Why we are outsourcing WordPress
One project that we are currently preparing (called DC1004 WordPress multisite) will involve outsourcing our WordPress multisite installation. This post explains why.
At the University we use TerminalFour Site Manager and WordPress as our content management systems to publish content. Site Manager is used to manage the core University content for the majority of our visitors, while WordPress is used for blogs and small websites such as research centres.
We currently host about 196 sites in our multisite instance of WordPress along with another 20 WordPress sites that run on separate accounts. Keeping our multisite WordPress up to date is a continual challenge and is not straight forward. We don’t have access to all the other sites so there is a risk that these sites are not as secure as they should be.
We also have a performance issue with our WordPress multisite, where it takes about 4 seconds to view a page. For one of our sites it takes about 18 seconds!
For these reasons we are now looking to host our WordPress sites with an external provider who can take care of updates for us and provide a more efficient service. Ideally we would like to complete this by the end of April 2016.
In the longer term we need to review the WordPress themes and plugins we support. We currently have about 100 plugins, some of which do the same thing. Providing a smaller selection of themes and plugins would make it easier to maintain as well as ensuring a more consistent user experience.