My site went offline for almost a full day yesterday, thanks to the Digg traffic which poured down from an older yet regularly updated post about the Digg tools collection. Though the site traffic was not much, my web hosting shared server became crashy (as my webhost Dreamhost tells me) and they had to disable the site to keep other sites running on the same server. They advised me to install Wp-cache wordpress plugin to reduce the server load.
In the past, Dreamhost has withstood lots of traffic spurt spikes, but it was surprising this time they had to ‘switch it off’. Well those are some disadvantages of a shared webhosting plan. But everyone does not need or can afford a dedicated web server, where only your site is hosted on that server and only you can crash it.
This hourly traffic statistics chart clearly shows when the site went offline…
Now I have installed the amazing wordpress plugin called WP-Cache – it is an efficient WordPress page caching system that caches WordPress pages and stores them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and then building the page from the database. It has lots of custom options to make it custom work to your liking. These download speed charts convinced me.
WP-Cache allows to serve hundred of times more pages per second, making your pages load faster and speeds up your site, and enabling your server to handle a Digging or slashdotting better. See more tips to survive traffic surges.
If all that WordPress caching sounds exciting, another tool called APC (Alternative PHP Cache) caches the compiled WordPress PHP files and greatly speeds up subsequent loads and some people are trying to make APC and WP-Cache work together to get the maximum speed.
Anyway we finally came back online …
During this period, my mind thought several times to shift to the more expensive Mediatemple Grid server, which is making a lot of buzz for their unique ever-expanding ‘cluster of clusters’ that enable servers to survive traffic spikes. But I guess I love Dreamhost too much and they somehow always convince me to stay… and teach me about a new tool (like WP-cache) everytime a server crashes!