First off, this is getting into the hard-core geeky stuff. Barry Abrahamson is giving us the in and out of how to make a WordPress install crank faster.
Most of you should know that your basic install of WP on a basic server can handle a huge amount of traffic without having trouble handling it.
There are some PHP add-on you can try for making PHP run faster (APC it’s called) but it seems that WP-Cache is the best solution for most people. Although talked about the PHP add-on first, that isn’t something you can do if you aren’t in complete control of your server. I’ve used WP-Cache before. This isn’t a plugin for the faint of heart either.
The insight into how WordPress.com keeps the lights on…racks of servers…Matt gave an intro of using HyperDB (the sound of whoosh going over my head) in WP to make the DB connections go faster.
How does it all happen? The core is planning. Knowing where the fail points are and finding a way to deal with it. Load balancing, multiple servers, multiple data centres. Matt looked at what others had done before and saw where WP.com could get nailed and managed for it.
Now if basic WP install can handle a ton of traffic, why do sites crash when they get Dugg? Oddly enough the crashing isn’t a WP problem, it’s an Apache (the web server software) issue. Apache will take up too much memory and then the operating system will kill (shutdown) a process or three to save itself. Unfortunately it will kill the database process…not a good thing.
Sounds like to “Digg proof” your blog…WP-Cache is the way to go. Okay there is a trick to make an HTML version of your page and fake things around to make it static … that will give you breathing room. That’s a mid-Digg thing to do. There is also a way to use htaccess to block everyone from the blog so you can get in there and fix stuff too.
(Note to self…try getting WP-Cache in there…and turn some plugins off)