CloudFlare Speed Settings

miscellaneous CloudFlare speed settingsIn another post I cover a CloudFlare page rule for blazing site speed. This post discusses miscellaneous CloudFlare speed settings. CloudFlare, even at the free tier, offers a plethora of speed and security settings that seem daunting at first. Most of them work fine using the default setting, and I can adjust settings at my own pace as I am able to make time to learn and optimize.

Crypto

The first CloudFlare performance setting is Opportunistic Encryption, on the Crypto page.

CloudFlare speed settings

Opportunistic Encryption provides performance and security benefits over HTTP. I use HTTPS exclusively, so as far as I know Opportunistic Encryption does nothing for me. The default setting is ‘On’, and I leave it that way.

Speed

Auto Minify removes unnecessary characters like whitespace, lowering the amount of data that needs to be transferred to visitors and improving page load times.

I have to be cautious to minify only once. Since I use CloudFlare to minify, I must not also minify using a WP plugin. Multiple minifies break stuff.


Rocket Loader optimizes JavaScript resources.

Unfortunately Rocket Loader is in Beta (i.e. Buggy), and CloudFlare acknowledges “… not all scripts work with this feature.” Rocket Loader intermittently stops my sliders from sliding, or sometimes even loading. I use it only on slider-less sites. I am keeping an eye on it though, and will retry it when the Beta label vanishes.

Update: After seven years in Beta, CloudFlare announced the General Availability (GA, e.g. production operation) of Rocket Loader on June 1, 2018. In my initial brief testing it seems to not break sliders now, and provides a significant speed boost. I am turning it on for a trial run.

Update: At least for me, Rocket Loader now Rocks!

Caching

The Caching Level setting only goes up to Standard. For more aggressive caching I use a page rule for blazing site speed on relatively static sites like this one.


Browser Cache Expiration specifies how long cached resources will remain in the visitor’s browser cache.

Browser Cache Expiration: Respect Existing Headers

WordPress presumably does a good job of determining the optimal browser cache duration of various resources – e.g. longer for static resources, shorter for dynamic resources – so I don’t want CloudFlare to mess with this. I leave this setting at the default “Respect Existing Headers”.

Update: I changed the ‘Browser Cache Expiration’ setting to 1 month, to bump up my speed scores in services like Pingdom, GTmetrix and PageSpeed. Surprisingly, it seems to have bumped up my actual site speed a bit as well.

WPPOV supports freedom from Net Neutrality and the GDPR. The Internet of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.