Optimizing Your Website in Cloud Sites

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To ensure that your site performs at its best, there are a few things you can do to optimize it when using Liquid Web Cloud Sites technology. This article will take you through the top five best practices to optimize your website.

Using SSL Certifcates

An SSL Certificate is not technically required, but it is a great security measure if you want to add secure login capabilities; and a requirement for ecommerce. We recommend that you pass only the traffic that needs to be secure to the SSL servers because the non-SSL clusters are more robust and are more equipped to handle traffic spikes. To accomplish this task, create a subdomain (for example, secure.example.com) and enable SSL for the subdomain through which only secure transactions will be processed. This action allows SSL traffic to pass through a separate location ensuring peak site performance. This strategy also provides customers with a visual cue that they are on a secure site.

Static Content Organization

For the best performance, we recommend migrating your static media files (images, video, audio, flash, etc.) to the content delivery network (CDN) of your choice. Liquid Web offers a free CDN service through Cloudflare, you can see how to add it to your site in our article Adding Cloudflare to Your Website. This process gives your customers decreased latency when accessing media because the content is cached and served by servers closest to their physical location.

Optimizing the Database

A well-optimized database and database queries can increase the performance of your website. An inefficiently designed database can slow your website to a crawl. Optimizing queries, creating indexes, and setting the most appropriate engine type (if MariaDB) can increase the performance of your website, when done correctly. For example, if you have a page that loads multiple posts executing a query for each post, this is much slower than a single query retrieving all the posts. Consult a professional database administrator (DBA), if necessary.

Code Efficiently

Efficient code always yields a better performing website. This is especially true for a busy website. Issues that are not evident during light or normal traffic become noticeable when traffic to the website increases. Reducing the number of file system operations, external calls, and includes, and reducing or optimizing database queries will allow your website to perform and scale more efficiently.

Plan for Success

It’s never to early to prepare for high traffic

If you are expecting an increase in traffic to your website, please create a Support ticket for your site with the following subject line: Expected High Traffic <<websitename>>.

Our environment is designed to scale automatically from small to large volumes of traffic. But since you know your business best, we ask that you update us on extra-large volume, high traffic events (HTE).

Please provide the following information about the amount of expected traffic and the date you expect it to increase. Our dedicated support team will monitor your site and server space to make sure that your site stays running at optimal levels.

  • Whether the site is provisioned as an SSL site
  • Target URLs
  • Source IP addresses (if known)
  • Duration of the event.
  • Date and time of the event, with the time zone.
  • Expected traffic volume (in requests per second).
  • Type of application (for example, proprietary, commercial, open source)
  • CMS (for example, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) if applicable Whether the application or site makes any third-party calls to domains outside of Cloud Sites (for example, RSS feeds, APIs, cURL).
  • Whether the application or site caches to a file system or database.
  • Emergency contact information, including a cell phone number
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About the Author: Dan Pock

Dan Pock does Technical Writing & Marketing at Liquid Web with a background in System Administration, Public Relations, and Customer Service.

His favorite things include: his cats, Oscar Boots and Dash Nouget; experimenting with PHP; and making up recipes (or at least attempting to). You can find his coding hijinks on GitHub, where he shares most of his projects and open source work.

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