Next Level Ops Podcast: Tips for Scaling Your Hosting with Jan Loeffler

Hello Pleskians! This week we’re back with the seventh episode of the Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops. In this installment, Superhost Joe welcomes back Jan Loeffler, Plesk’s CTO and Tech Mage, to talk about optimizing and scaling your hosting.

In This Episode: the TikTok Effect, Jan’s Downtime Checklist and When to Scale

What do we mean by scaling and why should you be thinking about it? What do you do if you suddenly become popular on TikTok and visitors are streaming to your website? Before you scale online, what is the first thing you should be doing? Jan and Joe answer these questions and more in the latest Next Level Ops episode.

Avoiding downtime is the first thing you should be considering, according to Jan. “Downtime is the worst problem for your business. Because that means that customers are not able to visit your site anymore,” says Jan. “Most of the downtime is not happening due to the hosting stack or the hosting infrastructure. Usually, downtime happens more often from the user.” 

Before you consider scaling and performance tuning, make sure that you have a process in place for:

  • Disaster recovery and creating regular backups.
  • Not making changes on a live site and using tools that provide you with test environments.
  • Making sure that your website is fast because businesses lose revenue when sites take more than 3 seconds to load.
  • Not using “too poor” hardware and always making sure that you have enough server capacity left.
  • Profiling your server and site activity by using performance monitoring tools to find out where your bottlenecks are.

To get the best out of scaling your hosting, make sure you follow Jan’s Downtime Checklist above. And remember, “It’s also like running a marathon. You shouldn’t always run at the limit because afterwards you’ll get a cold.” says Jan. 

Wise words. 

To check out Jan’s previous feature, go here to learn all about optimizing your website (and get bonus training tips for your next big marathon).

“Downtime is the worst problem for your business. Because that means that customers are not able to visit your site anymore. Most of the downtime is not happening due to the hosting stack or the hosting infrastructure. Usually, downtime happens more often from the user.” 

Jan Loeffler

Key Takeaways

  • What’s the Downtime Checklist? Before scale and tuning websites, make sure that the user is not contributing to downtime. Have access to regular backups, test environments, good hardware and monitoring tools.
  • Speeding up your website and caching. Everything that helps you reduce database calls is your first priority. The second priority is to reduce processing PHP. It’s even faster when you don’t need to call up your web server. This is possible through the Content Delivery Network (CDN). You can use the Speed Kit to speed up your website.
  • Scaling your website. A website should usually be able to handle 200 requests per second. If you’re scaling your business or brand, make sure whether you need a static or a dynamic website. If you run an ecommerce website, then you need horizontal scaling.

…Alright Pleskians, it’s time to hit the play button if you want to hear the rest. If you’re interested in hearing more about site optimization, cloud services and WordPress hosting, check out the rest of our Next Level Ops episodes. We’ll be back soon with the next installment.

The Official Plesk Podcast: Next Level Ops Featuring

Joe Casabona

Joe is a college-accredited course developer. He is the founder of Creator Courses.

Jan Loeffler

Jan is the Chief Technical Officer at Plesk.

As always, remember to update your daily podcast playlist with Next Level Ops. And stay on the lookout for our next episode!

When CTO, Jan Loeffler, reveals Plesk Hosting Tactics at Cloudfest 2018 [Video]

Successful Hosting Tactics Revealed at Cloudfest 2018

Our Plesk CTO, Jan Loeffler, made his grand entrance at CloudFest, Rust, yesterday. As he entered the main forum room bouncing a Plesk-branded football, the Fifa World Cup anthem came on for all to hear. He was going to share inside tactics on how to win, what he called, the ‘Hosting Champions League’.

Jan joined Plesk 2 years ago as CTO with the vision to have Plesk become the leading hosting control panel worldwide, and keep it that way. He’s a diehard football fan. But there’s another thing he feels absolutely passionate about – and that’s cloud hosting. At Cloudfest 2018, he brought these two worlds together.

Jan Loeffler holding a football at his Cloudfest 2018 talk - Secret tactics of how to win the Hosting Champions League

When hosting becomes a game, you need to go long and strong to win the league and increase your revenues. Now Jan reveals how to take home the gold, with collected advice from none other than our very own Pleskian community.

Who are the likely Hosting contenders?

Think of the hosting industry as if it were a football league game. Where would you put your money? And if you think of the likely contenders – how well are they playing the game, and what are they doing?

This is what Jan’s trying to gauge when we look internally. Are we being team players? Are we coaching our customers on what’s best? According to Jan, you can only win the Hosting Game by adapting to what your customers want.

Jan’s advice for all the Hosting teams out there

Offer Hyper-tailored Solutions

How can you score and win the hosting cup? Jan insists that hosters can only compete with giants like AWS by offering cloud service solutions to customers on top of their standard offers.

“Customers want simplicity and great service, which is something that’s difficult for companies like AWS to provide. This is where you, hosters, should step up and become your customers’ coaches. You have the experience and the infrastructure to “tackle the defense” and to advise them to design perfectly adapted solutions.”

Notice the current hosting scene and how many traditional hosters have ignored the winds of changed and not adapted. None of these traditional hosters would have made it to the Premier League if this were a tournament. Jan suggests offering a custom solution and charging a higher price.

Address the Current Web Developer Trends

Get on the WordPress Wagon. WordPress dominates as the most popular way of building websites with 30% of all websites built on this platform worldwide. Half the WP sites out there are hosted by 15 hosting groups. Jan says “WordPress is a must-have for all hosters and service providers”. The current hosting winner for WordPress is GoDaddy as they host most of the wordpress sites all over the world.

Plesk audience at Jan Loeffler's Cloudfest 2018 talk - Winning the hosting champions league

 

Another one is git. Why don’t hosters use git if 70% of web developers use it as their source control system? That’s why Jan advises hosters to include this in their offering. Go where your customers are.

The Call to Hosters

Our hosting partners continue to launch new products, and now they’re even doing so with the new Plesk Onyx and all its updates. We’re talking AI, SEO, Security – the works. So a big thank you to the following hosting partners for their immediate support with our latest product: Infortelecom, UOL, InterNetX, ZNetLive, Conetix, Codero, A2 Hosting, Axarnet, Webplus, Exabytes, Managed.com, OzHosting, 34sp.com, Ptisp. Jan quotes Van Gogh in saying that it’s all the little things that lead to success, and we all agree. 

Plesk Cloudfest 2018 Talk by Jan Loeffler - Great things are done by a series of small things brought together - Van Gogh

 

Finally, Jan encourages hosters to step out of their comfort zone and team up Plesk. A proven ally that runs on all the major cloud players, like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. You can plan your gameplay with the all-in-one platform in your corner. And use the available extensions and features in order to win the Hosting Cup. Even the sky isn’t the limit when you can scale to the cloud. 

So, who won the Plesk football?

You didn’t think the Plesk-branded football was just a prop, did you? What would Cloudfest be without a little competition added to the mix? Jan fired a Plesk-Trivia question to the audience, promising to award the Adidas ball to the first correct respondent. “Which is the most visited feature page in Plesk?” he asked.

Answers started shooting from all directions. “WordPress Toolkit” – good following, but no. The “Extension Catalog” – nope, even more than that.  “The Dashboard?” – close, but no. And it wasn’t the login page either! “The help page?” – no, that’s low on the most viewed list, says Jan cheekily.

Plesk Cloudfest 2018 Talk - Jan Loeffler with football winner Patrick Blank from WSPN

 

In the end, it was Patrick Blank from WSPN who gave the right answer and took home the football. Let’s leave a bit of mystery here. Can you guess what the most visited feature page on Plesk is? Let us know in the comments below!

Watch Jan Loeffler’s full keynote speech here

Video Update (March 20, 2018): We now have Plesk CTO – Jan Loeffler’s entire talk below. It’s 23 minutes of great insights – hit play to have a listen. Jan also shares what’s new on Plesk Onyx, justifying all the buzz around it. And the answer to the trivia question will be revealed at the end: “Which is the most visited feature page on Plesk?”