"Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” - Aldous Huxley - A Brave New World
Website Optimization is a term bandied about quite liberally in the world of Hosting, Development and Design. It works on the premise that your site should be given a thorough seeing to in order to perform at its maximum potential.
Now it’s all well and good saying you offer optimized website delivery. Look I just wrote it - simples. The real question is whether you can back that claim up with proof and a proper explanation.
Whether you have a high traffic website or a small business presence, at Pressidium we’ll optimize your WordPress site for you. We’ll also host it on our optimized Enterprise Architecture design because we’re nice like that.
See. There’s our grand claim.
What follows is our proof and an explanation of how it all works, in plain English. It won't be a technical document explaining how you can carry out the optimization process. Instead it's more like a friendly chat, explaining the optimization approaches Pressidium uses in order to deliver your website.
Hosting on Enterprise Architecture
As you’re probably aware, Pressidium serves Enterprise Architecture to all our customers. It doesn’t matter what subscription plan you’re on, we’ll still treat you like royalty. That’s because we believe everyone deserves access to quality Managed WordPress hosting at an Enterprise level and how much you have in your bank account, shouldn’t make a difference.
We’ve covered this topic pretty extensively here, but to give you a quick recap the entire Pressidium Pinnacle Platform has been built upon this highly available Enterprise Architecture. Our architecture is designed to scale, meaning it adapts to growing demands at the same rate your website does, while load-balancing ensures any unforeseen spikes in traffic, won’t ruffle our system’s feathers.
The introduction of fault-tolerance into our architecture means that all components in our multi-tier environment, are fully redundant. There’s no-single-point-of-failure in our design. If any single component should fail (for example a server), no problem, your website will continue to be fully functional, your content will continue to be delivered and you’ll experience no downtime.
State of The Art Servers
At Pressidium we only use technology we trust. That’s why we make use of best-of-breed enterprise hardware utilizing Solid State Drive (SSD) storage. This enables us to be completely confident that our hardware won’t fail us (and you) when we need it the most.
In terms of your website, its backend will run on at least two different servers that are in parallel with each other. Simply put, your site can use two times more resources and will be able to handle much more than the usual load, without any tweaking or changes.
As your site grows, our architecture allows us to add more servers as and when they are needed to handle your growing traffic and demands. The real beauty in this setup, is that it won’t interrupt the continuity of your business. We can tinker away with our hardware, without you or your users being aware of anything going on.
We like to call this Ninjaneering.
Innovation doesn’t come about by scratching your head and merely thinking about a solution. You have to put the work, the sweat and the tears into it to make it a success.
When it comes to the type of software we use, we only run the latest software to enhance performance and to minimize the occurrence of bugs. Our Managed WordPress hosting keeps your WordPress install constantly updated, which means you’ll never find yourself in a position where you’re running an outdated version with potential security risks.
We've also separated the roles of our software into categories and run them on multiple servers. Our Load Balancers algorithm decide which webserver has the lowest load and sends the visitor there. On the other hand we handle all CPU intensive tasks (like, SSL offloading and compression) on systems others than our webservers, thus ensuring the webserver has one job only - to serve your website at lightning speeds.
To reduce bandwidth usage and download times, we utilize compression. With this in mind we've created Image Smacking, an internal service which transparently carries out loss-less image optimization for you, as you upload an image to the wp-admin backend.
Caching is an important factor in determining your site’s performance and how it’s delivered. To improve the performance of PHP we use PHP 5.5 opcode cache OPcache. Varnish Cache is something we implement for page caching. Varnish stores entire pages in memory and serves them directly from there, without the need to contact your webserver.
Dealing With Abusive Traffic
Issues surrounding your WordPress site’s security have been discussed regularly throughout the Pressidium blog and there’s a good reason for this. DoS attacks and more common attacks like brute force login, xmlrpc and even image hot-linking, increases a server's load resulting in slower response times.
We mitigate these kind of attacks from our Web Application Firewall (WAF) so this kind of malicious traffic won't get anywhere near the web server.
Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
It’s a well known case that the geographical distance between your visitor's computer and the location of your server can impact the performance of your website. In an ideal World we’d have a server in every city and wouldn’t charge a dime for you to use them.
However we aren’t Aldous Huxley. We have to use the tools available to us. That’s why instead we provide a CDN add-on which will copy static files to servers around the globe. Each time someone visits your website, your content will be served to them from their nearest server.
Tools We Use to Measure Performance (for Our Servers and Your Website)
- Nagios - Nagios is the industry standard in IT infrastructure monitoring.
- New Relic - Application performance monitoring and management.
- Pingdom - Pingdom’s website monitoring lets us know when a website is down or if a transaction is slow or broken.
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights - Analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.
- WebPageTest - Website performance and optimization tests.
- Yahoo! YSlow - YSlow analyzes web pages and why they're slow based on Yahoo!'s rules for high performance web sites.
- GTmetrix - Website speed and performance optimization. Helps you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved website experience for your users.
We use all the above to measure your website performance and build a baseline. These tests are run every day and we monitor any deviations from that given baseline.
Whenever your website deviates from its baseline we receive an alert and we notify you to see what changes you might have made and how to make those changes more optimal. Further to this we suggest solutions on common problems found by our tests and monitors, to help get you back on track.
It might seem like a lot of information to take in all in one go. Sorry about that. The simple fact is, at Pressidium we don’t believe in taking half measures. Everything we do, every hour of every day goes into making our platform stronger, better and more intuitive.
Innovation doesn’t come about by scratching your head and merely thinking about a solution. You have to put the work, the sweat and the tears into it to make it a success. And that’s the approach we take in optimizing the delivery of every single website hosted on our platform.
If you succeed, we succeed. We think that’s motivation enough.