How to optimize your site like WordPress.com

Summary:WordPress.com is one of the largest sites on the Internet. It handles 115 million page views a day and responds to 2.6 billion requests a day. Here's how they do it.

All projects: DIY-IT Project Guide
This project: Migrating a massive legacy CMS system to WordPress

Over the past year or so, I've been telling you about my large CMS conversion project, where I'm (almost done) moving nearly a hundred thousand articles over to a highly-modified WordPress environment.

WordPress, for me, is running on a single server, but WordPress.com is one of the largest sites on the Internet. It handles 115 million page views a day and responds to 2.6 billion requests a day.

Recently, one of WordPress.com's systems managers, Iliya Polihronov, gave a lecture about the various system configurations that WordPress.com uses to achieve this. I've embedded his video below.

One of the more interesting aspects of this is that WordPress.com uses Nginx as the Web server, rather than Apache. I've been hearing more and more about Nginx, and while I still use Apache, I'm beginning to think that once I get my migration complete, I may look at moving to Nginx.

It's interesting -- I probably wouldn't have considered switching Web servers, but since Apache 2.4 works rather differently than Apache 2.2 (see my rant here ), moving to Apache 2.4 may well be as much work as moving to Nginx.

That's not a project for right now. I have three more sites to finish migrating this week, but I'll come back to it in future months, and if I do, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, here's Iliya, conspicuous gold chain, and all. It's a fascinating 19 minutes.

For those of you who can't see the video (it uses a non-standard embed player), here's a link to the full video.

Topics: SMBs, Data Centers, Linux, Servers

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In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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