Large .htaccess file and multisite performance

With regards to your .htaccess file, how big is too big?

As the .htaccess file grows larger, is site performance degraded?

Here’s my scenario:

I am building a WordPress 3.0.1 multi-site installation with approximately 100 sites.

All sites are sub-directory sites with their own domain mapped, using the WPMU Domain Mapping plugin.

All sites have W3 Total Cache plugin enabled with CDN and Page Caching enabled.

For each site, the W3 Total Cache plugin generates about 143 lines of code to be added to the .htaccess file. It is my understanding that this code should be added to the .htaccess file – and I will end up with a .htaccess file that is approx. 100 X 143 lines ~ 14,300 lines long. This seems like it would probably degrade site load times in itself.

Or, am I just missing the point about how to configure W3 Total Cache correctly?


  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya GS,

    Are you individually activating w3 total cache on each site then? I haven’t had much luck with that scenario. I’m not sure about the performance hit with the additional lines to the .htaccess file but that does seem a bit… excessive.

    I’ll ask a couple of our developers to respond here and see if they can share some further insight. It’s a good question.


  • Aphrodite
    • The Reaper

    yep I confirm… rewrite rules for each w3c cache are identical for each site. So you should have…. 143 lines that’s all :slight_smile: just depends on what options you activate.

    Just to say… I have tested this plugin on one of my plateform. And abandonned it rapidly, and now simply using the built in eaccelerator of my server and activated compression.

    this plugin generates to much files and disk use to me and “can” generate some conflict with several plugins that use rewite rules. And did not really observed a real benefice compared to eaccelerator.

  • drmike
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    We’re moving into moving all of our platforms to use memcache if they support it. There should be some docs on using wp-supercache and memcache together already discussed here in the forums. (5 minute page loads. You’ll have to forgive me for not searching for you.)

  • gunner steele
    • New Recruit

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. After posting – I gave it a go with just adding the 143 lines of code to the .htaccess file once, and saw that it seemed to affect the same changes across all of the sites on which the plugins was enabled.

    Nevertheless, we’re getting into pretty advanced territory for my WordPress and sysadmin skills, so I really appreciate all the help – because it’s a great sanity check.


    Is there another way that you’ve used W3 Total Cache that you’ve had better results with? I thought the the plugin has to be enabled on each site in the network for that individual site to get the effects of it.


    Thank you for your help.


    Thanks for sharing your experience with this plugin. I haven’t seen any conflicts so far, and I can’t speak to the site acceleration aspects of it yet (although my sites are loading in about 1.6 to 1.8 seconds), but I like how easy it is to use a CDN. I’m generally cautious about plugins that are so large, and cover so many features – but the developer of this one seems like a sharp fellow, and the plugin seems to be fairly widely used, so I’m giving it a go. I’ll report back on how it’s working out for me in a couple of months, or when I’ve got something to report.


    I’ll look into memcache and wp-supercache — looks interesting. I’ve used something similar – redis, super-fast key-value database, for a very different application, but I’ll have to check out how folks are implementing these types of things on WordPress.


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