How Can I Test the Impact of Cloudflare on My Website’s Speed?

Cloudflare testing

Testing the impact of Cloudflare on your website's speed is a great idea for understanding its benefits. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can perform this test effectively:

  1. Prepare for Testing:
    • Ensure your site is stable and no major changes occur during the testing period.
    • Clear any existing caches on your website and within Cloudflare to ensure you are testing fresh loads.
  2. Test with Cloudflare Proxying On:
    • Ensure your website's A record is proxied (orange cloud icon in Cloudflare DNS settings).
    • To analyze your site's performance, use a page speed testing tool such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom.
    • Record the performance metrics such as load time, total page size, number of requests, and specific scores (e.g., Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices, SEO).
  3. Switch Proxying Off:
    • Go to Cloudflare DNS settings and click the orange cloud icon to turn it gray, which means the A record is not proxied.
    • Clear any caches again to ensure you're testing a fresh load directly from your origin server.
  4. Test with Cloudflare Proxying Off:
    • Use the same page speed testing tool to analyze your site's performance again.
    • Record the same set of performance metrics for comparison.
  5. Compare Results:
    • Analyze the differences in load times, page sizes, request counts, and specific scores between the two tests.
    • Note any improvements or regressions in performance when Cloudflare is enabled or disabled.

Key Metrics to Look For:

  • Load Time: The total time it takes for your page to load fully.
  • Total Page Size: The size of the entire webpage, including all assets like images, scripts, and stylesheets.
  • Number of Requests: The total number of HTTP requests to load the page.
  • Performance Scores: Scores provided by testing tools indicate overall performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO.

Edy's Recommendation

Based on your test results, you will see the tangible benefits that Cloudflare provides. Typically, Cloudflare’s CDN and optimization features significantly improve load times, reduce server load, and enhance security. If you see a substantial improvement in performance metrics with Cloudflare enabled, I recommend keeping the proxying on to leverage these benefits. Additionally, the added security features such as DDoS protection and the Web Application Firewall (WAF) can help keep your site safe from attacks.

Testing and comparing your site’s performance with Cloudflare on and off is an excellent way to ensure you’re making the most of the services available. This practice will help you understand the value Cloudflare brings and optimize your website's performance effectively.

Categories

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Difficulty Level

Intermediate

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