Exploring serverless cloud infrastructure for WordPress.

5 Minutes

Today, we’re diving into the realm of serverless cloud infrastructure and how it can revolutionize the way we power our beloved WordPress sites. If you’re tired of dealing with server management headaches, scalability challenges, and the fear of crashing under heavy traffic, then you’ve come to the right place. Get ready to embrace the future as we explore the wonders of serverless architecture for WordPress.

$36.84 billion

The value the serverless computing market is expected to reach by 2028.

Enterprise Storage Forum

Why go serverless?

Gone are the days when we had to worry about provisioning and managing servers for our websites. Enter serverless architecture, the latest buzzword in the tech community. With serverless, you no longer have to bear the burden of maintaining servers, configuring software, or worrying about scaling issues. Instead, you can focus on what really matters – crafting exceptional content and providing an amazing user experience.

Host with the most

When it comes to hosting, there are two versions that are superior to the traditional way people host:

Shared hosting typically consists of larger servers each with hundreds or thousands of customers sharing a single IP address. It can be slower because each website competes for the same resources (such as processing power and memory). More expensive shared hosting plans limit the number of websites on a particular server and sometimes move websites around to balance the load, but can still be slow if the other “neighbouring” websites get a lot of traffic or are attacked.

Dedicated hosting includes our current hosting. It can mean either an entire physical machine sitting in a data center, or as in our case, a virtual private server in the cloud such as on Google Compute, Digital Ocean Droplets, and Amazon Lightsail/Elastic Compute. In both cases, the resources are specifically allocated for your website alone and are not shared amongst others, including a dedicated IP address. This is typically more reliable as long as the resources are adequate to handle the traffic needs of the website. None of these solutions offer the same level of performance, reliability, speed, and scalability.

Pantheon and Google Kubernetes

We’ve spent the last couple of months researching this and have since moved our own website over. It is crazy fast and the right, long-term solution for sites that are growing at an exponential rate or about to see large spikes in traffic.

Kubernetes is a type of serverless hosting that uses software “containers” instead of traditional hosting servers. These containers run on cloud infrastructure, without being tied to specific resources (such as CPUs and RAM). This provides infinite and immediate scalability and this is how huge platforms such as Shopify manage traffic without ever experiencing downtime. See https://cloud.google.com/learn/what-is-kubernetes.

We spent a lot of time looking into Google App Engine and Kubernetes ourselves, however doing this without Pantheon would require more cost, development, time, and frankly—expertise, than we have to invest. Pantheon manages the infrastructure so that we can focus exclusively on development (and marketing). See https://pantheon.io/webops.

Our conclusion: Our website is extremely (and noticeably) fast since moving over to Pantheon.

In development

Another critical reason we think Pantheon and serverless cloud infrastructure makes sense, especially for those with high traffic, is that Pantheon provides dedicated environments for development, testing, and live websites. This means we can simultaneously develop and test versions of your website without interrupting your subscribers. Otherwise, we’d have to make “hotfixes” to the live website and hope those fixes don’t interrupt customers. This is not the best practice for a live website.

Our conclusion: It’s a safer and less stressful way to test versions of your site.

Core Web Vitals

A set of metrics called Core Web Vitals, or CWVs, was created by Google to assist publishers in enhancing the functionality of their websites for the benefit of site visitors. They measure and evaluate the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of websites and give more opportunities for a rankings boost, as long as you use them properly. Using serverless cloud infrastructure will help with a more positive outcome on that front. Learn more about them here.

But not without its challenges

While serverless cloud infrastructure for WordPress is undoubtedly a game-changer, it’s important to acknowledge a few potential challenges. For example, if your WordPress site relies heavily on custom plugins or requires complex server configurations, you may need to adapt them to fit within the serverless ecosystem. Additionally, some serverless platforms have limitations on long-running processes or file storage, so be sure to know the specific requirements of your site before making the switch.

The future of hosting

The future of hosting is here, and it’s serverless cloud infrastructure. Your website is a mission-critical platform that your customers, staff, and business rely upon. Hosting should become a competitive advantage, not merely an expense.

Embrace this cutting-edge technology to get an array of benefits – from scalability and cost-effectiveness to simplified maintenance and enhanced security. By leaving server management to the experts, you get to focus on what really matters – delivering exceptional content and building meaningful connections with your audience.