WordPress Hosting October 23, 2019

WordPress Reverse Proxy – How Universities & Corporations are Benefitting from Reverse Proxy Setups

Alexander Newnham

8 min read
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A WordPress Reverse Proxy is an incredibly useful tool! Imagine your main corporate or University website is run using a legacy system. The IT department doesn’t want to shift the root website to WordPress but you’re desperate to run your department’s website using WordPress. Or perhaps your marketing team is clamoring to launch a WordPress landing page for a campaign. Traditionally this wouldn’t have been possible. Now, thanks to WordPress Reverse Proxies you can!

Very few WordPress hosts support reverse proxies. We’re proud to be one of a handful of dedicated WordPress hosts who can implement such an advanced setup. Let’s take a look in more detail at a WordPress Reverse Proxy and why you might want one.

What is a WordPress Reverse Proxy?

A WordPress Reverse Proxy allows you to split your organization’s domain name which means you are free to use different systems or CMS’s to host different parts of your website. Gone are the days where a single website is sufficient for most corporations or universities. More often than not, multiple websites are required to serve different areas of the organization. This sounds simple enough on the face of it but in practice can be problematic.

Many businesses and universities will have invested significantly in their IT infrastructure over the years and often can have complex, bespoke applications running their website. In addition, in-house security requirements can mandate that all web traffic must be run through certain security systems (such as firewalls) so all traffic is scrubbed before entering their network. This makes using a third-party WordPress host impossible… unless that is you use a reverse proxy compatible WordPress hosting solution!

WordPress Reverse Proxy Setup

By implementing a reverse proxy, traffic can flow freely to your organization and through your in-house IT infrastructure. This means it can be subject to any security checks that your organization sees fit. As soon as the web traffic passes your security systems you are then able to use the reverse proxy to direct traffic to a third-party server. In this instance, this would be Pressidium who hosts your organization’s WordPress website(s). These WordPress sites can be loaded from a subdirectory of your domain. Clearly this is infinitely preferable to having to spin up secondary domains in order to be able to use WordPress to power a ‘subsite’ for your organization.

How Universities can use a WordPress Reverse Proxy

Universities can have a vast network of websites serving different departments. Often these are built using legacy systems and it’s a major (and expensive!) project to migrate any of these to WordPress. Understandably, a University’s IT departments can be reluctant to push forward with a project like this unless it’s absolutely necessary. This means that departments who want to use WordPress have no option but to wait until the entire university chooses to move to WordPress. This can be hugely frustrating! Fortunately though, using a reverse proxy now means it’s relatively easy for one department to elect to use WordPress to power their department’s website and to use a third-party hosting provider such as Pressidium to host this site.

Pressidium has worked with universities from around the world to successfully implement a reverse proxy that respects their in-house IT setup whilst offering complete flexibility to one or more university departments to choose to use WordPress. The result is seamless. A university root domain that is served by the University’s own in-house systems and subdirectories that point to WordPress installs hosted by Pressidium, allowing departments to enjoy all the benefits offered by both WordPress as well as Pressidium’s hosting platform (including automatic core updates, daily backups and staging servers).

How Corporations can use a WordPress Reverse Proxy

Many larger corporations can have exceedingly complex IT setups making it very hard for departments within these organizations to depart from using anything but their own in-house systems. For small projects such as a marketing campaign or a blog this can be very frustrating. WordPress offers an excellent solution for quickly and affordably spinning up a landing page or blog and allows people who aren’t as technically minded to quickly make changes to these pages making it every more important that this is available as an option.

Unfortunately, security requirements and other roadblocks (such as budget) can mean that its traditionally been impossible for departments to run with projects that require a WordPress website. Using a WordPress host like Pressidium who support reverse proxy setups eliminates these problems in one stroke, allowing WordPress websites to be served from a domain subdirectory without compromising the corporation’s security systems. This massively increases flexibility within the organization, allowing teams to run with projects that previously would have been expensive and inefficient to launch.

Making the WordPress Transition

One of the many exciting benefits of using a WordPress reverse proxy is the fact that it allows a phased transition to using WordPress for organizations. We fully understand just how expensive and time consuming a wholesale change of IT systems can be for an organization and often the budget and manpower to make such a sweeping change just isn’t available. And, neither is such wholesale change necessarily advantageous either. A bespoke website or app may well be serving an element of your organization admirably and there is no need to change this just for the sake of it. None-the-less, WordPress may be the perfect solution for other projects within your organization. A WordPress reverse proxy allows you to have your cake and eat it!

A reverse proxy means you can choose which elements of your business would best be served with a WordPress website(s) and then make the move gradually whilst at no point causing ANY downtime or disruption to your existing IT stack. This is clearly hugely desirable as well as being much more affordable. With far fewer stakeholders impacted by the decision to spin up a WordPress website on a subdirectory using a reverse proxy, it’s something that can be given the goahead much more easily.

Pressidium Enterprise WordPress Hosting

Pressidium’s Enterprise Platform has been built from the ground up and offers a whole host of benefits to corporations and universities alike who wish to use WordPress. Our support for reverse proxies allows your organization to quickly and efficiently begin using WordPress to host websites(s) on subdirectories with no disruption or downtime to your existing web infrastructure whilst fully respecting your in-house network security requirements.

Our team of DevOp Engineers are intimately familiar with the process of launching a reverse proxy setup, having successfully deployed many such instances for large businesses and universities from around the world.

In addition to supporting reverse proxies, our world-class WordPress hosting platform offers an extensive array of benefits for your organization including:

Backups – Pressidium’s Enterprise Platform offers daily offsite backups and instant snapshot backups that can be quickly and easily deployed for all your WordPress sites.

Staging Sites – Staging sites can be quickly and easily spun up for each individual WordPress install allowing the IT team or other site users to test changes to their site before initiating a single-click deployment to the live site.

High Availability Multi-node dedicated server cluster – Your websites do not reside in just one server, but in a reliable highly-available clustered solution (2N+1 R highly available design in a multi-node dedicated server cluster) that can auto-scale during traffic spikes and slashdot effects, at a significantly lower cost.

24/7 Expert Support – WordPress DevOps support that becomes an extension of your IT department. We play an active role as a project stakeholder in all the phases of your WordPress projects.

Upgrades – WordPress core and minor upgrades are undertaken on your behalf, plus security patching that is automated, and robust.

Multi-layer security – Security updates, malware detection, and removal, Web Application Firewall, bad-bot filtering, IP blocking, SSL certificates, SFTP access, the works!

If you are interested in finding out more about using WordPress via a reverse proxy for your organization then hit the button below to get in touch. We have no sales teams who will hassle you, just qualified DevOps Engineers who will work with you to fully understand your unique setup and are able to help deploy a WordPress solution that is right for your organization.

Start using a WordPress Reverse Proxy today!

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