APO (Tiered Caching) - Is it now worth it to prime the CloudFlare Cache?


Before Tiered Caching was implemented, priming the cache on CloudFlare with APO was pretty useless since you would’ve needed to prime every single CloudFlare server in every country in the world. So I’ve always primed my web server’s cache, but never the CloudFlare cache.

But now that Tiered Caching has been implemented, my understanding is that cached data can be passed along inside the CloudFlare network without having to ever reach the origin, except on the first Pageview. So if that is true, it means that we could now prime the cache on a single CloudFlare server (let’s say the closest one to my web server), and whenever a user in another location would access a page on my website, the first CloudFlare server would look to see if there is already a cached version of the page somewhere in its network (in this case, it would be true), and it would then populate the cache of the server in the new location, which would prevent a round trip to my own web server.

I hope my question is clear @yevgen.

If this works like I think it is, this is pretty awesome since bots (particularly Googlebot) will get even quicker responses than before when a page is not primed on CloudFlare. This might in turn be good for SEO.


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That’s the theory at least though there’s different Tiered Cache options now too Configuring Argo through the UI – Cloudflare Help Center

Cloudflare offers three different tiered cache topologies.

  • Smart Tiered Cache : Cloudflare dynamically finds the single best – from a latency perspective – upper-tier data center for each origin. Analytics information regarding which data centers were selected, and information about the custom topology, are generated in the Cache > Tiered Cache section of the dashboard.
  • Generic Global Tiered Cache (Enterprise Customers Only): Enterprise Customers can select a tiered cache topology to fit their needs. Generic Global Topology uses a static collection of Cloudflare’s best-connected data centers across the globe to serve as upper tiers.
  • Custom Tiered Cache (Enterprise Customers Only): Custom topology is used if an Enterprise customer has specific needs not met by the topologies above. Custom Tiered Cache Topology can be enabled by talking with your Cloudflare Account Team.


  • If you use Smart Tiered Cache and your origin uses an Anycast TCP-terminated network, Smart Tiered Cache cannot dynamically select the best upper tier. In this situation, you default to the Generic Global Tiered Cache Topology.
  • Using Smart Tiered Cache may decrease performance improvements from Argo Smart routing between the origin and upper-tier. This occurs due to a shorter travel distance and fewer gained optimizations.

APO integrated with Tiered Caching Generic Topology. Generic Topology contains 15-20 Tiered 1 PoPs, so you need to prime all of them to decrease the load on the origin. That is not easy as you can’t control which PoP will handle the request (we struggle with it ourselves as we try to measure the benefits of APO tiered caching).


Guess Enterprise custom tiered cached would be more useful for that ? Then again Enterprise users already have Cache Prefetch Does Cloudflare Do Prefetching? – Cloudflare Help Center so that would already help in priming all CF datacenter caches :slight_smile:

Oh if you already brought Enterprise features like cache by device to WP APO, maybe cache prefetch would be nice :smiley: But you can limit it to the Generic Topology’s 15-20 Tiered 1 POPs ?

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