Need help with managing a memorial page on a Wordpress site.
October 24, 2011 6:40 AM   Subscribe

I run a Worpress site, hosted by Dreamhost. We are about to make a memorial announcement. This will drive a lot of traffic to the site, including hundreds of comments and potentially thousands of hits. I am the only one who runs the site and I need to be prepared. What do I need to do?

I am worried about comment spam, site security (our site was recently hacked and I had to rebuild it...I'm backing everything up again right now), approving comments, speed/efficiency, as well as all the other stuff I'm probably not aware of. I'm a novice at website admin stuff, but fairly ok with computers/tech in general.

I am also in the UK, so I can't easily phone up Dreamhost and discuss changes with them.

I'm doing all this through tears, so I'm trying to cover my bases now, before the flood and even less coherent thinking.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry for your loss. In anticipation of the volume, you might place a note on the site that comments are being moderated in batches, to please allow time for them to show up. This'd take the pressure off you to camp out on the queue. Also, is there anyone else who could share comment moderation duties with you temporarily?
posted by jquinby at 6:47 AM on October 24, 2011

One thing to check (if you haven't already) would be to make sure that Wordpress and any plugins it uses are fully up to date. It should be obvious on the main Dashboard page if there are any updates to install. The latest versions of WP update automatically (you just click a button) so it's pretty easy to do.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:51 AM on October 24, 2011

Disableregistration. Install WPSupercache. Use Akismet for comment approval and keep an eye on what it is approving and rejecting to make sure it is working.
posted by michaelh at 6:53 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Akismet does a good job of filtering out spam. You do have it installed and working?

There are a couple of cache plugins that may help you withstand a larger than usual volume of visitors.

As a last resort and a way to feel like you've got all your bases covered, make a plain HTML file by hand in advance. If traffic starts to overwhelm the server and the cache plugins aren't working for some reason, upload the HTML file yourself to the appropriate URL.
posted by jsturgill at 6:55 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Everything everyone has said is good advice (caching especially), but "...hundreds of comments and potentially thousands of hits" is nothing that the server will even notice. Unless you're talking THOUSANDS of comments and tens or even hundreds of thousands of hits you don't need to worry. Even any small dedicated server can handle hundreds of comments and potentially thousands of hits, and nothing at DH is small, so there will not be a problem.

Don't worry about the site, just worry about everything else you need to deal with at this point.
posted by Blake at 7:22 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Blake makes a good point; if you have other things to do today you might be okay. However, the suggestions in this thread should be done at some point because they are good practices -- and you never know when something will unexpectedly go viral and cause serious server strain.
posted by michaelh at 9:40 AM on October 24, 2011

If you were worried about crippling traffic, I would put the offending post or related pics, etc, onto s3. At 10 cents a Gb, it's not going to get any cheaper. There are myriad posts about there about how to redirect overflow traffic to s3.
posted by TomMelee at 10:48 AM on October 24, 2011

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