Using Cloudflare Page Rules

Today, I decided to explore Cloudflare features in a bit more depth. I currently manage quite a few applications, both personal and business related on the platform. One feature which I'd never really looked into before was Page Rules. I'd read about them, but never actually applied them to any sites. Due to how much of an affect it actually had by applying a few rules, I feel like I should spread the word for anyone who isn't aware of what they are and how amazing they can be when used correctly.

Varnish Cache Accelerator Introduction

Recently I've been looking into a lot of Technology and Software to improve the performance and scalability of some of the projects I've been working on. This has been proving difficult as we implement more and more features, adding extra strain to databases, web servers and budget. One of the major problems we kept seeing was overloaded CPUs, bottlenecked Databases and huge ammounts of bandwidth being consumed, so a new plan was needed. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting articles on how to save money, improve performance and even improve security of your sites and applications using Varnish Cache.

Installing Memcache on Windows

This week a colleague needed to work from home to finish up some code for our new internal site launch next week. Unfortunately, since we develop on Linux at work, and he uses windows at home, this wasn't such a smooth process of getting the files to render correctly on the Windows platform. He was using Xampp which doesn't come pre configured with quite a few components we use to keep our site running fast and stable. One of these programs was Memcache; a distributed memory object caching system. Below I will show you the steps I took to get Memcache working on windows with the latest version of Xampp (1.7.4 at the time of writing).

Installing Varnish Cache on CentOS

Today, I installed Varnish Cache onto my Amazon EC2 server to test drive it's performance. I had recently discovered sites such as Facebook are using Varnish as a way of delivering the billions of photo requests they receive daily; which must mean this thing can really take the load of of standard http servers. Unfortunately I was unable to find a decent tutorial on how to do so, which led me to write my own.

APC (Alternate PHP Cache) Drawback

Today I was experimenting with various caching techniques in PHP and Apache to try to speed up my site, while still keep all of my content real-time and efficient. I will be writing a full post on my experiment and my results later on tonight, but for now I just want to write a quick post about APC.

Convenience vs Performance in PHP

PHP, while known for it's simplicity and scalability, is an overall slow and memory consuming language. I my 5 years of programming, I've managed to build myself a fully custom and highly optimized set of libraries which I use in a lot of my projects. These libraries range from Geo Location and Authentication, to Sessions Handling and Web Crawling. While these libraries are highly optimized, they still don't have the performance I am hoping for from my applications. PHP consumes high amounts of memory, and isn't the fastest language by any means. I've spent the last few months trying out new ways of upgrading my applications to be more powerful and faster, even learning new languages and techniques along the way.

Canvas GPU Acceleration in Chrome Fails

As you may know I recently relaunched Squiggle Canvas. Whilst re-coding the site I noticed the entire engine was very glitchy, and the JavaScript hang time for drawing was between 500-1000ms. This was the time needed to Chrome to take some input, run a function, draw something to the canvas, update the UI, and get ready to redraw the next line. All of this happens when you move the mouse one pixel.

Ever wanted images to be smaller and load faster?

Over at Google they are always trying to make the internet faster, and just generally better for all of us Speed Craving Humanoids. They weren't happy with just customizing the web pages themselves (even though they released many tools for this such as Google Page Speed and even created a new Web Protocol SPDY), they wanted to optimize every aspect of the assets inside the pages too, which includes Images.

Symbolic Links are my new Best Friend