In website performance, upgrading your server is often the most cost-effective improvement you can make. Switching from an overloaded mass web host can significantly speed up your site. More popular sites can switch to a dedicated server to boost performance (and not slow down other sites). In upgrading your server, not only do you benefit from faster hardware, but server configuration and software limitations disappear. In this article we benchmark the performance of upgrading a popular site (TeachThought.com) from shared to a dedicated server (see Figure 1).
The benefits of upgrading to a dedicated server are manifold. Having your own server gives you complete control over the software (and hardware) that is installed on the server. No more limits from a mass web host saying you need to stay inside their "box." Dedicated servers are also faster than shared servers, typically with higher specifications and only your own site(s) residing on the server. In sum, dedicated services provide:
TeachThought is a brand dedicated to innovation in K-20 education. They achieve this by growing teaching through thought leadership, resource curation, curriculum development, podcast publishing, and face-to-face professional development in schools. The TeachThought website has become so popular over the years that their shared server response was suffering.
After analyzing their site for performance, we recommended upgrading to a dedicated server. The server specifications are as follows:
Intel 4 CPU Cores 3800MhZ
220GB SSD Hard Drive
Before the server move, the site performed poorly with slow TTFB and start render times (see Figure 2). After moving the site to a dedicated server with the specifications above, the performance improved. After the move the Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) was 75% faster, and start render was 27% faster.
The repeat view saw significant improvements in performance. The repeat view load time dropped 70% by more than a factor of 3 from 26.5 to 8.1 seconds (see Figure 3). TTFB dropped 60% while start render time dropped 41%.
While there is more work to be done in improving performance, the server upgrade was a fast way to speed up this site. Future tweaks may include HTTPS, further optimizations, and HTTP/2.
Upgrading your server to a dedicated server can reap big performance gains. The more complex the site, the more performance improvement you can expect. In this case study, moving from a shared to dedicated server improved TTFB by 75% and repeat view load times by 70%.
By website optimization on 18 Jul 2017 PM