Garry Conn

Why I Stopped Using WordPress

Something about Linux highly interests me. So much to the point where for the last ten years it has practically consumed my mind and thoughts (need therapy much?) ... What operating system do you know of that will enable a 10 year old computer dug out from the garbage to run faster, better and more efficient than a brand new one running Windows 7? Or actually for that matter, what operating system do you know that will even run faster, better and more efficient when installed on an old system compared to a new one? Surely not Microsoft Windows?

Think about it for a minute: When was the last time you tried to install Windows Vista or Windows 7 on a Pentium II system with 128 MB of memory? Yet, for some magical reason I can install and configure Linux to run faster, better and more efficient on a Pentium II system than Microsoft Windows 7 on a brand new system. Why? Well, the answer is simple... Windows sucks! and so do new computers for that matter.

So now that I have set the tone and declared my opinion about how I feel (haven't even scratched the surface -- don't get me started -- need to keep this on topic) here are my issues with WordPress. Firstly, I do want to say that WordPress IS a really cool application. It's completely free, widely supported internally and by thousands of volunteer supporters. It's also said, that approximately 1 out of every 10 websites online today are powered by WordPress. So to me, that needs to be acknowledged.

However, part of the reason why I threw that Microsoft comment in above is because WordPress seems the be trending the same way as Windows. Windows XP was (still is) amazing. It literally revolutionized the computing industry for consumers as well as businesses. But, Microsoft had to go fuck things up by creating Windows Vista. Prior to XP they had to rush and release Windows ME. You might not have even heard of that one -- if that's the case then Microsoft is very happy. Anyway, the point is that after XP things really went down the tubes with the quality and craftsmanship with Microsoft operating systems. It's like the developers don't care. They are sloppy because they don't have to worry about making their operating system work inside a small box.

Here's what I mean by that: Back in the 80's Atari released hundreds of really amazing games. Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, PacMan, Pole Position, etc... These games were very advanced and very ahead of their times. They occuppied the minds of kids (and adults with kids-like mentalities) for hours upon hours each day. But, developers had a HUGE cloud of their heads when designing these games. They were always challenged with making a game fit into a cartridge or 5.25 IN floppy disk. What does that mean to me? Well, that means that in order to make things work, developers had to be extremely efficient with their coding. I mean, how else could you transfer your entire vision of a videogame into a floppy?

What does this all have to do with WordPress and Microsoft? Well, think about what I have been saying. Linux will run on just about type of device you can think of that has a CPU chip. Windows will only run on systems that have enough resources to power NASA. WordPress is becoming the Microsoft of open source CMS software. And that goes against my standards. What are my standards you may ask? Simple... and I am glad you asked:

  1. Find discarded computers on side of curb
  2. Clean and remove dust from computer
  3. Remove all unnecessary devices that consume and waste power (i.e. CD Rom Drive, Floppy Drive, usless blinking lights, etc.
  4. Reduce weight by removing all unnecessary metal objects such as extra screws, hard drive bays, spare PCI metal slot brackets, extra case fans... um, the case itself
  5. Install Linux and setup and setup as headless
  6. Stick it in a closet, basement, attic, or crawlspace
  7. Power it up, connect it to your network and then forget about it for the next 20 years

I can't do that if I decide to use WordPress. The systems I use are old. They don't have the available system resources. But then also... why should they? There is no reason why I should be forced to have systems that are powerful enough to launch rockets in order to power a simple website. And that is what is becoming of WordPress. Here's some stats:

Server Stats With ONE VISITOR Hitting a WordPress Site

Below shows the top results illustrating the resource demands just from ONE visitor hitting a WordPress site on my server. You're looking for apache2 and mysqld.

[email protected]:~# top

top - 08:09:20 up 22:31,  2 users,  load average: 0.45, 0.14, 0.09
Tasks: 132 total,   7 running, 125 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 76.2%us,  4.1%sy,  0.0%ni, 19.5%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.2%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   1424600k total,   713116k used,   711484k free,   134452k buffers
Swap:  9765880k total,        0k used,  9765880k free,   279024k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
10981 www-data  20   0 62688  28m 5640 R   34  2.1   0:05.38 apache2
10992 www-data  20   0 66336  32m 5560 R   28  2.3   0:02.85 apache2
10993 www-data  20   0 64240  30m 5508 R   26  2.2   0:02.25 apache2
10994 www-data  20   0 64228  30m 5512 R   20  2.2   0:02.24 apache2
10989 www-data  20   0 64212  29m 5504 S   18  2.2   0:01.82 apache2
11007 www-data  20   0 56780  21m 3964 R   16  1.5   0:00.49 apache2
11008 www-data  20   0 57040  21m 3968 R   16  1.5   0:00.49 apache2
 1435 mysql     20   0  123m  40m 6596 S    1  2.9   2:57.40 mysqld
10990 root      20   0  2464 1184  900 R    1  0.1   0:00.38 top
    1 root      20   0  2032  708  616 S    0  0.0   0:02.55 init
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.02 migration/0
    4 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.64 ksoftirqd/0
    5 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 watchdog/0
    6 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.02 migration/1
    7 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.71 ksoftirqd/1
    8 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 watchdog/1

Server Stats Results With ONE VISITOR Hitting a Static PHP Site

Below shows the top stats results illustrating the resource demands just from ONE visitor hitting a static PHP written site on my server.

[email protected]:~# top

top - 08:08:01 up 22:30,  2 users,  load average: 0.01, 0.05, 0.07
Tasks: 129 total,   1 running, 128 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 14.1%us,  0.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 85.6%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   1424600k total,   628516k used,   796084k free,   134400k buffers
Swap:  9765880k total,        0k used,  9765880k free,   279048k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
10927 www-data  20   0 64208  30m 5684 S    1  0.2   0:16.35 apache2
 2160 root      20   0  2464 1188  900 R    1  0.1   6:48.28 top
 1240 ntp       20   0  4664 1908 1496 S    0  0.1   0:05.24 ntpd
 1435 mysql     20   0  123m  40m 6596 S    0  2.9   2:57.15 mysqld
 1514 list      20   0 10620 7020 2540 S    0  0.5   0:15.59 python
 1519 list      20   0 10528 6968 2540 S    0  0.5   0:14.47 python
    1 root      20   0  2032  708  616 S    0  0.0   0:02.55 init
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.02 migration/0
    4 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.64 ksoftirqd/0
    5 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 watchdog/0
    6 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.02 migration/1
    7 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.70 ksoftirqd/1
    8 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 watchdog/1
    9 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:01.90 events/0
   10 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:01.64 events/1
   11 root      20   0     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 cpuset

That's a pretty significant difference if you asked me. One visitor on the WordPress site literally for a moment consumes 100% of the CPU and 17% available memory. With those stats, I really hope I do NOT get a WordPress post landing the front page of Digg. However, with the static PHP site -- this site in fact -- one visitor takes up probably less than 1% of the CPU and 0.2% available memory.

My web server is an old Compaq Proliant ML350 running with dual Pentium III 1.0 GHz CPUs and 1.5 GB PC133 memory. It's located in the closet in my home office and is plugged into The Matrix (joking... Internet) via a standard residential ISP connection. Yet with the way I have my system configured and how I choose to code things I am able to webmaster sites that load up quicker than other sites hosted on servers that cost in excess of $99 / month for web hosting.

Here is an example: My system information page loads up in .8 seconds, is registered as a page that loads up 92% faster than other tested sites and has a 100/100 performance grade. The page you are currently reading loads up in .7 seconds and is said to load up 93% faster than other sites tested. Sadly though the performance grade score is 79/100. That's due to my choice of displaying Google AdSense ads. You can thank Google for slowing my performance grade, not me!