"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." - Arnold Edinborough

Recently a post of mine was linked on yCombinator and for some reason a lot of the comments talked about the efficiency of WordPress. While it’s technically not related to the subject of the linked post I just want to point out that the performance of WordPress is pretty horrible regardless of whether you use Apache or nginx.

My friend Karl Blessing and I recently talked about WordPress caching plugins. He uses WP SuperCache and I use W3 Total Cache and he subsequently decided to do some WordPress caching benchmarks on the different methods. He’s done an awesome job and generated some pretty graphs for you to look at.

What I took away from the whole thing is that W3 Total Cache and WP SuperCache can offer similar performance if you’re willing to do static file caching, however, W3 Total Cache can offer a cleaner solution with caching in Memcached if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of performance. The benefit to this, and why I use this method, is that you don’t need complicated rules in your nginx (or Apache) configuration files.

  • Todd

    Posted: August 6, 2011

    Hi Martin,

    Just managed 10,600 req/s with Nginx + WP Super Cache on a default WordPress install using a Linode 512 VPS.

    Almost twice as fast as the W3 Total Cache plugin, no matter what combination of settings I used.

    And much faster than Varnish too (with full caching on). Reply

    • fjordvald

      Posted: August 7, 2011

      Yeah, but be honest with yourself, when are you ever going to need 10,600 requests per second for Wordpress? Or even half of that? Or even 1/10th of that? You won't, if you ever reach even 100 request per second then you will have one of the most popular blogs in the world and you will easily be able to afford another server.

      Now have a look at your Super Cache configuration, yeah... good luck adding anything else to that without breaking stuff. I really do understand the need to have things faster and the "oh my gosh it's so fast!" feeling, but realistically I'd rather have ease of maintenance over performance any day of the week. Reply

  • Phoenix Hunter

    Posted: August 2, 2014

    I recognize this is an old post. Super Cache's rigid setup is very passe. I get the same performance from Hyper Cache and WP Fastest Cache now. The latter is imho now the simplest and offers the core features of very clean combining + minifying CSS and JS, while also doing gzipping and browser caching (although these are best instigated from server side). W3 Total Cache for all its publicity has just become a clunker beast and impractical for most WP install that gain the same or more maintainability and performance from the likes of WP Fastest Cache. Reply

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