Secrets Of High-Traffic WordPress Blogs

  • Published on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 02:50
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By Siobhan McKeown at Smashing Magazine
 
We all know that WordPress is awesome — but being awesome isn’t always enough. Does it perform well under pressure? Can it deal with traffic from millions of visitors every month? There’s no question that WordPress can be used for your or my blog, but what about multi-author blogs with thousands of comments? How do developers make it scale and perform?

I spoke with the developers behind some of the biggest WordPress blogs on the planet and asked them to tell me their secrets. Now I get to share them with you.

The Blogs

Website Monthly uniques Monthly page views
Digital Trends 10 – 12 million 33 million
iPhoneclub.nl 2.5 million 5.4 million
The Next Web 4 million 8 million
Neatorama 2.5 million 4.5 million
Slashgear 6 million 10 million
Hot Air 2 – 3 million 35 – 45 million
Laughing Squid Undisclosed Undisclosed

In The Beginning

The first thing I asked the developers was whether they prepared for the heavy traffic that now flows through their website. In almost all cases, the answer was a resounding no. From The Next Web, CTO Arjen Schat and lead developer Pablo Roman said they had planned for growth but didn’t expect growth to happen on such a large scale. “There were few large WordPress sites at the time, so we learned as we went along.”

Neatorama started out in late 2005 on cheap shared hosting until it got kicked out. It moved to a VPS and got kicked out again. In 2007, it moved to a dedicated server with a CDN, which eventually was insufficient, until finally it moved onto load-balanced servers with a CDN. Similar stories are echoed by iPhoneClub.nl and Laughing Squid.

Hot Air’s developer, Mark Jaquith, also a lead developer at WordPress, had to migrate the website to a new server within 48 hours of launching. Only SlashGear planned for a 30% increase in traffic per year.

Read more at the Smashing Magazine

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