Optimize your website on Cloud Sites

  • Last updated on: 2015-12-29
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

This article describes some best practices and suggestions for optimizing your website on Cloud Sites.

Using SSL

SSL might be right for your website, but it should be used only when necessary. SSL traffic is encrypted and causes additional server processing time. We recommend that you pass only the traffic that needs to be secure to the SSL servers because the non-SSL clusters are more robust and are better equipped to handle traffic spikes.

To accomplish this task, create a subdomain (for example, secure.example.com) and enable SSL for the subdomain through which only secure transactions will be processed. This action allows SSL traffic to pass through a separate location and provides customers with a visual cue that they are on a secure site.

For information about setting up a subdomain, see Creating subdomains or domain aliases.

For details on adding SSL to a site, see Configuring SSL on your websites.

Serving static content

For the best performance, we recommend migrating all static media files (images, video, audio, flash, and so on) to the content delivery network (CDN) of your choice. We offer CDN integration with Akamai via our Cloud Files offering, but any CDN will work.

This process gives your customers decreased latency when accessing media because the content is cached and served by servers closest to their physical location. For more information about using Cloud Files, see the Cloud Files introduction page.

Optimizing the database

A well-optimized database and database queries can increase the performance of your website. An inefficiently designed database can slow your website to a crawl. Optimizing queries, creating indexes, and setting the most appropriate engine type (if MySQL) can increase the performance of your website, when done correctly.

Consult a professional database administrator (DBA), if necessary.

Coding efficiently

Efficient code always yields a better-performing website. This is especially true for a busy website. Issues that are not evident during light or normal traffic become noticeable when traffic to the website increases.

Reducing the number of file system operations, external calls, and includes, and reducing or optimizing database queries will allow your website to perform and scale more efficiently.

Planning for high traffic

Note: If you are expecting an increase in traffic to your website, create a Support ticket for your site with the following subject line: Expected High Traffic websiteName.

In the ticket, provide information about the amount of expected traffic and the date that you expect the traffic to begin to increase by providing the following details:

  • Whether the site is provisioned as an SSL site
  • Target URLs
  • Source IP addresses (if known)
  • Date and time of the event, with the time zone
  • Duration of the event
  • Expected traffic volume (in requests per second)
  • Type of application (for example, proprietary, commercial, open source)
  • CMS (for example, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) if applicable
  • Whether the application or site makes any third-party calls to domains outside of Cloud Sites (for example, RSS feeds, APIs, cURL)
  • Whether the application or site caches to a file system or database
  • Emergency contact information, including a cell phone number

Submit your ticket at least seven days before the expected high traffic date. If applicable, disable comments and chat and traceback functionality during your event.

Additional resources for website optimization

See the following optimization articles that apply to your websites:

Continue the conversation in the Rackspace Community.