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I manage a site that gets about 50 million hits a month. It's a Wordpress site, load balanced over 6 servers, and has a varnish caching system setup.

Right now, 95 - 97% of the time, page views hit the cache. The only time it serves up a new page from the server is when a new story is created, or someone is logged in looking at the stories and commenting.

What I am trying to figure out is that if I move over to Facebook Comments or Disqus commenting, and get rid of the users entirely, will that lighten the load? I would think it would because the only time you would be hitting the server, and not the cache, is when you're logged in - which only the admins would be.

I know it's only 2.5 - 3% but I wasn't 100% sure.

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50M/month is 25 requests per second... with Varnish and a very decent cache hit percentage, needing 6 servers seems a little nutty... –  ceejayoz Jan 12 '12 at 15:54
Actually it's 5 with an ad server...but your right. I have actually just started cleaning up a lot the old code, which is helping. Currently there are 266 requests...10 of those from the server. Most from CDN or outside like FB or YT. –  sublet Jan 12 '12 at 16:48
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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 12 '12 at 15:38

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2 Answers

Generally speaking, yes, off-loading comments will reduce your load pretty much inherently, since WordPress won't be dealing with the overhead of saving the comments, fetching them for display, etc. There will still be a small amount of db work involved as comments get synchronized, but after that it's almost all just storage. How much the difference actually turns out to be will depend on how many comments tend to be left per-entry and so on.

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Yes it will help, but note that Facebook comments are stored only on the facebook site and not in your Wordpress database. Disqus, Intensedebate and Livewire are great offsite comment systems with the function that syncs the comments with your wordpress database.

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