Server Migration

By April 11, 2014 No Comments

In an endeavor to be constantly providing the best possible hosting service for our clients, over the past couple of months we have been testing and configuring a new server.

During April we have been migrating all our WordPress websites over to this new dedicated web only server. This means that the existing server will remain in place and become a dedicated email only resource.

The process is seamless and you will not experience any website or email downtime during the migration.

So why are we doing this? The three top reasons are speed, reliability and scaleability.

Let’s look at speed first. According to Google, they lose 20% of their traffic for each additional 100 milliseconds it takes a page to load. If they are losing traffic then so are you. It makes sense then to make sure the page load speeds of your website are as fast as possible.

Here is an example of just how much faster the new server is.

The first test was done on the SBIM site whilst it was hosted on the old server. The load speed was a poor 13.56 seconds. Not what you would call fast…
SBIM - Pingdom Test 1

The second test was done on the SBIM site on the new server. The load speed was a a lightning fast 1.46 seconds. Now that is quick…
SBIM - Pingdom Test 2

Here are just a few of the big ticket items that we’ve included in the new hosting set up…

Speed, Speed and more Speed

As one of Google’s many ranking factors, page load speeds now matter more than ever. A site that is delivered faster creates more satisfied users and higher search engine rankings.

To help achieve this speed we’ve installed “EverCache” technology which combines proxy servers, database, disk caching, and content delivery networks to serve your website data incredibly fast.

Staging Area

When doing basic content updates like editing text and images or adding new pages and posts to your site you can use the “Preview” button to first check your work before updating or publishing. The “Preview” feature is a brilliant little tool and it is a good idea to get into the habit of using it every time you make editor based changes.

However, any changes you make to your site that are not done via the editor (widgets, theme files, plugins, CSS, php) will be live and visible immediately. If you are doing design changes or adding a new plugin to your site, it is best practice to first view your work before going live just in case you screwed up your CSS, forgot to close a div tag or installed an incompatible plugin.

Traditionally when doing this type of “non-editor” update work, we’ve had to create a duplicate of the site on our development server, do the changes and then transfer the site back across to the live domain. Needless to say this takes a lot of time and is a general pain in the ….

Our new server environment has an feature called “staging.” Here’s how it works: Before you make any “non-editor” change to your blog, click the “snapshot” button and a complete copy of your website is set up in a separate, safe area. You can play with anything you want; nothing’s live. Only when you’re ready to make it live do you deploy to your main site.

If you would like to know more about the new server and all the goodies that are now available, give us a call on 07 3325 0505 and we’ll be happy to take you through it.