My server isn’t the fastest in the world. It’s a mere 1.2ghz Celeron with 2GB of RAM, and it shows. However for the price I pay for the dedicated server, it’s a good value for money. BUT, since it now hosts 3 wordpress sites and a bunch of other services, the strain is now beginning to show. Right now it’s still managing to cope to serve the pages requested by the users, however I fear that with more and more visitors using the blog applications, then it may end up choking under the workload.
The latest release of PHP (version 5.4) optimises the PHP engine and is reported as to offering an approximate 9% faster page load time. Whilst this is obviously a good thing, it’s still not going to be enough. So, whilst browsing the internet looking at various tech related websites, I stumbled across a plugin for WordPress that may (at least temporarily) address my issue.
WP Super Cache, is a plugin that caches the content of each page that a user requests, and stores the raw HTML output server-side in order to serve requests to the same content with just the HTML files to future visitors. This significantly reduces the amount of processing needed by the server, as it doesn’t need to instantiate the PHP core, process the data and deliver it to the end user. Of course there is a limit on the amount of time that the pages are cached for, as if a user posts a comment, then a new page will need to be cached, showing the additional content. I’ve configured my blog to clear it’s cache every 7200 seconds.
Getting a new server at this point isn’t an option as I am unable to budget for a more powerful and therefore ultimately more expensive machine. It was never intended to host multiple websites at once, and so I a hopeful that this solution will at least provide a better page load time for the end users.