This is How Your Website Survives 75,000 Hits per Minute

Johannes Benz Last updated on 21.10.2020
5 Min.
High traffic WordPress  Hosting
Last updated on 21.10.2020

Up to now, almost 34 percent of all websites run on WordPress. Nevertheless WordPress is often still seen as a small content management system (CMS). But WordPress has no reason to shy away. Especially not when it comes to high-performance. What important contribution WordPress can make, we willl show you in the following article.

WordPress & High-Performance - a few examples  

The following megastars all rely on WordPress as website CMS. It should be clear that WordPress sites of stars such as Katy Perry or Justin Timberlake have to cope with constantly high traffic on the one hand, but also with peak loads in visitor numbers.

This is How Your Website Survives 75,000 Hits per Minute

This is how your magazine survives 75,000 hits per minute

Difference between hits and visitors

Before I reveal the secret of how your website can handle extremely high traffic, I would like to explain the relationship between visits and hits. A visitor can of course call up several subpages. The reflection time that the user allows himself between clicks is the key indicator for establishing a relationship between visitors and hits.

If 900 visitors click on one site on average every three seconds, we have 300 hits per second.

An important rule of thumb is therefore: The number of visitors is generally at least twice as high as the number of hits.

WordPress & High-Performance - Caching as a wonder weapon

So how does one site manage to have breakfast with up to 150,000 visitors per minute without getting on one's knees? The miracle weapon that we have RAIDBOXES already developed at smallest plan use, means Caching.

Our caching is not a separate Varnish server that is cumbersomely connected upstream, but a technology that is integrated on the server side by default.

A WordPress cache not only shortens the distance a request has to travel, but also provides a faster-to-load variant of the site output.
A cache enables thousands of calls of WordPress sites without using the processor.

The cache converts a mixture of stylesheets, JavaScript, images, etc. into a static HTML document, stores it temporarily and delivers it when the page is called. The static documents are stored in the main memory or on the SSD hard disk.

1000-fold calls and the processor gets bored

Through the server-side caching, the requests are delivered directly, without even having contact with the processor and the database. In oursSTARTERplan , for example, 75,000 calls can be answered within one minute by default. Especially for visitor-intensive blog, magazine and company pages is WordPress therefore a very good system.

So we often experienced it in high-performance times, such as after the mention of customerssites in a TV show or during online marketing campaigns: Although the processor was upgraded in advance, it was bored in the end because the caching had taken over the delivery.

High performance special case - WooCommerce

However, there is one important restriction: The statement refers to static sites ones that can be stored in the cache.

Dynamic requests can be badly cached

Caching is not allowed for dynamic requests, such as filling out contact forms or checkout processes in the shopping cart.

An example of dynamic content are product pages that change the prices in the shopping cart depending on the user's actions. Here it would be fatal if the price in the shopping cart or even at the checkout would not adjust and the user is permanently shown the temporarily stored price.

This is How Your Website Survives 75,000 Hits per Minute
At Knalle Popkornkonditorei, various TV shows and some AdWords and social media campaigns have often required more processor power.

Such dynamic sites ones are therefore excluded by default in our caching to ensure a proper operation. Simultaneous visitors in a shopping cart therefore usually have a direct impact on the processor.

Likewise, communities and membershipsites - with forums and many logged-in visitors - are difficult to cache. Here there is a serious need for action regarding hardware resources.

The chip shop as a favourite metaphor of our CTO

Without caching, only a higher number of CPU cores will help, which can then answer a high number of simultaneous visitor requests. Our CTO Marcel always uses the chip shop as a metaphor to explain the principle to non-technical people:

Each CPU core stands for one worker at the chip shop. The more people fry at the same time (cores are available), the more fries can be sold (user queries can be answered).

By the way, this does not apply to the speed at which the people work. For this, the CPU clock frequency would have to be increased. This is the case with our new tariffs from the one PROplan where the "workers" (processors) are up to 30 percent faster.

About 600 visitors at the same time in the shopping cart as maximum

With two days notice, we can manually increase rates to 24 cores and 64GB RAM for 24 hours. This is particularly popular with many start-ups, which are Lion's Den want to play it safe.

For the big WooCommerce Shop there are then our greatest high performance plan "Business XXL" with 12 vCores and 32GB RAM. Up to 600,000 cached visitors per minute or up to 600 visitors per second can be in the shopping cart.

Load balancing as next step

If more than 600 visitors per second need to be processed, load balancing is the next step. You place a load balancer in front of the dedicated servers, which distributes the visitor requests to the dedicated servers.

In this way, it is possible to scale across hardware resources not only on the same server, but also across server boundaries. This is a method that has been established for decades and is very well suited to direct high traffic into sensible channels without downtime.

Conclusion: WordPress & High performance has long since been a very good match

Who WordPress still classifies as a CMS for smallsites , this should be urgently reconsidered. Already long ago WordPress is also established as a CMS for high-performancesites applications and is used here in many different ways. Caching in particular helps WordPress reach new heights here.

Even large online shops with a constantly high flow of visitors can be handled reliably with the appropriate hosting. In countries such as the USA this has long since ceased to be a secret. I hope that I could show you in this article that we can also trust our favorite CMS more in Europe.

How have you seen so WordPress far? Have you built traffic-heavy sites vehicles yet? I look forward to your comments!

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