How To Install Cloudflare’s Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) for WordPress

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: October 2, 2020

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In this article we're going to discuss how to install and activate the new Cloudflare automatic platform optimization for WordPress.

For a self hosted WordPress website, this requires a couple of steps, but the payoff is massive. According to Cloudflare testing, the new automatic platform optimization was able to reduce time to 1st byte by 72%.

Automatic Platform Optimization: What Is It?

“Improve the performance of your WordPress site. Automatic Platform Optimization for WordPress serves your WordPress site from Cloudflare's edge network and caches third party fonts. Get the benefits of a static site without any changes to how you manage your site. This results in consistent, fast TTFB and content loading faster.” – From the Cloudflare Dashboard

We use Cloudflare on all of our websites, including ours, because it comes with speed benefits DDoS protection and a free SSL certificate. The new APO addition to the suite of Cloudflare tools is super beneficial too many website owners. As we write about on this blog often, a faster loading website is a better website in all metrics. Users are happier, they remain on the page longer, the bounce rate is lower, and they are more apt to buy something.

the new automatic platform optimization tool for WordPress requires a couple of steps to activate. It is available to users of the free Cloudflare plan, coming in at a cost of $5 per month. If you're able to speed up your site 72% (keep in mind that is time to 1st byte, and it's also Cloudflare numbers, we will be testing this service soon and publishing our own findings), that $5 per month is well worth it.

Automatic platform optimization specifically targets Google's core web vitals. For your WordPress website, you will need the free Cloudflare plugin for WordPress, and a Cloudflare account. If you’re on a paid plan, automatic platform optimization comes included.

Installing Automatic Platform Optimization On Your Site

The installation process of this new Cloudflare utility is fairly easy. First you need to sign into your Cloudflare account, go to the speed tab, click on the optimization link, and then toggle automatic platform optimization for your site.

Because our site is using the free plan, this will cost us $5 per month.

Then, under the main navigation, go to overview, click on get your API token, and then generate a new one specifically for WordPress. To do this, click on the use template button for WordPress, and follow the necessary steps. Once you've generated the key, copy that and save it.

Now, on your WordPress website install the Cloudflare plugin. After activating it, navigate to the settings under the Cloudflare plugin on your WordPress website, then, authenticate the plugin by using your Cloudflare email and then pasting in your API token that was copied down. After you have authenticated your account, toggle automatic platform optimization on.

You can then check to see that everything was installed correctly by going back to the Cloudflare dashboard. Under the automatic platform optimization section, you will see a check mark saying the WordPress plugin was successfully detected on your website.

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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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