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I'm running a Wordpress site with about 8.000 hits per day, which occasionally spikes to 12.000 hits. I'm currently considering a VPS server. My setup is WP with Apache and MySQL. Can anyone recommend how much memory would be sufficient in this situation?

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8 hits and 12 hits? or do you really mean 8K and 12K? –  jer.salamon Sep 27 '10 at 13:26
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@jer - In many countries outside of the United States, a period is used as the delimiter in digit grouping in large numbers, not a comma. –  MDMarra Sep 27 '10 at 13:38
    
It is in European number format jer.salamon –  Dave Drager Sep 27 '10 at 13:39
    
interesting thanks –  jer.salamon Sep 27 '10 at 13:52
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And comma used to delimit decimals. Pretty crazy. That's the sort of confusion that crashes space shuttles... –  dunxd Sep 27 '10 at 14:00
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

No one can completely answer your question without knowing details about your install, such as what plugins you are running and the memory requirements of each plugin.

Wordpress does not scale well without some sort of Caching plugin. W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are both great plugins that will let your site scale much beyond a default Wordpress install. These plugins essentially minimize the dynamic PHP compilation and SQL hits and instead serve HTML files.

It then becomes a calculation much like any other busy web server. How many images are coming off of your server? Is output gzipped? Are you planning for future growth? Many factors go into how fast the website will serve up and how much RAM you will need.

That being said, at your current size I think I would go with at least 1GB of RAM, assuming you use a caching plugin and have minimal graphics serving off of your server. However there are big caveats above.

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Thank you for your reply! We're currently using about 27 plugins, including WP Super Cache. We also use WP Super Cache on the WP level, and eAccelerator is enabled on PHP. We're also planning on growing a bit beyond the current load. So would 2gb then be a good idea? –  user55398 Sep 27 '10 at 13:40
    
27! I try to minimize the number of plugins because, depending on the plugin, they can really slow down a site! Do you have access to current memory usage wherever you are? That is the most accurate way to see what you might need. I know it depends on your budget and how much the site generates, but I would spring for a dedicated server if possible. If not, you could always get 2GB and then upgrade - with a VPS it is 'easy' to upgrade RAM. –  Dave Drager Sep 27 '10 at 13:43
    
Got it! I'll try to minimize the amount of plugins used, but I think 2gb is (or at least will be in the near future) required for this site. Thank you for your advice! –  user55398 Sep 27 '10 at 14:21
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I run a site that has similar numbers but also an enormous database with >50k posts and as many comments. We also run some expensive taxonomy queries on most screens so it works our database pretty hard. Without tuning we'd be totally screwed, but as it is we have a dedicated webserver using 8gb of ram and a database server with 4gb.

I know we could optimize further, and if your content isn't as huge a lot less memory is needed. I would recommend starting with at least 2gb if not 4 if you want to be able to grow your traffic further. Extra ram also lets you tweak your Apache/MySQL configurations more freely, so you can optimize load times better than if you have just enough ram to get by.

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I would look at the database layer since your Wordpress performance encounters will usually hit the database layer first. Out of curiosity is the CMS and the Database installed on the same server? Usually if that is the case then you will want to make sure you have a LUN carved out for the database. Make sure the database is innodb as opposed to myisaim to avoid potential performance problems and also that memcaching is enabled and set defined.

Take a look at Jmeter to benchmark the performance of the machine if this is a dev box or during a maintenance window and that should give a good indication of how it handles during peak times. http://jakarta.apache.org/jmeter/

If you need any help please reach out to me, best of luck.

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I don't think you'll need more than 1024MB.

Take a look at: http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/yes-you-can-run-18-static-sites-on-a-64mb-link-1-vps/.

Although as mentioned, it does depend on how many plugins ETC you have.

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