Utilizing the services of CloudFlare we can now increase our WordPress blog page loading time even more than before.
Having your WordPress powered website load at it’s optimum page loading speed should be on the mind of every developer who operate a WordPress site. This comes down to user experience and enjoyment, and there is no enjoyment in waiting 30 seconds for a website to load.
In the day to day tasks of operating and running WPInsite I am always endeavoring to speed up the page loading time to increase the user experience.
So far to date I have:
- Optimized all images and created sprites to make fewer HTTP requests.
- I have scaled down the amount of plugins used and optimized those plugins as well.
- I have incorporated the services of the MAXCDN Content Delivery Network Services (CDN) to handle caching of images and files.
The quest will never end. There is always room for improvement.
Over the last couple of updates the W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin now has CloudFlare integration and support.
What is CloudFlare I hear you ask?
CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.
CloudFlare’s system gets faster and smarter as our community of users grows larger. We have designed the system to scale with our goal in mind: helping power and protect the entire Internet.
CloudFlare can be used by anyone with a website and their own domain, regardless of your choice in platform. From start to finish, setup takes most website owners less than 5 minutes. Adding your website requires only a simple change to your domain’s DNS settings. There is no hardware or software to install or maintain and you do not need to change any of your site’s existing code. If you are ever unhappy you can turn CloudFlare off as easily as you turned it on. Our core service is free and we offer enhanced services for websites who need extra features like real time reporting or SSL.
To get straight to the point of using CloudFlare, here are the advantages:
- Your website will loads twice as fast
- Your website will uses 60% less bandwidth
- Your website will have 65% fewer requests
- Your website will be way more secure
And all this is for free!
Steps to integrate CloudFlare and W3 Total Cache
OK, here I am going to make a few assumptions. One is that you already have the W3 Total cache installed and activated.
- The first step you obviously need to do is to signup for a free CloudFlare account. Go to the CloudFlare website and signup for an account.
- After you have signed up there are a few steps that need to be done to add your website to the CloudFlare service. These steps include:
- Enter your website URL
- Check your DNS settings
- Configure CloudFlare
- Update your DNS name servers.
Once you have completed these steps you are ready to configure the W3 Total cache plugin in the dashboard of your WordPress website.
Configure the CloudFlare settings into the W3 Totach Cache Plugin
In your WordPress dashboard navigate to the “Performance” tab in the left menu and go to “General Settings” to bring up the W3 Total Cache page settings.
Click the “Enable” textbox.
Enter your email address you used to signup with in your CloudFlare account.
Enter your CloudFlare API key and domain name name you wish to use.
Finally select the security level you wish to use and leave the development mode option as off.
Click the “Save All Settings” button.
That’s it! Your website is now using the CloudFlare service and you should see an increase in your website performance.
Testing the CloudFlare Performance Increase
There are ways to test the increased page loading speed by visiting the Pingdom Tools website.
This service tests the page loading speed of any website you enter into the textfield. These are my results for the WPInsite website.
Before Utilizing the CloudFlare Service.
The page loading speed was coming in at 13 seconds as per the diagram below.
After Utilizing the CloudFlare Service.
The page loading speed was coming in at 10 seconds as per the diagram below. This will decrease as I have not allowed the proper time for my Name Server changes to populate.Be sure to check out our other great WordPress Articles and Plugins