Whats with the "Served By" link in your footer?
So, you noticed the “Served By” link in our website’s footer and was curious what it meant?
As of October 10th, 2021 we pushed an update to our website to make it more widely available to all visitors from around the world. Prior to this date, the website was hosted on just one webserver, located in Luxembourg. For our European visitors, this was and continues to be a great location. But we wanted to reduce the time it took for a webpage to load, and to decrease the response time from the server no matter where our visitors are in the world.
Traditionally, this would be solved through several methods. CloudFlare is pretty common to cache and compress content of a website and “move it closer” to the visitor, making it feel like the site is faster no matter where the website itself is actually hosted. It works well, but there are some privacy concerns with that method. We didn’t choose to do that.
The next method that is commonly used requires the use of a 3rd party CDN service, which similar to Cloudflare, would place static content like images and stylesheets closer to website visitors while our main website remained centrally located on a single server. But once again, we didn’t want to go with a 3rd party. We did deploy and put into production our own CDN temporarily, but it only had a presence in 3 locations and didn’t help as much as what we ultimately decided to do.
So, instead of all that, this is what we did: We just mirrored the website from it’s original single server setup, to five geographically diverse locations and opted to use commercial GeoDNS so specific regions will have their request served by nearest geographical server. We’ll geek out over some of the improvements of this setup below, but it seems to work well and allows us more resilience over sustaining attacks as we can failover to another server if one goes down and should help us with things like Search Engine Optimization as our website is ‘fast’ from most areas of the world. Is it the perfect setup? No, but it’s far greater than it was previously.
The “Served By” notice simply shows the hostname of the server that is responding to your requests. It should be the server that is the shortest path from you to any of our other servers.
Before And After Comparisons
For Europe and nearby regions, nothing has changed. The website will continue to be served from Luxembourg. For that purpose, this comparison will showcase other parts of the world where the largest improvements have been made.
This isn’t a super scientific review and comparison, it literally consists of comparing ping response times but with quicker response times comes quicker pageloads.
- New York, New York USA: Average Difference = 82.909ms faster
- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Average Difference = 125.163ms faster
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA: Average Difference = 139.448ms faster
- Montreal, Canada: Average Difference = 85.084ms faster
- Mexico City, Mexico: Average Difference = 91.141ms faster
- Hanoi, Vietnam: Average Difference = 331.97ms faster
- Singapore, Singapore: Average Difference = 276.631ms faster
- Seol, South Korea: Average Difference = 217.033ms faster
- New Delhi, India: Average Difference = 207.566ms faster
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Average Difference = 213.492ms faster
- Sydney, Australia: Average Difference = 263.86ms faster
- Bogota, Columbia: Average Difference = 213.492ms faster
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong: Average Difference = 117.156ms faster
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