I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now, but I guess the pure absurdity of it has stopped me again and again. But it is time to move beyond that. We’ve been running two major WordPress Multi-Site installs (what was WPMu) since 2007. In the five years we have been doing it, a vast majority of our performance issues have been linked back to self referential RSS Feed that basically infinitely loop and crash the server because it becomes so resource intensive. This brought down UMW Blogs several times during the 2010-2011 academic year, and it recently has been making the ds106 server spin out of control.
What the hell am I talking about? Well it’s simple, you call your own feed in an RSS Widget or whatever. For example I would call http://bavatuesdays.com/feed in my sidebar and this site would infinitely loop once it called make the server go batshit. You can see a graph of the ds106 server regularly going batshit until we realized there was a self-referntial feed in on the sidebar pages on ds106.us.
So, given this is a real simple way to pull down an entire multi-site installation, why can’t we find any info about it? Has anyone else had this issue? is there a way WordPress might actually disallowing self-referencing feeds so that sites don’t crash and burn? This seems like a ridiculous issue to have gone on unresolved for so long, but maybe part of the issue is no one;s talking. perhaps there’s a ring of silence around this one 🙂 But more seriously, anyone have ideas of how to prevent it? And if so, anyone interested lobbying the core WP developers to see if we can’t get it committed to future releases to stop the madness once and for all?!