Welcome to the Ask Barry session at WordCamp San Francisco! Feel free to ask your questions in this thread and I will answer them during the session.
jzopltgwd, Shenegeorry, Peter Westwood, and 50 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Could you give us a high level overview of the stack that currently powers wordpress.com?
Barry says: nginx. Load balancers in the front, running nginx. Behind that, various caching layers, running nginx. Behind that, application servers, running nginx. Caching with memcached. MySQL as the database server.
I noticed WordPress.com uses batcached instead of Varnish. Can you talk about your decision? I’m specifically interested in how you guys handle logged-in users.
Barry says: Used to use Varnish, still do on some sites such as gravatar, but batcached is easier to work with. Logged-in users don’t see any HTML caching.
What filesystem do you use on WordPress.com?
Can you ask the crowd “How many people use Multi-Domain > Multi-Site?”
Is it possible to mix subdirectory and subdomain multisite in WordPress 3.2?
Not out of the box. But you can with your own sunrise.php.
I think Ptah Dunbar has a solution for this, ask him?
Wait for the magic. (magic takes a few versions)
We might support it eventually.
you can if you make a subfolder install and map the subdomains, but it’s… kludgy.
How do you handle flushing memcached for a single site on a large mu installation. people keep saying “prefix the key with the site id”
You don’t prefix the site id, you prefix a version number for that site id. So to flush it, you increment it.
And you store the version number in the cache, but it itself is unversioned (obviously).
brilliant! i think this finally makes sense to me. Thanks!!!
Barry just mentioned this: http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/advanced-caching/.
And this, not that it’s useful: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/advanced-caching/.
Is it possible to limit thumbnail sizes to certain post types? If you have a lot of thumbnail sizes it’s easy for you to use up all your disk space right away.
Or rather, what would be the best way to do it?
Use a CDN? Or remove certain image sizes.
See: removing standard image sizes
Thanks Austin. I was just about to link to that… ;)
If you want to try dynamic image resizing (on a non-multisite setup), try this plugin:
How do you handle media propagation, cold storage, etc, on WordPress.com?
Yes, how to you keep user uploaded media current on n servers in real time?
Answer summary: pool of ~60 media masters running NFS. Propagates out from there.
DB table to keep track of where images are in the queue.
60 servers running NFS? That’s alot.
For our wordpress multi-site deploy using 2 webservers we use MogileFS as the file store. We wrote a MogileFS FUSE binding that we have released the code for here: https://github.com/frett/MogileFS-Fuse
we mount our MogileFS store and point the wordpress upload path at it.
This is from Sara —> Can you introduce yourself for those who don’t know?
+1 – good idea.
And he’s the one who fixed the live stream, right? :)
What techniques are used to load balance database servers
How many database servers and databases per server are used on WordPress.com?
Please tell us how the WordPress.com differs from the multi-server multi-site WordPress.org website. Thanks!
Loved your answer, thanks! I still have a feeling that there’s something special in the infrastructure.
Barry you’re the best! :)
What’s the word on wordpress on windows/iis love it? Hate it? Recommend it? What’s being done if anything to drive more adoption on windows
Not really a Barry question, so I’ll answer: It’s a bit of a second class citizen, because it’s a small amount of users, and we don’t have good access to those dev environments. But Microsoft is very much pro-WordPress these days, and is eager to help us out, and it’s getting better.
What does your nginx config file look like?
Sorry, way too generic question. Skip this please!
Looks like it was skipped. So nyah!
I was talking to Barry about this. The summary is: LONG. :-)
Long is an understatement :)
We are building a member based community site that is focused on gathering a high number of unique subscribers posting and interacting on the site. Will there be a problem as we grow? Is there anything we need to prepare for? i.e. at a certain number of subscribers 10,000, 10million?
What nginx modules you use for caching?
Whats your opinion on running own servers vs using a service like Amazon? How many engineers do you guys have for maintaining (OS) updates etc?
Mark mentioned “the madness at WordPress.com” tell us about the “madness” part please ;)
When’s the new WP comment system coming out? DO WANT.
Highlander is still being tweaked/worked on but it will be coming to Jetpack at some point.
Thanks Viper :)
Alex, will it work with bbPress? ;)
What do you use for continuous deployment? Do you deploy to percentages and then if things don’t blow up you continue the deployment?
A fancy magic button.
Barry’s Answer: SVN UP. For server deployments, they use Servermattic. http://code.trac.wordpress.org/browser/servermattic
Are your services virtual or physical, and why?
Actually, I meant servers, not services. I’m dumb
Are there any significant disadvantages to running WordPress on Virtual Machines, versus dedicated hardware?
From a noob wordpress developer: What’s the best book/web resource you would recommend to read to help become a wordpress developing fiend?
Not really a question for Barry, so here: http://wordpress.org/about/books/.
Professional WordPress Plugin Development
Also good, particularly when starting out: http://www.amazon.com/Professional-WordPress-Wrox-Programmer/dp/0470560541
Where are you 3 data centers. Do you load balance by geo.
Chicago, Dallas, and San Antonio.
WordPress.com VIP summary page:
We serve most pages in under a tenth of a second from geographically diverse datacenters. There are multiple copies of every bit of data synced from Dallas to San Antonio to Chicago, and we back up your data hourly.
When I install themes I have to connect to our own database which is Apache, but when I put in my FTP info, I cannot select the Secure FTP option on the wordpress admin site, even though this is how I normally connect with dreamweaver. Can you tell me why that happens?
i meant web server not database
The FTPS (SSL) option only is available if you have the PHP FTP extension installed. The SSH2 option is only available if you have the PHP SSH extension installed. Basically, it determines what you can use based on what capabilities your PHP install has, and only gives you options that will work.
Thanks for the reply. I’ll check it out. Still don’t understand why wordpress core does not have this installed by default. It seems like it should automatically have that option.
Put simply: WordPress has the support out of the box, however, it’s likely your Servers PHP install which can’t handle it, WordPress thinks it can (and so is offering it) – but when push comes to shove, PHP says no.
Can a multi-network install contain itself?
Could you elaborate what you mean? Other than the apparent Inception reference.
That’s exactly what I meant :)
do you mean can you install another network in a network? other than the URLS, yes.
That joke sounded funnier in my head. Sorry :\
Inception Button: http://inception.davepedu.com/
Any plans to implement any pay-to-use features to WordPress.org and if so, what would we pay to receive that we do not already receive today (by using the free software)?
I highly doubt there would ever be paid services directly on WordPress.org.
Are you a member of WP dev/marketing team?
no, nor is there such a thing. There’s a core WordPress contribution team, which yes, I have contributed to WordPress. There’s a marketing team at Automattic, but they run WordPress.com not .org…
This isn’t a question for Barry, but no, the plan is for the software on WordPress.org to always be free.
Great, thank you. I just jumped in here via Twitter and sorry if I asked the “wrong” question =)
No plans to do that. I feel pretty strongly about this. Love that people monetize WordPress, but I want WordPress.org to be all about zero cost web publishing.
How many concurrent new user registrations can WordPress.com handle?
Maybe I should have phrased that how many new user registrations per second can wordpress.com handle? On a single server I have found a few hundred people registering at the same time crashes the site… wondering with your big infrastructure if you just don’t have that issue or if you stagger the handling of the registrations if you suddenly get big peak of people all registering at the same time. The use case is in schools where large classes are all registering a site at the same time on a multisite install.
Can you give us an overview on how your MySQL/database backend is set up?
Is there a good way to keep changes in one site from affecting other sites, other than multiple domains (cPanel for instance) or multiple VMs? (Way to have own database?)
what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Do you use virtulization.
Recently there was a WordPress upgrade that made PHP 5.2.4 a requirement. Can you at all foresee when that requirement will change?
There are two things you have to consider here. Adoption and advantage.
Adoption of new PHP versions by hosts is EXTREMELY slow. We finally dropped support for PHP 4 when we had less than 10% of sites still using it. It’s going to be a while before that makes sense again.
Additionally we ONLY did that because there were significant advantages to 5.2.4 over the previous 4.x requirement. For example, you won’t see a 5.2.4 -> 5.2.17 requirements bump because there’s not enough of an advantage to make it worth abandoning any users (even if it’s a small percentage).
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