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?
MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Super Cache Speed Study
In our last speed study, MaxCDN massively slowed down our sites when added to WP Rocket. So this speed study will look at whether MaxCDN will play better with WP Super Cache?
How to Setup MaxCDN & WP Super Cache
To kick off this MaxCDN + Cloudflare + WP Super Cache Speed Study, we first need to setup MaxCDN. 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 MaxCDN 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 MaxCDN can redeem itself when paired with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare?
The Results – 09 Dec 2017
After 3 weeks of testing, lets take a look at how our 8 hosts performed with MaxCDN paired with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare.
Let’s first see how WP Super Cache performed compared to WP Rocket, when both are paired with MaxCDN & Cloudflare? The average load time across our 3 different testing locations is 2.59s for WP Super Cache, which is 20% slower than with WP Rocket.
When we dig into the 3 locations we test from, all experienced slowdowns in speed, ranging from 5% slower in Dallas through to 36% in London. Also Google PageSpeed & Yahoo YSlow Scores were worse off with WP Super Cache, while Page Size was improved.
So when it comes to making a call on whether WP Super Cache was beneficial, the decision is easy -> NO, WP Rocket performed better.
MaxCDN vs KeyCDN with WP Super Cache
So how did MaxCDN compare to KeyCDN when both are added to WP Super Cache & Cloudflare? Well the difference was massive, with the average load time for MaxCDN being over double that of KeyCDN.
Dallas experienced a slowdown of 71%, while London & Sydney were even worse, with dropoffs of 124% & 117% respectively.
So when it comes to making a call on which CDN is best when paired with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare, the decision is really easy: KeyCDN!!
Individual Host Performance
Let’s now take a look at how our individual hosts performed:
- The comparison between WP Rocket & WP Super Cache are all favoring WP Rocket when it comes to our individual hosts:
- All 8 hosts experienced slower speeds with WP Super Cache, ranging from 2% with Lightning Base up to 30% with Namecheap.
- The overall observation from where I sit is that WP Super Cache is the better option when paired with MaxCDN & Cloudflare.
Individual Host Performance – MaxCDN vs KeyCDN with WP Super Cache
- When we look at the comparison between MaxCDN & KeyCDN when combined with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare, all of our individual hosts were much better off with KeyCDN:
- All 8 hosts were slower with MaxCDN, ranging from 80% with SiteGround up to 124% with Namecheap.
- The overall observation is that KeyCDN has significantly outperformed MaxCDN when paired with WP Super Cache & Cloudflare.
With KeyCDN proving to be much faster than MaxCDN with WP Super Cache, lets find out if MaxCDN will do a better job when it’s combined with W3 Total Cache?
So Speed Study #24 will focus on what speed improvement is possible when we bring W3 Total Cache, Cloudflare and MaxCDN together?