Jun 10, 2011
About eight years ago, primarily out of the frustration of dealing with the quirks of various shared hosting providers, we acquired our first private server and started to build and host client sites on our own hardware. The difference was amazing. Our development time for most sites was greatly decreased, which saved money for our clients while it saved us from long nights of pulling our hair out. There’s a reason some hosting companies only charge eight bucks a month – that’s all their crappy service is worth!
Hosting has never been a huge part of what we do, but it is a very important part. One of those unseen things that just makes everybody happier when it is managed correctly. As our hosting service grew and evolved over the years, we would periodically upgrade our hardware to keep up with the times. But recently, traffic has been exploding for some of our client websites, and now we’ve taken the necessary steps to keep up, and also to set the stage for continued growth.
Rather than simply upgrade our current hardware, we decided to bring a second server online, more than doubling our capacity in the process. The new server is located in a Dallas data center, and is a much faster machine than the server we maintain in Atlanta. We plan to use it primarily to host WordPress sites that will benefit from the increased processing power.
Another step we’ve taken to boost our WordPress performance is to augment our private hosting with Amazon’s CloudFront content delivery network. This allows our servers to offload static portions of a site (think template graphics) to the CDN, which results in significantly faster page loading, especially on higher traffic blogs.
I won’t bore you with all the geeky technical details of our new toys, but rest assured, this is all pretty cool stuff. These changes have been a long time coming. It took months of experiments and testing to find the right balance that met our current needs and also gave us room to grow. Everything just works better now that the second server is finally online and sharing the hosting load, and that’s a really good thing.