How to test cloudflare on a test copy of my site

Does anyone have any tips about how to test Cloudflare on a test copy of my website? So that I can resolve issues before activating Cloudflare on my live website?

Background info:
I have a website hosted at siteground.com, where I can activate Cloudflare from within my siteground account without having to change my name servers.

I did this yesterday, then turned on various free features of Cloudflare (railgun and rocketloader). The end result was that I had multiple problems on the website - the css wasn’t working properly, the mobile menu didn’t work, images weren’t displaying properly on smartphones, and various other issues which I couldn’t solve in a hurry.

Meanwhile, my poor users were obviously frustrated and my bounce rate started soaring. So I disabled Cloudflare for my website and my bounce rate is slowly coming back to normal.

Complications:
I have the SG Optimizer plugin installed, and my Wordpress theme (the Jannah theme) also has a performance plugin included. So I have multiple places where I can turn on performance tuning features, for example, minification. I have avoided turning on any performance feature in multiple places. I’m thinking it might be best to use the Cloudflare options where possible – or doesn’t it matter?

How to go about testing
It seems I cannot use Cloudflare on a subdomain only, so I will create a test copy of my site using a spare domain name. I expect I will have to remove password protection on my test website before implementing Cloudflare.

Any tips, comments, suggestions or advice about how to go about testing would be appreciated.

Hello,

I strongly believe, from your description, that the root of the problem is… Rocket Loader, I have dealt with many websites and I had similar experience with that specific feature.
Note that, even if you left cloudflare with no settings at all, you would already experience a speed benefit due to the CDN caching the content. (In some edge cases the speed stays the same or is negatively affected, but those are exceptions).

Hi @jnperamo

That’s very helpful advice, thank you so much! :grinning: :pray: I will create a test copy of my site, implement Cloudflare and test everything without Rocket Loader.

It will be interesting to see what speed improvements I get if any. From my limited testing yesterday, I got considerable speed improvements on one page (post), but a significant decrease on another. There was no obvious reason why, but I will have time to look into it more thoroughly on my test site.

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