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:

  1. Setup the strategy on all 8 of our live test sites
  2. 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.
  3. Next measure the impact of each strategy by comparing the average speed before and after
  4. Ultimately decide whether the strategy works?

MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Rocket Speed Study

With KeyCDN proving to be ineffective when added to WP Rocket, let’s see if MaxCDN can actually speed up WP Rocket?

How to Setup MaxCDN & WP Rocket

To kick off this MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Rocket Speed Study, we first need to setup MaxCDN. Once that’s complete, we then integrate it into WP Rocket. With Cloudflare already setup, I followed our step by step tutorial on How to Setup MaxCDN with WP Rocket for each of our test sites.

All Setup

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 MaxCDN will help boost WP Rocket & Cloudflare?

The Results – 19 Nov 2017

After 3 weeks of testing, lets take a look at how our 8 hosts performed with MaxCDN paired with WP Rocket & Cloudflare.

Speed Study 22 - MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Rocket Results Table


The average load time across our 3 different testing locations is 2.16s for MaxCDN, which is over double the time for KeyCDN. I was definitely not expecting such a dramatic difference, WOW, what a dropoff!!

When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, all experienced massive slowdowns in speed. These slowdowns ranged from 79% in London through to 134% in Sydney. Also Page Size & Yahoo YSlow Scores were worse off with MaxCDN, while Google PageSpeed was even.

So when it comes to making a call on whether MaxCDN was beneficial, the decision is really easy -> NO!!

Individual Host Performance

Let’s now take a look at how our individual hosts performed:

Speed Study 22 - MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Rocket - Individual Host Performance

Major Observations

  • The comparison between KeyCDN & MaxCDN are all favoring KeyCDN when it comes to our individual hosts:
    1. All 8 hosts experienced slower speeds with MaxCDN, ranging from 73% with GoDaddy up to 125% with Namecheap & InMotion Hosting.
  • The overall observation from where I sit is that KeyCDN is clearly the better option when paired with WP Rocket & Cloudflare.

What’s Next?

With MaxCDN proving to be ineffective with WP Rocket, lets find out if MaxCDN will do a better job when it’s combined with WP Super Cache?

So Speed Study #23 will focus on what speed improvement is possible when we bring WP Super Cache, Cloudflare and MaxCDN together?

Speed Study #20: Cloudflare + WP Super Cache + KeyCDN