WordPress.com makes a million, blogs that is
Congrats to the lads at Automattic on their anytime-now millionth sign up on WordPress.com. The company is the dark horse in the entire blog hosting business and they quietly go about doing their thing. And other than the long-forgotten misdemeanor of placing some icky ads on the WordPress homepage, Matt’s hardly put a foot wrong in recent times. And for a ‘virtual’ company (there is no real office these guys work from), they have accomplished some amazing feats:
1) Use cheap hardware and mostly open source software to deliver performance and reliability that far outstrips any expensive solution out there. The list of software used reads something like this: Debian/Ubuntu, PHP, MySQL, Litespeed, Pound, Wackamole, Spread, Nagios, Munin, Monit, NFS, Postfix, MyDNS. How often have you read about an unplanned outage on WordPress.com? You can get an idea of their set up at Barry’s blog.
2) Scaling out PHP and MySQL to support an operation of this scale. Okay, it is not quite the LAMP stack (Litespeed instead of Apache, read Matt’s comments here on the subject), but it does make the case that PHP, when done right can do incredibly well, both in terms of scale and performance, which is only augmented by this post by Steve Grimm on the Memcached list about Facebook’s architecture.
3) WordPress.com also has what could arguably be called the best user contributed text content repository online at this moment. There is such a wide variety of content — from technology to adult — that is of a pretty good quality. Excellent and pro-active policing of illegal content has also ensured that there is little spam within the network, a problem that is a growing problem on Blogspot.
With 7.5 million daily page views and 45 million unique visitors, they look more like an acquisition target by any of the big boys who would be drowning in a pool of drool of envy after seeing those numbers. Any guesses as to who they might be talking to/have already turned down?
In any case, way to go guys and keep the good stuff pouring in!
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