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I am looking at my server settings and these are as follows:

  • WebDav : active

  • FastCGI : inactive

  • SSL support : active

  • Perl as Apache module : CGI-Programm

  • PHP module : CGI-Programm

  • Memory usage : 131072 kB

  • Process timeout : 60 seconds

  • Maximum simultaneous processes : 1024

Using WP-Supercache (mod-rewrite mode) and have around 6,000 posts. Should I enable FastCGI on my server? Any other settings you recommend changing?

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2 Answers 2

I apologize this should be a comment.

You have to ask yourself if its necessary. I know your asking here for advice, but is your website currently under performing? Is it slow? Are users complaining?

I personally wouldn't recommend FastCGI but there are various other plugins or tools to speed up your website.

I would recommend the following plugins:

Seeing that your already using WP-Super Cache, how is it currently configured?
Maybe more importantly, what is your server configuration? (Hardware, hosting etc.)

EDIT:
I will update and expand this answer to a 'real' answer when information becomes available.

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i have been doing some research - it seems FastCGI doesn't play very nice with Wordpress - any experiences anyone? –  Mario Lorenzo Apr 20 '13 at 13:33
    
@MarioLorenzo Usually, you don't have to worry how PHP is processed, especially, if you don't have a lot of logged-in users in WordPress. You should probably be concentrating on how to cache the output of PHP / WordPress and other aspects that MeRuud mentioned. –  Pothi Apr 30 '13 at 7:13

For data that's been cached, the two caches should perform equivalent. In general, most folks will find that WP-Supercache is easier to setup and use from an admin perspective (purging & pre-populating).

People cache for two reasons: 1) Improved concurrency at handling many visitors simultaneously. This is only relevant to high-traffic sites. For this, both technologies can perform similarly.

2) Faster time-to-first-byte by pre-compiling the results. This is relevant to all sites, regardless of how much traffic. WP-Supercache can perform better here because it's easy to pre-populate your cache.

Nginx FastCGI cache just caches the output of Wordpress to disk so that requests that match the cache are immediately served by Nginx without hitting the PHP interpreter at all.

WP-Supercache does something similar; however you have to adjust your Nginx Vhost file to tell Nginx where to find the WP-Supercache files. If you do this, then performance should be equivalent.

Otherwise Nginx passes the request to PHP, which then retrieves the files. It's still significantly faster than hitting MySQL and compiling the result in PHP, but not quite as fast as skipping PHP entirely.

WP-Supercache does a little better job at integrating with Wordpress so it's safer to tell it to cache results indefinitely and then manually purge the item when it's updated, versus with FastCGI cache the default is cache items are purged after 10 minutes.

On the other hand, FastCGI cache can cache non-standard content, such as 301 redirects generated by your PHP app and 404 errors.

If you ran a really busy site, you could also run both caches together, probably making FastCGI cache not cache typical pages/posts since that's already cached by WP-Supercache, but caching 301, 404, etc.

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