…We Have a New Home

Well that was fast!

Not even 24 hours after I began, I have officially moved everything over to Bluehost, this site’s new home for at least the next 5 years.

If you’re reading this post, then you’re already here and hopefully you have already noticed significant speed improvements on the site.  During the final stages of testing last night, I used a third party website performance test to compare the difference in loading times between my old home server and Bluehost, and here are the results.

The top test is the old server before I switched it over, and the bottom is the new (current) site running in a test environment.  The load time for the main page of the site decreased from 10.2 seconds down to 2.7 seconds, a 377% improvement.  The Total Page size (whcih is the amount of data needed to load the page) also decreased which is due to the new host being more efficient at compressing data.  The PageSpeed and YSlow scores are still a little low, but after digging into why, one of the big reasons is how large of graphics I use on this site, which is an acceptable compromise for a photography site.

The whole site is faster too, not just the main page.  The WordPress dashboard I use for creating content is significantly faster and adding new media to the site is very quick.  If you open a review and bounce between links on the site, the next link starts to load almost immediately and finishes loading in less than half the time as it used to.  Another benefit to the faster speed is that I can enable features like Tiled Galleries which the old server was too slow to handle.  Take a look at the image to the right from my review for the Voigtländer Superb.  The gallery automatically organizes the various images into neat little boxes that you can click on for the full size image.

In addition to massive improvements in speed, Bluehost is a top rated WordPress host with nearly 100% up time, a lot better security than I could ever provide on my home server, and they provide daily backups so if something were to ever happen to the site, at the very most I’d only ever lose a day’s worth of data.

In the coming weeks and months I plan on upgrading the site to support HTTPS which is a more secure method for web traffic and something I couldn’t get working on the old server, and a few more behind the scenes tweaks.

Edit: Turns out, enabling HTTPS was just a simple switch through Bluehost as I was able to enable it within an hour after posting this.

I’ve gone through the site to make sure everything is working, and it seems to be.  If you encounter any broken links or things that don’t seem to be doing what they should, please let me know either in the comments section below, or by contacting me via email.

Anyway, thanks for your patience.  I was hoping this would only take a day or two, but was prepared for extended down time, and I am really happy that everything went so smoothly.

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