Why we moved the Everleap blog to the Everleap servers

Michael PhillipsYou may have assumed that the Everleap blog ran on Everleap servers, but until now, that hasn’t been the case.

Most businesses that provide public hosting services like we do also maintain separate “corporate” servers. Not necessarily for performance reasons, but for security, maintenance, legal, or any number of other reasons.

wordpress-logoSo this blog ran on a dedicated FreeBSD server. It uses WordPress, a php application, and most people still run those on linux or some other decidedly non-Windows server.

Which is understandable, because honestly, five or six years ago I wouldn’t have considered moving one of our corporate php/MySQL applications to an IIS server. Even though that was – and still is – DiscountASP.NET’s area of expertise.

The reality is that IIS and .NET have always been a perfect marriage, but IIS hasn’t always been an ideal place for your non-.NET applications.

But a lot has changed in the past few years. Microsoft put a lot of effort into improving their implementation of php and other non-Microsoft technologies, and now on Widows Azure Pack (the foundation of the Everleap platform), a php application like WordPress can perform as well as – or better than – it would on linux.

Of course that’s easy for me to say.

So rather than just say it, I though there was no better way to prove it than to run one of our own important corporate php applications on a regular production Everleap server (in this case, a Reserved Cloud Server). The same ones our customers use. So here it is.

We have a lot of other demo applications installed on Everleap servers. You can check them all out here. They are mainly resource-hungry applications that tend to underperform (if they perform at all) on a traditional shared server, but as you can see for yourself they run beautifully on the Everleap platform.

What did we have to do to move the blog to the Everleap servers?

It was really quite painless…

I’ll save you the trouble of researching that and show you our web.config:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <rewrite>
      <rules>
        <rule name="wordpress" patternSyntax="Wildcard">
        <match url="*"/>
        <conditions>
        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true"/>
        <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true"/>
        </conditions>
        <action type="Rewrite" url="index.php"/>
        </rule></rules>
    </rewrite>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

 

And really, that was about it. Update DNS and we’re done.

The results?

Well, the front-end performance of the blog feels the same to me as it did on the dedicated FreeBSD box – which is to say, fast and responsive. The back end admin section is just as fast as it is over at the DiscountASP.NET blog, which still runs on its own dedicated FreeBSD server, so no complaints there.

All of which leads me to believe that if you run WordPress now on a traditional shared server, you and your readers are going to have a much better experience here on Everleap. That goes for pretty much anything running on a traditional server of any flavor, but it’s especially true of applications that need access to a fair amount of server resources. Access to resources can be a crap shoot on a traditional shared server, where how well your site runs can depend on how lucky you are (and who your neighbors are, and whether your host is running their own version of Kowloon Walled City).

Listen, between you and me, I’m an old unix server guy, so what can I tell you, I was wary. But as someone who uses, manages and is otherwise knee-deep in WordPress every day, I can honestly say that the setup here on Everleap is every bit the equal of the old dedicated FreeBSD box.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. See for yourself with a 30 day free trial. No charge, no obligation.

Go ahead, put Everleap to the test. Open an account, pour yourself a drink, sit back and move a copy of your WordPress blog over. We provide an alternate URL for testing so you don’t have to touch your live WordPress site. I invite you to compare. Let me know what you think.

I believe that you’re going to love working on a modern hosting platform. I know I do.


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