I’m aware that this an old question for a lot of CF users, but I’d like to share my worries with you.
I started to use CF some months ago, just because I suffered a DDoS attack in my website, and I decided to activate CF. I struggled to set it up (problems with the SSL certificates), but I managed to launch it. However, at the same day I started to use CF, the value of “Time Spent Downloading a page” of Google Search Console increased automatically from 150 ms to 700 ms.
It’s a huge rise, and after a few weeks, my SEO ranking in Google started to decrease. My website hosts more than 1,500,000 pages, and I suspect that such increase of ‘Spent Time’ is penalized by Google.
As mentioned, I’d like to share my worries with you:
- I’m not sure if Cloudflare is for me. I was just looking for a DDos protection for my website, but I’ve found that I’ve lost 40% of my web traffic due to the Google ranking penalty.
- I’ve read the famous post about “Stop worrying about Time To First Byte (TTFB)” (https://blog.cloudflare.com/ttfb-time-to-first-byte-considered-meaningles/). But the fact is that the ‘Spent Time’ by Googlebot crawling my site is much higher now. I’ve just done some performance tests with the same HTML code in two different domains, the first behind Cloudflare and the second without Cloudflare, but in the same server. I’ve done the tests with ByteCheck+Pingdom+GTMetrix. Behind CF: the waiting time is average 350 ms. Without CF: the waiting time is just 70 ms.
- Honestly, I do not know very well how to configure Cloudflare to optimize the performance. I checked Auto Minify for JS+CSS+HTML; I activated Brotli, Enhanced HTTP/2 Prioritization, and Mirage; I did not activate Rocket Loader; the Caching Level is Standard; the Browser Cache TTL is 1 year; ‘Always Online’ option is activated.
- I have SSL with Cloudflare (the SSL/TLS encryption mode is Full). Initially, I was also using https before using Cloudflare, and the SSL certificates are also installed in the origin server. I’m not sure if I must remove them from the origin server.
- I’ve read about Argo and sounds good. But it is a usage-based product with a cost for me, and I’m not sure if I can enhance the speed by using other options.
Any tip would be very welcome. Thank you very much.