Featured site: The Burning Monk

Daniel Olson | April 06, 2018

Shifter is proud to present The Burning Monk by Yan Cui; a WordPress blog covering all things serverless. As a serverless static hosting service it’s a perfect fit for our first featured site.

Yan is a functional programmer, cloud architect, learner, trainer, speaker, and the instructor for Production-Ready Serverless. He’s also the Co-Author of F# Deep Dives. On his blog, Yan covers a lot of tech-related topics, including a post about Shifter!

Before switching to Shifter Yan was relying on every trick in the book to speed up his WordPress blog, but one day an article from The Burning Monk began to trend on Hacker News and the increased traffic took down his site. Despite using aggressive WordPress caching plugins and a CDN Yan lost out the exposure he’d been working hard for and the outage ensured his article wouldn’t be trending for long.

An outage can be one of the worst situations for your site. When traffic rolls in sites can crash or become so slow that visitors won’t stick around to read your content anyway.

It’s common to associate static page caching plugins with static sites, but while WordPress caching plugins do help deliver more content with the same server resources, you’re still limited by the capacity of your server. With a purely CDN hosting service hardware resources such as RAM and CPU are not factor.

On a traditional hosting server there are peaks and valleys in those processes used to deliver your pages and they can fail when demand is too high. Hosting providers like our sister product, AMIMOTO built on Amazon Web Services offer features like auto-scaling to combat this by providing high-availability but it comes at an increased cost.

With Shifter, we’ve combined a WordPress static site generator with serverless hosting on a CDN, so the peaks and valleys of traffic get distributed and protected from downtime. Yan decided to make the switch so his site could handle the demand for a popular article.

Before switching to Shifter, Yan explored static site generators like Hugo or Jekyll vs WordPress and wrote about them on his blog. While those are definitely useful tools, they don’t offer the same features WordPress users rely on such as theme builders, plugins for creating and managing content, user admin features, and more.

We asked Yan about why he chose Shifter and he said, “I wanted the performance of a static site, without giving up the convenience of WordPress, fortunately, Shifter gives me the best of both worlds!”

During the migration and onboarding, we helped Yan with a few tips to make managing his WordPress site on Shifter a bit easier too.

A rich ecosystem of plugins and themes is one of the major reasons why WordPress is such a widely used CMS. It’s very accessible and easy to use but difficult to scale and almost impossible to fully secure. That’s why we created Shifter: to bring security, stability, and speed to an already great platform.

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