Speed Up Your Website – In 5 Minutes

Website performance (or speed) is becoming increasingly important. Optimising a website for performance is normally a relatively technical task – although having said that, there are plugins out there that make the job a lot easier – Autoptimize for example.

But if you’re in a hurry or don’t fancy diving deep into WordPress performance optimisation, there’s an alternative: Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimisation (APO).

Launched in October 2020, and featuring pretty much a one-click setup, the system caches dynamic content (your WordPress posts and pages for example), and serves them as static files from the global Cloudflare network.

The result?

According to Cloudflare:

Our testing… showed a 72% reduction in Time to First Byte (TTFB), 23% reduction to First Contentful Paint, and 13% reduction in Speed Index for desktop users at the 90th percentile, by serving nearly all of your website’s content from Cloudflare’s network. This means visitors to your website see not only the first content sooner but all content more quickly.

I’m looking forward to implementing it on a client site to see how it performs in real life. On the whole the reaction in the WordPress world has been positive. There are some reports of people failing to see any performance gains (or seeing a worsening in performance); one reason for this is likely to be plugin incompatibilities. But for anyone who doesn’t want to get knee deep in performance optimisation, Cloudflare’s APO certainly worth a try.

How much does it cost?

If you already have a paid Cloudflare account, it’s free.

For everyone else, it’s $5/month.

How do I set it up?

From the Cloudflare post:

The easiest way to get started with APO is from your WordPress admin console.

1. First, install the Cloudflare WordPress plugin on your WordPress website or update to the latest version (3.8.2 or higher).
2. Authenticate the plugin (steps here) to talk to Cloudflare if you have not already done that.
3. From the Home screen of the Cloudflare section, turn on Automatic Platform Optimization.

Free customers will first be directed to the Cloudflare Dashboard to purchase the service.

If you need a hand with setting up Cloudflare Automatic Platform Optimization – or would like help optimizing your website more generally, do get in touch.

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