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What is Railgun and how do I use it?

Last updated: January 16, 2019

Railgun is a WAN optimization technology that we offer our hosting customers in partnership with CloudFlare.

CloudFlare’s Railgun technology greatly speeds up the delivery of non-cached pages to deliver your website quicker to your customers.

While CloudFlare automatically caches 65% of the resources needed to make up a page, 35% can’t be cached because the resources are dynamically generated or marked as ‘do not cache’.

That 35% is often the initial HTML of the page which must be downloaded first and can result in slower page loads. CloudFlare Railgun speeds up this remaining 35% to improve your page loads.

What are the benefits of Railgun?

Websites running Railgun show a 143% improvement in HTML load times and a 90% decrease in Time To First Byte (TTFB) responses.

How does Railgun work?

Railgun opens a secure, tunneled connection between the CloudFlare network and the Zuver web hosting server – this connection sends new data which has changed since the last page load. This is similar to how video encoding works.

The markup of websites does not change that frequently from one request to the next. Instead of transferring the entire request between CloudFlare and the origin server, Railgun will transfer only the changes in markup from one request to the next.

This cuts down on bandwidth, transfer time, and overall page load times. Railgun caches these differences in memory to make page processing as fast as possible.

What kind of sites can use Railgun?

Any website can benefit from the performance improvements Railgun offers, especially dynamic sites.

How much does Railgun cost?

We have partnered with CloudFlare to make Railgun both easy and free! If you purchase Railgun directly through CloudFlare it could cost upwards of $200 per month, however, with our partnership we are able to deliver this to our cPanel hosting customers for free.

How do I enable Railgun on my site?

We have made it simple for our Economy and Business customers to get the benefits of Railgun through MyZuver:

  1. Ensure you have enabled CloudFlare through your cPanel.
  2. Login to your MyZuver account.
  3. Click the Manage Web Hosting button on your MyZuver dashboard.
  4. Click on the relevant hosting service.
  5. Select the CloudFlare Railgun option.
  6. Click Enable

Please keep in mind that you must have Cloudflare installed BEFORE you can enable Railgun.

What if I’m having issues enabling Railgun?

If you experience issues when enabling Railgun, please contact us via ticket.

I’m not a CloudFlare customer, can I still use Railgun?

No, you will need to enable CloudFlare through your cPanel first.

I’m seeing an error on my site and I think Railgun is causing it, what should I do?

If you are using Railgun via cPanel, you can turn it off directly from your by clicking on Hosting Services in the menu and selecting Manage, select your service and click on the Railgun option, then finally proceed to the Disable button.

Otherwise log into your CloudFlare account, go to Performance Settings and turn Railgun off from there. If you need to file a bug report with Cloudflare, please do so with a detailed description here.

Remind me, what is CloudFlare?

CloudFlare is a third party service that we offer to our hosting customers. CloudFlare provides performance, security and availability to web properties.

CloudFlare runs a globally distributed network where they automatically cache static content, filter malicious traffic and help offload big spikes in traffic.

On average, a site loads twice as fast, uses 65% fewer server resources and has an additional layer of security.

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