Google Pagespeed server response much slower through CF


#1

Hi (I originally sent this to support but unfortunately only received a canned response which did not address the issue)

I am on a paid plan (Business Plan)

I set up a simple html page with nothing but the word ‘test’ in the body because I am trying to figure out why Google Pagespeed is giving me a bad score due to server response time.
Even on this simple page I get a bad score which recommends only one thing as needing improvement: decrease server response time.
The response time is 1.2s at best.
If I give Pagespeed the server IP address (bypassing CF) I get a perfect 100/100 score as you would expect.
Although the server response time is not shown by Google in the report because it ‘passed’, I have seen Pagespeed show 200ms as a slow response time, so I am fairly confident my server is fast.

I also have another domain pointing to the same server which is not handled by cloudflare and I get the same perfect score to the same file (same server and same file just in a subdirectory)

Does anyone have an idea why cloudflare is affecting my google report so badly? To be honest I wish I didn’t have to worry about Google but in reality we all waste too much time pleasing Google and not real users.


#2

Does that test page show a cf-cache-status of HIT?

After that, I don’t know where PageSpeed runs its tests, but I’d also do a global speed test at:
https://performance.sucuri.net


#3

Can you provide the ticket number you received back? I’d like to do some investigation.


#4

Thank you, the test site at webpagetest.org shows this:

When using via the CF handled domain name:
cf-cache-status: HIT
page “Fully Loaded” time of 1.354s

When using the another domain on the same server:
cf-cache-status header does not exist
page “Fully Loaded” time of 0.332s

When I use the IP address the fully-loaded time is around 0.100s

The ticket was # 1444842
I can see in many cases that reply would be good information,it is an overview of what Cloudflare does and guidelines for best practices as well as links to tools for testing site performance.

I have been working on the issue for weeks trying to figure out why Google hates me, out of desperation I tried giving Google the direct IP address and the results were pretty amazing which led me here to see if it is a Cloudflare issue or not.


#5

Sorry I didnt realise how this works, I replied to both responses in one reply.


#6

No worries. I’ll look into it.


#7

I checked in with one of my contacts in support and confirmed that the answer provided actually does address the issue. In short, server response time is expected to be slower for uncached resources through Cloudflare. If you ran the same test for a cached resource you should see improved response time unless your origin server happened to be located closer to Google’s page insights test servers than our nearest PoP.

Sorry that the response seemed canned.


#8

…but the response header the OP posted showed a cache status of HIT. Maybe that wasn’t telling the whole story and that there were a lot of uncached assets.


#9

I don’t think I explained my problem well, sorry, I do not know enough about servers to go into a deep analysis.

In short, server response time is expected to be slower for uncached resources through Cloudflare

Sorry I don’t understand, slower than what? Slower through Cloudflare (uncached) than it would be when connecting to the server directly (ie, not using Cloudflare), or slower than if it was cached by Cloudflare (which would be expected)

This is what I see with webpagetest, which seems to highlight the same issue I am having with Google telling me my server response is slow:

I set the webpagetest.org server to a location close my server and get the fully loaded time down to “0.855s” when accessing the page via the Cloudflare supported domain. (see the page content below)

I have another domain pointing to the same server which is not handled by Cloudflare. When I run the same test using webpagetest.org to the same page on the same server I get a fully loaded time of “0.129s”

Is the response slower thorough cloudflare because the server is in Australia? Is there some settings in Cloudflare I should look at which might cause issues?

Could it be the server selectively reacting slowly to requests from Cloudflare? I know the Cloudflare service gives incredible results so I am looking forward to getting up to speed.

This is the ‘page’ :

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<script type="text/javascript"> </script>
</head>
<body>
Test
</body>
</html>

#10

Good questions. To be honest I can’t answer them, but I will return to the bowels of the office and see who can. Stay tuned.


#11

Ryan probably has access to your domain name, but without that, the rest of us can’t look into what resources are slowing your site down. If you post your domain name, others can look at it as well.


#12

Server response time will be slower through Cloudflare (for uncached resources) than going directly to the origin. The test resource provided in the original ticket is uncached, therefore it is entirely expected that you would see slightly increased server response times when going through Cloudflare instead.

Additionally, comparing the “fully loaded” times of two different domains (with and without Cloudflare enabled) is not a valuable comparison. You would need to run tests for the same domain with and without Cloudflare enabled to get an accurate comparison.

Overall Comparison  Cloudflare  Origin     Difference  Percentage  
------------------  ----------  ---------  ----------  ----------  
Total Requests      112         114        2           1.75%       
onLoad Time         5.20s       11.64s     6.44s       55.35%      
Total Size          1260.77KB   1521.93KB  261.16KB    17.16%      
Total Time          16.88s      54.79s     37.92s      69.20%      

CF Page Weight  #    Size       %        
--------------  ---  ---------  -------  
Cache HIT       43   1171.70KB  92.93%   
Cache MISS      1    19.71KB    1.56%    
NOT Caching     4    16.01KB    1.27%    
External        64   53.36KB    4.23%    
Total           112  1260.77KB  100.00%

TTFB     Cloudflare  Origin  Difference  Percentage  
-------  ----------  ------  ----------  ----------  
Minimum  7           7       0           0.00%       
Maximum  1635        756     -879        -116.27%    
Average  88.0        131.0   43.0        32.82%