Improve Server Performance with Cloudflare Page Rules

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Ferdian Alfianto

Ferdian Alfianto

Ferdian Alfianto is an Internet enthusiast, Mac Lover; likes using Wordpress, experimenting with Linux (especially Debian and Ubuntu), tinkering with pfSense routers, happy experimenting with LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MariaDB, PHP) and Redis. You can contact me here.

Cloudflare Page Rules is a Cloudflare feature that is not widely used by users, even though this feature is quite powerful. Cloudflare Page Rules allow us to control how Cloudflare treats our site URLs.

By default Cloudflare does not cache web pages, either static or dynamic. Only static files are cached by Cloudflare, such as image files, css, javascript, etc. So if a visitor accesses your site, Cloudflare will immediately be forwarded to your site's server, except for the static files that I mentioned above.

For sites that are not too many visitors it may not be a problem, but if your site is busy with lots of visitors; it will be a problem on the server side. CPU load will increase, so will bandwidth, disk I / O, etc.

With Page Rules, we can instruct Cloudflare to cache the pages of our site, whether all pages or part of it. With web pages served by Cloudflare servers, server performance will automatically be light. And because server resources are not used much, the server can automatically serve more site visitors, save bandwidth, and you can install more WordPress sites to the server.

Configure Cloudflare Page Rules

I assume your site is configured using Cloudflare, and we just need to go to the Page Rules menu.

Configure the Page Rules as below:

Configure Cloudflare Page Rules

Configuration details can be seen below.

Configure Cloudflare Page Rules
In this configuration, we instruct Cloudflare NOT to cache the WordPress login page, because if we cache it it will cause problems, such as looping. If you use another CMS, customize it with the CMS login page.
Configure Cloudflare Page Rules
In this configuration, the function is the same as the first configuration, which instructs Cloudflare NOT to cache the pages that are used for login.
Configure Cloudflare Page Rules
In this last configuration, we instruct Cloudflare to cache all the pages of our WordPress site.
NOTE: The first and second configuration positions must be above this last configuration.

Do a test, whether Cloudflare has cached our WordPress site pages, do it by running a command prompt (CMD) or Windows PowerShell, and run the command:

curl -I

Check the output of the command, and if there is a sentence CF-Cache-Status: HIT, means that your webpage has been cached by Cloudflare.

Cloudflare Cache Hit

Benchmark Test

Just like in my previous writing, EasyEngine v4 Install Tutorial & Benchmark Results, we will benchmark our server and site performance with LoadImpact; with 100 users and a duration of 15 minutes. And the results are as follows:

Cloudflare Page Rules Benchmark Test Results

The mean response time was 12.52 ms, and 238370 requests were successfully created with an average of 265 requests per second. And the highest recorded CPU load was only 0.16!

Maybe the results of the request wouldn't be as high if we didn't use Cloudflare, like in this test. However, the bottom line is, the response time is much smaller and the CPU load is very low, this is an impressive value. It's almost as if the server isn't performing at all. All requests are served by Cloudflare servers.

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8 Responses

  1. If this is activated, don't you need to install a cache plugin again on WordPress?

    Or for example, keep the plugin cache installed, then I post / update the article, do I just need to purge cache on the plugin, or do I still have to purge the Cloudflare cache?

    1. Can you use it or not, for example wp-rocket integrates with cloudflare, so for example there is an update, wp-rocket will automatically purge to cloudflare. But it doesn't matter if you don't use it.

      1. But after I tried it successfully, and there wasn't a single error, everything was exactly the same as the example above, how come every access to my all pages is notfound huh?

        1. It's a bit strange if it's not found, because the above configuration shouldn't change anything, just tell CF to cache the page of our site, at intervals according to our wishes. Try after completing configuration, purge cache first before accessing the site.

    1. Yes, if I update the post, the page will not be updated automatically, because the page is cached by CF, sometimes we have to purge the CF cache first, then the update / change appears.

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