Always Online keeps a limited version of your site online if your server goes down. Prior to using CloudFlare, if your server went down, your website most likely went offline, which meant that your visitors could not access your site.
With Always Online, your server goes down, CloudFlare will serve pages from our cache, so your visitors still see some of the pages they are trying to visit. Your visitors will see a message at the top of the page telling them that they are in offline browsing mode. Always Online returns an HTTP status 503, however, 503 is also used by many other web applications. When your server comes back online, CloudFlare will bump users back to regular browsing seamlessly.
If CloudFlare does not have the requested page in its cache, the visitor sees an error page letting them know that the website page they are requesting is offline.
To enable Always Online, follow these steps:
- Login to your CloudFlare account.
- Click the domain you wish to toggle Always Online for.
- Click the "Caching" link on the menu at the top of the page.
- Scroll to the "Always Online" section and toggle it on or off as needed.
Important: Always Online does have limitations, as outlined in the following article: Why is Always Online not working?