I’ve just spent today switching the BuddyPress testdrive site over to a new server. The site was previously running on some server space kindly donated by andrea_r.

The test site is closing in on 1,000 registered members, this is rising by around 50-75 per day. We didn’t want to jeopardize Andrea’s other sites, so decided it was best to move it.

I’ve now set the site up on its own VPS, which gives greater flexibility with the apache/php/mysql setup.

I thought I would share a trick to speed up your own WPMU installation. I’m by no means an expert in this area (at all) but this worked for me.

1. Upgrade Apache and PHP to the latest versions.

Many WHM/Cpanel enabled VPS accounts have a script called “easyapache” (usually in /scripts/easyapache). This will let you easily upgrade both Apache and PHP at once. Apache 2.2 from what I read has performance advantages over 2.0 and definitely 1.3.

2. Compile PHP with eAccelerator

If you’re using easyapache then you just need to check the box to add this to your PHP setup. If not, then follow the instructions on the eAccelerator docs. eAccelerator is essentially a caching tool that will significantly speed up PHP scripts. You can read more about it on wikipedia.

Once I had the latest Apache and PHP installed, along with eAccelerator, the generation time reported by WordPress was significantly reduced. On the old server this could be anywhere from 1-5 seconds, but with the new server and eAccelerator this was reduced to 0.1-0.8 seconds. A very significant performance improvement.

Have any performance tips you’d like to share?