Linux and Windows VPS websites: 5 ways to improve speed

January 30, 2020
Most agree that Virtual Private Server (VPS) is one of the best solutions for websites that face constant growth and rapid customer base expansion. Even though dedicated servers can offer similar features as a VPS, virtual private servers offer a lower cost. The truth is that many enjoy the great performance of their Linux and Windows VPS, however, not so many know that it can be significantly improved with a few simple methods. Now, we would like to introduce them.

1. Speed it up with caching

Caching is often used technique to speed up the loading time of business websites and, therefore, it can be used on a VPS as well. Without it, heavy load is put on the resources by constant static file requests, which slow down the website. With caching, static files are cached to RAM and the server demands are instantly reduced. Therefore, the server site loading and other processes increase. The installation of third-party software products is what enables caching.

2. Keep MySQL up to date

Even though it might not be such a simple process to update MySQL because of necessary technical knowledge, customer support of both – Linux and Windows VPS – can provide professional help. Updating it does not only mean that response and read/write workloads will increase greatly, it also contributes to a higher level of security. Especially, if the current version of your VPS is no longer supported, it is highly recommended to update MySQL as soon as possible.

3. Content optimization for better performance

A big amount of content must be transferred from a VPS to the user’s device: for instance, lots of installed plugins (with their own long scripts), themes, big size images, other scripts. It all must be loaded before the website can function properly, therefore, it slows down the overall Windows VPS (or Linux) performance. However, if the content of the website is optimized, all of this data can be sent more efficiently.

Even though there are many actions that can be taken in optimizing the content, it all boils down to the content, plugins, and themes that are installed on the server. First, before taking any actions, identify the things that slow down a server. For this, a few tools can be used, for instance, Google PageSpeed Insights. The tools will show what changes can be done in the configuration and settings.

4. Apache setting optimization

Often, Apache default settings in Linux and Windows VPS may not be the best choice, because it can use up server’s resources, therefore; slow down the performance for every process that runs. Settings that needs revision:

  • MaxClients;
  • MaxRequestsPerChild;
  • StartServers;
  • KeepAlive.
The first setting, MaxClients, limits the requests that are served at the same time. The recommended limit of the setting is 150. MaxReuqestsPerChild is similar as it also puts a limit – for this one, the limit should be 300. StartServers setting regulates child server processes that are created when a VPS is boosted. For a VPS, the value of the setting should be 5. Finally, making sure KeepAlive is turned on is essential. Also, the value of KeepAliveTimeout should be set at 5.

5. Content delivery network (CND)

CND is necessary to solve the issue of long data travel from one point to another, which results in a slower website and Linux or Windows VPS loads. The content delivery network can store static data on a range of different servers across the globe, so visitors receive data from the nearest server. Result – web page loads much faster for visitors.

Faster server loads result in faster website performance, which contributes to a better user experience. Simple methods can increase the speed significantly – they are caching, MySQL updates, content and apache optimizations and last, but of the same importance, CND. If all steps are taken, the performance of a VPS will increase drastically.