[resolved] Large Multi-Site Online newspaper - right track? (27 posts)

  1. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    We are using WordPress Multi-site to operate a string of newspapers over multiple cities. We are using sub-folders setup.

    Each City is it's own online newspaper. We use categories and WP-Multi-post plugin to organize the content on each site.

    The benefit of multi-site is that we have one log-in dashboard for writers and editors to enter their stories. Then they use the Wp Multi-post plugin to send the story to the applicable city or cities (local news to one city, provincial news to multiple cities, national news to all cities). They also assign the post a category. Then on the individual sites we use categories to control how it is displayed.

    We post 7-12 articles a day across the network of sites. Currently have well over 2000 articles on most of the cities (14 cities and growing). Database size is around 320 MB.

    Running on a VPS linux server with WHM and Cpanel.

    Currently seem to be having some issues with the server crashing. My host provider has been excellent in response time and making adjustments, but lately we have been tracking the problems to actual things we are doing on the site (ran Wp-optimize, was uploading large file and then canceled mid-upload, tried to backup complete Database using Wp-Backup plugin, etc).

    We are getting some kind of problem about once every day or two.

    Any advice???

  2. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I know you will probably say shut off plugins and see what happens. Well if we shut off plugins, the site loses functionality and we can't have that happen as we turn one on at a time over 2-3 weeks waiting for server to crash.

    These are the plugins we currently have:
    Advanced Export for WordPress & WordPress MU
    Contact Form 7
    GAM Shortcode
    Get the Image
    Google Analyticator
    Google News XML Sitemap
    Multipost MU
    Page Tagger
    WordPress Database Backup
    WordPress SEO by Yoast

  3. brasofilo
    Posted 4 years ago #

  4. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thanks Brasofilo :) Some good info indeed and will help as I go forward.

    Any suggestions on how I am using multi-site or whether there is a better option?


  5. Depends on what's crashing. Is it the server or the database? What's causing the crash?

    I would consider turning on server side caching for PHP, as well as some caching plugins (like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache).

  6. Running on a VPS linux server with WHM and Cpanel.

    Not enough relevant info. How much RAM? Can you tweak default Apache settings for threading How much memory is allocated to MySQL?

    Lotsa stuff you can do here.

    Also: learn ssh, have someone sit and watch the server using top. Usually you can figure out generally what actions are going on as you watch the server go down.

    /voice of experience

  7. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thanks for chiming in Andrea, I was hoping you would respond.
    My server guy has been analyzing each time something happened and fixing or tweaking things (Caching, other settings, etc).

    What I would like your opinion on is using WordPress Multi-site for this type of deployment - am I on the right track. Or am I going to have problems as I grow.

    We really like the fact that we can log in to the core site and multi-post to all or whichever paper an article needs to show up on. But what it does is create many copies of articles as about 70% of the content can be posted on more than one site. About 30% is posted to all sites.

    In the core 'blog' on the main site we have about 7400 posts, and on the other 14 sites we run between 2-3000 posts each.

  8. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Take a look at the site if you wish - http://beaconnews.ca

  9. You still haven;t said how mch RAM you have available. It;s kind of important.

  10. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    1.5 GB Ram running on the Xen platform.
    We have enabled query caching for mysql (24MB total cache,1MB cache per query max). have also enabled thread caching for mysql. Using NOOP as the i/o scheduler.

    Hope that helps.

  11. Do you know yet if it's the DB or the CPU that's blowing up?

    If it's CPU, have you done any SERVER caching? APC for example? Zend eaccelerator?

  12. So you have tons of ram. Good.

    We really like the fact that we can log in to the core site and multi-post to all or whichever paper an article needs to show up on.

    Now the next time someone does this, have your server guy sit and watch. Do things blow up? then it;s your multi post plugin.

  13. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Ipstenu - it is the server (CPU) that crashes.

    Andrea - crashes are usually happening when I am either backing up the database or optimizing (using WP-optimize) the database.

    But again, would like your input on the long term viability of this type of site - where we post to the core blog all the articles, and then spread the content out over other sites. Looking to expand to 25 sites this week (from 14). Currently over 7000 posts in core blog and 2-3000 in each of the other existing sites.

    How big can I get??

    we will be increasing by 60-100 posts per week.
    So in a year will be over 12,000 posts in core blog and 3-4000 in each of the other sites.


  14. crashes are usually happening when I am either backing up the database or optimizing (using WP-optimize) the database.

    For starters, stop using a plugin to optimize your DB :) Do it the 'right' way, via mysql commandline or phpMyAdmin instead, and see if that helps.

    Also how are you doing backups? If it's a plugin, you may need to consider using server tools instead of plugins, which, yeah, I can totally see them doing this.

    I'd think size-wise you're okay. I mean, WordPress.com runs Multisite.

  15. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thanks Ipstenu - will do that.
    What about cleaning out post revisions and old Spam that WP-optimize also does - how do you suggest I do that?

  16. Akismet itself auto-turfs spam after a month if you turn that on.

    As for post revisions, you could start with limited them in your wp-config.


    I keep mine to 3 or 5 on most sites.

  17. crashes are usually happening when I am either backing up the database or optimizing (using WP-optimize) the database.

    If you are doing that via WP plugins, your db is now officially too large to do it from within WP.

    Do it command line and server side or start splitting up the dbs.

  18. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    We do editing on almost every post, so there is always revisions. Need to keep some - so was thinking of setting it at 2-3.
    BUT - that would still add 2-3X the amount of posts in the wp_posts table.
    So how to clean them out.
    I use wp-optimize to clean them out now on the weekend after all editing has been done for the week.
    Any suggestions on regularly cleaning up old revisions on a weekly basis?

    Andrea - yes - my server tech is setting up a database optimization server side to do this.

  19. How do you clean out revisions without whacking the ones for your in-progress posts?

    I'd probably use cron and have it purge the DB directly via a shell script though.

  20. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Usually no in-progress posts after the end of the week so Saturday night or Sunday I can go in and clean out the revisions.

    Where would I get more info on how to set up that cron job?

  21. Either by reverse engineering the plugin to see what it does, putting that in a shell script, and scheduling a cron kick off Sunday am at 3, or...

    http://www.ambrosite.com/blog/clean-up-wordpress-revisions-using-a-mysql-multi-table-delete has a really nice explanation of the whole thing. Toss that in a script :)

    Cron itself is amazeballs powerful.

  22. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    ok - will need to work on that - but can see the logistics of it. - thanks

    On another note - my Uploads file is huge and growing with all the images we put in posts.

    Any options??

  23. Is it duplicating the images when you push the post out to the other sites, or does it link back to home base?

    You might want to consider a CDN or non WordPress storage for the media. Then just include the images as 'external' images.

  24. zedbiz
    Posted 4 years ago #

    No thank heavans they are not duplicating for every multi-site city.

    What is a CDN?

    External storage and linking - how would that work for thumbnails and category page images? Would it still make a copy locally of the two different sizes?


  25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_delivery_network

    You'd basically store all the thumbnails on another server. Like Amazon's cloud or such.

  26. Maraki
    Posted 3 years ago #

    i am thinking of following the same approach... what I don't like is the fact that you duplicate content across many sites.. that's adding unnecessary load to the database and could also affect SEO..

    is there a workaround for this?

    couldn't you just point the menus of the duplicate content to the same location..

  27. zedbiz
    Posted 3 years ago #

    You could, but I want the user to stay on the local site, so that they feel they are on a local paper, and the ads and other content (pages) are all related to that local city.

    What I am working on is using a cron job to delete older posts and non-city specific posts so that after 30 days the only content left on each individual city is specific to that city.
    Then when they search older content it would link them back tot he master site.

    Also, so far Google has picked up our content as we get 70% of our traffic thru SEO. So they are fine with the duplicate copies of the stories.

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