So a very interesting article has popped up on Coding Horror that paints the WordPress software in a bad light. A friend of mine Mark from 45n5.com posted about it on Twitter, using it as another jab against all the WordPress “fanboys” in the world.
This is an incredibly scary result; blog.stackoverflow.com is getting, at best, a moderate trickle of incoming traffic. It’s barely linked anywhere! With that kind of CPU load level, this site would fall over instantaneously if it got remotely popular, or God forbid, anywhere near the front page of a social bookmarking website.
For a bare-bones blog which is doing approximately nothing, this is a completely unacceptable result. It’s appalling.
I looked over the article, and didn’t see anything wrong with it. I think it tells the truth and is just a fact when working with WordPress. I have heard from numerous people that WordPress doesn’t scale very well, but I would also like to add that Automattic and all of the WordPress developers are doing better and better with each release at addressing that issue.
I also want to say that I have never seen WordPress cause such high CPU usage in any of my dealings with the software.
Some people have made fun of the article, saying that WordPress is a PHP application and the Windows server that the author is using isn’t a good platform to run WordPress on, but I don’t know enough about the Windows Server environment to agree or disagree with them, though commenters have been quick to point out that the operating system shouldn’t matter “that” much.
One thing I will point out is that WordPress does need some form of caching to work effectively at higher levels of traffic, and that many plugins are not optimized well, and can cause excess database calls and thus more load on the server.
People always ask why certain advanced features are not part of WordPress’ core and why certain things are defaulted in what they consider “odd” ways, and I think the answer is fairly obvious: some WordPress users are unable to do simple computer/server related things.
Setting up caching and dealing with any errors that arise can sometimes be more difficult than just turning on one of the plugins that have been created for WordPress. I have heard of many people how they tried one caching plugin and it didn’t work correctly for them while another did. These features are not in the core as they would make WordPress too complex for the average user. WordPress is designed in such a way to work on as many different environments as possible, as quickly and easily as possible.
People are suggesting things like Drupal which is a pain to install and configure. It absolutely blows my mind. I think that the issue of CPU usage was blown out of proportion and that ninety percent of the people that blog would be better off on WordPress, Movable Type or something comparable rather than moving to a full blown, complex CMS.