John Paul Ashenfelter

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WordPress and Joyent, Sitting in a Tree

February 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment · blog, tech

I’ll be honest upfront that I have a love/hate relationship with Joyent.

One the plus side, I have 3 lifetime accounts — yes, lifetime. When TextDrive, the original company, was bootstrapping themselves, they took the unusual step of offering several rounds of VC (venture capital) lifetime hosting accounts. Breakeven point compared to monthly hosting was about 16months as I remember so considering I’m on year 5(?) I think I’m pretty ahead of the game.

For those that care, I have the equivalent of two Shared Accelerator accounts and one Dedicated (M) Sized Accelerator. Since Joyent bought TextDrive, everything has migrated from FreeBSD to their Solaris based virtual machines (sort of like Xen on Linux). I finally migrated my FreeBSD boxes onto their Shared Solaris machines this month and restarted my long dormant WordPress blog.

Install on the Shared Accelerator was a breeze! The VirtualMin control panel has an install script for WordPress 2.8.5 which then could autoupdate itself to 2.9.x. The only problem is that WordPress on Shared Joyent Accelerators is so slow as to be unusable. Seems like there’s plenty in the forums about it. And by unusable I mean 5-15s (SECONDS!) to render a simple WP post. Admin side could take well over 30-60s. I installed WP-SuperCache and basically had no real improvement. #fail.

Fortunately I had the Dedicated Accelerator. Turns out WP actually runs pretty well on that machine. It’s dedicated space, so it *should* run faster, but my Shared FreeBSD server ran circles around the equivalent Solaris server as well. Chalk it up to shared hosting and it’s resource sharing versus dedicated resources for virtual machines.

Of course I had to manually install everything and then fight a bit with permissions to get everything working. Seems like PHP hasn’t changed *that* much in the years I’ve been avoiding it! But you’re looking at the final result — my personal ashenfelter.com site and my corporate transitionpoint.com site both running WordPress on a Solaris virtual machine.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Jeff Rine

    Found this article while searching Google for “joyent slow sites”. My two blogs running WordPress on a Shared Accelerator have been inaccessible for most of the day. The last time this happened Tech Support said the culprit was a Rails app hogging server resources. I am beginning to think Joyent would rather I talk my small amount of business elsewhere. Looking at MT as a possible replacement host.

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