I'm trying to optimize the speed of my portfolio site as much as possible, which considering its a static website shouldn't take much.

I'm using cloudflare to manage my DNS, DigitalOcean's droplet to run NGINX, express to serve compiled Jade/Stylus files as HTML/CSS.

When I use a tool like pingdom to measure the time it takes for requests, I find that the DNS lookup takes 0.2s and the server takes 0.1s


When using GTMetrix, its a bit of a different story, it takes dramatically longer for the wait period.

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Despite running all my images through a CDN, caching all my pages - using prerender; I find that a lot of sloppy websites with almost no optimization, load in a similar time to mine, with much larger page sizes (1.7mb vs my 240kb)

One thing that could be happening is that my server is somehow overloaded by a request and so it takes a little longer to serve a page. Or I'm not properly caching my files. Either way doesn't explain the 200ms DNS lookup. And when retesting my site on pingdom I somehow drop all the way down to 20ms wait times too. But DNS lookup times of 200ms are constant.

I have an AAAA record pointing my ipv6 address to my domain, an A record pointing my ipv4 address to my domain, and some additional A records pointing to subdomains, while my only 2 CNAMEs point to email subdomains.

1 Answer 1


Turns out that I had cloudflare proxy enabled on my A records, bad idea because it added bloat to my TTFB.

  • Ironically, CloudFlare says to not worry about TTFB. Not sure I trust them on that though. Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 5:53
  • 1
    Yeah I read that article, it felt a lot like PR backtracking. I reduced my page load speed from 2s+ to just 1s by not using their proxy servers, whether or not TTFB is a big deal to them is irrelevant when I saw an actual quantifiable improvement by worrying about it.
    – nine
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 8:02

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