Ping-o-Matic (the default pub-notification service in WordPress) is a great idea: You publish a new post, and WordPress notifies PoM, and PoM passes the update along to a whole bunch of update services. Very slick! But there are two problems with it:
- Single point of failure. If PoM is down (or busy or otherwise unavailable) when you click the Publish key, you’ll get to watch your browser spin in circles for a bit while it tries to contact PoM.
- Real-time pinging. If PoM is available when you Publish, it seems like it holds you connection while it notifies all the update services.
Joseph started discussing these problems with me the other day, and the delays I’ve sometimes noticed upon clicking the Publish button came to mind. Turns out that he had an idea for a streamlined notification service, which he’s now opened up for testing. I’ve installed the new service in place of PoM, and it seems to be a significant improvement. I’d like to collect some data comparing the new service to PoM, to get a more objective look at this.
Some things to note:
- Joseph’s service could still be a single point of failure, assuming one were to replace PoM with this service in the Options/Writing/Update Services setting.
- The basic idea of the new service is to respond to a blog’s update notification as fast as possible, then later to notify all the update services. The cost of this approach is a small delay (a few minutes) between publication and notification, but the quick response between clicking Publish and getting back to my blog admin page is worth it!