Posts Tagged ‘apache’

Concrete5 vs WordPress: Benchmarking Load Time

December 14th, 2010

I just discovered Concrete5 CMS recently when another developer in my area launched a site with it.  Always up for learning something new, I went to the website, read the sales pitch, and decided to give it a whirl.  Before I spend time learning yet another CMS, for kicks I thought I would benchmark it for speed against WordPress, my current go-to solution.  Here we go.

Hardware: All tests will be conducted on my Desktop Computer; a custom built PC with a 3.5Ghz Core2 Duo, 4GB of Ram, and a 10,000 RPM hard drive.  Not identical, but similar to many server setups on the market.

Software: I’m running Ubuntu 10.04 with Apache 2.2, PHP 5.3, and MySQL 5.1.  Once again, apart from using a Desktop OS, this is almost identical to your usual LAMP server software. For benchmarking, I will be using Siege 2.68.

Step 1: Fresh Installs
I downloaded and installed the latest version of Concrete5 ( and WordPress (3.03)  Here are the screenshots of the home pages out of the box:

WordPress Fresh Install

Concrete5 Fresh Install


Step 2: Balancing
Okay, First thing, to be fair we need to balance the page weights.  Siege will not load all the linked resources (like CSS and Javscript), I actually only care about the html page weights.  Out of the box Concrete is 1771 bytes and WordPress is 2015 bytes.  Pretty close.  After removing several widgets from the WordPress sidebar (Those extra queries weren’t fair anyway) and adding the right amount of Lorem Ipsum, the WordPress page is now exactly 1771 bytes as well.  Perfect.

Step 3: Attack!
To stress test my desktop server I am using the following siege command:

 siege -c 50 -r 40 http://localhost/[siteurl]

This will attempt to make 50 concurrent requests to the website, and will repeat each request 40 times.  This is a total of 2000 requests to each site.

Step 4: Results
Here is the raw data from the tests:

WordPress Concrete5
Total Requests: 2000 2000
Average Response Time (seconds): 2.52 1.62
Transactions per second: 16.23 22.46
Longest Transaction (seconds): 4.8 3.13
Shortest Transaction (seconds): .10 .07
Elapsed Time 123.21 89.04

And the corresponding screenshots:

Results for WordPress

Results for Concrete5


Step 5: Conclusions
As we can see from the data Concrete5 outperformed WordPress by 20-30% in every measure. This is a significant amount.  What does this tell us?  For small sites with little content, Concrete5 will scale to additional concurrent users better than WordPress. What does this not tell us?  For one thing, the sites may not scale to additional content equally well.  This test also ignored all the static content which will download from either CMS with equal speed.  Finally, WordPress also has some excellent caching plugins that may have closed the gap.

Other Considerations
Am I suggesting you ditch WordPress and port your sites to Concrete?  Not at all. WordPress has many good things going for it; it is the #1 blogging tool and is a finely tuned engine that powers millions of websites.  What I CAN say for sure, is that if you can outperform that, then you’re doing something right.  Hats off to the team at Concrete.


Update (1 Day Later)
Okay, After posting this, I had a lot of people point out to me that this is not a fair fight.  Concrete has caching enabled by default, and WordPress does not.   After installing wp-super-cache, the elapsed time for 2000 requests from WordPress fell from 123 seconds to 27 seconds.  Wow, crazy plugin.  Either way, my original results stand when you consider out of the box performance.  Wp-super-cache is neither bundled with WordPress nor do it’s version numbers suggest it is stable.  It’s technical options are overwhelming to all but advanced users.  Kudos still go to Concrete5 for integrating a simple, stable caching system into the framework.

Ubuntu Server Setup Checklist

June 20th, 2009

I’ve now set up half a dozen or so Ubuntu Server installations over the past year or two.  For the last few, I created a checklist to make sure I don’t leave any of the smaller, less obvious things out.  I present it here, completely unmodified.  Note, this is more of a preliminary checklist, as it doesn’t include installation of Apache, MySql, PHP or any other programs such as Postfix.  Basically, I’ll perform these steps regardless of whether It’ll be a web or mail server.  These also assume you like the vi text editor, if not, you can substitute emacs, nano, or whatever your preference when neccesary.  Also, some of these are already done depending on your server host.

Fix Locale Warnings:
# apt-get install language-pack-en

Set Timezone:
# dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Install Time Daemon:
# apt-get install ntp

Install Manual Pages:
# apt-get install man

Add Domain name
# vi /etc/hosts localhost
123.456.789.012 computername (replace external ip)

Add Administrative User (with home directory):
# useradd myusername -m

Give Admin user Sudo Powers
# visudo
myusername ALL=(ALL) ALL

Set Admin Password
# passwd myusername

Set Admin Shell Preference (optional)
# vi /etc/passwd
myusername: […] :bash

Disable Root SSH Login:
# vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Tighten default permissions for file & directory creation:
# vi /etc/profile
umask 027 (no default access for others)

Install and Set Up Firewall
# apt-get install ufw
# ufw allow ssh <–DO NOT FORGET THIS
# ufw enable

Book Review: Apache Cookbook

November 30th, 2008
Apache Cookbook

Apache Cookbook

I just finished reading Apache Cookbook, Ken Coar and Rich Bowen. I’d give it a solid five stars. I found it to be very readable, and not overly verbose or cryptic, a problem that can plague computer books. The book is quite the opposite, if I had one criticism, it would be that it could be a little thicker. It’s only 264 pages, and the font is plenty big, which makes for a fast read.

Having set up and run an apache server for a few months, I skipped over many of the early parts of the book. However, I did find lots of useful tips, tricks and tidbits, that I know will come in handy later. For example, I didn’t know you could make a custom log for any site, with any file, that contains almost any information. You simply specify a CustomLog directive for whatever host you want to monitor. I now set up several specific logs show me only the information I find useful.

Other useful directives are RewriteEngine and RewriteRule. You can do almost anything you want with the URLs from your site, including redirection, query string modification, folder modification, clean URLS and more. This all comes from the module mod_rewrite. There’s useful info on authentication and authorization, dynamic content, custom error pages, email notification, and much more.

Here’s a doozy: you can now use apache’s mod_proxy_balancer to balance a load between a cluster of computers! Who knew it was so easy! You can even specify with the ProxyPass directive whether to distribute by bandwith, or by requests!

A few other tidbits that I’m sure will be useful are the Apache bench utility for benchmarking site performance, and server-status which can monitor your server health and display it somewhere in your website.

All in all, I’d recommend the book, and I see it being a useful reference in the future