The new advanced network is something WP Engine has been working for the past few years for better performance, and security in partnership with Cloudflare.
To find the difference between legacy network and advanced network, I enabled the advanced network on my WP Engine site and ran a series of performance test.
- WP Engine Advanced Network has Faster TTFB
- WP Engine Advanced Network Improves Core Web Vitals
- How Advance network Differs from Legacy Network?
- WP Engine Advanced Network: Salient Features
- How to Update to the Advanced Network?
- What to Expect In WP Engine Advanced Network?
WP Engine Advanced Network has Faster TTFB
In preparation for activating the advanced network, I decided to assess the performance of the older network by pinging the site from ten different locations across the world. The results showed that the site had a TTFB of less than 250ms, but only in three of the locations.
After I made the switch to the Advanced network by modifying the DNS, I experienced a significant improvement in the TTFB.
Specifically, in San Francisco, the TTFB was previously 233ms on the old network, but now it is a mere 84ms on the Advanced network.
The WP Engine's advanced network boasts an impressive 94.33% increase in speed.
Furthermore, even the farthest locations such as India, where the legacy network boasted a sluggish TTFB of 1.1 seconds, has now achieved a lightning-fast TTFB of a mere 295ms.
WP Engine Advanced Network Improves Core Web Vitals
Following that, I proceeded to conduct the Core Web Vitals examination to discern the contrast between the two networks.
The results revealed that while the legacy network scored 635ms for LCP, the Advanced network outperformed it with a score of only 485ms.
These two tests provided a profound insight into the technical proficiency of the Advanced network.
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How Advance network Differs from Legacy Network?
Understanding the dissimilarities between various networks is crucial to comprehend the significance of WP Engine's New Advanced Network.
Let's begin by learning how a primary network operates.
In this primary model, visitors connect to your site and access the site resources directly.
The next model is a primary network plus CDN, which used to be MaxCDN in WP Engine's case.
Here, visitors access the HTML files directly from the website, while the images, JS, and CSS files are served through the CDN in their cached version. This offers better loading time than the former model, i.e., without a CDN.
In the New Advanced Network, all files, including HTML, CSS, JS, and images, are served through Cloudflare CDN, and visitors need not even reach the origin server. This ensures faster content delivery and enhanced security for sites at a DNS level.
In the New Advanced Network, all files, including HTML, CSS, js, and images, would be served through Cloudflare CDN, and visitors will not even have to reach the origin server. This ensures faster delivery of content and better security for sites at a DNS level.
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WP Engine Advanced Network: Salient Features
Layer 3 & 4 DDoS Protection
The New Advanced Network provides comprehensive DDoS Protection, safeguarding websites, applications, and entire networks.
Cloudflare DDoS Protection is designed for anything that is connected to the internet. Most importantly, Cloudflare employs intelligent and automated mitigations at the edge to ensure the best DDoS protection.
Cloudflare Powerful CDN
Cloudflare CDN offers the advantage of a fast and secure global network, delivering ultra-fast static and dynamic content over the global edge network.
Cloudflare has a vast global network to serve content to the target audience from the closest location.
Cloudflare supports static and dynamic content in conjunction with powerful network technologies like Agro Smart Routing and Load Balancing. Furthermore, Cloudflare CDN is highly customizable, and it can help you save bandwidth
Cloudflare Polish is another compelling feature and is the automatic image optimization feature of Cloudflare.
Images can adversely affect the loading time of websites, and this is where image optimization comes into play.
Cloudflare Polish is a one-click image optimization that pulls images from the origin and optimizes them in its cache. Hence, only optimized versions of these images are served to visitors, making page loading remarkably fast.
The Advanced Network also offers HTTP/3 support, and this feature accelerates all HTTP requests by using QUIC to provide better encryption than TCP and TLS.
How to Update to the Advanced Network?
The new Advanced network can be activated through the below steps.
- Start by logging in to your User Portal
- Next up, you can select an environment from the Sites page and click Domains in the secondary menu on the left
- After that, you will need to locate your domain and click on Update Network near the domain
- After you need to click on Enable now to verify your changes, it will display your CNAME and IP information
- Next, you will have to update the DNS details with your domain provider and click on I'm finished here.
What to Expect In WP Engine Advanced Network?
With the WP Engine Advanced Network, performance and security are taken to the ultimate next level.
Customers need to remove the zone URL for MaxCDN since Cloudflare operates on the DNS level and doesn't utilize custom zone URLs.
Furthermore, the basic CDN offering with MaxCDN will no longer be available.