Cloudflare announced another service that dramatically speeds any WordPress site with improvements of up to 72% in Time to First Byte. Cloudflare is offering users of WordPress.com hosting the new service for free. Anyone not hosted there can sign up for as little as $5 per month. Websites on humble shared hosts can experience sensational improvements in speed.
The service is called, Automatic Platform Optimization (APO). Websites using APO have improved Time to First Byte (TTFB) by 72% and Largest Contentful Paint by 23%.
Shared hosting has commonly been more vulnerable to slowdowns because of the burden put on server resources which can make database lookups to slow down and websites to become less responsive.
Cloudflare states that mutual server slowdowns are no longer an issue because of the APO technology.
APO makes it essentially irrelevant that a website is on a shared host (called the origin) because the WordPress webpage will be served from Cloudflare’s edge that is located near where the request for the page is being made.
All of the speed related downsides of a mutual host are mitigated by Cloudflare’s APO. That is why websites can see an improvement of 72% in the Time to First Byte metric.
With Cloudflare’s APO slow WordPress performance is no longer a consideration. Cloudflare stores a static copy of the WordPress site and serves that, without having to make database lookups or use files from the origin server.
This is how Cloudflare clarifies it:
“By caching dynamic content, we can serve the entire website from our edge network. Think ‘static site’ but without any of the work of having to build or maintain a static site.
Customers can keep managing and updating content on their website in the same way and leave the hard work for performance to us.
Serving both static and dynamic content from our network results, generally, in no origin requests or origin processing time. This means all the communication occurs between the user’s device and our edge. “
Cloudflare is currently offering the service for free to customers of WordPress.com hosting to offer APO to its customers for free. All sites currently hosted on WordPress.com will have the option to turn on the APO service. Cloudflare states that they might be announcing similar arrangements with other web hosting companies.
WordPress websites not hosted on WordPress.com will have the option to buy the APO service for $5/month if they are a current Cloudflare customer at the free level. Clients on the Professional, Business, and Enterprise plans can get the service for no additional expense.
When someone asked the Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming if there was a timeline for when the service will arrive at other web hosts.
“Cloudflare plans to bring these same capabilities to other popular platforms used for web hosting. Additionally, for website owners, we’d like to know what platform they want to see Cloudflare bring APO to next.”
Beginning is simple. Simply install the Cloudflare WordPress Plugin and from that point, if you’re not hosted on WordPress.com you will be directed from your WordPress Admin page to make a free Cloudflare account and buy a $5/month membership.
Page speed is a significant factor for sales and ad clicks. Five dollars a month is an unassuming cost to pay for improvements in speed, regardless if the WordPress website is a WooCommerce online shop or an informational website dependent on ad clicks. Accelerating a site is related with higher sales and clicks, which implies the service could more than pay for itself.
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