Drinking From the Fire Hose #2 – the China Syndrome

One of the big complaints that the anti-Wordpress chorus croons is that the vaunted blogging platform doesn’t scale.  Certainly we’ve all seen sites brought low by the “Slashdot Effect” or the “Digg Effect” but my experience tells me that WordPress is getting a bad rap for poor server setup, poor plugin choice, etc.

How do I know?  Well, one of the sites I work with last week experienced the “China Syndrome” or potentially “The Great Fire Hose”.  The site, TheTruthAboutCars.com posted a story that the Chinese might buy GM, and that opened the flood gates for traffic.  The problem is, while we watch for excess traffic from Digg, or Slashdot, we don’t watch the Chinese sites that offer similar service.  In a matter of a couple hours, the traffic surged to 10 or 15 times its normal levels(and that’s conservative, once we max out server connections, we have no way of knowing how much is actually refused).  Our system administrator alerted me and I quickly through the SuperCache plugin into lockdown mode, ensuring that the site rendered virtually all its content as flat html, rather than going to the database every time.   Continue reading “Drinking From the Fire Hose #2 – the China Syndrome”