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  1. #1

    Wordpress + Cloudflare = Website times out way too often. Help.

    Hello,

    I installed Cloudflare about a week ago on my Wordpress blog and I've been having some problems with my website ever since, which CF techs were not able to figure out.

    My blog (kpopfever.com) and my web hosting company (tmzvps.com) both use CF. Whenever I browse my own website (or my web host's) and stay on my website, it loads okay for the most part. However, say I browse my website and I click away to another website by opening a new tab or a new browser, then when I go back to browsing my website I see the browser status bar read 'Sending Request' and it either times out or it loads after a long while. It's important to note that I have absolutely no problem browsing any other websites. I have no problem browsing yahoo, cnn, nytimes, other wordpress blogs, and even secure websites such as my banking institution, credit card, or paypal.

    I see a similar problem when updating existing posts. Posting new articles works okay for the most part, but whenever I update an existing article the browser status bar reads 'Sending Request' or 'Uploading 100%' and it either times out or it loads after a long while.

    I tried changing router and modem. I tried wireless and wired connection. I tried different browsers Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE, and they all take their sweet time to load my website if I click away to another website or if I have my website open on two separate browsers.

    My website was fine before installing CF so I have to think this is CF related. I used to experience crazy CPU load spikes due to attacks before CF, but after CF that's all gone and I would love to keep CF as long as I can fix the problems I'm having. Any ideas?

    P.S. - I uninstalled Dos Deflate from my VPS and all CF IPs were whitelisted. I also tried deleting browsing data. Added vps on CF DNS setting to bypass CF, suggested by CF techs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    yea, ive seen one of my sites go down and people have as well even with ips whitelisted

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BiggyMike View Post
    yea, ive seen one of my sites go down and people have as well even with ips whitelisted
    Yeah, I just read couple of threads 5 pages long on the issue you talk about. However, my website issue isn't so much about the website going down, but it's almost like browsing behind a slow proxy. Which is odd since pingdom tool shows that on average my website loading time has improved by half a second. Even google page speed improved my website performance grade from 86 to 90. I just can't explain the website timing out so often.

  4. #4
    Try clicking the link in my sig and see if you experience the same problem there. That is a WP blog on CloudFlare.
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by flam316 View Post
    Try clicking the link in my sig and see if you experience the same problem there. That is a WP blog on CloudFlare.
    It loads perfect and blazing fast. I tried replicating the same problem that I see on my website but none. So would this mean that there's something wrong with my CF setting?

    I basically registered to CF - changed nameserver over at my domain registrar to the ones provided by CF - installed CF Wordpress plugin - enabled CF to function with W3 Total Cache - added VPS to CF DNS setting to bypass CF - Fin.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    It loads perfect and blazing fast. I tried replicating the same problem that I see on my website but none. So would this mean that there's something wrong with my CF setting?

    I basically registered to CF - changed nameserver over at my domain registrar to the ones provided by CF - installed CF Wordpress plugin - enabled CF to function with W3 Total Cache - added VPS to CF DNS setting to bypass CF - Fin.
    The W3TC-CF integration provides the same functionality as the CF WP plugin. I'm not sure if they would prove to be destructive if used in conjunction, but it can't be good. I would disable one of them, preferably the CF WP plugin because I'm sure you would want to keep W3TC.

    Try disabling and enabling CF settings and see what happens.
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by flam316 View Post
    The W3TC-CF integration provides the same functionality as the CF WP plugin. I'm not sure if they would prove to be destructive if used in conjunction, but it can't be good. I would disable one of them, preferably the CF WP plugin because I'm sure you would want to keep W3TC.

    Try disabling and enabling CF settings and see what happens.
    I think you might be onto something here. It timed out once after disabling the CF plugin, but after that it's working flawlessly.

    If you read blog.cloudflareDOTcom/w3-total-cache-w3tc-total-cloudflare-integrat (I can't post links yet) it says W3 and CF plugins can be used together. I think they are wrong, at least in my case. I'll keep testing with new articles, updating articles, and such, and report back on this thread in case anyone else is experiencing the same problem. Thanks flam316, I think you probably fixed the issues I've been having.

    3 different Cloudflare techs couldn't fix the problem with the same information I provided to you. I come to webhostingtalk and in less than an hour I have a solution LOL~ Thanks flam316, I really appreciate the help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Let us know if you find out that W3TC and CF don't play nicely. Would certainly be good information to have in our Knowledgebase since I've never tried the two together, and since CF says they worked together, that's why I never questioned it in your ticket.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tmzVPS - Jonathan View Post
    Let us know if you find out that W3TC and CF don't play nicely. Would certainly be good information to have in our Knowledgebase since I've never tried the two together, and since CF says they worked together, that's why I never questioned it in your ticket.
    Hey Jonathan,

    I'll definitely update this thread with my findings. Btw you rock dude, you went above and beyond to help me with my issues. It's the same for all the TMZ tech professionals btw (especially Jonathan though hehe), but then that's for another thread I'll be making in the future reviewing TMZVPS. I'll keep you posted with my findings.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    I think you might be onto something here. It timed out once after disabling the CF plugin, but after that it's working flawlessly.

    If you read blog.cloudflareDOTcom/w3-total-cache-w3tc-total-cloudflare-integrat (I can't post links yet) it says W3 and CF plugins can be used together. I think they are wrong, at least in my case. I'll keep testing with new articles, updating articles, and such, and report back on this thread in case anyone else is experiencing the same problem. Thanks flam316, I think you probably fixed the issues I've been having.

    3 different Cloudflare techs couldn't fix the problem with the same information I provided to you. I come to webhostingtalk and in less than an hour I have a solution LOL~ Thanks flam316, I really appreciate the help.
    Test it out for a while before you thank me, haha. I hope it works out for you.

    I've been using CF for longer than most CloudFlare employees have known about CloudFlare. I'm sure they know much more about the innerds of the systems, though. I can't work for them, but working for one of their partners is the next best thing.
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  11. #11
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    895

    Post Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    I think you might be onto something here. It timed out once after disabling the CF plugin, but after that it's working flawlessly.

    If you read blog.cloudflareDOTcom/w3-total-cache-w3tc-total-cloudflare-integrat (I can't post links yet) it says W3 and CF plugins can be used together. I think they are wrong, at least in my case. I'll keep testing with new articles, updating articles, and such, and report back on this thread in case anyone else is experiencing the same problem. Thanks flam316, I think you probably fixed the issues I've been having.

    3 different Cloudflare techs couldn't fix the problem with the same information I provided to you. I come to webhostingtalk and in less than an hour I have a solution LOL~ Thanks flam316, I really appreciate the help.
    The CloudFlare and W3TC plugins shouldn't conflict at all. The CloudFlare WP plugin's primary purpose is to restore original visitor IP to the commenting level on WordPress (also has a database optimizer). Using both, however, is not required. The CloudFlare plugin really has nothing to do with caching, etc.
    CloudFlare Community Evangelist

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by damoncloudflare View Post
    The CloudFlare and W3TC plugins shouldn't conflict at all. The CloudFlare WP plugin's primary purpose is to restore original visitor IP to the commenting level on WordPress (also has a database optimizer). Using both, however, is not required. The CloudFlare plugin really has nothing to do with caching, etc.
    That's exactly it. But, multiple plugins that use the same thing cause unnecessary load and therefore slow down sites. That's why I said that "it can't be good."

    It would be nice if the CloudFlare plugin did have a server-side cache. That way I can throw out W3TC. I never really liked that plugin. Maybe some of the CloudFlare engineers can develop some super fast server-side caching with their expert know-how.
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by damoncloudflare View Post
    The CloudFlare and W3TC plugins shouldn't conflict at all. The CloudFlare WP plugin's primary purpose is to restore original visitor IP to the commenting level on WordPress (also has a database optimizer). Using both, however, is not required. The CloudFlare plugin really has nothing to do with caching, etc.
    Along with the issues described here, I was also having problems posting my articles on Facebook. That has been resolved by disabling CF plugin as well.

    Basically FB was not able to pickup my website's URLs when I had the CF plugin installed and if it did pick up, it wouldn't show the thumbnails. Even the old articles were missing thumbnails, it was a 50/50 deal, but now they are all back. It isn't a coincidence, this happened lol.

    Your technicians told me you had an open bug with FB and that you already contacted FB about it, but I think you should probably look into your plugin first. Not that it's buggy or anything, but it definitely does not work well with W3 Total Cache plugin.

    I should also mention though, now that the problems are solved Cloudflare has done wonders for my site. The website loading time is faster, the attacks that used to hamper my website is all blocked by CF, bandwidth usage is lower, I can handle more concurrent users on my VPS, and CPU load is very stable as well. All thanks to flam316 though since I would have uninstalled CF if he couldn't figure out the problems. I'm sticking with CF for a while and if I continue to like it I'm upgrading to the pro version.
    Last edited by tikijj; 03-06-2012 at 07:36 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    Along with the issues described here, I was also having problems posting my articles on Facebook. That has been resolved by disabling CF plugin as well.

    Basically FB was not able to pickup my website's URLs when I had the CF plugin installed and if it did pick up, it wouldn't show the thumbnails. Even the old articles were missing thumbnails, it was a 50/50 deal, but now they are all back. It isn't a coincidence, this happened lol.

    Your technicians told me you had an open bug with FB and that you already contacted FB about it, but I think you should probably look into your plugin first. Not that it's buggy or anything, but it definitely does not work well with W3 Total Cache plugin.

    I should also mention though, now that the problems are solved Cloudflare has done wonders for my site. The website loading time is faster, the attacks that used to hamper my website is all blocked by CF, bandwidth usage is lower, I can handle more concurrent users on my VPS, and CPU load is very stable as well. All thanks to flam316 though since I would have uninstalled CF if he couldn't figure out the problems. I'm sticking with CF for a while and if I continue to like it I'm upgrading to the pro version.
    We love the pro version. The Analytics are second to none

    It sounds like you've got everything resolved?
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  15. #15
    Update,

    Facebook posting issue has been completely fixed right after disabling CF plugin.

    Website timing out I thought it was fixed, but it still happens. It's far better than before disabling CF plugin, but it still times out.

    Also, this is something that I forgot to mention, twitter counter does not update properly. For example, an article of mine might have 20 retweets but the counter reads 10 or less, this has happened since installing CF. I read somewhere before that if there is an interruption of communication between twitter and my website while twitter sends the cached twitter counts, the numbers will not reflect the actual retweets. I'm thinking this might not be unrelated to my website timing out.

    Posting new articles it only timed out once since disabling CF plugin. About half the times it still takes longer to post than before, but I can live with it.

    I have a forum on forums.kpopfever.com and I can't seem to have kpopfever.com and the forum open at the same time. I had the Wordpress Dashboard open too I believe, but in any case whenever I have them open together the website times out. I may have to bypass CF to my forum unless someone has a suggestion.

    Thanks for the continued help.

  16. #16
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    I'm interested in seeing a reply from Damon here. I'm quite baffled as to why in the world having your site, and forum open will cause things to time out just because of CloudFlare.

    I'm going to try and recreate your timeout issues, but to this point I have yet to be able to replicate them on my end.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    Website timing out I thought it was fixed, but it still happens. It's far better than before disabling CF plugin, but it still times out.
    Hmm... It's possible that your server is just taking too long to respond and CF mistakes that for your site being down. You might be experiencing less timeouts because of the lessened memory usage from disabling one plugin.

    Also, this is something that I forgot to mention, twitter counter does not update properly. For example, an article of mine might have 20 retweets but the counter reads 10 or less, this has happened since installing CF. I read somewhere before that if there is an interruption of communication between twitter and my website while twitter sends the cached twitter counts, the numbers will not reflect the actual retweets. I'm thinking this might not be unrelated to my website timing out.
    This sound like a JS error. Try disabling the Minify and/or Rocket Loader on the CF panel and see what happens. If you disable Minify, you might need to purge your cache.

    I have a forum on forums.kpopfever.com and I can't seem to have kpopfever.com and the forum open at the same time. I had the Wordpress Dashboard open too I believe, but in any case whenever I have them open together the website times out. I may have to bypass CF to my forum unless someone has a suggestion.
    This sounds like you're running out of memory on your VPS. Consequently, your VPS will take longer to respond because it is using swap. This will cause CF to mistake the longer load times for a down website.

    Try monitoring your memory usage on your VPS when you have both open.
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by tmzVPS - Jonathan View Post
    I'm interested in seeing a reply from Damon here. I'm quite baffled as to why in the world having your site, and forum open will cause things to time out just because of CloudFlare.

    I'm going to try and recreate your timeout issues, but to this point I have yet to be able to replicate them on my end.
    At this point I'm open for any suggestion. What I find the most baffling is that I have zero problem surfing any other websites and my website did not have the timeout issue before installing CF. I could have as many windows open of my website and have the forum open together and it never timed out. Again, disabling CF plugin improved the time out issue a whole lot, but it still times out. Kind of weird also that I'm seeing problems on your homepage, my website, and cloudflare homepage. But then from what I know cloudflare website does not run on the cloudflare datacenters that their users do.

    I had my ISP come and check out the cable, they did the measuring and monitoring with their gadgets and everything checked out. They changed the modem for me anyways just to see if that would improve things, but obviously it hasn't. I also changed my router btw.

    So as it stands, disabling CF plugin did fix the Facebook problem 100% and it also improved the time out issue. Could the rest be some sort of problem with my ISP? Maybe they missed something when they checked out my cable system? This is very odd.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    Kind of weird also that I'm seeing problems on your homepage, my website, and cloudflare homepage. But then from what I know cloudflare website does not run on the cloudflare datacenters that their users do.
    Actually, I think CloudFlare now runs their site on their own network. Pings to CloudFlare.com and my sites on their network are coming out the same, and just-ping.com shows that there are pings from around the world that are less than 10ms. This leads me to believe that they are in fact running their site on their own network as of now.

    That's strange that you're having the same issue on all of those sites. And you aren't having an issue on my blog?
    My personal blog -- rubiverse.net

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by flam316
    Hmm... It's possible that your server is just taking too long to respond and CF mistakes that for your site being down. You might be experiencing less timeouts because of the lessened memory usage from disabling one plugin.
    My VPS usually averages around 500 to 600MB of memory usage. It has averaged the same number with my previous host and it's averaging the same with my current host. I have 2.5GB allocated to my VPS and memory shortage has never been an issue before. Also, before installing CF I never experienced the time out issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by flam316
    This sound like a JS error. Try disabling the Minify and/or Rocket Loader on the CF panel and see what happens. If you disable Minify, you might need to purge your cache.
    From what I remember I never turned them on from the start. I just checked the setting and they were turned off. Interesting to note as I was logging into cloudflare I see the dreaded 'Sending Request' again. I just don't understand how I can have problems surfing these 3 websites only. Mine, my web hosting company's website, and cloudflare.com. Anyways, Rocket Loader is also off. I do have Server Side Exclude on however, should I try turning this off?

    Quote Originally Posted by flam316
    This sounds like you're running out of memory on your VPS. Consequently, your VPS will take longer to respond because it is using swap. This will cause CF to mistake the longer load times for a down website.

    Try monitoring your memory usage on your VPS when you have both open.
    The memory usage was very stable for the past 12 hours and CPU load did not go over the norm either. I just can't figure this out.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by flam316
    Actually, I think CloudFlare now runs their site on their own network. Pings to CloudFlare.com and my sites on their network are coming out the same, and just-ping.com shows that there are pings from around the world that are less than 10ms. This leads me to believe that they are in fact running their site on their own network as of now.

    That's strange that you're having the same issue on all of those sites. And you aren't having an issue on my blog?
    I just found out something new. If I browse my website without the Wordpress Dashboard open, then having multiple windows open doesn't make the website time out. It's similar with tmzvps.com. The main page I can get to without any problems, but once I login and start opening tickets and so on, that's when I start having problems with the website once I click away to other websites. The same with cloudflare.com. Main page okay, login then I see 'Sending Request', click away and come back then it times out.

    I tested it again just now and I can replicate the problem. The key is having the Wordpress Dashboard open. If I don't have it open then I have no problem whatsoever browsing my website, but once I open it and switch to any other website or go to my forum, then it times out. Flam316, would you mind logging into my CF account and taking a look at the settings? I'm sorry for the bother.

    Btw, I don't have any problem with your website, but I think that has to do with the fact that there isn't any logging in with yours. Like I said above, I can browse my website fine on multiple windows and even have my forum open as long as I don't have the Wordpress Dash open.
    Last edited by tikijj; 03-07-2012 at 04:54 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by flam316 View Post
    This sounds like you're running out of memory on your VPS. Consequently, your VPS will take longer to respond because it is using swap. This will cause CF to mistake the longer load times for a down website.

    Try monitoring your memory usage on your VPS when you have both open.
    We have been monitoring the VPS very closely throughout this, and it's performing flawlessly. As he's stated, it worked great before CF, and now it's just CF causing the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    I just found out something new. If I browse my website without the Wordpress Dashboard open, then having multiple windows open doesn't make the website time out. It's similar with tmzvps.com. The main page I can get to without any problems, but once I login and start opening tickets and so on, that's when I start having problems with the website once I click away to other websites. The same with cloudflare.com. Main page okay, login then I see 'Sending Request', click away and come back then it times out.

    I tested it again just now and I can replicate the problem. The key is having the Wordpress Dashboard open. If I don't have it open then I have no problem whatsoever browsing my website, but once I open it and switch to any other website or go to my forum, then it times out. Flam316, would you mind logging into my CF account and taking a look at the settings? I'm sorry for the bother.

    Btw, I don't have any problem with your website, but I think that has to do with the fact that there isn't any logging in with yours.
    Sounds like a javascript problem to me? I know the WP dashboard is very heavily written in javascript. Have you been able to replicated this in multiple browsers with the WP dashboard?

    What are your PC specs?
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by tmzVPS - Jonathan
    Sounds like a javascript problem to me? I know the WP dashboard is very heavily written in javascript. Have you been able to replicated this in multiple browsers with the WP dashboard?
    I just replicated on Firefox, but with one slight difference. Firefox requires me to be logged out of my Wordpress. With Chrome, as long as I'm not on the Wordpress Dash I can surf fine with zero problems, but Firefox requires me to be completely logged out of my Wordpress Dash and then I can have as many windows open and the forum open and be able to browse however I want.

    My Desktop Spec;
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  24. #24
    One more thing,

    I set up a custom page rule on Cloudflare for my Wordpress admin to bypass all CF settings and it's setup for "kpopfever.com/wp-admin/*". Is that the correct setting?

  25. #25
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    Post Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by tikijj View Post
    One more thing,

    I set up a custom page rule on Cloudflare for my Wordpress admin to bypass all CF settings and it's setup for "kpopfever.com/wp-admin/*". Is that the correct setting?
    Yes, you would want to do it in that format (kpopfever.com/wp-admin/*).
    CloudFlare Community Evangelist

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