DreamPress Performance Improvement: NGINX for All DreamPress Customers

DreamPress Performance Improvement: NGINX for All DreamPress Customers

Here at DreamHost, we’ve made a number of enhancements to significantly enhance site performance on DreamPress, our managed WordPress hosting service. Those improvements were made with one result in mind: to upgrade the swift, seamless, and secure online experience our DreamPress customers have come to expect from us.  

In mid-April 2023, we implemented optimizations to our PHP configuration — specifically, changes to OPcache settings. OPcache is a powerful tool that boosts the performance of PHP, an open-source scripting language used in web development, by storing precompiled code in memory. 

We also introduced Redis Object Caching for our DreamPress Pro customers in June 2023. Object caching greatly enhances the speed and efficiency of your WordPress site by storing the results of database queries in your server’s memory. By adding the Redis Object Cache plugin to our DreamPress Pro users’ WordPress admin dashboards, we’re helping them add an extra level of power to their sites. But we didn’t stop there! 

The cornerstone of our DreamPress site performance enhancement efforts is NGINX, a powerful, high-performance, high-concurrency software that serves as a web server and that surpasses other web servers in terms of speed and capacity. Our extensive early testing led us to be certain that moving DreamPress to NGINX would improve page load speeds across the board.

We were certain that transitioning tens of thousands of sites on DreamPress to a new system was the right move, despite anticipating some challenges along the way. Our deadline was early November 2023, coinciding with the then-upcoming release of WordPress 6.4, and the task ahead was substantial. We had to ensure the seamless operation of all sites before and after the switch, which included explaining the removal of features like IP blocks and page redirects managed via .htaccess. Additionally, we had to find a method to automatically migrate existing customer caching and .htaccess records. 

Moreover, we had to set up new DreamPress provisions to launch with NGINX rather than Apache, ensuring that new DreamPress customers received the best possible experience from the start. Despite the magnitude of the task, our preparations were successful. We managed to migrate all sites and set up provisioning to NGINX within a month, which is a testament to the team members’ expertise and diligence and their unwavering commitment to providing an unparalleled user experience for our DreamPress customers. 

Our efforts have paid off handsomely, evidenced by a significant milestone we achieved recently. Upon completing the rollout of NGINX to our DreamPress customers, we observed a substantial 67% reduction in the number of sites taking two seconds or more to load. 

The response from our DreamPress customers has been overwhelmingly positive. They’ve noticed a marked increase in their sites’ responsiveness, even for those who were already enjoying quick loading times. A testament to the impactful changes we’ve brought about, one customer anticipated a significant improvement in their site’s Google ranking as a direct result of our enhancements. This reaffirms our belief that our relentless pursuit of excellent user experience and turbocharged site performance is well worth the effort. 
If you’re ready to take your WordPress site to the next level and improve your site’s performance, upgrade your hosting to DreamPress in your account today!

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