General hosting / server question


I am looking for hosting for a multisite installation of mainly individual blogs and I am curious about the amount of resources I will need to run the site I want to build. Basically, I want to create a network of about 1000 sites using a full boat of wpmu dev plugins: membership, global tags, rss feeds, etc.

Can anyone give me some numbers on ram, cpu, diskspace, etc? I have done a couple smaller multisite installs, one on shared hosting (which sucked) and one a smaller vps, both of which seemed starved for resources; i.e. out of memory errors, crashes, slow sites, etc.

  • Philip John
    • DEV MAN’s Apprentice


    WordPress can be a bit of a resource hog at times but there are several factors that influence that;

    – the number of visitors you have

    – how much is in your theme (e.g. images) – affects bandwidth

    – how many plugins you have installed and what they do (CPU usage)

    – the size of database

    It’s hard to provide good estimates because of all those really. I’ve asked the other guys if they have any opinion too.



  • Timothy
    • Chief Pigeon

    The best thing to do is avoid plugins when you don’t need them, in other words choose efficiency over convenience.

    We make direct edits to WP on every release, so for example on the log in page rather than using another plugin to override the logo and page styling we will make the edit direct to WP thus helping to lower the bloatness. (not a real word, I know lol) We also document our changes so we know what to edit again on the next update. :slight_smile:

    Advise I made on other posts:

    + Create a clear plan of what you want to achieve!

    + Stick to that plan!

    + Don’t install plugins and themes on your main site just to test, every install can and often will insert data in the database, not all will remove the data when removed thus leading to DB bloat.

    + Try not to bloat your install with too many plugins, remember every time a plugin is installed it can insert data, it might also be another 1 or another 100+ php files to include on every page and post load depending on the plugin, thus requiring more memory from your install, more resources. Shared hosting environments and hosting companies don’t always play nice when you hog their server resources. (Unlimited is a myth, everything has its limits regardless of what hosting companies claim to offer)

    + Create a sandbox install if you must play with themes and plugins before putting them on your production website, thus limiting the footprint on your main install.

    + Make sure your hosting environment is capable of managing your realistic anticipated usage. These things are not always easy so unless you have a huge advertising budget then chances are you won’t grow that quickly at first although I suppose anything is possible.

    Also you might want to stick a +1 on the following post:

    It is a plugin request to get a better way of managing installs and the DB. :slight_smile:

  • coloradocolin
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Thanks guys. I have been doing some testing in the meantime and it seems like most of my issues were surrounding autoblog and similiar plugins that bring in RSS feeds. These seem to really tax server resources, which I was unaware of.

    I have moved two of my networks to individual vps’s with 1 gig of RAM each and they seem to be doing pretty well. I am running about 20-25 active plugins.

  • Lorange
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    We make direct edits to WP on every release, so for example on the log in page rather than using another plugin to override the logo and page styling we will make the edit direct to WP thus helping to lower the bloatness.

    This is certainly a good advice… but does it really worth the effort in terms of performance?

    I’ve just checked my installation (which is not live yet) and have found these three little plugins that might be easily replaced by a quick hack in the WP files.

    If I decide to replace these three plugins by a quick hack in the core of WP, do you really think that I will have a great benefit in terms of performance?

    And what’s about the following plugin: (is that what you would call “bloatness”?). Would you have a better suggestion to replace “WordPress” by “Timothyismyfriend” everywhere on the network?

    Similar question:

    What’s about child themes? I know I will have to make a few changes to most of the themes of the 133 farm pack. I was planing to make a child theme for all themes. Is that a really bad idea? Do child themes have an high impact on performance (calls, queries, …:wink:

    Sorry if I’m posting this in the wrong place but I thought this was in the topic.


  • Timothy
    • Chief Pigeon

    Well I suppose it is all a matter a math. Smaller sites it should be OK to use a few more plugins.

    But lets take the number used in the first post, 1000 blogs.

    We are making some assumptions here, so each blog receives 1000 full page views a day which include 1 extra file of a plugin is obviously the loading of 1000 extra files per day, not to bad really….. over 30 days thats some 30,000 files extra.

    But we are not taking into account any DB queries here or potential included images. Still every include increases the resources needed. One users site I saw the other day has some 50 plugins, lets assume on average that is 10 files per plugin (some have many more, some have only one) this still does not consider DB queries, or images, etc.

    Again assumptions here, but lets assume each plugin included all 10 files into another file when loading a page and all plugins function on the index page. Not always true, but simpler math for this scenario.

    10 * 50 = 500 files per page load

    500 * 1000 = 500,000 extra files loaded per day for 1000 full page impressions. And over 30 days that is some 150,000,00 extra files.

    Imagine a much busier website. Imagine plugins more intense on DB calls, imagine poorly coded plugins making reckless calls pulling all the data it can find when all it needs is one word. Imagine more images or videos. Everytime a plugin is installed it inserts all sorts into the DB, the same goes for themes as well especially themes heavy on DB options in the back end. Removing them does not always remove the entries in the DB which can cause conflicts with future plugins, DB bloat and load times. I think its the options table it also loads a ton of stuff into to?

    If you google various terms like WordPress DB bloat, WordPress Options Bloat, etc, you should find a good few instances out there.

    What about a site with 10,000 blogs? And more impressions….

    What if every page load make 10, 20 or 100s more DB calls and queries?

    Caching will help, realistic anticipation of demand will help.

    Google use load time as metric to rank your website, quicker load times for your users is always a good thing as well.

    You probably would not notice to much on a smaller website, although I did read a blog last year about some guy having his server brought to its knees for just his single site install. It was a popular and well used site however the name escapes me now… I don’t recall the specifics either.

    Just things to consider, :slight_smile:

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