Boost Your Website’s Performance with Expires Headers on Cloudflare: A Guide for Web Developers

Expires headers are an essential component of website optimization. Cloudflare provides an easy-to-use service for implementing expires headers. By specifying when certain files should expire, you can greatly improve website performance and reduce server load. In this article, we’ll dive into the benefits of using expires headers with Cloudflare and show you how to set them up.

How to set up Expires Headers in Cloudflare for improved performance in your htaccess file

To set up Expires Headers in Cloudflare for improved performance in your htaccess file, you can add the following code:

# Enable Expire Headers

ExpiresActive On
# Images
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/webp "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
# Video
ExpiresByType video/mp4 "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType video/mpeg "access plus 1 year"
# CSS, JavaScript and Fonts
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/font-woff "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/ "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-font-ttf "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType font/woff2 "access plus 1 month"
# Other files
ExpiresByType application/pdf "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 1 month"

This code will enable Expire Headers for different file types, specifying how long they should be cached. This can greatly improve website performance by reducing page load times for returning visitors.

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How can I include expiration headers in Cloudflare?

To include expiration headers in Cloudflare, you can add the following code to your .htaccess file:

# Enable expiration headers
Header set Expires “Thu, 31 Dec 2037 23:55:55 GMT”

# Enable cache control headers
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=31536000, public”

This code will set an expiration date for all files on your website and enable cache control headers. This will help improve the performance of your site and reduce the load on your server.

Additionally, you can also set the expiration time for specific file types, such as images or CSS files. For example, to set the expiration time for all images to one year, you can use the following code:

# Set expiration time for images to one year

Header set Expires “Thu, 31 Dec 2037 23:55:55 GMT”
Header set Cache-Control “max-age=31536000, public”

Remember to test and verify that the changes made to your .htaccess file are working properly.

What do expires headers refer to?

Expires headers refer to a feature of the htaccess file that allows you to specify how long web browsers should cache or store specific files on a user’s computer.

By adding an Expires header to your site’s htaccess file, you can control how long the browser caches a file before requesting it again. This can help speed up page loading times and reduce server load by reducing the number of requests for static files like images, scripts, and stylesheets.

For example, if you set an Expires header for an image file to expire 1 year from the time it was first accessed, the browser will store that file in its cache for that entire year before requesting it again. This means that the image will load much faster for subsequent visits to your site.

To add Expires headers to your site, you can use the “ExpiresByType” directive in your htaccess file. This allows you to specify a type of file (such as .jpg or .css) and a time period (in seconds, minutes, hours, or years) for the browser to cache that file.

What do expires headers do to improve Cache-Control?

Expires headers provide instructions to a web browser on how long to cache files for a particular resource. By setting expiration dates, the web server instructs the browser whether to request a new copy of the resource or to use a cached version. This helps in improving Cache-Control as it reduces the number of requests made by the client to the server by using cached versions of the resource.

When an Expires header is set, the browser will not request the resource again until after the specified date and time has passed. This can significantly decrease the load on the server and reduce page load times for users. The caching of resources also helps in reducing the bandwidth usage of the server, improving overall website performance.

To add Expires headers to your website, you can modify the .htaccess file by including the appropriate directives. For example, you can set an expiration date for all image files using the following code:

ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 week"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 week"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 week"

This code sets the expiration date for JPEG, GIF, and PNG images to one week from the date of access. It is important to note that the expiration date should be set based on the type of resource and how frequently it is updated.

What is the expiration time for Cloudflare cache?

The expiration time for Cloudflare cache can be set by modifying the “Cache-Control” header in the .htaccess file. This header specifies how long an asset should be cached by Cloudflare or the user’s browser. The value is set in seconds, and can be set for each file type separately using the mod_expires module.

For example, to set a one-month cache expiration time for all images, you can add the following code to your .htaccess file:


ExpiresActive on
ExpiresByType image/* “access plus 1 month”


This will set the cache expiration time for all image files to one month from the time they were accessed. It is important to note that setting a long cache expiration time can improve website speed and performance, but it may also cause issues if updates are frequently made to the content of your website.

How can I configure Expires Headers in my .htaccess file when using Cloudflare for my web development project?

To configure Expires Headers in your .htaccess file when using Cloudflare, you can follow these steps:

1. Open your .htaccess file and add the following code:


ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 year”


2. Save the changes to your .htaccess file and upload it to your web server.

3. Log in to your Cloudflare account and go to the caching settings.

4. Under the Browser Cache Expiration section, select Custom.

5. Set the Cache Expiration to 1 year and Save your changes.

Note: The above code sets the expiration time for different types of files. You can modify it according to your needs. Make sure to check if the module mod_expires is enabled on your server. If it is not enabled, you will need to contact your hosting provider to enable it.

What is the recommended expiration time for static resources like images, CSS and JavaScript files when using Cloudflare and configuring Expires Headers in my .htaccess file?

When configuring Expires Headers in your .htaccess file and using Cloudflare, it is recommended to set the expiration time for static resources such as images, CSS and JavaScript files to at least 1 week (604800 seconds).

This will allow Cloudflare to cache those static resources for a longer period of time, reducing the server load and improving the overall performance of your website. It is also important to ensure that the resources have unique filenames or version numbers to avoid caching issues.

Here’s an example of how to configure Expires Headers for static resources in your .htaccess file:

# Set expiration time for static resources to 1 week

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType application/javascript “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType application/x-font-ttf “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType font/opentype “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType application/x-font-woff “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml “access plus 1 week”
ExpiresByType application/ “access plus 1 week”


Remember to test your website’s performance after making any changes to your .htaccess file.

Is it necessary to configure Expires Headers in my .htaccess file if I am already using Cloudflare’s caching features?

No, it is not necessary to configure Expires Headers in your .htaccess file if you are already using Cloudflare’s caching features.

Cloudflare provides its own caching mechanism that includes setting cache headers for resources. When a user requests a resource from your website, Cloudflare checks its cache first and serves the cached version if available, which can improve page load times and reduce server load.

However, if you want to have more granular control over your caching policy or want to set specific cache expiry dates for certain resources, you can still configure Expires Headers in your .htaccess file. Keep in mind that this may override the caching settings provided by Cloudflare.

In summary, while it’s not necessary, configuring Expires Headers in your .htaccess file can provide additional caching control for your website.

In conclusion, using Expires Headers in conjunction with Cloudflare can greatly improve the performance and speed of your website. By setting a far future expiration date for static assets, you reduce the number of requests made to your server and enable client-side caching. Additionally, Cloudflare’s content delivery network will cache your site’s static assets, further reducing load times for visitors. Incorporating these techniques into your htaccess file is a simple yet effective way to optimize your website’s performance.