The running WordPress blogs on a well known domain is slow, if you don’t optimize for speed. As the requests are going through the full LAMP stack, caching stuff is the first stop. Second I don’t use apache as primary delivery webserver, I use nginx to do this. I have chosen this setup as it provides lots of performance and there is no need to change anything in the existing WordPress installation. Even experienced WordPress users do not see the difference on the WordPress side.

LAMP - Linux Apache MySQL PHP

LAMP – Linux Apache MySQL PHP

From LAMP to NVA

Classical LAMP setup uses following apache config for a webserver with name based virtual hosts:

##### start
Listen 80
LogFormat ”%V %v %h %l %u %t \”%r\” %>s %b \”%{Referer}i\” \”%{User−Agent}i\”” cvh
<VirtualHost >
  DocumentRoot /var/www/
  php_admin value open_basedir /var/www/
  ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/
  CustomLog ”|/sbin/cronolog −−symlink /var/log/apache2/ /var/log/apache2/ %Y−%m” cvh
##### ende
NVA - nginx varnish apache

NVA – nginx varnish apache

This is converted into the following apache config to fit into the NVA setup. As you see only the Listen port and the binding address have changed.

  <Directory "/var/www/web5/web">
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride All
    Order allow,deny
    allow from all
  DocumentRoot /var/www/web5/web
  ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log
  LogLevel warn
  CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log vhost_combined
  DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php index.php5 index.php4 index.php3 index.shtml index.cgi index.jsp Default.htm default.htm
  ScriptAlias  /cgi-bin/ /var/www/web5/cgi-bin/
  AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
  AddHandler cgi-script .pl
  ErrorLog /var/www/web5/log/error.log
  AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .php3 .php4 .php5
  php_admin_flag safe_mode On
  php_admin value open_basedir /var/www/
  AddType text/html .shtml
  AddOutputFilter INCLUDES .shtml
  Alias /error/ "/var/www/web5/web/error/"
  ErrorDocument 400 /error/invalidSyntax.html
  ErrorDocument 401 /error/authorizationRequired.html
  ErrorDocument 403 /error/forbidden.html
  ErrorDocument 404 /error/fileNotFound.html
  ErrorDocument 405 /error/methodNotAllowed.html
  ErrorDocument 500 /error/internalServerError.html
  ErrorDocument 503 /error/overloaded.html
  AliasMatch ^/~([^/]+)(/(.*))? /var/www/web5/user/$1/web/$3
  AliasMatch ^/users/([^/]+)(/(.*))? /var/www/web5/user/$1/web/$3
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}   ^www\.linux-pinguin\.de [NC]
  RewriteRule ^/(.*)         /$1 [L,R]
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}   ^linux-pinguin\.de [NC]
  RewriteRule ^/(.*)         /$1 [L,R]
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}   ^linuxpinguin\.de [NC]
  RewriteRule ^/(.*)         /$1 [L,R]

Now were do the request for are coming from? They come from our varnish caching daemon. Here is the smallest configuration for it:

backend default {
  host = ”localhost ”;
  port = ”8080”; # This need to be the same as the Apache vHost port listener !

varnish itself listens on port 6081, so we now need to know where varnish gets its requests from? They are coming from the nginx webserver. This is the configuration of the nginx:

###### start
server {
 listen 80; # Default listen port
 access_log /var/log/apache2/;
 gzip on; # Turn on gZip
 gzip_disable msie6;
 gzip_static on;
 gzip_comp_level 9;
 gzip_proxied any;
 gzip_types text/plain text/css application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

 location / {
  proxy_redirect off; # Do not redirect this proxy - It needs to be pass-through
  proxy_set_header Host $host;
  proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
  proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
  proxy_set_header X-Server-Address $server_addr;
  proxy_pass_header Set-Cookie;
  proxy_pass; # Pass all traffic through to Varnish
##### end

A newer post about the subject in my web server talk.