Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network - gHacks Tech News

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.

Summary
Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network
Article Name
Ghacks: moved to new server, new CDN network
Description
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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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Arne Anka said on April 7, 2017 at 9:36 am
    Reply

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

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 10:15 am
      Reply

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

      1. Arne Anka said on April 7, 2017 at 10:47 am
        Reply

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

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am
        Reply

        Well, https is still a work in progress.

      3. Tom Hawack said on April 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm
        Reply

        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 said on April 7, 2017 at 10:23 am
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    ludicrous speed

  3. Craig said on April 7, 2017 at 10:30 am
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    It sure is a lot faster for me here. Thanks Martin.

  4. Nik said on April 7, 2017 at 10:33 am
    Reply

    Seems faster. Images load instantly.

  5. rampageX said on April 7, 2017 at 10:46 am
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    A lot faster for me from China, Images load instantly.

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

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am
      Reply

      That’s a caching issue, I put it on the “to check” list. Thanks!

  7. pd said on April 7, 2017 at 11:06 am
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    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.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 11:12 am
      Reply

      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 said on April 7, 2017 at 11:16 am
    Reply

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

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

    1. Gary said on April 7, 2017 at 5:58 pm
      Reply

      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.

    2. Michael Wik said on April 26, 2017 at 4:07 pm
      Reply

      I have problem with Arvixe, technical support is very long to update the ticket, I need to wait 1 day, sometimes several days, they cant fix the issue. It is not usual. Finally, I move my site to asphostportal

  10. kalmly said on April 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm
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    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 said on April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm
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    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.

    1. A different Martin said on April 13, 2017 at 2:16 pm
      Reply

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

  12. chesscanoe said on April 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm
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    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 said on April 7, 2017 at 3:27 pm
    Reply

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

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm
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      We will switch to full HTTPS soon.

  14. Niks said on April 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm
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    I am getting new articles in my RSS feed but can’t view on website. I cleared my cache, its still the same.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm
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      What do you mean you cannot view? Do you get an error message?

  15. Marc said on April 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    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

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 3:58 pm
      Reply

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

      1. Marc said on April 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm
        Reply

        HI Martin,

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

        Thanks,
        Marc

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 6:12 pm
        Reply

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

      3. Marc said on April 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm
        Reply

        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

      4. Martin Brinkmann said on April 7, 2017 at 8:12 pm
        Reply

        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 said on April 7, 2017 at 6:29 pm
    Reply

    Good work, thanks for using SSL.

  17. ilev said on April 7, 2017 at 6:47 pm
    Reply

    Love HTTPS and the site loads faster. Thanks.

  18. John said on April 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm
    Reply

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

  19. Pants said on April 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm
    Reply

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

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 8, 2017 at 5:22 am
      Reply

      Fixed, sorry for that.

  20. Croatoan said on April 7, 2017 at 9:56 pm
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    I always had Ludicrous Speed on your website. Now it’s Ludicrous Speed +.

    What’s the size of the whole website?

  21. Anonymous said on April 8, 2017 at 3:07 am
    Reply

    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 said on April 8, 2017 at 3:28 am
    Reply

    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 said on April 8, 2017 at 4:26 am
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    Had never experienced such a huge jump in performance from a website moving to a new server before. Well done.

  24. Fena said on April 8, 2017 at 5:05 am
    Reply

    Much faster for me in Thailand.

  25. Abhishek Rukhaiyar said on April 8, 2017 at 7:19 am
    Reply

    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 said on April 8, 2017 at 11:51 am
    Reply

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

  27. Gregg Krech said on April 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm
    Reply

    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.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 8, 2017 at 5:53 pm
      Reply

      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.

      1. ron said on April 11, 2017 at 1:13 am
        Reply

        Cloudflare is blocking my VPN connection. Not nice.

  28. AT said on April 10, 2017 at 11:49 pm
    Reply

    From UK – Feels faster to me..

  29. Anthony Hutzler said on April 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm
    Reply

    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 said on April 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    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.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 13, 2017 at 3:53 pm
      Reply

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

      1. A different Martin said on April 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm
        Reply

        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!

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm
        Reply

        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.

      3. A different Martin said on April 14, 2017 at 12:24 am
        Reply

        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…)

  31. oxvectors said on April 27, 2017 at 11:50 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin,

    I usually view Ghacks via RSS on Symbaloo.com. I kept getting “Current feed is not available” and visited the site to discover the recent move. I cleared cache and updated the feed link to https://www.ghacks.net/feed/ , but still get “Current feed is not available”. Any suggestions?

    Specs:
    Win 7 x64
    Cyberfox

    Thanks for a great site: you’re one of my daily “must reads”.

    oxvectors

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 28, 2017 at 6:18 am
      Reply

      Hi, can you open the feed directly in your browser? Does Symbaloo support https feeds?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 28, 2017 at 6:24 am
        Reply

        If this does not work, try the Feedburner Feed instead: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Ghacksnet

      2. oxvectors said on April 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm
        Reply

        Hi Martin, and thanks for the reply. In order: Yes on directly open in browser. Unsure on https feeds on symbaloo. Thank you for the feedburner link.

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