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WordPress: Destroyer of CPU’s?

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 posted about it on Twitter, using it as another jab against all the WordPress “fanboys” in the world.

This is an incredibly scary result; 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.

Categories: WordPress News

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  1. Douglas Karr says: 4/23/2008

    So if I try to run .NET on my Mac, I should complain about it running slow? PHP and MySQL were developed for Linux but made to work on IIS. You can’t possibly fault WordPress when there are some MONSTER sites running it with no issues at all.


  2. muchio says: 4/24/2008

    I think you missed the point of Jeff’s article a little. He says, that 20 calls to database on every page load for “naked” WP install is way too much. And of course, caching in WP core nowadays is a must feature.
    [quote]People are suggesting things like Drupal which is a pain to install and configure.[/quote]
    How old is your experience with Drupal installation? One year? More? Man, you should consider refreshing your knowledge.


  3. Patrick Grote says: 4/24/2008

    What blows your mind about using Drupal instead? I don’t want to presume your opinion on it.


  4. Matt Craven says: 4/24/2008

    Large sites require both proper db optimization / db server config and the use of something like wp-cache to function problem

    I had issue on blog herald when we owned it once the daily PVs passed the 50-60k mark



  5. jonson roth says: 4/24/2008

    Right, but we’re talking Windows server, not Linux. I doubt the same issues would result on a Linux server.


  6. Mohsin says: 4/27/2008

    WordPress is a resource hog, there is no doubt about it. Yet I continue to develop any and all of my sites using WordPress because of its ease of use, its SEO benefits, and its customizability and extendability thanks to the thousand of free plugins and themes developed by the WordPress community.

    If WordPress developers could somehow integrate caching into the core of WordPress, then its competitors would probably shut up and instead focus their energies on something that is worth using.


  7. Mohsin says: 4/27/2008

    Oh and David, there are ugly errors strewn all over your right sidebar. You might want to fix that.


  8. Aron says: 11/5/2008

    Blin … really beautifully written! All this is so familiar … and truthfully!


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  10. Tuan Anh says: 2/2/2009

    Hi, i’ve read the article on Coding Honor, and your article here. I also searched some result with Google, but sadly, there’s no solution for this. I have a WP blog, installed Wp Super Cache and Bad Behavior but the CPU still load high. I think some problems maybe related to the server configuration, but i’m not sure.

    Do you have some advice for me? Thank you very much.


  11. Jessica tobe says: 5/10/2009

    hi, thanks,The article was very well written, very helpful to me


  12. Kai-shao says: 6/17/2009

    Hi, it’s wordpress’s problem. My Blog was hosted by a MacOSX machine. The WordPress 2.7 let my machine all time CPU loading hight(almost 100%), and hang my machine 5 times per day, but WordPress 2.8 fixed this problem!


  13. romonoeroetoko says: 7/8/2009

    Hm that sounds good but I would like to know more details.


  14. romonoeroetoko says: 7/15/2009

    Your news is a cool stuff man, keep it going.


  15. amenodimeno says: 8/5/2009

    Good story for me but please more details.


  16. queroeropoo says: 8/6/2009

    Good information to me.


  17. adamoerikom says: 9/19/2009

    Stunning blog and good article. High 5 for u man !


  18. Adriana says: 2/25/2012

    thanks for share!


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