How to get Cloudflare to cache HTML

To my surprise, if you setup a Cloudflare caching proxy in front of a website it won't cache HTML pages by default, even if they are served with cache-control: headers.

This is documented here:

Cloudflare does not cache HTML resources automatically. This prevents us from unintentionally caching pages that often contain dynamic elements.

I figured out how to get caching to work using a "Cache Rule". Here's the rule I added:

Cloudflare Cache Rule interface. Rule name: Cache everything including HTML. When incoming requests match… hostname contains Expression preview: ( contains ""). Then... Cache Elegibility is set to Eligible for cache. Edge TTL is set to Use cache-control header if present, bypass cache if not.

I've told it that for any incoming request with a hostname containing (see background in my weeknotes) it should consider that page eligible for caching, and it should respect the cache-control header.

With this configuration in place, my backend can now serve headers that look like this:

cache-control: s-maxage=15

This will cause Cloudflare to cache the page for 15 seconds.

I tried to figure out a rule that would serve all requests no matter what they looked like, but the interface would not let me leave the rules blank - so hostname contains was the best I could figure out.

Created 2024-01-08T20:21:07-08:00 · Edit