Potential DNS misconfiguration leading to poor performance

While viewing our website in Safari, the message “This website ________ is currently offline. Cloudflare’s Always Online shows a snapshot…” appeared at the top of the page. In recent years, our website’s performance and speed intermittently renders it unusable, and there doesn’t seem to be a commonality that would lead us to a cause.

During my research into the error encountered earlier today, something led me to look at the domain’s DNS records (hosted at CF, of course), and there is neither an A nor C Name for the “www” subdomain. I don’t believe any configuration files include the “www” subdomain (including database records); however, it is possible that some files have the “www” hard-coded somewhere. We intentionally do not use any links, URL, or references to the “www” subdomain. However, I

The questions:

  1. How can I determine if our DNS records are properly set?
  2. Could this cause the site to be unusably slow at times, present odd and random errors, and time out frequently?

Background information that may be helpful:
I did not create the website nor configure the Cloudflare account and the domain’s DNS records. This WordPress site was inherited early last year (2023), and the site had been suffering from terrible performance for at least a year prior. While researching this issue, I engaged an established and respected WordPress development team (name withheld from this post, but most WP developers know their work) to assist in diagnosing the problem. Ultimately, we independently came to the conclusion that the site’s core files (and probably database records) must have been corrupted during a server transfer/restoration at some point in the past, and that is what led to our current issue of incorrect (and multiple) file and resource URL references resulting in many unnecessary requests.

One example is a Google Font import script file that was called 90+ times on every page. The team and I scoured the WordPress install and each plugin’s settings (both in files and database records), but we were unable to find any configuration issues that would cause this.

Thank you in advance.

Update: After attempting to add a CNAME for the “www” subdomain, Cloudflare alerted that the record already existed. This is odd, as it was CF’s dashboard that said there was no record for the “www” subdomain about 30 minutes ago, and I am the only working within the system today. So that is probably not the problem, as I’d hoped it was.

I am still uncertain why the site continues to have performance problems and would like to confirm that our DNS records and CF configuration is not the root cause. My client’s CF plan is “Pro”, so my CF support options are limited. Any recommendations?

Start with… what is the domain?

1 Like

Very important piece to this puzzle, right?

watershedgeo.com

Thanks!

You do have a www record that’s proxied (and is redirecting to watershedgeo.com at your origin server), so there must be a www record in your Cloudflare DNS (there’s no wildcard record). Can you show a screenshot of your DNS records if you are still having problems with the www record.

https://cf.sjr.org.uk/tools/check?7011371775df46ed9d547864572fd10c#dns

Otherwise your basic Cloudflare configuration looks ok. You are using Wordpress and APO and that’s not my thing so if there’s a problem there someone else may see something.

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