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Website Optimization

Website optimizationI’ve made a couple of changes to improve the responsiveness of the site and help it scale better under load.

The first was to install the WordPres plugin WP Super Cache. This plugin will cache the pages on your site and store them as html files. This means that the PHP server doesn’t have to regenerate a page for every request. Instead it simply returns the html file from disk. This significantly reduces the load on the server and improves responsiveness. The other benefit is that WP Super Cache creates gzipped versions of the html files and will return these to browsers that support compression (just about all).

The second optimization was to move all the images on the site to CacheFly‘s content delivery network. CacheFly has a network of servers at strategic locations across the globe. Using their technology, images on the site will be delivered to your browser from the server that’s physically located closest to you. This reduces latency and also provides good load-balancing during periods of heavy traffic.

Signing up with CacheFly¬†was simplicity in itself. As soon as I’d created an account, I had ftp access and was immediately able to upload all the site’s images. It was then just a matter of updating all the URLs to point to the cachefly.net domain. The whole process took about 45 minutes. Very impressive.

I’d be very interested to hear from you as to how responsive you find the site. There are some further optimizations I can make, such as combining and compressing the javascript and css files, using CSS sprites, etc. However these changes will make upgrading to newer versions of WordPress and the plugins I use a pain, so I’ve held off on these for the moment.

In other news, I’ve received some great ebook submissions and have a few days worth of announcements queued up. At this stage it’s looking like my goal of announcing a new ebook every day is going to be achievable. I don’t plan to queue more than about a week’s worth of announcements, so I may even be able to annouce more than one book a day very soon.

The next thing I need to focus on is promoting the site to readers. I feel like I’ve already got some outstanding books listed and the authors really deserve to have as many readers sent their way as possible.

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