This weekend (August 2nd), we finished installing a global front-end proxy cache on our servers called Varnish. So what the heck is that you say? Here is the bottom line (and then you can punt the rest of this article). It is a caching proxy server that offers front end storage that should make your WordPress website run a lot faster. Like, really fast.
It is something we had been discussing for a while and we played with the software for a few months and decided that it really could benefit almost every one of our clients. After talking to some other server genius’s, we decided to green light it.
Here is what you need to know: Please, let us know if you have any weird side effects, like current posts that don’t show up, for instance. Beyond that, there is nothing to do except sit back and enjoy the speed.
Here is a bit more detail for those who are more technically inclined and want to learn more. Varnish now runs as the front end server for your site. If it does not have a fresh page of what is being requested from your content, it passes along the request to your WordPress site. It then stores that fresh copy and, if another request comes in for the same content in a set amount of time, Varnish will serve up the copy it has in storage. That is easily a 10x performance boost in not having to regenerate a page on every request.
If you are having performance issues, please contact me. I can work with you and fix most speed issues, unless it is downloading gigabytes of data. Users are an impatient bunch and they want everything fast and free. We can’t make it free but we can make it fast.