Can a wordpress site scale to millions of posts?

Do you have or know of wordpress sites currently with 10 or 20 million posts or more? Does wordpress scale to that amount between caching and other optimizations?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Candace,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    WordPress itself can handle that. Actually, the number of post is not that big deal. The issue is:

    - if there's enough storage available?
    - how well the server/server infrastructure performs to handle traffic and all the database queries
    - how well is database engine optimized to handle all the queries (in case of that large amount of data, database queries may be resource consuming)?

    Our own EduBlogs (edublogs.org) hold over 3 million blogs (sub-sites as it's a multisite) so I think there may be that much posts or even more. There's also a lot of other huge sites based on WordPress that hold millions of posts.

    They're all however powered by a robust servers that are well optimized. The bottom line is: if WordPress isn't overloaded with resorce-hungry plugins and custom codes and the underlying infrastructure is powerful and well optimized, it should handle even much more posts.

    I would however say that running such kind of site on a "shared hosting" or even a standard VPS is not a good idea. Cloud-based platforms such as AWS would be much better choice and a good system admin that could take care of server performance and stability optimization would be highly recommended :wink:

    Kind regards,
    Adam

  • Candace

    Thanks Adam. That was very helpful to know many large sites have tens of millions of posts. We will use scaleable servers. Is there any recommended mysql wordpress scaling techniques from wpmu or sizing techniques? One issue I have noticed is that pagination with SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS slows down pages or seems to creates a sluggish wp-admin interface with some testing I'm doing. Plugins like Popup Pro seem to be very sluggish as well saving the details and taking 2-3 minutes to save. Is there a way to know the overhead of plugin that wpmu has?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Candace!

    I'm glad I could help.

    Going into such details on mysql and server optimization is a bit beyond my area of expertise and I wouldn't want to give you any misleading or incomplete advice on that. I believe though you might find some articles on our blog interesting so I'm listing them for you below.

    1. This is an essential guide on speeding up WP install and in my opinion regardless whether we are talking about a "regular" install or a huge, scalable platform, that's the good place to start from:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/speeding-up-wordpress/

    2. Going into bigger installs, this would be "a must" lecture. James Farmer gives a nice insight on some technical aspects of EduBlogs there. The article was written in 2013 so some things has changed since than but there's still a lot of valid and "universal" information:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/scaling-wordpress-wpmu-buddypress-like-edublogs/

    3. Finally, this is very helpful article based on a talk that our CTO Aaron Edwards gave during WordCamp US on scaling dynamic WordPress Sites:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/scaling-dynamic-sites/

    I believe these three articles should point you in a right direction and give you a solid foundation for further research on this :slight_smile:

    Have a nice day!
    Adam