Enabling the dynamic site acceleration (also known as full site acceleration) of Pagely’s Mercury service on your WordPress site is a great way to increase page load speeds, get additional performance, as well as decrease bandwidth costs.
What is Dynamic Site Acceleration?
Dynamic site acceleration improves your site by using Amazon CloudFront as an edge router between your content and your site visitors. When a visitor accesses content on your site, they will be requesting it from one of over 220 points of presence, which then routes through the AWS network to your VPS. If the content is deemed cacheable, it will be cached from one of these edge locations, making the request faster and saving on system resources.
Dynamic Site Acceleration vs CDN
In a typical CDN situation, static assets are served from one of 12 regional CDN locations, based on the location closest to the user. Dynamic site acceleration reduces the number of hops to this location by using one of 220 points of presence. Because of these 200+ additional edge nodes, getting the content requires less hops, and thus, arrives faster. This is especially true for visitors that are further from a regional edge node.
Additionally, since your content will be coming from a single domain instead of a subdomain like cdn.example.com, the number of DNS lookups is reduced and can be processed via a single connection stream. While in many cases this improvement can be negligible for fast connections, slower desktop or mobile connections will see the largest overall improvements.
Drawbacks and Considerations
As with any groundbreaking improvement, there’s a few things that you’ll want to consider when enabling full-site acceleration.
SSL Must Be Enabled
Before you can use dynamic site acceleration, you’ll need to have SSL/HTTPS enabled on your WordPress app.
Let’s Encrypt Certificates Are Not Supported
When using dynamic site acceleration, free Let’s Encrypt certificates are not supported. Instead, you will need to replace it with one of the AWS free certificates. Of course, this is just a minor consideration and out support team will be happy to assist you with switching over from Let’s Encrypt.
If you’re using a paid SSL certificate from a 3rd-party SSL provider, no changes will be needed.
A Single SSL Certificate Must Be Used For a Whole Application
If you’re using multiple SSL certificates, you’ll need to condense them to a single certificate. Currently, using multiple SSL certificates on a single app is not supported when using dynamic site acceleration.
Clearing the Cache
Caches can be cleared using the standard cache clearing mechanisms.
Note: the caches may take longer to clear when using dynamic site acceleration.