Optimal Wordpress Setup Using Varnish & ngx_pagespeed

  • Posted on February 23, 2015
  • rsharpe75Asked by rsharpe75


I was hoping to get some advice on the best solution for a wordpress site. The site itself is very niche based and seasonal so it doesn’t get a lot of traffic. At most, we’re looking at about 150 visitors per day. Most installations can handle this and this isn’t my issue.

My issue is that I cannot use a caching plugin and without caching speed is very drastically affected. The reason I can’t use a caching plugin is because I use an availability calendar on several pages. This calendar is ajax based and very often I find that it renders as -1 on the page. This is apparently a common issue when using caching plugins and ajax.

So, I need my pages to load fast and to deliver an optimized experience to my handful of site visitors.

My initial thoughts are:

  • ubuntu
  • nginx
  • varnish
  • APC (for opcode caching)
  • ngx_pagespeed

I am looking at deploying the above without using any caching plugins. Can anyone see a downside to this? Is there a better solution that will deliver fast page loads and TTFB? Can I do this on a 1GB account without issues?

If anyone has tutorials on here that can guide me through the best setup, I would really appreciate it. I have followed quite a few in the last 2-3 days but always seem to have an issue when trying to compile nginx from source for ngx_pagespeed. I’m also uncertain on how to get varnish into the mix.

Appreciate any and all suggestions.


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Try best option for beginners.

You could specify in your web server’s configuration a number of HTTP headers to disallow the caching of your availability calendar. Headers that could be useful would include expires and cache-control.