WordPress…. ah I love you. I hate you. But I need you.
OK, I’m sorry. Just ignore me when I start doing that.
If your WordPress is setup correctly — and by correctly, I mean having a design that is correctly coded and plugins that function as promised — it should be able to tolerate a substantial amount of traffic. I highly recommend only installing plugins that are necessary, nothing more and nothing less.
With that being said there are some essentials. Their functionality is needed to assist your CMS setup and I’ve tested them out and have active proof they work well when having to deal with a lot of traffic.
These plugins are as follows:
Akismet: Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.
Disqus Comment System: The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus. Head over to the Comments admin page to set up your Disqus Comment System.
PHP Code Widget: Like the Text widget, but it will take PHP code as well. Heavily derived from the Text widget code in WordPress.
WordPress SEO: The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
That’s all you need! Four plugins – one to control SPAM, one to handle comments, one to display PHP code and one to enhance your SEO. But wait…
You don’t use a caching plugin?!?! Are you an idiot?!?! How popular is this website?!?!
No, I do not use a caching plugin. I have before and they always cause problems with scripts I have installed. They always — always — give me problems. Look, if you want to use a caching plugin, do it! Who am I to stop you? WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are there waiting on you! You can configure them and in some cases, get them to work.
But they always give me problems.
Am I an idiot? It depends on who you ask. How popular is this website? It did 21,877 (uniques) and 239,612 (page views) yesterday.
Along with a modified server setup, I use Google Page Speed (formerly used CloudFlare and they are who I recommend, but I’ll get into that in another post), WordPress and these plugins. I have a few not listed but they are software-specific and not by any means “essential.”
That’s it. With a proper server setup and these plugins, your website will be able to function with WordPress at high levels of traffic.