How I Increased My WordPress Site Page Speed by 300%

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CloudFlare is a complete WordPress security suite and free CDN services provider that can supercharge your website in only five minutes of configuration process no matter what platform you’re in. CloudFlare works in five different ways to boost your website performances and protect your site from all the potential malicious attacks mostly DDoS attacks.

CloudFlare is best as a free CDN services provider but if you’re in their paid plan then you can have CloudFlare’s complete premium services that are enough to make a WordPress site super optimized in both performances and SEO issues.

Today I will discuss about CloudFlare Platinum plan that is a special CDN plan and can be only setup with any CloudFlare’s hosting partner site such as Bluehost.com

You will also learn how Platinum CDN package can increase your website performances and boost page speeds dramatically you may not know before.

What is CloudFlare Platinum?

CloudFlare Platinum is a special CDN package that includes most premium services that CloudFlare offers in its Pro, Business plans. The Platinum plan cannot be purchased from CloudFlare’s official site but it is available to buy from its one of the leading official hosting partners Bluehost.com. Platinum plan is specially organized with optimum CDN services that a commercial or personal website/blog needs and the pricing table is much reduced comparing to Pro, Business plans.

So, if you switch to CloudFlare platinum from Bluehost or any other hosting partners then you saved more money and got a better and complete CDN services you ever need for your online businesses.

CloudFlare Platinum CDN Features

Well, you understood the CloudFlare Platinum plan but you still don’t know about the services the Platinum plan offers, right? So I will make you clear about the features of CloudFlare platinum plan that I use on this site with Bluehost.com hosting partner.

Before to walk you through the features I want to say that CloudFlare Platinum plan is a combination of two plans (Pro and Business Plans) so if you purchase this plan you can get both the features of Pro and Business plans and that is a great deal for boosting up your website’s performances.

Worldwide CDN (76 data centers): CloudFlare’s data centers are located across the globe and that make your site fast for your visitors no matter where they are.

Intelligent Threat Protection: Block known malicious threats from accessing your site. Security level is customizable site by site.

Rocket Loader (Web Optimization): Rocket Loader™ automatically asynchronously loads your JavaScript resources, resulting in faster page rendering. Rocket Loader™ handles both inline and external scripts, while maintaining order of execution. In manual mode, you designate which scripts Rocket Loader™ loads asynchronously. CloudFlare will detect incompatible browsers and disable Rocket Loader™. Websites that have a lot of ads and other JavaScript widgets will benefit the most from Rocket Loader™. It requires JavaScript.

Auto Minify: On-the-fly removal of unnecessary characters from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It saves 20% of a file’s sizes and works without caching so it can support even fully dynamic pages. The results are smaller scripts and faster load times.

IPv6 Support: Support both IPv4 and IPv6 connections to your site without a single change to your existing infrastructure.

Performance/Security Stats: Insight into all of your visitors, including search engine crawlers and threats which may be missed by other analytics services. Statistics include requests, bandwidth saved and other operational metrics.

Page Specific Settings/Rules: Set up edge network forwarding, extend or exclude caching, require SSL connections, and generally exercise fine-grained control over how CloudFlare interacts with your site on a page-by-page basis.

*SPDY: SPDY is a modification to HTTP to reduce latency and increase security. CloudFlare provides automatic SPDY coverage for your visitors.

*Mirage Image Resizing: Automatically resize images based on the visitor’s device and how the image is used on the page. It requires JavaScript.

*Mirage Lazy Loader: Automatically turns all images into load-on-demand. Images on your site are not loaded until the visitor scrolls to their location.

*Polish (Image Compression): Polish automatically applies both “lossless” and “lossy” image optimization to remove unnecessary bytes from images. On average, image sizes are reduced by 35%. It also strips metadata and compresses your images for faster page load times.

Basic (Lossless): Reduce the size of PNG, JPEG, and GIF files – no impact on visual quality.

High (Lossy): Further reduce the size of JPEG files for faster image loading.

Larger JPEGs are converted to progressive images, loading a lower-resolution image first and ending in a higher-resolution version. It is not recommended for hi-res photography sites.

*SSL Support (HTTPS): CloudFlare is compatible with your existing SSL configuration. If you do not currently use SSL, CloudFlare can provide you with SSL capability—no configuration required.

*SSL Optimization: HTTPs has the reputation for being slow. CloudFlare optimizes the SSL connection to ensure a fast HTTPs experience for your visitors.

*Automatic Mobile Optimization: It detects the browser type of a visitor and optimizes performance for the particular devices.

*Priority Server Processing: If there is ever a influx of traffic to the CloudFlare server, your requests automatically take priority over those requested from a CloudFlare Basic configured domain.

*Railgun™: CloudFlare’s Railgun technology greatly speeds up the delivery of non-cached pages. While CloudFlare automatically caches about 65% of the resources needed to make up a page, 35% can’t be cached because the resources are dynamically generated or marked as “do not cache”. That 35% is often the initial HTML of the page that must be downloaded first. CloudFlare Railgun speeds up this remaining 35%.

Note: Features starting with asterisk(*) denotes the premium features of CloudFlate Platinum

Comparison between CloudFlare Free and CloudFlare Platinum

Here is a comparsion between CloudFlare Free and Platinum version that you may not know before.

Features Free Platinum
Worldwide CDN (76 data centers) Yes Yes
Intelligent Threat Protection Yes Yes
Rocket Loader (Web Optimization) Yes Yes
Auto Minify Yes Yes
IPv6 Support Yes Yes
Adjustable Caching Level Yes Yes
Performance/Security Stats Daily Hourly
Page Specific Settings/Rules 3 10
SPDY No Yes
Mirage Image Resizing No Yes
Mirage Lazy Loader No Yes
Polish (Image Compression) No Yes
SSL Support (HTTPS) No Yes
SSL Optimization No Yes
Automatic Mobile Optimization No Yes
Priority Server Processing No Yes
Railgun™ No Yes

How to Setup CloudFlare Platinum for WordPress

Setting up CloudFlare platinum for WordPress is an easy task and takes less than 5 minutes to configure. To setup CloudFlare Platinum on WordPress you must have Bluehost.com hosting account.

If you don’t have Bluehost hosting account then purchase any of their hosting plans and install WordPress.

After purchasing Bluehost hosting plan login to your hosting account panel

Now on your hosting account search for “domains” section and click on “CloudFlare” icon

CloudFlare icon
CloudFlare icon

On CloudFlare page section you can see all of your addon domains hosted at Bluehost

Now on the top left of page notice a blue text “Upgrade to CloudFlare Platinum

The package offers to upgrade your free CloudFlare plan to paid plan only for $14.99/mo for each domain name.

This is a prime estimation per domain name if you pay per month for CloudFlare platinum subscription plan, but for 1 year subscription it will be only $99/year so you save $80 and per month value would be $8.25 only.

Now I will show you whole processes with step by step guide to setup CloudFlare platinum on your WordPress site.

From the dropdown lists I have chosen my domain “thewildblogger.com” and proceed to “Next”

Choose your domain - upgrade to platinum plan
Choose your domain – upgrade to platinum plan

You see here for one month subscription plan the unit price is $14.99

item to be purchased - 1 month
item to be purchased – 1 month

But for 12 months or 1 year subscription plan the unit price is only $99.99 so you saved $80 (approximately)

item to be purchased - 1 year
item to be purchased – 1 year

In the payment information section choose either Credit Card payment or change payment method to PayPal.

Now click on “Process order” button

After purchasing you can see a copy of your receipt has been sent to your email address and if you experience any problem related to this order you can contact Bluehost support referring your invoice code that begins with hash tag i.e. #2637XXXX

iTem purchased for CloudFlare platinum
iTem purchased for CloudFlare platinum

Now click on “Manage” button to mange CloudFlare Platinum with your Website

Manage your addon domain
Manage your addon domain

Manage CloudFlare Platinum with WordPress

In order to manage CloudFlare on WordPress you have to activate it with your existing CloudFlare account or you need to create a new CloudFlare account if you don’t have any registered account.

So, if you have CloudFlare account then proceed otherwise create a new account from CloudFlare official site

To activate CloudFlare on your addon domain you don’t need to change Nameserver because you’re pointing CNAME records to CloudFlare through your hosting partner (Bluehost.com or any other hosting).

Now I assume that you’re on CloudFlare setup page so click on “Activate” link for the domain you purchased Platinum plan

Click on Enable CloudFlare icon for CNAME records or A records (You can choose either CNAME records or A records)

CNAME records for thewildblogger
CNAME records for thewildblogger

After activating CloudFlare on your domain click on “Advanced” link

Advanced - Thewildblogger
Advanced – Thewildblogger

Now you can enable Platinum features on your Domain simply follow the settings below for Platinum setup

  • Security Settings: Security settings is set to Medium for optimum security performances
  • Development Mode: Development mode is set default to Off and you can switch to On if you want to see the changes immediately while editing cacheable content of your website.
  • Automatic IPv6: You can enable IPv6 networking for all of your CloudFlare enabled websites. CloudFlare will listen to IPv6 even if your host or server only supports IPv4.
  • Caching Level: Set caching level to “Simple”
  • Rocket Loader (Beta): Rocket loader comes with beta version and it’s default to Automatic
  • Minification: You can automatically minify CSS, JavaScript, HTML and even both of them
  •  SPDY: Set SPDY to On
  • Lazy Loading: Set Lazy loading to On
  • Image Polish: Enable Image polish to Polish Basic (Lossless), Polish High (Lossy)
  • Auto-resize: Set Auto resize to On
  • Railgun: Enable Railgun to On
Settings for Platinum with thewildblogger
Settings for Platinum with thewildblogger

After making changes you will see each change will be successfully saved and enabled.

Cache Purge: You can purge all cached resources for your website. This will force CloudFlare to fetch a new version of your site from the origin server.

Page Speed Reports after Switching to CloudFlare Platinum

So, your website is now powered by CloudFlare platinum plan and you will notice dramatic increase in page speeds and 10X better performances in website front page navigation.

My website is running with CloudFlare platinum plan and I have checked the performances on various page speed checker tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom etc.

So below is the results I have noticed to check performances at GTmetrix for TheWildBlogger.com

  • PageSpeed Score: A (96%)
  • YSlow Score: A (90%)
  • Page Load Time: 1.5s
  • Total Page Size: 622KB
  • Requests: 40
Latest performances for thewildblogger GTmetrix
Latest performances for thewildblogger GTmetrix

I have also compared my site with other two most popular sites Quicksprout.com and Yoast.com and looks like my site outperforms them for Page speed, YSlow, Page load time grades

Compare reports
Compare reports

The Summary

I tried to make you clear about CloudFlare platinum plan that is a special CDN package incorporated with CloudFlare’s hosting partners like Bluehost.com and other hosting providers. Platinum plan is powered by very special and remarkable features that CloudFlare integrates with its two other paid plans (Pro, Business plans) and comes with very reduced subscription budget that is affordable for anyone in online marketing space.

Let me know your thoughts about CloudFlare platinum services.

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