Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network

We have moved the site Ghacks to a new hosting company, Kinsta, yesterday, and also switched to a new CDN provider KeyCDN in the process.

I talked about the need to move the site to a new server a couple of days ago. I was quite apprehensive about the move, as things go wrong usually when you move Gigabytes of data, databases, and configuration files to a new environment.

It was necessary to move the site however, as the old server got slower over time, and was easily taken off the Internet by sending thousands of requests to it in a short period of time. You may have experienced slow load times or the site not being accessible at all yourself in the past weeks on the site.

The time it took support to reply to support requests increased ever since the company was acquired by Liquid Web, it took sometimes hours before I received a first reply. Not good if the site is not on at all at the time, or slow like a snail.

Kinsta

The move to Kinsta worked out really well. It was the first time that I did not have to move the site's files and databases myself.

Kinsta offers managed WordPress hosting, and one feature of this is that they move your site from the old server to the new. They handle the move, and make sure the site runs fine on their infrastructure. Then they let you know about it, so that you can test everything as well.

It took less than two hours to move the site to Kinsta, and switch over the DNS server to the new server IP, and that time included me running tests to make sure the site was working fine in the new environment.

Kinsta support is very knowledgeable about WordPress, and the time it takes to get a reply is Flash-like fast.

The service uses Google's Cloud Platform, and Ghacks was switched over to more efficient technologies such as PHP7 and Nginx in the process as well.

KeyCDN

keycdn

I then decided to switch to KeyCDN, a content distribution network as well in the process. One core reason for doing so was that they offered features that MaxCDN either did not offer in the plan I was on, or charged extra for.

The cost per Gigabyte is about half at KeyCDN, and the service supports free SSL certificates, great performance, and offers CDN locations in Asia on top of that (extra charge on Max CDN).

Closing Words

The move should speed up the site significantly. Not only is it running on powerful infrastructure that should not break a sweat if hits increase to the site, it is also powered by a better CDN with distribution locations in Asia. If you connect to Ghacks from Asia, you should see immediate benefits because of this.

Please give it a try yourself, and let me know how the new site feels for you. It is faster than before, more responsive?

Also, if you notice anything that is not working correctly, let me know about it and I will get on it asap.

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Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network
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We have moved the site Ghacks to a new hosting company, Kinsta, yesterday, and also switched to a new CDN provider KeyCDN in the process.
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Responses to Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network

  1. Arne Anka April 7, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    Using https breake the styling!
    Picture https://app.box.com/v/ghacks

    • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 10:15 am #

      Thanks for reporting this. Should be fixed now, please try again.

      • Arne Anka April 7, 2017 at 10:47 am #

        Yes, looking good! :)
        But Firefox says part of this page (like pictures) is not secured. :(

      • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am #

        Well, https is still a work in progress.

      • Tom Hawack April 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

        I encountered earlier the same display issue with https as mentioned by Arne, resolved since.
        I have here on Firefox 'security.mixed_content.block_display_content' set to true and all display content is available with https.

  2. rswrc April 7, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    ludicrous speed

  3. Craig April 7, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    It sure is a lot faster for me here. Thanks Martin.

  4. Nik April 7, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    Seems faster. Images load instantly.

  5. rampageX April 7, 2017 at 10:46 am #

    A lot faster for me from China, Images load instantly.

  6. Yuliya April 7, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Not sure if related, but main page says there's one comment here, but loading this article's page it says there's 6 (which is true at the moment of posting this).
    imgur com/jPnqmad

    • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am #

      That's a caching issue, I put it on the "to check" list. Thanks!

  7. pd April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Congratulations on the migration. All the hard work that can take, or just the nerves, are substantial.

    Hope you're kicking back enjoying the benefits.

    Looking forward to the new theme.

    All the best Martin, you deserve a lot of success with the site as you've provided a valued resource with it for many years.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks, I hope things will settle down now a bit. I still have to tackle the new theme and HTTPS, but once that is out of the way, I'm good for years, hopefully ;)

  8. Thorky April 7, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    Good decision! Works fine for me now, no style-breaks anymore (Firefox & Slimjet)! :)

  9. Maelish April 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    I had the same problems with HostGator. It literally took up to a week for a support response. I switched to StableHost and often get tech support responses in 10-15 minutes most of the time. Finally having ssl and up to date PHP and Mariadb was important to me. Certainly wasn't getting that at HostGator, they were still on PHP 4.5.

    • Gary April 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

      Arvixe, after the same people that bought Hostgator bought them, had the same problem with responding to tickets. My sites were down for three weeks and the only way to get a response from them was to rip them on Twitter. Its shocking what the change in ownership did for quality. Arvixe used to respond within minutes.

      I switched my sites to smarterasp.

  10. kalmly April 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    Glad this is working out better for you. It seems really fast, but I don't recall ever feeling like it was slow.

  11. klarkkent April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    All your Web images load much faster now. I've been on Google Fiber, in Kansas City, Mo. for over a year now. You made an excellent choice on a new server.

    • A different Martin April 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      I'm in Seattle on Comcast co-ax, and I'm green with envy.

  12. chesscanoe April 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Maybe this comment is not applicable or appropriate, but WordPress seems to have frequent security updates. Roughly how fast are their updates incorporated for your site?

  13. dmacleo April 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

    may want to implement an http to https redirect due to so many google/bing etc crawler results using http

  14. Niks April 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    I am getting new articles in my RSS feed but can't view on website. I cleared my cache, its still the same.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

      What do you mean you cannot view? Do you get an error message?

  15. Marc April 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi Martin,

    Don't know if this is related to the site but when I visit the page: https://deals.ghacks.net/user?show=account-tab

    I have a a reminder that "You Have 2 Pending Licenses"

    When I click on acquire licenses it goes to: https://deals.ghacks.net/user/acquire_pending_licenses

    Which gives me the following:
    This page isn’t working "deals.ghacks.net is currently unable to handle this request. HTTP ERROR 500"

    Thanks!
    Marc

    • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      Marc, I don't think this is related. What happens when you visit this page: https://deals.ghacks.net/user/purchases

      • Marc April 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

        HI Martin,

        I see all my purchases and it does say I have two pending licenses. This page looks fine.

        Thanks,
        Marc

      • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

        Good, so you can access them and this is resolved?

      • Marc April 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

        Sorry I wasn't clear. I can access this page:
        https://deals.ghacks.net/user/purchases

        And everything is there but when I click on the link to acquire the pending licenses it takes me to the following link: https://deals.ghacks.net/user/acquire_pending_licenses

        But the page is blank and shows me an HTTP Error 500.

        Marc

      • Martin Brinkmann April 7, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

        Marc, can you please use the contact form at the top of the Ghacks site to send me an email. Please include the username that you have on the Deals website, and information on the purchased items. I forward the information to my rep.

  16. Maou April 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Good work, thanks for using SSL.

  17. ilev April 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    Love HTTPS and the site loads faster. Thanks.

  18. John April 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    Indeed. It's way faster now. Good job!

  19. Pants April 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    gHacks Private urls are toast: 404s (has been for at least 3 or 4 days)

  20. Croatoan April 7, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    I always had Ludicrous Speed on your website. Now it's Ludicrous Speed +.

    What's the size of the whole website?

  21. Anonymous April 8, 2017 at 3:07 am #

    Cloudflare seems to deny access to the site after visiting a couple of pages attempting to force javascript to be allowed with some fake warning of site being offline but we will keep checking for a live version if you enable javascript.

  22. GiddyUpGo April 8, 2017 at 3:28 am #

    Martin, Thanks for all your hard work. You have gotten rid of the 1/2 size Icons on the left and the icon size is now perfect!
    The site's text fills my monitor screen just right, no under or over lap. The text size I now like.
    I can find nothing wrong with this new sit.
    Man you did it!

  23. CccB April 8, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    Had never experienced such a huge jump in performance from a website moving to a new server before. Well done.

  24. Fena April 8, 2017 at 5:05 am #

    Much faster for me in Thailand.

  25. Abhishek Rukhaiyar April 8, 2017 at 7:19 am #

    Hello Martin,

    I got the suggestion of this page via google on my phone. I've visited your website in the past i guess. I'm not a tech-savvy. But, I still try to learn and experiment.

    I tried to test the loading time of your website and also this page. On pingdom, it is loading way beyond 2 sec. Pagespeed test at google is showing slow server at 1.4 s. I expect a better result with managed hosting such as kinista.

    I tested my websites at both the location. At Pingdom even at slowest test server, it was 1.3 s. Pagespeed gives slow server warning to my website too. But, it is half of yours, 0.7 s.

    I suggest if pagely comes in your budget, look at them.

    Why I did this? As I am constantly checking websites hosted at various managed hosting for their loading time.

    BTW currently, I host my websites on my own on a VPS server using EasyEngine.

  26. Yoav April 8, 2017 at 11:51 am #

    The site really is faster and everything looks and works fine for me. Congrats on the new server!

  27. Gregg Krech April 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Martin,

    Congratulations on the successful move. Site seems great! Do you think that using Cloudfare in tandem with KeyCDN is a good combination for both security and speed? Are you using the free or paid Cloudfare plan? Good luck going forward.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 8, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

      I'm using CloudFlare Pro. I have to find out whether that is a good combination. Using CloudFlare mostly for blocking attacks, and KeyCDN for CDN functionality.

      • ron April 11, 2017 at 1:13 am #

        Cloudflare is blocking my VPN connection. Not nice.

  28. AT April 10, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

    From UK - Feels faster to me..

  29. Anthony Hutzler April 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    I've been reading about the move. I don't know if it has anything to do with your move or not, but for about a week I have not been receiving your news letter. I hope this can be resolved, because I really look forward to receiving it. Hopefully you can help me with this problem. Thank You : Anthony Hutzler

  30. A different Martin April 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    I'm no longer getting Ghacks mailing-list emails, and the Reply buttons are no longer working for me (in Pale Moon, at least -- I haven't tried other browsers). Also, I'm not seeing CloudFlare or any CDN domain in NoScript's listing. uBlock Origin has been disabled for ghacks.net since the day I installed it. I'm running Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Standalone Beta.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 13, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

      Are you using https or http version? Old theme or new theme?

      • A different Martin April 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

        Okay, now the Reply button is working.

        I'm on HTTP, probably because the Pale Moon Encrypted Web / Firefox HTTPS Everywhere rule for gHacks.net is broken. Here's the XML for the rule (with square brackets instead of angle brackets):

        [!--
        CDN buckets:

        - ghacks.ghacks.netdna-cdn.com

        - cdn

        Disabled due to https://github.com/EFForg/https-everywhere/issues/1574

        --]
        [ruleset name="gHacks.net (partial)" default_off="broken"]

        [target host="cdn.ghacks.net" /]

        [rule from="^http://cdn\.ghacks\.net/"
        to="https://ghacks-ghacks.netdna-ssl.com/" /]

        [/ruleset]

        Any tips on fixing it?

        I must be using the old theme, because I didn't append anything to the URL and the site looks the same as it has for a long time.

        Hope this helps. Thanks for following up!

        PS: On the plus side, the site remembered and presupplied my user name and email for the first time in a long while!

      • Martin Brinkmann April 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

        If things go well, we finalize the move to HTTPS this Monday. No more HTTP then on Ghacks. I'm working on a new newsletter system that is more reliable.

      • A different Martin April 14, 2017 at 12:24 am #

        Sounds good, Martin. I appreciate your work on the site and will keep my fingers crossed for you!

        (PS: I spoke too soon. The site forgot my credentials again...)

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