I've got a serious bandwidth issue. My site is currently pushing 50,000 Uniques a day and 50GB a day. Its a wordpress based site with over 1000 articles, 1000 pieces of media and all that.

I've got two questions:

  1. Is there a better way of caching and managing this site that I just don't know about? Some sort of image manipulation script or something. I'm in no way a server guy, hence the need for help.

  2. If there isn't, I need a host that can handle 6 of these sites. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks to all for the help!

  • Unique whats? "that I just don't know about" - we can't answer that unless you tell us everything you know - or at least what architecture you currently have in place, and what your constraints are in terms of time and budget.
    – symcbean
    Mar 31 '11 at 14:07

I am a big fan of Cloudflare in cases like this. Cloudflare will act as a free CDN caching proxy for static files which allows your server to spend more of its time on other requests.

On an average blog I have seen it cut the number of requests to a server in half and the amount of bandwidth used dramatically as well.

Its a free service, so I would start with that and then look at more hardware or other options if you are still having issues.

  • Please be aware that we have 'spam finder' tools and although two of your four answers so far haven't had external links in them the other two have, enough to set off the alarms. We get a lot of spam posts here so take them seriously, I'm pretty sure you're not one of these hence the comment but be aware of our policy in this regard please.
    – Chopper3
    Mar 31 '11 at 7:56
  • Thanks, I have no financial relationship with the company mentioned. I work for a major hosting company and worked with them to integrate their service into our systems. I have used them to help large blogs and forums scale with positive results. I removed the link and will try and avoid posting too many other links.
    – n8whnp
    Mar 31 '11 at 8:57
  • Totally understand but like I say, two plugs in four posts is enough to set off bells on a new account, it's not that we don't like product links but obviously we get a lot of spam ones from people involved with those products - I know that's not the case this time but it would be wrong of me not to have mentioned it to you.
    – Chopper3
    Mar 31 '11 at 10:45
  • N8whnp, since you've worked with them, any chance you could help me get in contact? I have a feeling I'm going to need more than their "basic free" plan! Also, how exactly does this work, it caches static files automatically? As in, Amazon S3 that sits in front of my site and works automatically?
    – Tom
    Mar 31 '11 at 12:27
  • Tom, I would be happy to pass an email on. Cloudflare acts as a transparent proxy. It filters attacks and blocks bots from getting to your site. To keep things fast, they have multiple datacenters each caching the static content and then fetching dynamic content as requested. You point your DNS nameservers to their servers and they accept the traffic then get it from your server. No site changes are required.
    – n8whnp
    Apr 5 '11 at 5:56

Yes. There is a fairly easy way to lower the load. Use amazon S3 or another server to host all 'static' content, such as images. That should reduce the load by a lot. If you need help on how to do that, just ask.

  • I've set up amazon S3 and it was working for a time, but then S3 started rivaling my bill with my hosting company, which wasn't working at all! I've been pointed toward amazon's EC2 Solution, do you have any experience with that?
    – Tom
    Mar 31 '11 at 12:26
  • Have you checked to see if your current hosting provider offers CDN services with Akamai ? Logicworks I know offers Akamai CDN as a bundled package without having to deal with multiple vendors. Mar 31 '11 at 15:24
  • Owch. S3 is supposed to be pretty cheap, but I guess when you have traffic like that it might be a problem. You could also try to get cheap unlimited hosting just for static content. Mar 31 '11 at 18:01

I do a lot of work with large scale wordpress/drupal sites and as this issue comes up I would suggest that the best case will be working with a CDN provider and look no further then Akamai. They are the leaders in CDN delivery services, www.akamai.com. Not only will this drastically lower the costs of your bandwidth but it will greatly improve your performance and provide a added level of redundancy and coverage through the Akamai network.

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