After careful consideration, and several months of monitoring we have made the decision to remove Bolt-Cache and the CloudNS plugin from our shared and reseller services.
Please note, however, that in its place you have access to the Litespeed Cache / LSCache plugin which will offer you outstanding performance for your Wordpress, WooCommerce or Magento sites.
The reason behind the change was that after some investigation on our end, the use of the plugin simply didn't warrant the memory requirements and overheads required to handle the NGINX proxy layer (which was required on all sites, as opposed to just those using the Bolt-Cache interface).
We have had ongoing issues with memory spikes for some time, and whilst we run huge amounts of RAM on our shared hosting environments, the demands during 'nginx reloads' were incredibly significant, which we feel can be put to better use - the performance of your sites.
On checking, we found that only around 1% of all domains hosted here were actually using the Bolt-Cache functionality, and even less making use of the full page caching. As a comparison to this, almost 72% of the sites hosted on our shared hosting platform had LSCache enabled, and the performance gain has been significant.
In addition to this, there are fundamental reasons behind the decision, which is a debait of simplicity vs. technical gain (a debate which we have had internally for some time!).
Bolt-Cache did performance, and it did performance well - however, its important to note that Bolt-Cache was limited to an extent in its capabilities, by means of its architecture. The 'power' from Bolt-Cache was based on a combination of the NGINX web server, and the incredible Redis caching platform, which allowed us to cache the full site into memory, and serve the content as if it were 'static'.
However, this does have some downsides also, which needed to be taken into consideration. For us to be able to offer this caching (to the 1% who used it), we had to reverse proxy all traffic from NGINX back to the origin web server (now Litespeed, previously Apache), however, that NGINX proxy, of course, has its own resource consumption overheads, which were just outweighing the benefits those clients were gaining since the switch to Litespeed.
Whilst 'raw' performance gain from the Bolt-Cache plugin is impressive, we do have to be honest here - Litespeed has done an incredible job with LSCache, and are able to update their plugin with regular improvements and enhancements we just don't have the time or resource to deploy. The benefit of which is a combination of server-side caches (as we were with Bolt-Cache), but with the additional benefit of front-end optimisations such as Lazy Loading, image optimisation, etc.
The other reason for this change is simplicity - the additional complications that came with the NGINX reverse proxy (different PHP Versions than what were served in the PHP Selector, a different method for configuring PHP Variables, SSL certificate delays / problems) were all in part due to the reverse proxy which had to sit in front of our web server.
In short, however, the answer is simple - Litespeed's advantages have far exceeded the benefits of our Bolt-Cache plugin, which is excellent news on one hand, but sad news on the other! Rest assured though, this decision hasn't been made lightly (we have a close love with Bolt-Cache, having developed it in-house!) - the decision though has been made with performance, stability and simplicity in mind which is exactly what the industry demands - overall, an improvement to service.
Please note however, that Bolt-Cache will remain available on our premium plans, as the resource overheads are significantly lower on servers with fewer numbers of accounts.
There are some additional benefits to the removal of Bolt-Cache also, which includes the compatibility with HTTP3 and QUIC CDN!
This functionality has now been made available to all accounts automatically, and can be configured within the LSCache plugin.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!