Editor’s Note: The following article is a contributed piece from our partners at Pantheon and was written by Chris Charlton, Solutions Architect.
Websites are commonly evaluated based on performance and speed metrics. However, for business stakeholders, the crucial performance indicators revolve around conversions, such as sales or lead generation. Enhancing these metrics through various optimizations can significantly boost business growth and audience engagement.
Beyond these metrics, there’s an often-overlooked factor that stakeholders quietly monitor: cost. This encompasses the expenses associated with launching and maintaining their websites. In this article, we’ll explore how Pantheon Edge add-on services, particularly Advanced Global CDN (or AGCDN), assist teams and projects in saving both time and money.
Saving Time Saves Money
When launching or relaunching a website, teams typically prioritize the project’s completion. This intense focus encompasses various elements, including design implementation, content production, migration, and numerous technical pre-flights. However, technology isn’t the primary challenge. Meeting target dates often hinges more on human availability than the intricacies of website operation. AGCDN can expedite a project’s timeline, enabling faster site launches, especially when addressing legacy content, performance, or security issues.
While teams might not prioritize cost optimization during a website’s pre-launch phase, making simple decisions early on can lead to cost savings. By addressing potential post-launch efforts early in the project, teams can bypass some engineering tasks that solutions like AGCDN inherently offer. Notable examples include:
- Domain Masking: It integrates various website parts, or even multiple websites and subdomains, into a cohesive experience. This allows legacy sections of a site to persist until they’re replaced.
- Third-Party Cloud Storage Systems (GCS, S3, etc.): These can be routed and cached via Pantheon’s standard Global CDN. This is more efficient than directly serving images from those services, which can lead to increased costs.
- WAF and Rate Limiting: These protections ensure site security from day one.
So, how do the aforementioned examples contribute to time or cost savings? When launching a brand-new site, many teams often inherit legacy content. This means they might have to continue serving certain legacy elements indefinitely. When marketing and development teams convene to discuss such projects, a relaunch timeline can span several months or even a year. This is the norm unless teams harness the full breadth of Pantheon’s features designed to enhance team and project momentum with WebOps.
To illustrate, teams assessing a legacy content archive often face daunting tasks like content migration. Alternatively, they might split the user experience by relegating legacy content to a subdomain. While this might occasionally mirror the new site design, it’s usually an afterthought in the project. However, there’s a better approach. By adopting a comprehensive strategy with Pantheon’s WebOps products and capabilities, teams can redefine their traditional project estimation and design paradigms for website relaunches, ultimately turning them into positive experiences.
Optimizing Costs and Efficiency After Launch
When managing the intricate ecosystem of a website, every service and component that affects the user experience has a corresponding cost. Often, seemingly benign elements, such as legacy content or image assets, can have an unforeseen impact on costs. While these costs shouldn’t dominate our focus, they’re vital to consider. For instance, when teams utilize cloud storage systems for their assets and then employ those systems for content delivery, they’re essentially doubling their expenses with ingress and egress charges.
It’s typical for platforms like Google Cloud Storage or AWS’s S3 to monitor asset access, presenting a variable bill at the end of the month. This ties into a universal truth about web performance: cached content is paramount. Not only does it rapidly deliver to users, but it also mitigates backend resource costs since the content, once processed, is reused multiple times.
So, how can we balance speed and performance, typical of edge caching, with the necessary inclusion of an external cloud storage system? We want efficient content delivery without straining the budget. Enter Pantheon’s Advanced Global CDN, an ensemble of edge customization capabilities. By merging these technologies, we can craft architectural designs that meet user and business growth needs, all while remaining budget-conscious.
Consider a client scenario: a website rich in high-resolution images hosted on an external cloud storage system, in this instance, S3. Their monthly charges weren’t for storage but for web requests for those images. With costs in the hundreds and the potential for these to skyrocket if content gains traction, a solution was vital. Pantheon’s approach? Utilize the built-in Global CDN that caches website assets and content and employ the Advanced Global CDN to proxy the external cloud storage, thereby allowing for tailored request-response-header manipulations. The objective? Seamlessly integrate the external cloud storage with the CMS on Pantheon, leveraging the Global CDN for efficient content delivery without breaking the bank.
Pantheon’s estimates revealed that even in a worst-case scenario, where all cached content was purged, repopulating the cache would cost around $40—a fraction of the client’s regular monthly expenditure.
The client’s elation wasn’t just due to the potential cost savings but also the newfound freedom to drive more traffic to their site without the burden of prohibitive egress fees.
Such innovative solutions not only foster trust between vendors and clients but also propel clients into a proactive mindset. They can visualize growth, harnessing Pantheon’s modern features and services. Ultimately, clients become more inclined to lean on Pantheon not just for solutions but for guidance on growth strategies, from expanding their data sources to personalization tactics.
Pantheon is an innovative SaaS platform designed to empower users to create exceptional WordPress sites effortlessly. Offering a comprehensive suite of services within a single secure dashboard, Pantheon merges website operations seamlessly, spanning construction, hosting, maintenance, deployment, and security. With an emphasis on streamlined workflows, scalable infrastructure, and a lightning-fast content delivery network, Pantheon goes beyond mere functionality by fostering an environment conducive to extraordinary digital work. Additionally, Pantheon’s commitment extends to supporting users with education, professional development, and a dedicated focus on enabling teams to produce work the company can be extravagantly proud of.