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I'm planning to use Multisite to host 200 different wordpress blog with each having their own unique subdomain. I notice each time I create a virtual host for each subdomain it'll use roughly 50mb ram. So if 50mb * 200 sites = 10GB RAM correct me if wrong is 10GB of RAM needed to host 200 sites? if possible is there solutions to decrease ram usage?

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Do you need to create a virtual host for each subdomain? – w3d Apr 7 '14 at 12:05
Well the right question to ask is not about plugins and so on but about traffic .. what amount of traffic do you expect? How many requests per minute/hour? Even 1GB is enough for 100000 wordpress installs with no visitor but even 10GB will not be enough if you get 100k requests/minute. – Sorin Trimbitas Apr 7 '14 at 14:59
@SorinTrimbitas if you can expand on that to be more concrete and substantial post it as an answer, for the moment it isn't enough to answer the question – Tom J Nowell Apr 7 '14 at 15:51
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The actual RAM you need depends on many factors:

  • plugins
  • theme
  • installed extensions (server and PHP)
  • the current operation (editing images needs the most)
  • translation, some translation files are really heavy

In a multisite, some resources are shared, the server setup for example is not duplicated each time you create a new site.

You can save some resources if you enable the built-in Opcache, check your theme and the plugins with Xdebug. There is not much you can do with translations.

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The number of sites is unrelated to the amount of memory required. The amount of required memory is (if you are using Apache)

the amount of memory required to serve the most memory intensive page * the number of requests you want to serve simultaneously

Both numbers vary based on the way you set your server and the themes and plugins you use.

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I'm using Nginx as the webserver. Roughly how much ram is needed for 200 sites + caching – Ruriko Apr 7 '14 at 10:24
nginx or fastcgi? nginx byitself has low mem requirements but the formula above should stand for fastcgi as well. – Mark Kaplun Apr 8 '14 at 13:55

Regarding the memory usage of translations (I'd have commented toschos answer, but I'm lacking the needed reputation): That can be reduced using my plugin WP Performance Pack. It offers use of native gettext if available and an alternative MO implementation (if gettext isn't available), which only loads used translations. Both methods reduce memory consumption and improve performance of localized WordPress installations.

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