New Speed Increases and IP Tracker

Montague WebWorks is making speed gains in web page load times, and securing the webserver against attacks

Starting today, Monday, November 9th, you may notice that your RocketFusion website runs faster. This is the result of three months of research and coding to make our websites "thinner" and quicker.

Since July of this year (2020) our web server has been under increased load from hackers and mysterious foreign web indexers. At times we have seen 200 page requests or more in just a second, which will cripple almost any web server.

Our solution was two-fold:

(1) Efficient Database Queries

We used forensic tools to study which database queries in the RocketFusion software were taking too long to run, and optimized them so as to not slow up the line of waiting requests. If they begin to stack up, sites begin to slow down, sometimes taking ten or fifteen seconds to load a page. Not good.

Part of this work involved moving data used on every page, such as all site settings and even the website navigation, into memory variables, saving trips to the database, which keeps that lane open for other queries.

(2) Reduce Suspicious and Unwanted Traffic

Mik wrote a new, custom app called "IP Tracker" which scrutinizes all traffic on our server (across all 320+ websites), looking for abuse, and tracks those IP numbers in a virtual table to be reviewed with every page load.

This means if a web spider from an eastern block, for instance, hits our server more than a hundred times in two minutes, we block them for an hour, automatically, and we send ourselves an email letting us know. If it's determined that this is an IP number we don't like, we can add them to a permanent blacklist, barring that IP number from our server, permanently.

Bottom Line

These two steps, speeding-up database queries and storing frequently used information in memory variables, and blocking all rogue traffic hitting the server to avoid being crippled by sudden attacks, has dramatically increased the speed of all pages on all our websites.

It's been a long three and a half months to get us here, and we are very happy with the results.

We will continue working to make our server as fast and reliable as possible.

If you get blocked by the IP Blocker, please call Mik. He'll get you on the whitelist so you won't get blocked anymore.