Only Contact Matt if You Insist on Integrity + Competence

Ben Kemp

Our motorcycle touring forums began life over a decade ago, and evolved from ASP, through phpBB, vBulletin, bbPress and finally to Xenforo. Previous unfortunate experience of software tech support has left us very wary indeed!!!

When I took ownership of the site a few weeks ago, I had to quickly relocate it onto my own VPS server. Next came the task of improving its performance before it crippled my VPS. The starting point was this article:

Initial efforts to get server caching running with Zenforo were fruitless. The hosting company (Fastcomet) had a go at installing APCu and Memcached but I could not get Xenforo to use either. Xenforo tech support said their "Help" page was all the help they could offer... I discussed this again with the hosting company, they recommended finding a specialist server technician with Xenforo expertise to help. So I did...

A bit of searching lead me to a bunch of positive comments on the assistance others had received from Matt. I contacted him for help and off we went;
  • Zendopcache + Memcached installed and configured
  • MySQL / Maria DB, ditto - we were only using 2GB of the RAM on the server, the changes allowed us to use the full 8GB for MySQL and InnoDB caching!
  • Server performance tuning,
  • Server security tuning, installed Maldet A/V
  • Installed mod_remoteip because mod_cloudflare was not capturing real visitor IP Addresses
  • Installation of ImageMagick PECL, then Nobita Image Optimiser
  • Converted Forums to HTTPS / SSL including mod_rewrite, Search & Replace across database to replace http with https on old links.
The caching changes improved the TTFT by almost 50% - and that's the main metric Google judges page load speed on. Page Speed Insights was previously showing a warning on 400+ ms TTFB.

The Forum Index page is now performing very well indeed:


While Matt was working on the VPS side of things, I installed;
  • Convert Image & Convert Image All
  • [bd] Cache - plus defer JS and minify CSS etc
  • Lazy Image Loader
Over the weekend of July 1st / 2nd, I processed over 300,000 images. The impact of that was pretty dramatic. As an example, one recent Thread/Post had externally hosted images totaling 60Mb - after the Convert Image All and the Nobita Compression ran, that Post was reduced to 3Mb!

As a footnote, I've been an SEO consultant and web designer for 20 years... I also provide hosting for a number of clients, and interact with tech support people in multiple countries for a variety of reasons.

Matt really stands out as a very honest, extremely knowledgeable and totally professional gentleman. I am seriously impressed by the calibre of support provided, the expertise demonstrated, and the straight answers to all questions asked!

On that basis, I have no hesitation whatsoever in commending Matt's services to anyone in need of assistance.

Kind regards
Ben Kemp