May 2024 Update on Magic Pages

Yes, the May 2024 update on Magic Pages is quite late – that's partly because of the behind-the-scences work (more on that a bit further down), but also because a May update should well…kinda be about May, right?

The future updates will always arrive in your inboxes and the Magic Pages blog at the end of the month, and will be a look back at the previous calendar month.

For May, I have some really, really exciting news for you. Hold tight!

🐰 New Full-Site Content Delivery Network

Back in March, a member of the Ghost community, who was testing Magic Pages, told me that certain image resizing features weren't working on Magic Pages. A bit of digging showed that the image content delivery network was the reason for that. That meant that I needed to replace that.

Transform image CDN to full-site CDN
✨Update, 25 May 2024: The new full-site global content delivery network has now been implemented for all new websites. All existing customers will soon receive an email with instructions on how to update their sites to get access to this new feature. A few days ago, a Magic Pages user

Programmatically enabling a content delivery network (CDN) isn't easy though. In fact, it's quite challenging – and will introduce some (more-or-less) breaking changes in how custom domains work at Magic Pages.

All Magic Pages customers will receive a dedicated email about these breaking changes and how to activate BunnyCDN soon. Spoiler: even if you don't do anything, things will keep working. Just without the new CDN.

But, I am happy to announce that as of a few days ago, all new trials started on Magic Pages are already running on BunnyCDN, the content delivery network of my choice 🎉

What does a content delivery network actually do?

For those of you who are not familiar with content delivery networks, here's a rough breakdown:

Magic Pages hosts Ghost websites on physical servers. These are located in Central Europe. Now, the internet works, because tons of cables are routed all over the world – and somewhere, there is a connection between the Magic Pages server and your home network.

If you're also located in Central Europe, lucky you! The content of your website will be in your browser in no time. However, if you're located on the other side of the globe, the data will take a bit to arrive.

For one Magic Pages customer located in Singapore, this took to the extreme. Some complicated routing was involved and a single page took around 10 seconds to load. Unacceptable, in my eyes.

A content delivery network tackles that problem. BunnyCDN has hundreds of servers all over the world and caches certain parts of the Magic Pages websites. Customers in Singapore now have a BunnyCDN server in Singapore – and the data request only needs to travel to this server. Not all over the world. That significantly cuts down page load times.

So, bunnies for everyone! No extra cost, no price increase. Just enjoy some extra fast websites 🚀

⌛ First part of high availability done

In the last update, I addressed some of the outages Magic Pages had in March. As a consequence I started implementing so-called "high availability". More on that here:

April Update on Magic Pages
Happy April! March has been the month with the biggest growth on Magic Pages yet. There are now over 100 customer websites hosted on Magic Pages – a significant milestone for me. So, first and foremost: thank you for your support! It’s been pretty much exactly one year since the first

In April and May I continued to work on this, adding around a dozen servers, big and small, for various tasks.

By now, the database servers are 100% highly available, meaning that even an outage at a data center wouldn't really matter. There are multiple backup servers that would jump in.

Additionally, the single server that previously managed all Ghost websites now has higher availability. Why higher and not just…high? Well, there are still some issues with how Ghost itself handles such a complex setup. For now, it's more robust (no major outages in April and May 🎉), but there's still some room for improvement.

Once we have reached full high availability, I'll let you know in a future update.

💬 Live chat now persists conversations…for real

Another update that happened: the Magic Pages live chat now knows who you are – and persists conversations. If you're logged into your Ghost site and open the Customer Portal.

Previously, the chat integration reset the conversation every time the page was refreshed. That led to frustration on both sides. You didn't see the conversation history and what we talked about. I had dozens of chat fragments that I somehow needed to connect.

So, after some digging through the code of the chat integration I am using, I found a way to persist all of this – and even tell me your name and email address along the way. That makes it super easy for me to help you with any issues 😊

And don't worry: no data goes to any third party. The chat integration is hosted on Magic Pages infrastructure, without any third-party involvement.

👻 What has happened on Ghost's side?

Last, but not least, as always, we'll have a quick look at Ghost and its updates.

Once again, we mainly saw bug fixes. Nothing major to report here in terms of updates.

However, Ghost started working on an ActivityPub integration and is building it in public (sort of). ActivityPub is an open social networking standard that's used by Mastodon, for example. I am personally super excited about this.

More about that here:

Building ActivityPub
Ghost is federating over ActivityPub to become part of the world’s largest publishing network.

So long – and thanks for the fish (not really, the world isn't ending and I am not going anywhere) 🐬

As mentioned, if you're a Magic Pages customer, you'll soon get a separate email about BunnyCDN and how you can activate it on your website.


Built by Magic Pages customers

Magic Pages is proud to have helped so many amazing publications come to life. Here is a small selection of what our customers built on Magic Pages.

Screenshot of Ellie Mathieson's website

Ellie Mathieson

Digital Storefront
Screenshot of Big Idea Bible

Big Idea Bible

Personal Blog
Screenshot of Bento


Ghost Theme