I’m not jumping to conclusions here because, well, it’s season of psychotic consumerism season, but ever since we slapped Cloudflare in the mix a few years back it has been a downward slow slope of daily visitors. I removed it a couple of weeks and it’s been surprising. Surprising because I generally assumed that the slope was exclusively content related.
Something to remember is Pocketables used to get 30K visitors a day on a bad day. A couple of years back with another service we were having speed issues and asked to implement Cloudflare. It’s not been something I’ve thought about much, it claimed it was speeding things up, but Pocketables still seemed slow, monolithic, puttering behind on speed and any metric I could think of.
Even after we moved web hosts to one that very very few people complain about speed on.
A couple of weeks back I had someone on Twitter tell me they were unable to reach the site – getting a “prove you’re human” Cloudflare challenge without any ability to bypass it. I turned it off that day / put into developer mode, they got in, and I had a 20% bump in traffic that day for no reason I could tell.
The bump corresponded with advertising revenue increase as well, so Adsense at least assumed the traffic was human.
The next day it kicked out of developer mode, traffic was down, issues popped up with me – that was odd, I’d never had issues before. Disabled, fine. Not something I generally look at. Another developer mode day, another increase in traffic. Finally switched it off and am using them only for DNS now and for the first time in a while watching traffic daily increase. Also watching the speed I see things come at increase for reasons I’m not getting.
Now, this is an extremely bad time to be doing this test – it’s consumer season / Black Friday / Thanksgiving / Christmas, but traffic, engagement, and trawling spam are all up, but if you run a blog and are watching it go down the drain and thought that it was just because you’ve run out of oomph that people liked, maybe start with something simple like disabling anything that speeds up or can block people.
Then again, maybe I’m just seeing increases on everything because I’m looking. It’s also potentially due to some bizarro config error.
Beats me, it’s something to try although I expect we’ll see that the traffic and timing was suspect… for the moment though the increased revenue prior to Thanksgeddon has purchased my kids twice the amount of Happy Meals.