Is Cloudflare APO worse option to Cache All Page Rule?

I am attempting to increase performance of my business WordPress website (non-ecommerce) on a shared hosting plan.

I am considering adding your APO service to our FREE CloudFlare account. Is this possible?

Also we have a Page Rule defined as “cache everything” already active.

This CloudFlare conversation indicates that APO is only good on a non-static website. Our website is mostly static. See the attached:

Should we NOT consider APO service if it is unable to improve our website performance?

Should we add to our cache everything Page Rule “Edge Cache TTL” condition - I understand it will interfere with our Nitropack product optimization.

I look forward to your guidance!

If you are able to terminate the dynamic parts I would strongly recommend switching from WordPress to a SSG (Static Site Generator) and have a hasslefree life, since you dont need to care about security anymore, nor about updates etc…

But if some parts must stay dynamic then yes APO is the way to go, or a good “Cache Everything” pagerule with manual cache flush when changes occur.

Since your site ATM is partially dynamic, these danamic parts would be speed up by APO, the static ones would not profit from APO over Cache Everything, beside that APO will flush automatically.

Can’t comment/support other products here in a Cloudflare forum.

A long Edge Cache TTL is generally clever, since you would anyway purge cache when a change occurs, independed of the TTL, is good for a longer cache duration.

I think you have to decide how much dynamic content you have on your page and how important it is to you to have it speed up. then decide if you want to use APO or not.
But for WordPress I would recommend it.

Any chance you talk about this page: https://www.kevinbryce.com ?
If so: use APO, it will most probably speed up your site.

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Our website is htttps://www.designwerks.net

It is almost completely static - your answer suggests it is not. This is incorrect. I was made to understand that dynamic websites benefit from APO but static websites do not.

We are looking at APO as a solution to cache HTML and reduce latency. I read that APO can also reduce or consolidate calls to our host server which is a shared plan.

So I would really like to know for our needs is APO going to give us the performance we need or is this unknown?

BTW our blog website is https://www.kevinbryce.com - it is static too on an shared host. You indicated at the end of your message that APO would speed it up. If this is true then why would it not speed up our other website https://www.designwerks.net?

I look forward to your reply.

It is correct.
The whole website itself is not static by it’s logic/programming. You late can cache it statically but the website itself is not static. Parts of it can be cached statically. But not everything. That would rule out a SSG.

I saw a form on your website which gets send to the very same domain (using WordPress Plugin Contact Form 7) which by definition makes the page dynamic. At least partially. As soon as one thing is dynamic, the whole page is not able to be “Fully static” anymore. Most parts are cached statically, thats right, for these parts of the website you profit from the speed of static content.

Yes and I also think thats the case for this site: https://www.designwerks.net
I can’t promise it tho since you already cache with Cache Everything.

I would say: try it and see if for your particular page it can make you benefit, or not.

I would do it like this:

  1. Disable Cache Everything
  2. activate APO

After it took effect, compare it. Best would be going with technical numbers and already running some benchmarks to late be able to see if there is an improvement with APO.

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This is a good suggestion - I will look into it.

I was most interested in the EDGE Cache which is capable of delivering content closer to the location of the requestor. This would improve the latency for each page requested. Also, HTML caching is a performance bottleneck on our website (https://www.designwerks.net) currently.

Does the APO product specifically address the performance in the areas I just mentioned?

The better question would be: do these things what I would need to make it more performant?
But to answer your question, yes, APO addresses this and caches on the Edge which would take load from your shared hosting which probably isn’t the fastest.

I saw your page and we maybe first have to define what “performance” you are talking about?

  • Backend performance? (Cloudflare can help you here)
  • Frontend performance? (Here Cloudflare cant help a lot)

Backend performance was solid from here where I test from. But your frontend is not optimized at all. That will also show up in test like Google PageSpeed Insights and other technical website benchmarks.

For this I would recommend hiring an webdeveloper who should optimize your WordPess website, since Cloudflare could just conceal that problem, but not solve it.

I am curious on frontend optimization you mention. Our website is highly optimized on the frontend (https://www.designwerks.net). This includes images, CSS, JS and other content. This optimization chiefly comes from Nitropack service. Any waterfall test we perform shows this optimization is very high. Where our website has a problem is primarily page latency on load, HTML cache, and a lot of calls to the server for JS and such. Most non-essential CSS and JS is deferred or not loaded if unnecessary on a certain page. That helps a lot to keep speeds within a reasonable range.

BTW - we are web developers exclusively on the WordPress CMS platform.

You are right, the reaction of the server is one of the biggest things holding back performance. Therefore use APO.

But the page’s frontend it not really optimized. But maybe requirements are different from person to person.

Thats one of the things I referred to.

Thank you again - what optimization on the frontend of our website is missing? Is this something that is not shown on the waterfall page testing?

I will try the APO and see what improvements can be had. Nitropack optimization interfaces with Cloudflare. FYI - Nitropack uses AWS cloud optimize servers and caches content to them to boost website performance.

Lol. Please use the traditional website benchmarks and read all the “recommendations” they show you after the test.

I know, but what is the benefit compared to Cloudflare. Beside the very first request, that will be a little slower on Cloudflare, since it’s a reverseProxy CDN (pull CDN).

“I know, but what is the benefit compared to Cloudflare. Beside the very first request, that will be a little slower on Cloudflare, since it’s a reverseProxy CDN (pull CDN).”

I would say contact Nitropack because they are more qualified than I am to answer questions about their product. Without this information you really can’t compare the two products. Nitropack’s website is https://www.nitropack.io

Thank you again for your help and prompt reply to my inquiry! :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t use their services, I don’t feel any need to talk to them :wink:
But if you are using their products/services, you should know what you are using.

You are welcome!

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Hi Again,

I signed up for Cloudflare APO for website https://www.designwerks.net

I installed Cloudflare plugin for WordPress and insert API token per instructions.

Now the plugin generates several error notices at the bottom indicating that token is not acknowledged by Cloudflare.

Cleared all cache on Cloudflare and retried the test on uptrends.com to see if Edge caching of website is working. Test indicates negative - here is result which should say “HIT”.

Here is information from test:
CF-Cache-Status “MISS”

So, is this typical installation for APO? Is this a setup issue? Is the Cloudflare plugin defective?

My tests with GTmetrix indicate very slow scores - this is not what I wanted to see from APO.

Can you diagnose on your side as to the issue? I would like to get the product to work.

If I disable the APO my website speed is much higher. Should I disable it until it can be fixed?

I look forward to your prompt reply!

Please first post:

  • GTmetrix testresults before APO.
    (in GTmetrix there is a history, search for the youngest test before APO)
  • GTmetrix testresult after APO.

Then we can analyse this and see the trend. If it’s slowing you down, or if it’s speeding your site up.
Just analysed your site: APO is up and running and doing it’s job for me.

APO cannot be enabled on the WordPress plugin. Attempts to enable it shuts it OFF.

Because of this issue I have deactivated the plugin temporarily.

Also, I received a message that Cloudflare has just charged me $1.29 which I assume is for APO.

But APO is advertised at $5.00 per month. This is yet another problem with this service.

It shortly was activated as I saw in the headers. Now it’s off again.

Different problems, in different threads please. This is the performance thread. I don’t have any clue about Billing.

About this there is a thread specially for this case. Please have a read here: Community Tip - Fixing CSRF Token Not Valid

Another Plugin in your Wordpress installations does interfere with the Cloudflare Plugin.

So if APO is off now, please test your site and save the GTmetrix link for documentation.

Hi,

You may be right - I use the Nitropack optimization product. Nitropack said they interface with CloudFlares products 100 percent. That may not be true.

Is it worth trying to repair the errors generated by the APO plugin since this may be a bigger issue?

I disabled the Nitropack plugin and enabled the Cloudflare plugin. The APO switch would not allow me to enable APO. This is very frustrating.

Maybe I need to remove the Cloudflare plugin and switch off the billing for the APO product. I do not have the time to fix whatever is wrong. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

I have the current test report in a PDF format from GTmetrix - do you want it sent to you?

If you don’t have the time for, the decision already seems to be made.

There is nothing to “repair”. Another Plugin grabs a token. The link I send you is a tutorial how to fix that and what could cause this, since I dont knwo which plugins are installed and what else is going on there I can not assist here.

The URL to the result would be fine. No need for a PDF.

I would turn off ALL caching/optimization plugins. Then try again, if it does not work, turn off also other plugins, if it worked, turn them on one by one and see which one is the bad one.

Since @Laurie is the queen of money, she may can assist you with that and tell you what it was for and why that amount.

Here is the most current test with APO disabled -

I need all the current plugins that I have - even disabling Nitropacks cache plugin still does not make the APO work or stop the errors.

I read the article you sent but there is a serious conflict with your APO service. I can’t justify the time and troubleshooting effort to make it work. So just removing APO seems the best and most rational decision. I thought this would be simple to get operational, at least that is what the docs lead you to believe.

I hope my experience will help others who consider APO installation.

Thanks for your prompt response and kind assistance.