The Speed Study Goal
My goal with conducting these Speed Studies is to find out which strategies are the best at improving our site speed.
I’ll implement each strategy using the following approach:
- Setup the strategy on all 8 of our live test sites
- Then for the following 3 weeks, use hourly monitoring via GT Metrix to independently gather the load times. To eliminate the possibility of location bias, I change the test servers each week, starting in Dallas, then London and finishing off in Sydney.
- Next measure the impact of each strategy by comparing the average speed before and after
- Ultimately decide whether the strategy works?
KeyCDN + Cloudflare + WP Super Cache Speed Study
With KeyCDN proving to be slower when added to W3 Total Cache, let’s see if KeyCDN can turn things around when paired with WP Super Cache?
To kick off this KeyCDN + Cloudflare + WP Super Cache Speed Study, we first need to setup KeyCDN. Once that’s complete, we then integrate it into WP Super Cache. With Cloudflare already setup, I followed our step by step tutorial on How to Setup KeyCDN with WP Super Cache for each of our test sites.
I have now followed this process on all 8 of our Live Test Sites.
Next up is 3 weeks of testing – I am curious to see whether KeyCDN will actually help this time?
The Results – 07 Oct 2017
After 3 weeks of testing, lets take a look at how our 8 hosts performed with KeyCDN paired with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare.
Let’s first compare the combo of KeyCDN, Cloudflare & W3 Total Cache with KeyCDN, Cloudflare & WP Super Cache? The average load time across 3 different testing locations clocking is 1.25s for WP Super Cache, which is 17% slower than W3 Total Cache.
When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, all experienced dropoffs in speed, ranging from 10% in Sydney through to 25% in London. Page Size & Yahoo YSlow Scores were slightly worse off, while Google PageSpeed Scores was unchanged.
Let’s now look into the impact of KeyCDN to WP Super Cache & Cloudflare.
KeyCDN Impact on WP Super Cache
So how did KeyCDN perform when it was added to WP Super Cache & Cloudflare? Well noticeably better, with the average load time across 3 different testing locations clocking in at 1.25s, which is 24% faster than WP Super Cache & Cloudflare only.
When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, Dallas experienced the smallest increase at 12%, while bigger increases were seen in London & Sydney, of 22% & 33% respectively. Page Size was slightly worse off, while Google PageSpeed & Yahoo YSlow Scores was noticeably better.
So when it comes to making a call on whether KeyCDN was beneficial, the decision is really easy: YES!!
Individual Host Performance
Let’s now take a look at how our individual hosts performed:
- The comparison between W3 Total Cache & WP Super Cache are predominantly favoring W3 Total Cache when it comes to our individual hosts:
- GoDaddy was the only host to experience a slight improvement in speed of 0.4% with WP Super Cache
- The other 7 hosts experienced slower speeds, ranging from 1% with Lightning Base up to 29% with InMotion Hosting.
Individual Host Performance – KeyCDN Impact
- The results of adding KeyCDN to WP Super Cache & Cloudflare are all faster when it comes to our individual hosts:
- GoDaddy & Lightning Base experience moderate improvements in speed of 14%
- The other 6 hosts were faster again, ranging from 24% with SiteGround & HostGator up to 29% with Namecheap & Bluehost.
With KeyCDN proving effective with WP Super Cache, lets find out if it is helpful when paired with WP Rocket.
So Speed Study #21 will focus on what speed improvement is possible when we bring WP Rocket, Cloudflare and KeyCDN together?