As a bonus, we’re also rolling out one more new feature: “TCP Turbo” automatically chooses the TCP settings to further accelerate your website.
CF dashboard description
Reduce latency and throughput with custom-tuned TCP optimizations. Enabled automatically for Pro, Business, and Enterprise customers.
As to Cloudflare Pro vs Free plans, Cloudflare Pro plan is beneficial for higher quotas or page rules, firewall rules, firewall ip/rule limits, rate limiting rules, user agent blocking rules and mirage/polish webp, enhanced HTTP/2 priorization, TCP Turbo etc which free plan won’t have and/or has less quota limits for.
All these additional quota/features allow you to better make use of Cloudflare for security and performance.
Anyway, you can always try Pro for a month and downgrade if it isn’t useful for yourself.
I find when I first went from Free to Pro, it opened up more opportunities that required more quotas for page rules and firewall rules and not to mention having CF WAF (Web Application Firewall) !
Example my forum’s software, Xenforo serves css via css.php file so Cloudflare doesn’t cache it by default as it only caches files with image extensions and .php isn’t a valid static file cache extension. So you can setup a page rule to tell Cloudflare to cache css.php requests
How are you testing TTFB ? You’re testing the wrong metric. CF Argo is about improving one aspect of page speed = server connection response time which makes up a part of overall TTFB but there are other factors that combine to make up TTFB.
Also CF Argo’s benefits will be geographically relative. Your biggest gains are with data center/countries further away from your origin server location. And smallest gains will be with country visitors closest to your origin location.
Cloudflare Argo has improved my server response time by 61.94% and it shows in my Google Analytics/Datastudio page speed stats in 2nd screenshot. This is current Cloudflare Argo statistics via dashboard and my own custom Argo Analytics API query script for per Cloudflare datacenter metrics
left side Cloudflare Argo stats from dashboard console vs right side my own Argo Analytics API query script to get Argo metrics on a per datacenter basis. As expected, the biggest benefit for Argo will be for visitors further away from your origin server’s geographic location. For me my origin is in US West Coast, so datacenters like SEA (Seattle) and LAX (Los Angles) will have lower % percentage improvement for server response time ~ 41.27% and 41.11% respectively. While datacenters further away like DME (Moscow) and DUB (Dubia) have much higher % percentage improvements for server response time ~ 67.07% and 75.75% respectively.
Digging deeper into my forums Google Analytics via Google Data Studio and filtering pagespeed metrics by sub-continents. This is the pagespeed stats just for European visitors making up Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Europe for May 5th to May 19th where Cloudflare Argo was enabled on May 14th.
Note up 90-95% of visitors are desktop so the mobile stats some days may have 0 mobile visitors or mobile visitors who use web browsers without reportable metrics.
Again Cloudflare Argo effects your server response times so average server response times are the focus here. As you can see from May 14th onwards, average server response times have fallen for Cloudflare Argo smart routed traffic which from above Argo metrics is around 87% of the requests so still 13% of requests didn’t go through Cloudflare Argo.
That that will do most of the page speed optimisations with Cloudflare for visitor facing performance. To fully optimise for page speed you need to optimize 3 segments.
segment 1 - connection between visitor and CF edge server i.e. CDN cache, WAF, Firewall, Page Rules, Mirage, Polish webP, HTTP/2, HTTP/3, CF Workers (i.e. custom/advanced caching) etc
segment 2 - connection between CF edge server and your origin i.e. Argo, Railgun & Full SSL/ECDSA SSL certificates (below)
segment 3 - your origin server’s performance/optimisations i.e. web server, PHP, MySQL server optimisations.
Segment 1 includes factors related to your web site/wordpress theme design and layout as well which Cloudflare features may help with i.e. CDN cache, modification, Polish webP, Mirage, HTTP/2 & HTTP/3 etc.
You may be limited by the type of web hosting your origin server uses to optimize for segment 2 and 3 though as you may need a server with root/VPS/dedicated server access to make changes as shared web hosting won’t have permissions for you to make changes that affect segment 2 and 3