Understanding load on a WordPress instance

I’ve got a WordPress site for a class where each student writes a couple articles per semester with featured images. The faculty member likes to set aside a class period where everyone (~20 students) brings their drafts and images and posts them at the same time.

This inevitably creates a lot of lag, a bunch of confused students, and frequently a couple of timeouts. (We’re on shared hosting, if that’s relevant.)

It seems like the best way to address this would be to split the class into groups, and the faculty member is open to this, but I’m trying to understand the root cause better. Specifically, I’m wondering how much is being caused by too many logins/editing sessions/new posts, vs. how much is being caused by too many image uploads/image processing all at once. Is it likely to help if students to submit their figures a couple days in advance, and I upload them to the media library?

Not looking for any promises but I’d value best guesses.

The image uploading and processing is likely the heaviest part of this, but I could see 20 individuals editing posts and hitting that publish button simultaneously as a potential issue as well. If you want to start with having them upload images to the media library, you could try that, but I would strongly suggest having the faculty member have their students post outside of class time to avoid that many people simultaneously using the site. That will make the experience better for everyone and avoid taking up class time. They could potentially even schedule the posts to be public at class time or post them as drafts that the faculty member bulk publishes later if they still want them all to go live at the same time.

There is a limit to the number of simultaneous PHP processes that any account can run on Shared Hosting to make sure all account on the server stay fast (see the Entry Processes row on this page) and I’d bet that is what you are hitting here.

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I trust Taylor’s experience, it’s a bit of a guessing game, anything that could distribute the activity even across the class time might help. Another factor might be capacity of your local wireless access point (just wildly guessing).

We ran workshops at a university in Mexico with 150 people in 6 different rooms all publishing to a SPLOT like site, all on a shared hosted reclaim account. We did fine but people were not exactly hitting the Wordpress site all at once.

Love the Animal Tales site! Great concept

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