You’ve probably heard of Docker before. But what exactly does it do? And what’s a container? In this post, we’ll explain Docker in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Convesio extensively uses Docker to help scale WordPress sites, so we consider ourselves experts in using it.
What is Docker?
Docker is a popular open-source platform that enables developers to automate the deployment and scaling of applications within lightweight, isolated containers. In simple terms, that just means Docker allows you to quickly scale an application using something called a “container.”
What are Docker Containers?
Containers are self-contained (hence the name) units that encapsulate all the necessary dependencies and libraries required for an application to run, providing consistent environments across different computing environments. You can think of them as “applications in a box,” except they’re in a container, not a box. This basically means that everything you need is included – no external tools, dependencies, or plugins required.
You can think of a container like a lunchbox filled with pre-made snacks. You don’t need to cook or prepare anything — your whole meal is included.
Why are Docker Containers Useful for Developers?
Docker simplifies the software development process by eliminating the need to worry about compatibility issues or system dependencies. This allows developers to package their applications into portable containers that can be run on any machine supporting Docker. This portability makes it easier to move applications between development, testing, and production environments, as well as across different operating systems and cloud platforms – saving developers a ton of time and headaches. Docker also has a variety of tools like Docker Compose and Docker Engine that help developers be more productive.
Why Use Docker with WordPress?
Put simply, because Docker allows your WordPress site to scale. Using Docker containers, you can scale WordPress under high traffic loads. With Docker, developers can package their WordPress environment, including the necessary dependencies, themes, plugins, and configurations, into a portable container. This containerization allows for easy replication and distribution of the WordPress application across multiple instances, making it simpler to scale horizontally by adding more containers to handle increased traffic. It makes scaling much, much easier than was previously possible.
The Advantages of Docker for Scaling
But what makes Docker better than other scaling solutions? Using Docker provides several advantages over alternatives.
To start with, Docker is just more efficient: it allows for efficient resource utilization by running multiple containers on a single host machine, making sure that you are getting optimal use of hardware resources. When traffic increases, additional containers can be quickly spun up to handle the load, providing scalability on-demand (this is called auto-scaling.) Docker’s isolation capabilities ensure that each container operates independently, preventing conflicts between WordPress instances and enhancing the stability and reliability of the application.
Additionally, Docker simplifies the process of deploying updates or rolling back changes, as containers can be easily replaced with new versions or reverted to previous versions without affecting the entire WordPress application. This is a must for any live eCommerce sites.
By leveraging Docker’s containerization technology, developers can effectively manage and scale their WordPress applications, providing a reliable and efficient solution for handling high traffic loads. Docker’s portability and scalability make it an ideal choice for WordPress deployments, enabling seamless scaling, easy management, and simplified deployment processes.
Hopefully, you understand Docker a little better now! Any questions on Docker or how Convesio uses it to scale WordPress sites? Get in touch – we’d be glad to help!