Monday, November 23, 2009

Perf Test

Today was the first real chance to see how our server performs under load.

A little background: as I've quipped before, the name of our strip is not without foundation in my work habits. I built this site from scratch instead of leveraging the much-used ComicPress WordPress plugin from our friend Tyler, who helped design this site. I know absolutely nothing about Linux, PHP, or MySQL, and that made me very nervous in terms of my ability to make a secure and performant site. You can trash-talk Windows all you like, but at least I know where all the knobs and levers are.

Anyway, my buddy Dick strongly encouraged me to make the site scale well at launch. His point was that the traffic for this strip was likely to be inherently burstier than my other one, and today he is proven right. His best piece of advice was to toss all our images onto Amazon S3, and so I did. I then delegated the Atom feed to Feedburner, and the email delivery to MailChimp. That means that the server only spends CPU cycles whipping up web pages, which is a better use of it. And since I turned the page caching way up, it really spends most of its time just serving pages from memory.

Long story short, the perf meter has hardly budged all day, despite some pretty serious traffic. So tell your friends - we can handle it.