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WordPress websites are about to get a whole lot speedier

internet speed
(Image credit: whiteMocca / Shutterstock)

Content delivery network provider Cloudflare has unveiled a new service set to increase the speed of websites that use the popular WordPress CMS - of which there are hundreds of millions worldwide.

The company’s Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) service shifts WordPress websites into the Cloudflare network, which is said to be within 10 milliseconds of 99% of the internet-connected population.

By serving practically all content from the network’s edge, APO eliminates costly round trips to the data’s origin and circumvents other common bottlenecks, delivering dramatic speed increases to WordPress users.

The new Cloudflare service is available immediately, free of charge to paying customers and for $5/month to users of its Free plan.

WordPress website speeds

According to Cloudflare, 38% of all websites are propped up by WordPress today - making it the world’s most popular website hosting solution.

However, with scale also comes inefficiency, in part because the causes of performance degradation can be hard to pinpoint.

With APO for WordPress, however, Cloudflare claims its customers won’t have to worry about common causes of slowdown, including shared hosting congestion, slow database lookup and plugin malfunctions.

“Running a consistently fast website is challenging. Many businesses don’t have the time nor money to spend on complicated and expensive performance solutions for their site,” explained the firm.

“Having a fast website doesn’t have to be complicated, though. The closer your content is to your customers, the better your site will perform.”

Early tests conducted by the firm show a 72% improvement in Time to First Byte (TTFB), a 23% boost to Largest Contentful Paint and a 13% rise in Speed Index for desktop users at the 90th percentile.

For the layman, this very simply means that content will find its way to website visitors much more quickly than before.

While the APO service only currently supports WordPress websites, Cloudflare has pledged to migrate the same service to other popular web hosting platforms in the near future.