Speed up website – How the perfect server solution can boost your slow websites
A slow website does more harm to your business than good. Not only would customers abandon it, they may also share negative reviews with others.
We’ve seen scenarios where a single website slows down the entire server. In our server administration services, we often get requests to speed up websites.
Website slowness – implicit and explicit causes
Websites get slow due to many reasons, and that varies from one site to another. Some of the common causes we’ve come across are,
- Improper resource allocation – Most web sites start off with low profile budget hosting packages. If not planned well to meet the increasing business needs, it would be difficult for the website to cope well with these low resource limits.
- Sudden traffic spikes – During peak season or a new product launch, the website traffic can go very high. Server resources can get used up, causing websites or even server to slow down or crash.
- Slow database and web servers – Many websites are database driven. If the web server and database server are not fine-tuned for optimal performance, they would be unable to handle the heavy web sites.
- Unoptimized website code and images – A website can range from a simple html page to a complex CMS with too many queries and images. If this code is not optimized, it can run forever, pulling down the website.
- Server or website attacks – From DOS attacks to exploits or hacks, anything can mess up with the website or server and can cause them to slow down or crash.
Recently we were contacted by a website owner who runs a blog. It started off as a small website in a VPS but over time the blog became very popular with too many visitors and interactions.
Whenever the site owner did a facebook live or published a new post, the traffic spiked and the website became very slow or sometimes even failed to load.
As the traffic went high, even the entire server began to hang, and he had to go for frequent reboots. That’s when he contacted Bobcares to speed up website.
[ Tired of slow websites? Click here to speed up website by expert help right now – we’re online 24/7. ]
Identifying the right solution to speed up website
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for a slow website. Examining everything – from the website code to the server resource usage – is vital in debugging slowness.
When Bobcares experts handle slow website issues, there is a checklist of failure points that we examine. This is to ensure that no loophole that affects the server efficiency is overlooked.
In this server, whenever the website traffic spiked, the memory and CPU went above the roof, leading to a server crash. The server was overloaded and the InnoDB engine in Mysql kept failing often.
Our aim was to get the maximum performance out of the available server resources, rather than simply suggesting a resource upgrade and causing an overhead to the customer.
We monitored the website and server performance during peak hours. Upon reviewing the web server, we could detect these areas for improvement, which would help to speed up website.
- Server was running Apache web server, which can realistically only handle about 120-150 clients at once.
- MySQL server was not optimized, which led it to crash easily when more queries came in.
- The WordPress blog had some buggy addons installed, which were slowing down the site further.
[ There’s more to slow websites than is apparent. Click here to get experts to fix your server – the right way the first time. ]
NginX for improved connection handling
To handle both static and dynamic webserver requests efficiently, we decided to configure the web server as a partnership of Nginx and Apache, where Nginx is configured in front of Apache as a reverse proxy.
With its unique connection processing, Nginx can handle large numbers of connections concurrently, with limited resources. Being a single-threaded server, memory and CPU usage would stay relatively consistent, even at times of heavy load.
The server in which the site was hosted, was running cPanel as the control panel. We installed Engintron in the server, which is a cPanel addon for using Nginx as a reverse proxy for Apache.
Engintron with its micro-caching feature, when coupled with an optimized Apache and database server, is a server solution that usually works great in similar situations where high traffic WordPress sites take up so much resources.
As Engintron is also compatible with EasyApache software, there was no need to worry about the future updates either. We chose off-peak hours of the customer to perform this web server transition, inorder to minimize downtime.
[ A single misconfiguration can slow down your server. Click here to get experts to speed up your server. ]
Custom tweaks for efficient server performance
Installing the web server alone would not guarantee the expected results. The more vital step is to configure the web and database servers to deliver an optimal performance.
The web server and database server configurations are not the same for all servers. It varies with server specifications and business requirements.
Moreover, there are chances that some configuration may not adapt well to a specific server environment. We performed the server configuration tweaks in an iterative manner, testing each change, on the go.
These iterative tweaks, along with our constant performance monitoring, helps us to prevent any such configuration issues as soon as they pop up. We also replaced the buggy WP plugins that were dragging the website.
Once the MySQL and webserver tweaks were completed in the server, the website started loading faster and the server load and resources also got under control.
With our website monitoring and server performance tools, we kept track of the actual site performance over time and performed further tuning, as and when required, to prevent any further downtime.
Slow websites are a cause of concern for many website owners. But with the right debugging and deploying a custom server solution, it is possible to speed up websites and avoid your business getting affected.