The site is a phpnuke site with over 7000 members on a shared server. The server load maintains under 1.0 when this site is not active. When we bring the account online and users start going to it again - the load rises quickly to unmanagable levels.
I've optimized the hell out of apache and MySQL. We barely use 50% of the RAM at any time.
What else can I do? I don't think a site like this should be taking down the server...
Do you use the MySQL query cache? It does wonders for nuke sites!
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The thing with all the pre-made CMS systems is that they actually load semi-static pages as dynamic on every single visit.
Eg, a news page will generally only be update once every week/month, but php-nuke constructs it from database on every single visit.
Its a silly system... A truly optimized CMS should not fetch semi-static pages from a dynamic database. Its just horrible for the load if you webpage gets a lot of visitors... :/
Also, take a look @ the mods you have installed in nuke, if this is your own site. Php-Nuke mods are commonly written very poorly, and not optimized for best performance (ie: mysql, etc) so choose your own very wisely.
In the end, it's always best going with your own setup. Admittedly, it takes a bit (ok, sometimes a lot) longer to develop and design but it's always best, because then you know what's going on with your own system and how to best set it up
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