[wp-hackers] Running a network

Shasta Willson shastaw at gmail.com
Sun Dec 30 20:11:12 UTC 2012

I've been having an issue with site speed for some time.  My site is a
commerce site with subdomain sites for author's book creation.
(Litsam.com)  At first I blamed wp e-commerce, which surely loads a
lot of files, but moving to another shopping cart didn't help.  I also
realized that it was often the very first http call that would take a
long time -- up to 19 seconds once, but not infrequently in the 5-15
seconds range. That suggested that reducing the number of files being
loaded or other standard optimizations wouldn't help.

So then I decided it was the host I'd moved to and I started a move to
another new host. Things on the main commerce site were spiffy-fast at
the new host right up until I realized my network wasn't actually
active because I hadn't turned on wildcard domains.  As soon as I did
that the site started to exhibit the same behaviour. Sometimes it was
fine, but periodically it was definitely not fine.

So that's two hosts that were doing ok until I turned on networking.

I've been trying to work up the gumption to research server/wildcard
configurations. If I wanted to be a sysadm, I would have been one.

But today I found another apparently network-related issue that leaves
me wondering how to configure a Wordpress subdomain network install so
that it isn't a resource hog. It must be possible, as I know people
are using this feature commercially...

About a year ago I set up a prototype site for a client who wanted to
use some fancy image transitions, so I installed skitter
(http://thiagosf.net/projects/jquery/skitter/). Initial experiments
went fine but the project lapsed for half a year, and when she was
ready to pick it up I'd gotten "organized" and started using a
subdomain network to host my prototypes, rather than freestanding
installs for each one.  I moved her over to the new system for

Immediately I had problems with skitter. Some effects never worked,
though they worked on the skitter site.  Others were jumpy and
unreliable.  I wasted a half a dozen hours trying different versions
of jquery, making sure I was using exactly the same versions of all
the files as the skitter site, etc. Nothing helped.

Until I moved the site to a freestanding Wordpress install (off the
network) to go live.  Suddenly skitter is working perfectly again.

This suggests to me that simply having a network is somehow impacting
performance enough to cause the fairly intensive animation system to
fail. It's not a script conflict -- I spent hours ensuring that --
it's actually the exact same code running fine in a lone Wordpress
site and failing in a networked subdomain site.

Anyone else had this kind of problem, or have any suggestions?
Currently the only plans I've come up with for my main commerce site
are either to throw more server resources at the problem and see it if
goes away, or to redesign it so that I'm not using a subdomain

I'd rather fix it, if a fix exists.

- Shasta

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