Caching makes my WordPress webshop unresponsive or slow at best

The caching of Cloudflare seems to be having a detrimental effect on the performance/responsiveness of our WordPress/WooCommerce website right now, sometimes to the point it returns a ‘522: Connection timed out’. In the troubleshooting process I have turned off several plugins (like caching plugins; e.g. W3 Total Cache) before starting to turn off Cloudflare features to be sure it is not an incompatibility of some sort.
If I use a catch-all rule that bypasses the caching module, performance is restored while all plugins are active. Also, I solely re-enabled the caching and performance is dropping almost immediately, so I know for sure it is Cloudflare caching that triggers the issues.

What can I do to identify the root cause here? Obviously, the caching should improve the performance and I’m pretty sure it did in the past, but somehow due to circumstances it has gone south…

Caching only improves static file performance, such as images, CSS, and JS. It won’t help with the HTML pages themselves.

Since you didn’t post your domain name, I can only refer you to this:

A 522 error typically happens when Cloudflare requests to the origin (your webserver) get blocked. Review the suggestions in this Community Tip for troubleshooting ideas.

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