100,000 page views in 5 minutes

Now, that’s why you can’t believe benchmarks. Sure, this server was able to serve 100,000 page views in 282 seconds but:

  • Requests were made from a VPS in the same datacenter. No need to worry about slow clients, or maintaining network connections to many remote clients.
  • I used Litespeed Web Server instead of Apache.
  • Was it realistic? Even a digg that sends you say, 8,000 page views in an hour, isn’t going to exercise your server that much unless your page is chock full of graphics, css and Javascript. (oh wait, web 2.0 ..)

So, Litespeed’s webserver is the one to go for? Maybe not. I can’t for the life of me get compression of the static cache working. When I do, the browser tries to display the gzipped data directly. I can enable the webserver’s gzip function but from tests I don’t think it caches the resulting gzipped file. (btw – mod_deflate, the Apache2 module that does the same thing suffers from this problem too!) Later – testing this again. Litespeed allows you to set a a gzip cache directory. For normal traffic it’s worth doing so pages load faster.
The mod_gzip site is a great resource if you want to find out more about compressing HTTP content.

How did Apache cope? I was serving 100 concurrent requests and Apache didn’t cope too well. It did serve all the file requests eventually but the load average jumped to just over 50 and the site was unavailable to anyone else. It’ll serve 1000 requests for a static file fine, even 10,000 too, but under constant load the server starts to wilt. Unless you have the RAM to keep enough Apache child processes going all the time you’re going to start swapping.
Meanwhile, Litespeed hardly caused a blip in the server’s load average. I’m quite impressed and I’m running it now. It’s also what powers WordPress.com. Even if you’re not using WordPress, you should look at alternatives to Apache.

This leads me nicely on to announce WP Super Cache 0.4! Download it here!

Major new features include:

  • A “lock down” button. I like to think of this as my “Digg Proof” button. This basically prepares your site for a heavy digging or slashdotting. It locks down the static cache files and doesn’t delete them when a new comment is made.
  • Automatic updating of your .htaccess file. (Backup your .htaccess before installing the plugin!)
  • Don’t super cache any request with GET parameters. You really need to use fancy permalinks now.
  • WordPress search works again.
  • Better version checking of wp-cache-config.php and advanced-cache.php in case you’re using an old one.
  • Better support for Microsoft Windows.
  • Properly serve cached static files on Red Hat/Cent OS systems or others that have an entry for gzip in /etc/mime.types.
  • The Reject URI function works again and now uses regular expressions!

Support queries should go to the forum. Make sure your posts are tagged “wp-super-cache”, but if you post from that link they will.

25 thoughts on “100,000 page views in 5 minutes

  1. Amazing job. I thought WP-Cache was impressive, but this is a whole new level. I’m going to put it up on a beta installation on my server to test it out before implementing it onto my live site.

  2. Sadly, the issue with most wordpress installations isn’t apache or litespeed, but rather the overwhelmingly bad MySQL queries that are used to make wordpress run.

    Without complete page caching, wordpress can take down even a big server very quickly indeed, with only a few hundred requests per second.

    Moving to caching (even wp-cache) is a more significant performance improvement than any operating system chance would bring.

  3. have been using LiteSpeed for 2 months and no more server downtime since then. would love to try super cache plugin after upgrade to 2.3 🙂

  4. Well, i don’t know about the super-cache, but usually LiteSpeed is so good you don’t even need a cache (assuming your sql server can cope with the load, indeed).

    I can’t afford a litespeed license for my own vps, but i’ve a long experience of extensively using wordpress with LiteSpeed via a hosting provider using that server (Medialayer,NY) and performances/uptime until now have exceeded all expektations, i tell you.


  5. “So, Litespeed’s webserver is the one to go for? Maybe not. I can’t for the life of me get compression of the static cache working.”
    I know next to nothing about Litespeed, but here’s a random thought. What if you make WP Super Cache name the gzip compressed files *.lsz instead of *.gz? I believe Litespeed names compressed files that it creates *.lsz. Maybe it will serve *.lsz files created by WP Super Cache properly?

    It’d be pretty dumb if that is indeed the solution. Litespeed is supposed to be fully compatible with Apache, right?

    I wish my webhost used Litespeed. They said that the cost of running Litespeed would jack up the hosting cost significantly. 🙁 I guess I shouldn’t complain since I literally pay pennies on NearlyFreeSpeech.NET’s “pay only for what you use” plan.

  6. Thanks for the updates. I love both of the new features. The auto update .htaccess will save time for new installs. The comment lock down will further reduce server load.

    I just installed the update on one of my sites and it seems to be working just fine.

  7. It’s nice that it supports IIS better too. I never managed to get WP-Cache working on a test IIS webserver. Will definitely check this version out.

  8. Yesterday and today, my WP install had around 175000 pageviews. The SVN copy of WP Super Cache I was using (beta 0.4 I assume) worked perfectly with no errors whatsoever.

    I can’t compare loads to previous weekends (we get a same, if not larger, jump in traffic every weekend) due to other stuff running on the forums (a vBulletin forum as well as a seperate website that’s rather bloated), but the load seemed to stay pretty constant even with the fluctuating traffic.

    Simply put, you and your plugin rock. 😀

  9. Great article thanks for posting the info. I also read the compression puts quite a load on the server and that the caching is the best approach to handling the issue. Great job with the article.

  10. Darknet – I haven’t used those plugins but at a guess, they could use Javascript to count and register visitors, and then use a Javascript widget in the sidebar.

    Justin – from what I’ve heard, using this plugin and IIS is faster than Apache!

  11. I’ve been hearing so many good things about litespeed and now that they have monthly licensing, I would love to use it. If it wasn’t for litespeed’s “morality clause” I would, but they’re convinced porn makes people mentally ill, deteriorates human values and is more dangerous than smoking or second hand smoke and therefore will not license any site that has the slightest hint of adult content.

  12. Have you tried nginx?

    I’m not sure about running it with PHP (I know it can; not sure how stable).

    I’ve served 140,000 live Ruby on Rails requests through nginx to mongrel in 24 hours. Not quite 100k in a minute but it gets the job done =)

  13. Wow!

    Way over my head. Not sure how to start with this one. I guess I will have to worry about this when I get that kind of traffic.

    I am in for another headache (too much brain usage)again.

    Thanks for the grat info thou!!

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