Note: In our continuous quest to make Cachoid better, we introduce new changes, improvements, and new features almost every day. It’s likely that the GUI elements you see in screen shots on this page look slightly different than those you see in Warp (the Cachoid control panel). Hopefully this doesn’t throw you off. But if it does, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll rectify immediately.

This article will walk you through every step of the way so you can get everything up and running. Keep in mind that the article branches off a few times depending on how you leverage Cachoid and its features (ex: AWS S3 backend or regular web server backend). But no worries, we’ll guide you through each and every step. If anything’s missing or doesn’t make sense, we’re here to help!

Table of Contents

  1. Register for an Account
  2. Create a Cachoid for your Domain
  3. Enter the Origin Settings
    1. Varnish Cache hosted files
  4. Set the App Type
  5. Update DNS
  6. Explore Features
  7. Modsecurity
  8. Malloc vs File Type Storage
  9. HTTP/2
  10. S3 & Github.io Hosting
  11. Custom VCL
  12. Activate SSL/TLS
  13. Auto-Upgrader Addon
  14. Cachoid API

Register for an Account

First things first, let’s create a Cachoid account for you. So head out to https://warp.cachoid.com/auth/register and fill out the form.

cachoid register account

Once you’ve filled out the form and have registered, you’ll be redirected to the front page of the Cachoid control panel. It looks more or less like this (except you have no cachoids initially. We’ll get there eventually):

Cachoid panel

Create a Cachoid for your Domain

At this point you already have a domain in mind you’d like Cachoid to power for you. So go ahead and enter the domain name, pick the location where you’d like your Cachoid to be built at, and click Create. The cachoid you just asked us to create will appear on your screen after a few seconds of thinking on Cachoid’s end.

Create a cachoid

All cachoids are created equal. They’re created as a trial for humanity’s sins…err as a trial plan period. You have 14 days to try Cachoid and all its features without needing to wave a credit card at us. We want you to find value in our product first. And then, and only then, do you decide to pay with your hard earned money. Otherwise, we part ways as very good friends and everyone is happy.

Would you like to load balance across more than one cachoid? Piece of cake! Follow the quick steps in this article TODO

Enter the Origin Settings

Now what? Well, some of our clients choose to upgrade right away (people who’ve used Cachoid before on their other websites) to get more resources. Others continue on with the configuration. So let’s do that. From the drop down that’s right next to the cachoid you just created, click on Origin:

Did you know? Plan upgrades are seamless and don’t result in any disruption to your Website! Read more here https://www.cachoid.com/support/article/how-do-i-upgrade-my-cachoid/

 

Origin setup

For the next screen, you’ll need to have a couple pieces of information handy; maybe just one piece. First info is your actual domain’s IP; That is, your domain’s server IP. Input the IP into the first box and, generally, you don’t want to change port 80 to anything else. But to be cautious, do ask your hosting provider! We can also advise on this and are more than happy to, so please do get in touch! Go ahead and enter the info and submit:

Cachoid origin

Is your AWS S3 bucket an actual website bucket you would like to use? Find out how through this article http://www.cachoid.com/support/article/amazon-s3-as-a-backend-to-your-cachoid/

Varnish Cache Hosted Files

You can upload your files and images via the Warp panel in order to host your files on Cachoid. You would effectively leverage Cachoid as your backend. First, go ahead and navigate to the Origin page and expand the Varnish Hosted tab then toggle the Varnish Server option and upload your “HTML” zip file. The compressed file should contain all your HTML files, images, and folders (if any). The files and folders must lay flat inside the zip file so when the file is decompressed, they will expand properly.

$ zip files.zip index.html logo.png
adding: index.html (deflated 14%)
adding: logo.png (deflated 4%)

$ unzip -t files.zip
Archive: files.zip
testing: index.html OK
testing: logo.png OK
No errors detected in compressed data of files.zip.

Set the App Type

Before we proceed with the App settings, we need to go over the concept that Cachoid implements. Here’s a an illustration of the concept.

Cachoid URL structure

Each cachoid (www.example.com) can be logically split into multiple Subpages (ex: /blog) and each Subpage has an App attribute (ex: WordPress). So in effect, Varnish will treat each of these Subpages slightly differently in its caching logic (VCL) depending on the App type. Before you proceed to the next step, be sure to create a Subpage for each one of the apps you have running on your Website.

Cachoid Cache

When a cachoid is created, and by default, only the root (/) Subpage that represents the website itself is created (http://www.example.com/). Go ahead and create your Subpages (if any).

Cachoid subpage

And be sure to select the App that represents the software you’re running on that particular Subpage (see drop down from the above screen grab).

Did you know? Warp comes with a contextual search that’s located at the top of your page. Read more about it here http://www.cachoid.com/support/article/in-app-contextual-search-that-helps-you-find-what-you-need/

You’re now ready to move on to the DNS section!

Update DNS

Now that we’re done with the Cachoid side of things, let’s make sure your domain now points to your Cachoid. There are two options. Either you point your domain name (ex: www.example.com) to your xyz.oomph.cachoid.com alias or you point the domain to your cachoid’s IP. We recommend the former but feel free to use the latter if you’re a power user. Here’s how you obtain your cachoid’s alias:

Cachoid oomph alias

Click on the little chevron icon right next to your cachoid to unmask your cachoid alias (see where the arrow points in the above screen grab). That alias uniquely identifies your cachoid and you can use it from now on. And you’re all set! What’s next?

How do I upgrade my cachoid? Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do just that http://www.cachoid.com/support/article/how-do-i-upgrade-my-cachoid/

Explore Features

Next, I’ll guide you through each feature we’ve made thus far in the order of importance. At Cachoid, we put great emphasis on page speed but we need your Website to be safe first and foremost.  So, I’m going to show how to secure your Website and then add more pagespeed oomph!

Modsecurity

Cachoid comes packed with tons of features. One that we highly recommend enabling right away is the Modsecurity OWASP rules. It’s activated by default but in a detection-only mode. Meaning it detects and reports attacks but it does not act on them. Useless, no? Not really because it gives you a chance to work through unnecessarily strict rules. Anyway, we try to make Modsecurity as easy as possible to use.

Are you wary of strict Modsecurity rules? If so no worries. Here’s how you can safely enable Modsecurity without the side effects https://www.cachoid.com/support/article/enable-modsecurity-without-the-side-effects

Let me show you can you can turn that goodie on for good. Head out to the Security page of your cachoid.

Cachoid Security

You’ll then be presented with a screen where you can turn Modsecurity to On mode (or back to default mode DetectionOnly) but also pull the Modsecurity audit logs so you’re in the loop on what’s happening server side. So, when you’re ready, flip the Modsecurity toggle to On mode so Modsecurity blocks suspicious transactions.

Varnish modsecurity

Last but not least is the ability to turn some pesky OWASP rules off in case they conflict with your Website’s functionality. We don’t encourage jumping the gun on each and every rule that breaks the app, but rather understand why such rule is triggering a security block. So please do keep that in mind. Review the audit log or download it (from the Stats page) and then pick the rule(s) that you believe runs in conflict with your Website. Then use the Add Exclude input box to enter it and save. That’s all there is to it!

Malloc vs File Storage

By default your cachoid stores objects in a  File storage type. Based on our experience in the hosting industry and running a diverse set of application, File is more stable than Malloc. But the latter presents significant performance improvements over File for very heavy traffic Websites. Tread carefully!

Cachoid Cache

Turning Malloc or File on is a piece of cake! Head out to the Cache page from the main cachoid screen and simply toggle the Storage Type button in the Advanced Settings section (bottom of page).

Malloc vs File

As always, changes take effect instantly!

HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is the next replacement of HTTP/1.x. It promises to solve many of the shortcomings of HTTP/1.x. Cachoid makes it easy for you to transition to HTTP/2 (off by default). That’s just one click away! But before you enable HTTP/2, not all browsers support this protocol level yet. Hence we turn it off by default on all Cachoids. But if you’re certain your target browsers support it, feel free to enable it.

Cachoid Cache

Head out to the Advanced Settings section at the bottom of the Cache tab, toggle the HTTP/2 button so it’s either disabled or enabled. Keep in mind that by protocol design, HTTP/2 works only with the TLS (SSL) protocol.

Cachoid HTTP/2

You’re all set!

S3 & Github.io Website Hosting

S3 and Github.io hosting is supported on Cachoid. Because we want this integration to be seamless, you can enable S3/Github.io hosting with…wait for it…one click! Read on how you can set S3 Cachoid acccelaration at http://www.cachoid.com/support/article/amazon-s3-as-a-backend-to-your-cachoid/

For github.io setup, head on over here at http://www.cachoid.com/support/article/github-io-cachoid-hosting/

Custom VCL

We generally don’t recommend enabling the custom VCL option. But if you’re a VCL jitsu kind of person and want to take command, by all means read on!

If you end up breaking things with a custom VCL (stuff happens!), you can revert back to a Cachoid VCL by picking one of the listed Apps from the drop down

Go ahead and pull the Cache page of your cachoid and from the drop-down cog of the root (/) subpage, click on App.

Custom VCL

You can then set the Cachoid to have a Custom VCL. Upon saving this new setting, you will be presented with a text editor and the chance to instantly load your new VCL into your cachoid.

VCL editor

And just so you know, you can switch back to the Cachoid VCL by changing the App setting from Custom VCL to one of the available options from the drop-down.

Activate SSL / TLS

Enable Device Detection

Auto-upgrader Addon

Auto upgrader

The auto-upgrader add-on is a paid service. The auto-upgrader service “upgrades” your cachoid’s allocation automatically by an extra 100% of your current plan allocation, if it detects higher-than-normal RAM usage levels. It has a few sound use-cases where you expect random spikes in traffic (aren’t they all?) at odd times and know you might be unavailable to upgrade your Cachoid to accommodate the new traffic. The cost is 50% of your Cachoid’s. It essentially buys you insurance and peace of mind.

Cachoid API

The API is an endpoint for accomplishing certain tasks like a cache purge and a VCL upload, programmatically. You can for, for instance, build a quick script to interact with your Cachoid’s Varnish Cache in realtime. The Cachoid Snippets article has examples on how to interact with the API.