Today I’m happy and proud to introduce our brand new service, Accelerated Domains™. Accelerated Domains does exactly what the name entails; accelerate your domain. In short, this means that the service improves and optimizes on these four areas:
It’s a service that performs magic between the visitor and the Servebolt Cloud. It’s easy to set up and at an affordable price point compared to the alternatives.
At Servebolt, our mission is to build a sustainable and fast internet by building a global, faster, and more efficient website hosting infrastructure. While most think of hosting infrastructure as the server and whatever is inside the data center, we think of infrastructure as everything from the visitor’s browser and their connection to the Internet and all the way to the server.
We are already delivering the world’s fastest hosting service for LAMP/LEMP environments like WordPress, Magento, Laravel, and Craft. In combination with our work with sustainability and carbon footprint, we’re already doing a lot when it comes to our mission.
Accelerated Domains does its magic between the browser and the server. The traffic goes through Accelerated Domains before hitting the server. A visitor to your website will, when visiting your website, connect to the Accelerated Domains backbone instead of directly to your origin server. Accelerated Domains will then route the traffic to the right server in the Servebolt Cloud.
This enables Accelerated Domains to optimize things that weren’t possible before:
- Loading of third-party scripts
- The route through the internet between the visitor and the origin server
- The order of the assets being delivered
These optimizations are done on-the-fly in a completely new and revolutionary way with Accelerated Domains. For Servebolt, this introduces a whole new layer where we can optimize a whole new set of options.
It’s simply a new layer where we can perform our well-known “black magic” and start doing optimizations that don’t make sense – from a performance and sustainability point of view – to do on the origin server.
The optimizations are then running much closer to the visitor than ever before. Accelerated Domains will optimize the website as part of the delivery of any page on that website.
Improving Scalability & Caching
On top of these optimizations, Accelerated Domains also consists of a smart caching engine with cache hit-rate optimization built in. This means that Accelerated Domains will cache the response of requests at the CDN edge resulting in a low-latency cache delivery, but also work actively to cache as much as possible using cache hit-rate optimizations, and yet bypassing cache when needed.
To put it simply, Accelerated Domains temporarily stores a webpage on servers around the globe and delivers the website from the closest server to the visitor. And when we know we shouldn’t store it (like it’s a cart or a user-specific page), we don’t.
You may ask what we do about the temporarily stored pages (cached pages) when a page changes. And that is a good question because there are a lot of bad caching strategies out there. To make sure the cache is updated all around the globe when you update that page, post, or product, we have built-in automatic cache purging in our Servebolt Optimizer WordPress plugin. Servebolt Optimizer sends a request to our API every time you update a page, post, or product (or any other post type in WordPress), which tells us that we should delete the temporary, cached version from the entire network. That way, we make sure that no one is seeing outdated content. And if it for some reason fails, you can “purge” a URL manually from within the plugin UI in WordPress.
Not using WordPress? Don’t worry! Plugins and modules for other CMSes and platforms are on their way. We are currently planning a Craft and Magento module, and if you’d like to make this feature yourself, you can make use of our PHP SDK or our API directly.
Accelerated Domains is a product that is constantly evolving. The Accelerated Domains team works and learns from looking at the traffic that goes through it, and the product evolves in some areas on its own. Accelerated Domains is already solving problems in the current version that it didn’t solve when we onboarded the first pilot clients.
The Accelerated Domains team has already solved one of the major performance issues that annoy every digital marketing specialist. Pageviews coming from digital ads like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Mailchimp campaigns, and similar have a slower loading time than most other traffic. Slower loading means higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. This is due to the way these ads consist of user-specific tracking IDs and such in the URL, which then bypasses the cache. With Accelerated Domains, this issue is solved, which for the websites using Accelerated Domains means higher ROI on their ad spend.
How It Works
If you’re familiar with Cloudflare, you might notice that Accelerated Domains, in many ways, works like Cloudflare. And there is a reason for that. It is actually built on top of Cloudflare and its Anycast network of over 200 locations. But it’s not just a regular Cloudflare like Cloudflare Pro or Business. It uses Cloudflare Enterprise as its backbone and utilizes many features that are only available through the Enterprise plan. If you were to buy Cloudflare Enterprise directly from Cloudflare, it would set you back a minimum of $5000 a month.
What we have done is take our performance-first approach, in-depth knowledge of the sites running on Servebolt, and combine that with the power of Cloudflare Enterprise. The result is Servebolt-specific performance optimizations, security, and scalability improvements running at the Cloudflare edge, which is now effectively the Accelerated Domains edge.
All this at a low price point to make sure your return on investment (ROI) is as high as possible for your business. And to make everything even better, Accelerated Domains is a set-and-forget service. All you need to do is set it up, which is easy, and then we take care of the rest.
Security Where and How You Want It
As mentioned earlier in the post, Accelerated Domains also have a great impact on the security of a website. The security engine inside Accelerated Domains will block unwanted traffic to a website before that traffic hits the server. Meaning before that traffic has any unwanted effect on the website or the server. The Accelerated Domains engine is also built to block unwanted traffic by using fewer computing resources compared to the on-server alternatives – resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
The engine implements a large set of smart security measures. These are measures that come as a result of Cloudflare’s analysis of close to 40% of all HTTP traffic on the Internet, in combination with Servebolt’s hands-on experience with the traffic on our network. And the best part of the Accelerated Domains security engine is that it’s continuously improving, both due to human labor and by itself using machine learning.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Accelerated Domains also greatly reduce the carbon footprint of your website. The reason is the combination of all the features within Accelerated Domains includes and the way they are built. By stopping unwanted traffic from hitting your website, your website no longer has to use CPU to generate a response.
By caching at the Accelerated Domains edge and close to the visitor, the website doesn’t use CPU to deliver the same page over and over again, and the response travels for a shorter distance. Last but not least, Accelerated Domains is powered by renewable energy, which means an even larger portion of the route from the visitor to the Servebolt Cloud is guaranteed green.
Before I wrap this up, I want to take the opportunity to highlight all the awesome work that has been done by the Servebolt team to make this happen for our clients. Accelerated Domains is the first product we launched that uses our API, and for all WordPress users, it’s automatically using the API without the need for our users to set up API authentication themselves. It’s just automatic!
Accelerated Domains is a product that is the result of cooperation between every department in Servebolt, and it’s a product we all can be proud of! I also want to say thank you to the Cloudflare team for the cooperation and the work they have done to make this product happen.
My awesome colleagues are also ready to answer any questions you might have about Accelerated Domains, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.