Cloudflare & wordpress multi-site

I thought I’d ask the community this question first.

We have a dedicated server and will be setting up a sub-domain based wordpress multi-site on the server.
We use cloudflare for DNS for ALL our domains and sites.
We will probably change the cloudflare account for the multi-site from free to a paid cloudflare domain.
The question is, are there any known issues using cloudflare with a wordpress multi-site - one would assume not, but I find it nest not to assume :smile:


I had a classroom WordPress site where I used MultiSite subdomain on a free plan. Cloudflare really doesn’t care how a domain is configured. I had a ton of “A” records for the subdomains. It was a bit of a hassle, DNS-wise (~50 subdomains), but it worked fine. The paid plan will be no different, except with the nicer features.


Thanks - we will have about 300 eventually, so A records will be a pain, no doubt
especially if we use domain mapping for the sub sites. But that would be the case
whether or not we were using a multi-site network or individual sites


I do know that caching will be an issue. There don’t seem to be a lot of wordpress savy people
on this particular forum ref caching wordpress when cloudflare is also caching. Have asked
questions about it before without a lot of response. We continue to have issues there that seem
to actually slow page load down, like there were collisions of a sort. I suspect multi-site will make
that aspect even worse. I guess we shall see. :slight_smile:


WordPress caching isn’t an issue. There are plenty of plugins that do a good job of page caching on WordPress. But if you try to externally cache WordPress (or any dynamic site), you’d better have a really strong grasp of how it works in your specific use case. This applies to NGINX full page caching, as well as Cloudflare full page caching.

As I said, it’s site specific. Too many users expect setting a Cache Everything Page Rule to magically speed up their site, then don’t understand why their shopping cart is is wonky. Or why their specialized plugin doesn’t work right. Often, they flat out don’t understand caching at all, except that someone said it’d speed up their site.

Do my WordPress sites run quickly with Cloudflare’s cache without issue? Yeah. But I know my sites inside and out. Was my 50-student multi-site run fast? Quite fast, but I had to make some sacrifices due to specific needs. Not as fast as one of my “average” WordPress sites. Here’s cold-start performance of my average site:

And warmed up performance:

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Thats a good score. :slight_smile:

We don’t have shopping carts & only ‘special design’ plugins are the theme (Thrive themes) & things like wordfence

Only external caching we have is cloudflare. On WP I believe we have w3
(Would have to ask my tech guy for sure but he’s in Texas right now
helping his family there who were till yesterday still without power & water)

I do know we have had issues & page speeds more like 80-85 range


An update for people working with WordPress - maybe it will help. :smiley:
After research and some testing:

We have a dedicated server (dual Xeon, 132G Ram, 24 core, 2T)
Centos 7
Plesk Obsidian
PHP 7.4
MySQL 5.6.8 (MariaDB)

We are going to create ~300 Wordpress Sites

We decided to got multisite - instead of individual sites - because
1) Licensing - we have 23 plugins. Only need 1 ‘pro’ license for each on a multisite
( saves about: 21 plugins x 300 sites x $49/yr avg = $308,700)
2) disk space saved not duplicating all the plugins 300 times ~ 80 Gig)
3) database tables. Our singe WP site has about 178 tables x 300 = 53,400 tables
with multi-site, it’s about 3,800 [number of users expected same for both approaches]

The multisite sites will be sub-domains
all run through Cloudflare
…using AutoOptimize (for images, CSS, js)
…WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache for caching on WP side (designed for Cloudflare)
…Cloudflare as the CDN

We will be using Cloudflare Pro for base/main domain for network
because of the extra page rules and few other tweaks

This is the configuration that seems will work best with Cloudflare.
We will see :slight_smile:


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