product with Cloudflare. 

First, you'll need an active CrowdHandler account (so, if you haven't already, you can sign up here). Then you’ll need to set up your first waiting room

Next, work through our simple step-by-step guide: Cloudflare Integration - Getting Started

In short, you will need to pull a couple of snippets of code from our github repository, and then use the Cloudflare control panel to install those pieces of code. 

What’s next for CrowdHandler integrations?

We’re actually working on a couple more integrations right now, including a CrowdHandler WordPress plugin and integration with Amazon’s Cloudfront CDN. 

But if you’ve got other ideas for platforms we should be supporting, we’d love to hear from you. What else would you like to see?

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Six tips for the perfect ticket on-sale

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Using CrowdHandler for merch drops and NFTs: how to set up your waiting room for a successful drop.