I’m Confused About Which Method to Use for Caching

Any caching being done via your own web server should be done once so you don’t want but one cache capable plugin running cache on your server. Doubling and tripling cache tasks will slow things down some.

But you might allow the one plugin (WPOptimize) to optimize things and the cache plugin to handle cache if that first plugin will let you configure it that way.

On my sites I run the Cache Enabler plugin and AutoOptimize just to optimize files. After a time I drop Cache enabler for W3Total Cache to handle my server cache and manage the cache headers, then I let the original Cloudflare plugin handle the Cloudflare features.

Cloudflare is a proxy server… That’s not your horsepower so there’s no real problem letting Cloudflare proxy (or cache) the same content.

I don’t put much store into the speed check services but I do watch my Cloudflare performance itself for 500 errors. 500 errors with the ‘Ray ID’ usually signals that your webserver can’t keep up with Cloudflare. Sometimes killing the cache plugin can actually fix that.

If you notice a lot of 500 errors coming off of Cloudflare then you may need to disable Cloudflare’s proxy, upgrade your web hosting some, or else opt for the paid Cloudflare program with the relaxed timeout rules. I”d put my money on a better hosting package first.

I hope this clarifies the subject some. Don’t sweat the small stuff too much but those 500 errors, if you have them, need to be addressed. Speed reports? Most of your visitors will be too busy enjoying your site if it’s any good to be looking at a stopwatch while it loads.

@jnashhawkins Thanks. I’ve never received a 500 error. The error I’m getting now with Cloudflare Diagnostics is slow_ttfb_on_cache. From what I understand, ttfb = time to first byte. I noticed physically, starting about a month ago, when I tried to load my site (not in admin mode), that it takes at least 4-5 seconds to load, which seems painfully slow to me.

I didn’t realize there is a difference between types of cache routines. Optimizing files vs. server cache and cache headers? I’ll have to do more research.

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