I know why I turn off many of the “tech experts” and “internet celebrities” – they’re wrong so often it makes my head spin. Take Chris Pirillo today on Google + pitching Tiki as a CMS, as an alternative to WordPress or MediaWiki.
Bullshit on that I say! It most certainly does scale and I’ve proven that over the years. Geek.com alone used to withstand regular slashdottings, trips to the Digg homepage, etc. The site regularly took massive traffic, although it was a long learning process to get there.
Here is what you need to know to make WordPress scale:
- To truly scale on epic levels, you’ll need to have the ability to cluster webservers, cluster databases, etc. Few sites really need that level of hardware, but some will. If you do, you’ll need to drop your uploads on a common mounted drive, then use a CDN to distribute the images so you don’t really create a single point of failure.
- You need to install and use the Super Cache plugin.
- For massive sites, with lots of commenting, use HyperDB to separate your reads and writes.
- Plugins: for the love of screaming monkeys, stick to only a handful of known, scalable, plugins. Avoid anything that’s going to hit your DB every single time someone loads a page. Also make sure the plugin obeys Super Cache.
- Actually turn on Super Cache…really.
- If you’re getting hammered by a traffic spike, turn on Super Cache lock down mode.
- The real truth about WordPress scalability is this: most people don’t have hosting accounts that allow them to get traffic on this level. Often the host will shut them down for bandwidth abuse, or simply throttle them, making it seem the system isn’t scaling.
- Issues with the host
- Poor server setup
- WordPress plugins