Wordcamp New Zealand – Scaling Servers

On the 22nd of April, I (Liz) was lucky enough to be able to speak on scaling WordPress and servers at the New Zealand WordCamp.

The people there were great, and i ended up meeting and talking to many fascinating people about all sorts of code, servers, set ups among other things.
I was a little nervous that i only had 30 minutes to fit in a lot of information, and i had to dumb it down a fair bit for those with less technical knowledge to make it understandable.

I did manage to fit the talk in with no problems at all, it only took 45 mins, plus question time! Nobody seemed to notice the missing 15 minutes from their clocks luckily, and everyone appeared to understand and have great questions about how it worked.

Because scaling is really specific, the hardest part i came up against was really trying to describe something, and explain something, in a way that was non-specific. Anyone who knows servers, knows that there is no one solution to suit everyone. How ever there are a few common areas you can usually look into.

For WordPress one of the bet things you can do is deactivate and DELETE any unused plugins or themes. Get a developer to check them, a broken one can take down your entire server easily! Not deleting them leaves a potential security hole should that plugin be discontinued, those files are still accessible via the web remember!

A few things identified were setting up things like a Cache (or Cache Plugin), enabling the wordpress object cache in wp-config, and moving as many things offsite as possible.
By moving things offsite, i mean things like video content, photos, music etc.
Why spend hours of your time setting up a shockwave/html5 video player, converters, and using disk space to play video when you can just use youtube? This is what they do for a living, they have extensive programmers who specialize in this, so it stands to reason they are very good at it, and it will save you a lot of money and time.

The same method works for Photography, Music, or any other large files if you can do it. It will save you a lot of pain and money later on down the track.

Another key thing for scaling a single server larger is setting up HyperDB, then having 2 separate databases on other servers. This offloads database offsite, but without the difficulty of having to setup MySQL replication.

If you are using WordPress and want to know more, check here for your nearest WordCamp http://central.wordcamp.org/

WordPress Widget for Google+ posts

If you want a wordpress plugin that feeds your PUBLIC posts to your blog in a widget – test mine for me and let me know how that works for you

go into ‘Add plugin’ and search for ‘google plus feed widget’ and it should be at the top (made by Liz Quilty). Direct link is http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-plus-feed-widget/

Unzip into your plugins dir. Enable the plugin in wordpress, then go to your widgets menu. Drag it where ever you want it, and make sure you add your Google ID into its config (otherwise it defaults to mine).

Let me know any bugs, addons or similar required .

See it working just over there —>>

Syndicating your Google Plus Feed into your WordPress Blog


Somebody mentioned that it was hard/impossible to do this, and i know that a few people will want to. So i figured i would hunt about and see if it was possible, and it is! It’s not even too difficult!

First of all, go to http://plusfeed.appspot.com/ – it gives you an rss feed of all your public posts (this will only work for public posts sorry). My URL for my rss feed is http://plusfeed.appspot.com/114228869493885222559 , yours will look similar, just grab the id number from your profile page URL and add it after the domain.

Now go to your WordPress , login, to go Plugins > Add New . Search for and find the plugin called FeedWordPress and install/activate it.
Now it should show you your feed in that syndication tab, you can click the ‘update now’ button to load the last few posts.

Now you will notice a new menu bottom left called ‘Syndication’, click on that, then add in the URL above from plusfeed.appspot.com into the box named “New source”. It will confirm the look/feel, and add it.
Now you can click the ‘update’






Now click on the Feeds and Updates menu below it, look for the drop down box and choose ‘Look for updates after page loads’. You can do updates before the page loads, but this means if a person comes to your blog they are sitting waiting for the page to load whilst it does background grabbing of data.
From here you are away working, feel free to fiddle with other settings.


I found i prefer the link to go to the blog post rather than link to the google+ link, so i go to Posts and Links menu, and scroll down to Links, then choose ‘The local copy on this website’