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I do have this on a pretty crappy host at the moment, as I didn't expect to get much traffic (it also got picked up ReadWriteWeb today). I'm using CakePHP, which is great for rapid development but does unfortunately have some overhead, so I turned on caching, which entails changing one setting, and the homepage is then served almost as a static html file (there's still a few lines of PHP in there). It helps a little, and I didn't see any reason not to do it. Really appreciate your supportive attitude, though :)

Most of the CakePHP are slow complaints are more issues of not knowing how to use it. Suggest if you really think CakePHP is being slow set $recursive = -1; in all of your models and use Containable to only fetch related model data when needed. You should be able to hit tens of thousands of unique visitors per day without caching no problem.

Remember that you will need to add indexes to the database manually. Cake won't screw with your database by adding them itself.

I've done xdebug profiling and cake does add some non-negligiable overhead. However, 90% of the issue here is that the host is really crappy, and the latency on the db is bad, so view caching is helping. It'll be moved to a new host in 48-72 hours.

Ah, that explains things a bit more. A RRW'ing is actually a little rougher than a TechCrunching in my experience, and loftier webapps than yours have crumbled under the load.

Still, I'd be worried if a single-query homepage like yours was showing even a hint of a load spike under that sort of traffic. It's amazing that even cheapo hosting can really be that bad.

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