Wordpress or custom script?

Posted on 2015-02-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-05-27

I am planning to make a site for which I need experts opinion, please consider the scenario as follows

site will be having millions of posts, millions of tags, thousands of categories and thousands of authors.

how would you see it performing within wordpress ? I am looking for optimized solution to get it done, permalink structure and nothing else is finalized.

I haven't even registered a domain name for this yet, so it's kind a very early stage question to decide whether to consider wordpress or any other cms for this site, or may be any custom coded cms.

Beside this, I dont think there would be any limit on number of posts,authors,tags, and categories on papers, but after say 500,000 posts and like 100,000 tags, it can be assumed that the site would be extremely resource extensive and would requires lot of cpu power and may also result in frequent wp_post table/database corruption.

please share as much of your opinion / experties and knowledge as you can.
Question by:fahadalam

Assisted Solution

by:James Bilous
James Bilous earned 500 total points
ID: 40593868
Your limiting factor seems to be hardware rather than software. You're going to end up throwing a bunch of stuff into your SQL database which is what its made for and is not in itself a big deal. The real performance bottleneck will come when your traffic picks up and you're querying your database constantly. You can handle this in the typical way:

1. Cache your content as much as possible (Pleanty of plugins do this)
2. Deploy wordpress in the cloud so your infrastructure is scalable on demand.

Author Comment

ID: 40593943
@James : I understand that there is no limitation on wordpress side, but I still want to know if it can handle that much of data efficiently without needing much of hardware or what else?

assuming that wordpress have 1 table for wp_posts, and if it has millions of records, it will be difficult for mysql/php to handle decent amount of visitors even with caching enabled
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 40594001
wp_posts won't be the problem, it will be wp_postmeta that will get you, possible terms and term relationships too.

I'm assuming with that much content, you will using a "related content" feature and a search to allow users to find it all.  If so, those will need to create new queries using joins on each table that holds a different part of the taxonomy.  The more categories and tags you use, the more joins are necessary and the slower the queries get.  Each query isn't expensive on its own but if you start to experience serious traffic, you will run slower unless you really tune your hardware and server for performance.
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 40594229
One of the things you must be concerned about with a large popular site on WP or any other widly distributed CMS is security.  Hackers target sites with known architecture and when they find a vulnerability, the scripts to exploited quickly make the rounds on the darknet and the script kiddies fan out seeting how many sites they can hack.

For that reason I favor custome developed solutions where the architecture is not generally know.  This is, of course, always the possibility of attack if you are operating a popular site, but anyone who wants to hack a custome site can be forced to expend a large amount of resources and time looking for vulnerabilities, or even gamed into thinking they are making progress against their target.  The biggest bonus is it eliminates a lot of the annoying morons who are not real hackers, but just run scripts they find on hacker sites.


Author Comment

ID: 40595168
CD: wordpress itself seems to be quite secure, but I doubt it's capability on millions of posts.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40595171
but I doubt it's capability on millions of posts.

You may lack the understanding of the WordPress architecture to get the nuance here.

Millions of posts in WordPress isn't necessarily a strain.  It's what you do with the posts in relation to the level of traffic and interactivity you plan to have vs. the hardware and configuration options.  

A simple site that has one category, no tags, and millions of posts will do fine under almost any circumstances.
LVL 111

Assisted Solution

by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 500 total points
ID: 40595837
To deconstruct this quote:
CD: wordpress itself seems to be quite secure, but I doubt it's capability on millions of posts.
WordPress itself is quite secure, except when it's not.  And the security issues with poorly written plugins are amazingly horrid.  If you install plugins (or for that matter any software) without a clear understanding of the risks, your system can be transformed into an attack vector, putting your system and all of your users at risk.

I doubt it's capability on millions of posts.  My only question would be "What evidence has convinced you to doubt its capability?"  Wordpress powers about 1/4 of the internet, as measured by page-views.  It powers the New York Times.  

CNN, Forbes, GM, TechCrunch, Samsung and eBay all use WordPress.  All of these companies devote considerable budget to keeping their web sites running.  And if you really get millions of posts, millions of tags, thousands of categories and thousands of authors you will have a very powerful publishing (advertising) platform and you will be able to devote a lot of money to your site.  You will be able to buy data centers and hire the staff to keep your platform humming along beautifully.  WordPress will not even be an issue - managing the eager crowds of venture capitalists will consume most of your time!

There are really only three CMS to choose from: WordPress is the most popular and easiest to use, and it has a large and energetic open-source development community.  You might also consider Joomla and Drupal.  They are more complex and less popular.  You can probably find other CMS with a Google search, but there are a host of reasons that these three are "on top."

Author Comment

ID: 40595847
Thanks everyone, I have made my mind to go with wordpress instead of custom coding for variety of reasons.

Jason: in y first question I clearly mentioned,"site will be having millions of posts, millions of tags, thousands of categories and thousands of authors."

and now I am looking for answers/comments about best practice for doing it, there will be thousands of pages that can be converted into static pages and they wont be changing anytime soon like in a month or two, so it's possible to make these as static/fully cached ones!
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40595884
No, I got you...I was simply trying (and failing) to illustrate the scope of the issue.

A simple site with lots of posts will run on anything.

A more complex site without related posts and complex search will run well with simple caching.

Beyond that, you will need to tune a server and cache solutions to match needs. But the engine itself can handle it.  It's the external issues that will concern you.

Assisted Solution

by:Alicia St Rose
Alicia St Rose earned 500 total points
ID: 40596180
I think that now that you've decided on WordPress you may want to take an hour or two and either read up on a basic usage tutorial or check out one on Lynda.com. Just to have an idea of how awesome a decision you've just made.

FYI In WordPress there are a few post types (content types) right out of the box:

Posts (dynamic blog posts)
Pages (Static pages that hardly change)

You create those in the WordPress Admin.

In addition you can create your own unique custom post types and create custom fields for them etc.
This involves code and template files. But the sky is the limit!

Your project sounds ambitious. You may want to look for a highly skilled WordPress Developer to bring on board.

Developer: Proficient in PHP, CSS and HTML (jQuery a plus!), can create template files, is familiar with template hierarchy and WP template tags, can utilize functions.php adroitly.

NOT a Developer: depends on copious plugins to do simple things, relies on a Framework for styling and layout

Be careful. Lot's of folks don't know what they don't know. Especially, in the WordPress scene.

Author Comment

ID: 40596550
Thanks jason and laughhearty for your input.

Anyone else to say anything ?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 40668193
Suggestion you can use Expression Engine which is secure and flexible.


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