Cloudflare Railgun

Posted by Blog in DNS on October 18, 2013 with No Comments

CloudFlare Railgun™

As a CloudFlare Optimized Partner, we are thrilled to offer the CloudFlare Railgun™ technology to all our customers for free with any hosting package. Railgun is CloudFlare’s latest performance optimization technology that gives you significant improvements in site load times. To activate Railgun, log into your control panel and select Railgun “On”. Read on for additional details and instructions:

railgun-map

Railgun ensures that the connection between our network and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. Railgun achieves a 99.6% compression ratio for previously uncacheable web objects by using techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. The average website can expect a 1.43x performance increase.

railgun-details

When a request is made to a CloudFlare server for a web page that is not in cache CloudFlare makes an HTTP connection to the origin server to request the page. It’s that HTTP connection that Railgun accelerates and secures.

Even highly dynamic websites change slowly

Railgun works by recognizing that uncacheable web pages do not change very rapidly. For example, during an experiment, the CNN.com homepage HTML was captured once, and then again after 5 minutes and then again after one hour. The page sizes were 92,516, five minutes still 92,516 and one hour later 93,727.

CNN sets the caching on this page to 60 seconds. After one minute, it is necessary to download the entire page again. However, looking inside the page, not much has changed. In fact, the change between versions is on the order of 100s of bytes out of almost 100k. Here’s a screenshot of one of the binary differences between the CNN home page at five minute intervals. The yellow bytes have changed, the rest have not.

railgun-data

Experiments at CloudFlare have revealed similar change values across the web. For example, reddit.com changes by about 2.15% over five minutes and 3.16% over an hour. The New York Times home page changes by about 0.6% over five minutes and 3% over an hour. BBC News changes by about 0.4% over five minutes and 2% over an hour.

Although the dynamic web is not cacheable, it is also not changing quickly. That means that from moment to moment there’s only a small change between versions of a page. CloudFlare Railgun uses this fact to achieve very high rates of compression. This is very similar to how video compression looks for changes from frame to frame; Railgun looks for changes on a page from download to download.

Railgun Technology

Railgun consists of two components: the sender and the listener. The sender is installed at every CloudFlare data center around the world. The listener is a software component that [Name of Hosting Provider] has installed on our network for customers.

The sender and listener establish a permanent TCP connection that’s secured by TLS. This TCP connection is used for the Railgun protocol. It’s an all binary multiplexing protocol that allows multiple HTTP requests to be run simultaneously and asynchronously across the link. Or in other words, a persistent connection is opened between CloudFlare’s network and ours and eliminates the overhead of TCP.

We have made it simple for our customers to get the benefits of Railgun with one click. For additional information and instructions on how to activate, visit [insert link to wiki page or knowledge base page].

Why is my WordPress site running slow!

Posted by Blog in Performance on May 21, 2013 with No Comments

snailRecently we had a customer contact us asking why is their site running so slow. We asked them for their login and found out that they had about 25 plugins running (someone just beat the record) 51 plugins running. 😯 Every single plugin you run uses resources and the more you have the longer it takes for the website to load. Plugins may be cool and all but if they’re not optimized or made correctly they can really hurt your site.  There is one plugin that you could use to determine which plugins are using too many resources. The one we use for our own testing is http://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/ it is free from the WordPress plugin site.

The plugin give you a nice little pie chart and line chart that shows what is using the most resources and how long each one takes. If you find a plugin that is using a lot of resources and with a high load time you should disable it.

Contact us if you have any questions about optimizing your WordPress for SPEED or faster hosting!

profiler-graph

connieskids.com Before and After

Posted by Blog in Site Moves on April 28, 2013 with No Comments

Last night we moved ConniesKids.com to our servers. ConniesKids.com is Magento base site running different add-ons for more features such as social media logins. These add-ons can cause a site to load a lot slower than normal but we also noticed that the host she was with was not optimized to run Magento as they stated plus they overload their servers with TONS of clients. Below is a screenshot of how their hosting was with his other provider and now it is with us now. You’ll notice a BIG 4.89 second difference. I don’t know about you but if I had to wait 4 seconds for a site to load I would definitely be going somewhere else. When you want your customers to buy a slow site will make them go to your competition!

connieskidsbeforeandafter

ek-lec-tik.com Before and After

Posted by Blog in Speed on April 11, 2013 with No Comments

We recently moved a new client ek-lec-tik.com website to our servers. Ek-lec-tik.com is WordPress base running a third party Woocommerce add-on. Below is a screenshot of how his hosting was with his other provider and now it is with us now. You’ll notice a 1.73 second difference. You may think that’s not a big deal but with E-commerce it is.

ek-lec-tik-before-and-after

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