Varnish or No Varnish?


I’ve recently started testing some Varnish settings and I’m finding that with GTMetrix, my website is loading FASTER without Varnish enabled. I was under the impression that the site would be faster WITH Varnish enabled?

The page load speed is pretty staggering.

With Varnish = 5.6 seconds
Without = 2.6 seconds


I don’t use varnish for the same reasons. My perfect optimization setup for wordpress:

  1. HTTP/2 enabled,
  2. Very light Autoptimize optimizations for javascript and css to minimize request (if you’ll overdo it will actually slow a little bit down your website)
  3. WP Super Cache
  4. No Varnish
  5. PHP 7.0 or higher

It has been tested on many different website, which all load pretty much all around the world in under 2 seconds. If the server is close enough to the testing point and no heavy duty plugins enabled then under 1 second load time is possible.


I actually got the page speed down to around 750ms with Varnish enabled. I did have to open a live chat and speak to a technician who did some tweaks and got my issue resolved.


Have you load tested the site?


@erich_197 sounds like they showed you some very useful tips. Fancy sharing?


hi @batey, I actually had the discussion in the live chat and basically told them that my site was getting faster page load times without Varnish vs having it enabled. They made some tweaks on the server side and that was all that I did.


OK. Cool. Their customer service is excellent but sometimes, when I have a problem, they fix it but I’m no wiser as to what they did. Not much use if it happens again with another domain.


Totally feel you on this. What I do is show them the links to GTMetrix and Pingdom with Varnish and Without so they can see what I’m talking about.


cloudways varnish stack is not good, disable varnish and use a good cache module, your TTFB will decrease some miles


Are you using Breeze with Varnish.

I had a site that was miserably slow due to an older programmer and honestly couldn’t be bothered to uncode and recode it, with varnish on, it went from 17 seconds to load to 2 seconds. So varnish definitely works, you just need to make sure your site is actually using it and clearing out the relevant expired content.


Thanks for having a healthy conversation folks. I only would like to add that Varnish is a great tool and it can do wonders if configured properly. Each site has different structure and one standard Varnish setting can not be applied on every site.
To explore further; consider reading the following resources:

Ibad Rehman