Cloudflare launches Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) for WordPress: Here’s how to install it

Cloudflare announced a new site speed optimization service called Automatic Platform Optimization. The service launched with support for WordPress, but it requires several steps to enable it for self-hosted sites.

To help sites perform better with Google’s Core Web Vitals, Cloudflare debuted a new feature called Automatic Platform Optimization (APO). Cloudflare claims that using the APO on WordPress – the only platform that is currently supported – results in “a 72% reduction in Time to First Byte (TTFB), 23% reduction to First Contentful Paint, and 13% reduction in Speed Index for desktop users at the 90th percentile.”

Cloudflare likened APO to the equivalent of serving a dynamic site as a static site. The new performance boost comes from utilizing its Workers to cache dynamic content, enabling them to deliver entire WordPress sites from their edge network.

APO can be used with any hosting provider. It requires the Cloudflare plugin for WordPress and a Cloudflare account. Accounts on the Free plan will be charged $5/mo to use the service, and paid plans can use it at no additional cost.

How to install Cloudflare Automatic Platform Optimization on WordPress

Installing and enabling the Cloudflare’s APO for WordPress requires several steps.

  1. Enable APO in Cloudflare

    Sign into Cloudflare, select your site, and then click on Speed in the main navigation. Click on the Optimization link, scroll down the page, and turn on Automatic Platform Optimization for WordPress.Turn Cloudflare APO for WordPress On

  2. Create an API token that’s specific to WordPress

    In Cloudflare, click on Overview in the main navigation, scroll down the page to the API section, and then click on Get your API token. Click on API Tokens, and then click on the Create Token button. Click on the Use template button for WordPress, then Continue to summary button, and finally the Create token button. Copy and save the token for use in step 4.Create Cloudflare API Token

  3. Install and activate the official Cloudflare plugin

    In WordPress, navigate to Plugins and click on the Add New button. Search for Cloudflare and click the Install Now button for the official Cloudflare plugin by Cloudflare, Inc. Click the Activate button after the installation is complete.Cloudflare plugin for WordPress

  4. Authenticate the plugin with Cloudflare using the account email and API token

    Navigate to Settings and click on Cloudflare. Authenticate with Cloudflare by entering the email associated with your Cloudflare account and the token that was created in step 2. After successfully authenticating, make sure APO is turned on.Cloudflare APO in WordPress

  5. Verify the plugin status in Cloudflare

    Return to the Optimization page described in step 1 and click the Check again to verify Cloudflare can detect the plugin and APO on your WordPress site. Upon successful detection, the Install WordPress Plugin button will disappear.WordPress plugin detected

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Jon is the founder and Managing Editor of Coywolf. He has over 25 years of experience in web development, SaaS, internet strategy, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. Follow @henshaw