Can WordPress Handle 50,000 Pages for Programmatic SEO

I have come across several instances where people wanted to know how many pages WordPress could handle without running slow. And the answer is:

WordPress can handle an unlimited number of pages as there is no hard limit set by the CMS, and the only limit is the capacity of the that your site is hosted on.

But this answer is not very helpful, right?

So… I did an experiment and tried publishing 50,000 pages by using the techniques of programmatic SEO on a test WordPress site which was hosted on a $6/month DigitalOcean server.

And in this blog post, I will explain everything in detail. Let’s get to it…

The experiment

I will go through what I did and explain the process, step by step.

1. WordPress installation

First of all, I set up a $6/month DigitalOcean droplet and did a plain WordPress installation. You can see the server details in the screenshot here.

DigitalOcean Server Details

After that, I connected a subdomain (might not be accessible when you check this later) to the server and the site was up and running within 5 minutes.

The theme used was Twenty Twenty-Three and there was only one plugin on the site — WP All Import.

2. Planning the import

As I was going to publish 50,000 pages programmatically, I set up a Google Sheets with some random data that looked like this. From the sheet, there are 4 columns of data I will be actually using when running the import.

I connected the Google Sheets to the WP All Import in WordPress. And along with the 4 columns of data from the Google Sheets, I filled the page template with some dummy ‘lorem ipsum’ data.

3. Running the import

After everything was set up, I started the import process. It took a total of 1 hour and 34 minutes to finish importing 50,000 pages. And yes, I had to keep my computer open for all that time.

Importing 50,000 pages to WordPress

The homepage looked like the above screenshot after the import process finished. And if you’re interested, the individual generated pages looked like this screenshot.

Read more: Guide to Programmatic SEO in WordPress

The results

To my surprise, the site did handle the import of 50,000 pages without failing. And the site loaded just fine, I didn’t experience any noticeable slowdown on the site or inside the admin dashboard.

Here’s a short video showing the responsiveness of the site:

In short:

Yes, the WordPress site on $6/month DigitalOcean does handle 50,000 pages well.

The recommendations

Even though the server with 1GB RAM easily handles 50,000 pages, I do not recommend it for a real website. Because even in the ideal condition, more than 70% of the RAM is consumed (see below). And the server will keep crashing once the site starts getting some traffic and more and more concurrent users visit the website.

DigitalOcean RAM Stats

For 50,000 pages, I would recommend having at least 2GB of RAM so that it can easily handle a decent amount of traffic on the site.

When doing programmatic SEO, you should always have enough server resources so that it doesn’t crash when you start getting some traffic. Also, having low server resources makes it difficult for search engines to crawl pages on your website.

Also read: Complete Guide to Programmatic SEO

Final words

I published 50,000 pages for this experiment, but that’s not the limit. If you have a server with enough resources, you can publish 100k or even more pages — it’s all about the hosting server you have.

And this is true, not just for programmatic pages, but for manually published pages as well.

That’s it.

If you have a related query, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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