Will Cloudflare improve server response time?


Hi Everyone,

I’m attempting to improve the performance of my website. My host (HostGator) has been ok but I feel there’s room for improvement.

I would be referring to my server response time. Every time I run a test of my website using Google pagespeed tools, GT Metrix, Pingdom etc… it’s always stating my server response time is slow.

After doing some research I came across Cloudflare.

My question is, will/can Cloudfare help me improve my server response time?

Thanks, Everyone.


No, but that’s not the end game. The overall load time is what’s most important, but that TTFB (Time To First Byte) can be a problem.

Cloudflare still needs to get your site HTML from your server, and if your server is slow, that’s going to get you off to a slow start. But when Cloudflare caches everything else (CSS, Images, JS files), everything else will load faster.

Nobody can improve your server response other than your host. A Page Caching plugin will help a lot if you’re running a dynamic site, such as WordPress. That way your HTML is pre-generated and ready to go as soon as you have a visitor.



I appreciate the fast response.

To put it in layman’s terms, what your saying is to use another host and get a cache plugin that will improve website performance?

WP powers my website.

My next questions are, which web hosting service do you suggest and also, what do you think about WP Rocket as a cache plugin?

Thank you.


I would add to what @sdayman said that reducing the load on the server + the caching plugin could actually impreve the response time by reducing the load. I would suggest going step-by-step.


I use WP Fastest Cache. It’s simple and very efficient. W3 Total Cache is also very popular. A cache plugin will go a long way toward improving performance. Paired with Cloudflare, it will be as fast as your host can go.


Thanks, appreciate the help.


I’m currently using w3 Total Cache but I heard positive things about WP Rocket.

Would anyone know of ay difference in performance between w3 and Rocket?


Their caching features are all about the same. They generate the page, then store the HTML for later visitors so it doesn’t have to generate the page again. The fancier programs have a more intelligent approach, but the end result’s functionality is pretty similar.

If your server really is serving cached versions of your pages, and it’s slow, then it’s a server issue and Cloudflare can’t help that. Again, the overall load time should be significantly decreased with the appropriate settings at Cloudflare.


Thank you for the help.

Perhaps I should start a new topic but who would/do you use as a web host?



I generally use cloud hosting: Digital Ocean/Linode/Vultr. It’s self-managed, so it takes a bit of effort.

For standard hosting, I like Dreamhost. They’re independently owned and local to me.


Does dreamhost work well with Cloudflare?


Sure does! They offer Cloudflare config from their own dashboard, but I highly recommend you handle it from here.


If you cache pages at cloudflare, you can get TTFB around 20ms. And complete html loaded well under 50ms. Usually I see TTFB and full load w/in 20ms.


If with the dreaded Hostgator error message of “Reduce server response time”? or should I change my hosting provider or do I not need too?



If you are using a shared hosting plan, upgrading to a VPS will help a lot with response time.




I use wp-rocket with cloudflare - WP rocket has an auto setup thats simple and nice - got my local response time down from 4 seconds to 100 milliseconds. Using Media Temple as a host.



Thanks for the help but if you don’t mind me asking so, is your website image heavy? or mostly text based. Also, is it a shared hosting plan? Thanks


yes - shared hosting DV package with about 60 other sites on SSD drives and yes - large landing page = https://acousticalsociety.org/

WP-ROCKET used to minify everything - css, js etc. Imagify used to reduce image size -

been running cloudflare for last 8 weeks or so with no issues - love it - I don’t always get the 100ms time but significantly faster load times every time. Viewers in Australia and China have much better times and CF serving everything it http2


Wow, that’s definitely a fast landing page.

I have a question about your SSL certificate, how does your SSL cert. interact with CloudFlare.com SSL?

Also, did you have to change how your HTTPS is displayed from https:// to https://www. ?