WordCamp Melbourne: making money with WordPress, bbPress, caching, WordPress Sandbox

On November 17 2007, I went to the inaugural WordCamp Melbourne. It was a truly interesting event – crowded, filled to the brim, and held at the pretty amazing Watermark Bar, in Docklands. It was a really warm day, and the only complaint would be that Watermark put is in a glass dome, with only 2 fans and no air-conditioning – nice, greenhouse we were in! Food and drink were good, as were the talks in general. I took some notes, and am placing them online now (late, but better than never). Note that the event was sold out – so kudos to James Farmer for organising it.

Making money with WordPress – Darren Rowse

– exclusive content, for a paid area (like forums?)
– textlinkads/paid links/paid reviews – nasties from Google, so this can be an issue
– RSS advertising?
– direct ad sales, and getting rid of the google adwords…
– donations? jason kotke survived for a year on donations
– book deals? other writing gigs? consulting? many other ‘unofficial’ ways
– give away a lot for free (principles, what you want to talk about in your niche), then consult, with individuals
– align yourself with a niche – the more people think about your branding, the more people think about you when its time to look for an expert
  – establish trust, expertise, authority
  – showcase what you do; do case studies, showcase what you can do, for free, and others will pay
  – give away the principles
  – sell someone not yourself (be careful of adsense, because someone else might be making money out of you)
  – make yourself accessible (write comments, participate)
– best places to place an ad: top left hand corner, or at the bottom of a post
– I find it interesting, that my quick analysis of Darren’s site, without AdBlock Plus, shows that he only feeds B5Media ads, and doesn’t actually use adsense. He however, does recommend you to earn money via adsense… so he writes about adsense, and so on, and encourages people to sign up via his link. Crafty.

bbPress – Sam Bauers at Automattic, who hacks on it

– install wordpress
– install bbpress in a subdirectory (/forum)
– cookie is shaed of wordpress/bbpress, so login in wordpress, and you’re logged into bbpress
– disable registration on the blog, and allow registration of users on the forum only
– plugin that attempts to make a post in wordpress, and starts a new bbpress forum post (bbsync). can be improved…
– beware htaccess rewrite rules… WordPress takes “Everything”, so might redirect to the blog even when you want to go to the forums… Consider placing bbpress .htaccess before the wordpress stuff
– in config.php for wordpress, watch the trailing slashes. http://bytebot.net/blog is BETTER than http://bytebot.net/blog/ (no trailing slashes == good)
– bbPress Integration installed on bbPress, and let bbPress handle the registration (and it will assign a default role in WordPress)
– uses mysqli now, but they want to switch to ext/mysql, because wordpress uses it too
– Check out the AppleSwitcher forums and website… Forums run bbPress, and is skinned really well

WordPress caching – Forum hosted by Alex Shiels (Automattic)

– Fix wordpress object cache, to work for large multiuser sites
– wordpress.com – dozen+ memcached servers
– custom version of wordpress object cache to talk to memcached
– Caching is counterproductive?
  – can’t just cache everything, because some blogs only get hit irregularly
  – have multiple levels of stuff, because there’s overhead in the caches
– SuperCache is used on wordpress.com, and this is released. Used only on specific content
  – builds flat HTML files
– wp-cache is down within the data structures. GZIP compression, and caches whole pages
Barry found php5 is about 15% slower than php4
  – IO is not a bottleneck, its more CPU

WordPress Sandbox – Alister Cameron

– Customise it with CSS alone, you don’t mess with anything else in the sandbox. Its all fully valid XHTML
– sandbox has hAtom and hCard microformats, woven into the page
– He uses YUI’s toolkit + sandbox (makes use YUI grids)
– Pay a visit to the CSS Zen Garden
– Asides: look at photomatt.net – anything in red with a | bar, is an aside. Also check out http://www.alistercameron.com/ his asides are in green

WordPress.com – Alex Shiels
I took these notes on my mobile phone… before whipping out my laptop. They’re even more terse!

  • WordPress.com
  • 600gb mysql tables
  • 1.5tb worth of file uploads
  • currently, over 1000 cpu cores…
  • Mysql master-slave replication
  • special version of wpdb, known as hyperdb
  • use pound
  • heavily cache – edge caching with akamai (limited), full page caching for some pages, memcached for the wordpress object cache. Memcached handles 50000 pages/second
  • take a look at barry’s wordcamp 2007 video, about hyperdb
  • the memcache stuff isn’t released yet

All in all, I also need to take a closer look at nginx. It is apparently much nicer than lighttpd, in terms of it not using as much memory. However when I asked for some solid proof/evidence, I wasn’t given it, so I guess I’ll have to do my own research. Will be on my todo list for the holiday season (which has already started for me!).

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  1. Jeff Waugh says:

    Wow. I was thinking of coming down for that, but have been way too crazy busy. Sounds like it was bloody awesome, and that’s an impressive set of WordPress hackers right here in Australia. Yay! :-)

  2. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo