Website Optimization Ideas & Suggestions

#1
Hey everyone! I'm fairly new to the VPS scene and had just switched from a shared host plan to KnownHost earlier this month.

Quick About:
We run a forum that deals with certain weather events that can see a big peek in activity 3-4 times a day and even more if severe weather looks imminent. We are growing rapidly. We have the SSD-02 plan. We've got everything setup on Xenforo and I've done a bit of configuration to save resources. Everything so far, has been okay with memory & cpu usage from my end. Great load times, etc.

My Question:

What would you guys suggest to really optimize our forum? We have cloudflare which seems to help, and I had configured my Xenforo configuration file to use basic from caching of:

Code:
$config['cache']['enabled'] = true;
$config['cache']['frontend'] = 'Core';
$config['cache']['frontendOptions']['cache_id_prefix'] = 'xf_';
and on the backend:
Code:
$config['cache']['backend'] = 'File';
From what I have been reading, we shouldn't be using disk based caching at all? And also, this PHP FPM thing I keep hearing about? Again, I'm new to this and I just want to get everything setup to be the most optimized as possible. I am not too comfortable with installing software on the VPS and risking breaking our site as it's active for the most part around the clock. We use Apache currently.

I thought posting here would be a better idea than opening a ticket. Thanks guys!
 

KH-Jonathan

Director of Managed Services
Staff member
#2
You've taken some pretty good steps so far, but we definitely want to get rid of that file-based cache.

I assume you're running PHP 7 already? It immensely speeds up XF. I'd recommend adding APCu which will let you use "apc" as the backend cache - it's purely memory-based.

Something else to consider (especially if you have a lot of traffic from guests (non-registered users): Litespeed and LSCache. In my testing it chops loading time to roughly 1/3 that of an awesomely optimized Apache setup when serving cached pages which is a significant speedup.

I wouldn't bother with PHP-FPM too much. I'd lean towards Litespeed.
 
#3
You've taken some pretty good steps so far, but we definitely want to get rid of that file-based cache.

I assume you're running PHP 7 already? It immensely speeds up XF. I'd recommend adding APCu which will let you use "apc" as the backend cache - it's purely memory-based.

Something else to consider (especially if you have a lot of traffic from guests (non-registered users): Litespeed and LSCache. In my testing it chops loading time to roughly 1/3 that of an awesomely optimized Apache setup when serving cached pages which is a significant speedup.

I wouldn't bother with PHP-FPM too much. I'd lean towards Litespeed.
Okay. We are a little bit low on funds right now to pay for Lightspeed (sadly.) And yes, PHP 7 is awesome!

I will see what I can do to get APCu installed. If I can't hopefully you guys can help me out! :)
 
#4
Okay, I got it installed in WHM and it says:
"You should add "extension=apcu.so" to php.ini"

Which I am assuming I do not need to do reading various resources?

Edit: nevermind, looks like I had to add it in the php ini editor. restarted apache, and added "
$config['cache']['backend'] = 'Apc';" in place of the old File string.

After adding the string to the xenforo config, forum returns an "unknown error occurred" and xenforo error log says that APCu is not enabled, so I switched back to File for now.
 
Last edited:
#5
Update! Jeremy R. got us running on APCu in a support ticket and things seem to be working fine. Nice to get rid of the file-based caching and we will eventually have to get onto lightspeed. I hear it's absolutely amazing.
 
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