Cloud Powered WordPress

Cloud Powered WordPress

Darren Rush spoke about Cloud Powered WordPress at WordCamp La. Darren is a serial entrepreneur who is currently working on Koders.com, breitbart.com and biggovernment.com. His talk was geared towards wordpress performance, search and user experience.

Darren really emphasized the importance of cloud servers to help improve your site’s performance. Cloud servers allows you to utilize multiple (thousands) of servers to handle spikes of your traffic. You pay only for bandwidth, not the hardware. Rackspace just launched cloud serving in late 2008 and Amazon is one of the largest. I like to use MediaTemple, based in Los Angeles for my cloud hosting.

Darren also spoke about the importance of search. It is a critical part of your site’s uer experience. Search often gets pushed to the side because it is isn’t visually appealing. There are some good search plugins: sphinx, lijit and solr are some of them.

Solr hasn’t been adopted by the wordpress community yet. It was initially built for cnet, netflix, digg, aol and some other huge sites. The reason why it doesn’t work well with WordPress is that it’s based on java. PowCloud, a cloud hosting company does offer Solr with their hosting packages.

A good search function should have:

  • Ajax – autocomplete
  • Did you mean auto completing
  • Suffix checking

If your site gets a ton of comments, then you may want to look into a cloud comment vendor. Automattic purchased intense debate, and disqus and echo are also in the space. Most of these tools are free right now.