How your content is delivered around the globe more quickly

Sometimes the technical jargon confuses, so i'll use some simpler terms today to explain publishing and content delivery networks. 

When you edit your content in our content management system, and then publish. All of that happens in a data center in Sydney, Australia. 

About 10-30 seconds after you publish, your changes will be synchronised around the world to our 4 different hosting locations 

  • NZ
  • Australia & Asia
  • USA - Americas
  • Ireland - Europe

So where is my website? 

  • It's everywhere
  • When you look at your website from NZ, you are looking at the NZ copy.
  • When your customers in England look at your website, they are looking at the Irish copy. 
  • When your customers in Peru are looking at your website, they are looking at the USA copy. 
  • The master copy of your website is in Sydney. and it is also backed up in many other locations. 

Why do we run a contend delivery network? 

  • It is much faster to download websites that are hosted closer to you. But for some websites, your customers could be anywhere and everywhere. 
  • Sometimes hardware fails, or we need to maintain it, or even just restart it, and it can't do it's normal job for perhaps a few minutes, or even an hour or even a day. If this happens and your web host only has 1 server, that is a big problem. But with website builder, if the NZ servers go down, or the NZ data center as a whole becomes unavilable, then all the website traffic will automatically move to other places around the world. It might slow down pages by 1 second, but that's way better than having an outage.

About Name Servers (DNS)

  • We have 4 different nameservers around the world. The nameservers tell your browser which location to get your website from.
  • Our nameservers are very smart, and can tell which web server is closest to you.
  • Our nameservers are so smart, they can also automatically determine which web servers are sick or offline, and avoid sending your customers to that location. 
  • All customers see the same URLs in their web browser. There is no redirections. It is all invisible to the customer. Your customers just get the fastest possible hosting speed. 

What happens if my content changes are not published? 

  • Normally you just need to wait 1 minute or press refresh on your web browser. Your web browser does not know that the website you are editing in the CMS, is the same one you are viewing in a new tab. So you need to refresh your browser by pressing F5, or CTRL-F5, or Apple-F5, or similar. Alternatively, you may need to clear your browser cache.
  • Usually when you publish your website, your changes will sync around the world in only 10 seconds. At worst, it might be 1 minute. But every now and again, a file might not get synced.. We are attempting to fix that bug. If this happens, please let us know what URL to look at, and what the difference is between the pages..  It's not always obvious to us, if you were just changing the spelling of a word in the 10th paragraph of your page... It helps to tell us so we can speed up the support process.
  • In any case, if we don't resolve the instant syncing for you, rest assured that all your changes will be synced around the world again over night. It's a completely different syncing process that runs at night, but it is too slow for ordinary usage.. 

What about my shopping cart and customer database, where is that stored? 

  • Your dynamic web pages ( the ones with /webapps/ in the URL)  are all processed in Sydney Australia. So all the sales that are made, all the new members that are registered etc are all updated in real time in the CMS. These requests are a little slower than the published pages and images on the page. Dyanamic requests make up less than 1% of all traffic. We don't want to serve all content from 1 central location, because that would be too slow, and would be prone to failure if any hardware issues. 
  • We have multiple load balanced application servers, this ensures the maximum uptime for our dynamic pages
  • We have a hot standby database, that will automatically kick in if the primary database fails. This ensures the maximum up time for our dynamic pages. 
  • We have lots of backups of the database, and can restore data to a specific point in time. 

How do we compare to our competitors. 

  • A typical Wordpress / Joomla / OSCommerce website is not hosted in this sort of infrastructure. Normally those websites are hosted on a single VPS.
  • If any opensrouce website who shares your web server gets too busy, all the websites on the same web server slow down. Versus website builder who will offload traffic to another web server automatically. 
  • If the VPS gets hacked, all those websites on the same server can be affected. Who will fix your VPS? is your web designer available 24/7 and technically able to resolve that issue? Versus website builder who takes care of all the scurity patches, backups and restorations for you. 
  • What about your database? did your web developer setup appropriate backups for your database? if your wordpress database gets hacked, then you need to restore a version from a previous day, then update your security patches. Your website could be down / or infected for hours. If you have no database backup, you might lose all your customer database and historical sales data... Or you could be down for ages, as your developer attempts to rebuild your website in hours, when once it took them weeks...  Versus website builder who has hot standby databases for maximum uptime, and dated backups for worst case scenerios.
  • Website builder does not allow opensource websites to share a server with website builder powered CMS websites. 
  • Website builder takes care of backups and restoration
  • Website builder database and platform has never been hacked. (Only users FTP accounts or email accounts have been hacked due to easy to guess passwords, but with a good password, your website won't be hacked.)

Tags: hosting  cdn  

Posted: Friday 24 April 2015

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