Confessions of the Professions Is Now On OpenLiteSpeed
September 12, 2022 — Almost 10 years ago, around March or April, the idea of Confessions of the Professions began. The idea was simple and occurred when I walked into a bank and gave a teller my paycheck. My company had not yet offered direct deposit, so every two weeks, I was headed to the bank to deposit my money. I had wondered, “What is her life like getting to see how much everyone makes?” In addition, friends and family would always tell me about their workday. I’d wondered, “What if they wrote this down and people could read it so they can relate?” And when I thought of names for the website, Confessions of the Professions seemed to be the appropriate choice, and to my surprise and extreme excitement, it was available.
We began on DreamHost’s Shared Hosting plan, advised by a long-term friend, and eventually switched to DreamPress, a managed VPS hosting solution. For two or three years, we were content, but one day, DreamHost removed features of DreamPress that gave the user more control, and thus began a journey of finding a home to host confessionsoftheprofessions.com. We still stay with DreamHost for smaller websites and the unlimited email package, as well as its DreamCompute system, but confessionsoftheprofessions.com deserved more.
We ended up moving the website to Vultr, which began an entirely new journey into cloud computing. The website was placed on an Apache server, where it was doing fine for many years, although it has had its rough patches over the past decade. We’ve had database crashes and backup failures at least twice, where we’ve had to scramble together to get the website up and running again. For the most part, data loss has been extremely minimal. Confessions of the Professions sits on an High Frequency server optimized to 3 GHz+ (3.7 GHZ), and has performed very well.
The United States remains #1 but the additional countries on the list are ever-changing, but we prefer to share data so you can understand why we had to make the necessary changes to accommodate everyone worldwide.
In order to accommodate our growing traffic, which reach over a million every month, we are always looking for solutions to increase our website speed while continuing to runs smoothly. Since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, our traffic numbers have only increased from various parts of the world including China, Russia, Turkey, and Germany. We are quite happy to see the UK is back in the game as the top visitors to Confessions of the Professions. In a combination with Vultr, RunCloud server management, and Cloudflare, we skipped NGINX completely, moving from Apache directly to OpenLiteSpeed and here are the results:
Switching from Apache to OpenLiteSpeed as seen above has increased our website performance by over 20%! What took nearly 3 seconds to load is now in the microseconds. And our grade? Not to be a stickler for decent grades, but we went from a B to an A! Everything else, excluding the negligible Cumulative Layout Shift, saw a very dramatic increase in speed. With Cloudflare and OpenLiteSpeed caching, the two go hand-in-hand together and work well to speed up the delivery of content. Try it for yourself! Navigate back to the homepage and explore a few articles! If you’ve been a visitor to the website before, you may notice a difference, but if not, well, we took screenshots as proof above that we really did it!
It took a few hours over the weekend to get it going, as our database is nearly 1 GB of raw data alone, but everything has so far been working out great! We were skeptical at first, but OpenLiteSpeed is an amazing software solution for Confessions of the Professions!