Tag Archives: CloudFlare

Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain – Part 3

 

cloud flare threat control
cloud flare threat control

As we covered in the first two installments of this series on CloudFlare, speed is becoming more and more essential to those hoping to succeed on the web. Both users and search engines are less patient than they used to be. Sites must respond to these new expectations. Optimizing acceleration involves assessing a number of different factors – from the server to the content management system (e.g. WordPress, Joomla!) to the content itself. Each aspect can help or hinder your site.

Enter CloudFlare. This service, which is completely free and doesn’t affect domain registration or hosting in any way, can speed up your site in a few simple steps. What’s more, activating it makes it less likely your site will be harmed by malware or spamming.

Previously we talked about the essence of how CloudFlare does what it does, along with instructions on signing up. We also reviewed its advantages, along with those of Google’s PageSpeed Service. Today, we will survey its brief but interesting history.
Continue reading Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain – Part 3

Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain – Part 2

 

Cloudflare

As we discussed in the first part of this series, one of the most important parameters these days to succeed online is speed. Page load times have always affected how users perceive a site, but what’s becoming more of an issue with online speed is SEO. Google is placing more and more emphasis on the rate at which a page populates.

Figuring out how to speed up your site can be complicated. You have to think about trimming plugins or reformatting content, for example. Beyond that, you may need to think about what hosting service you are using and what type of server is handling your website’s requests. Clearly, speed can quickly become a headache.

Luckily, a free system, CloudFlare, is now available that can make your site faster… and the added bonus is that it makes your site safer as well. It performs both of these tasks by serving as a proxy between visitors to your site and your hosting company (in other words, traffic funnels through them, and their platform optimizes speed and security).
Continue reading Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain – Part 2

Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain

 

Wow! If you run a forum you need Cloudflare - ...
Wow! If you run a forum you need Cloudflare - it cut my webserver CPU usage in half!

Speed: it’s crucial online. The rate at which a page loads is important both to keep customers happy and to keep them from leaving your site. However, your site’s speed is not just about UX (user experience) but about search engine rankings. That latter factor is becoming more and more important as the Google algorithm weighs it more heavily. Tumblr’s servers, for example, do not meet Google’s standards for speed.

Obviously the speed at which your site populates content depends on a mixture of diverse factors. For example, how many images do you have on your page? Are they compressed? What type of hardware are using (server, etc.)? Are there a lot of WordPress plugins on your site? Simple sites running off of great equipment load very quickly, and complex sites on clunky equipment don’t. However, there is a cheat.

CloudFlare is that cheat. It’s free. It makes your site faster. It makes it more difficult for spammers to harass you. It strengthens the security of your site. I know… It sounds implausible. In this three-part series, we will look at CloudFlare from a variety of different angles.
Continue reading Using CloudFlare to protect and speed up your website & brain

How to Speed Up Your WordPress Server (Part 3) … Plus Some Jokes

 

WordPress dashboard interface

Oh my goodness. Juliet was right that parting is such bitter sorrow (I have that quote right, correct?), which is why this third and final post on optimizing servers for faster WordPress is going to be emotionally challenging for all of us. I’m available to join hands and sing “Kumbaya” with anyone who feels that would help; just give me directions to the campfire. I’ll bring tinder and an open heart.

In the last two articles, we discussed eighteen WordPress speed ideas from Jason McCreary at Pure Concepts; today, we’ll get a different perspective from the programming blog TekBrand. Offering a wide variety of ways to improve the page load times of your site allows you to dabble in a number of different directions so your site is as user-friendly and SEO-friendly (since page load is part of the algorithm) as possible. These tactics will create a WordPress site on steroids; then we’ll have the practitioner destroy all the records afterwards so we can keep playing ball.

Did you know, Susan (assuming your name is Susan), that Superb Internet is a WordPress host? But wait, there’s more! We give you 50% extra standardly: a full 6 months of hosting with every annual package. I know you’re concerned about our bottom line, but we must be generous – the result of a botched hypnosis session that was supposed to help us quit smoking. Now we chain-smoke menthols and give everything away … and our skin feels like melting chocolate, while our minds feel like freezing venison (ah, well).

WordPress & the Need for Speed

Again I’ll quickly note Jason’s thoughts from the previous two installments: those thoughts provide an encapsulated sense of why speed is important and how these ideas can generally improve our Web efforts. Jason’s general thoughts on WordPress speed (which were initially presented at a couple of WorldCamp events in Kentucky and Illinois, neither of which were held on a fleet of canoes):

  • WordPress is a “heavy” content management system (CMS);
  • WordPress is so popular that it is effectively making the Internet slower;
  • Enhancing WordPress increases our overall knowledge of optimizing page loads.

 

Now let’s shift gears with a look at ideas from TekBrand, with Vipul’s four main pieces of advice on the subject, most of which are free (except for the CDN packages and the hot-air balloon to see the entire Internet all at once from the sky, the latter of which costs $16,495 and includes a romantic dinner for two). Before listing Vipul’s specific ideas (we’ll cover some of the same ground from Pure Concepts & then enter new territory), two of his general notes are worth mention:

  • Not just SEO and UX but bounce rate can be significantly improved by optimizing the site’s speed;
  • WordPress plugins can be detrimental to load times, so WP speed must overcome those setbacks.

Speeding Up Your WP Site – Specific Strategies:

  1. Unplugging Plugins – This mirrors an idea from Jason about auditing the plugins on a site to ensure everything is worth it. Plugins add “weight” to the site. They’re like carbs. Remove the bread, and you’ll make more dough.
  2. Caching – Again, we’re familiar with this advice from Jason. Both of these bloggers recommend this same plugin – W3 Total Cache. It makes the entire site operate better. General server performance is improved, and it optimizes the site for global content delivery networks (CDNs). It also tastes like tapioca. Additional caching plugins recommended by Vipul are WP Super Cache & Hyper Cache.
  3. Database Weight – Vipul notes that all the revisions of a post are stored within the WP database. The reason all those revisions are stored is for backup purposes. However, typically there’s no need for all that stuff. WP database optimizing tools can clean it up, like a kind elderly lady giving a sponge bath to a domesticated squirrel (no judgment). Plugins include Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions (the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind of plugins), WP-Optimize, and WP CleanFix.
  4. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) – You can use CDNs with any site, no matter where it’s hosted. In other words, you get your site hosted here (because gosh darnit, I want you as a customer, Susan – your name was Susan, right?) and then integrate the CDNs into your hosting account. Two of the best ones out there are Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare (the latter of which can warn other aircraft if your hot air balloon gets stuck on the side of the cloud).

Conclusion

We’ve done it. We’ve actually done it. Well, maybe we haven’t done anything. Knowledge, though, as they say, is half the battle. The other part is the actual battle part. Good luck out there. If you have any comments or other ideas (chicken salad recipes, moon landing conspiracy footage), please let us know below.

by Kent Roberts