Marco switched to GoLang from PHP and Saved Money, why not you ?!


On the High Scalability blog an article titled Marco Arment Uses Go Instead of PHP and Saves Money by Cutting the Number of Servers in Half. You understand that by switching to Go you can save money and cut cost to 50%. But you have to read the article to understand the case of Marco clearly.

Marco switched from PHP to Go only the feed crawling for his iPhone podcasting app Overcast. What I find very interesting is that Marco already tried HHVM, and Node before moving to Go.

[quote_center]Having experimented with Node and Go over the last two weeks, I can’t help but think that most PHP developers and sysadmins would be better off either sticking with official PHP, because it’s much easier and safer to rely on, or beginning a migration to a more widely supported new language that’s likely to have a longer useful lifespan.[/quote_center]

Wikipedia succeeded in its migration to HHVM thanks to the support of HHVM engineers themselves, but it’s not that obvious for small projects. Marco said he halved the number of servers used for crawling feeds by switching to Go. The total savings was a few hundred dollars a month in server costs. Mainly because feed crawling requires lots of parallel networking requests and PHP is bad at that sort of thing, while Go is good at it.

There are some good lessons from this experience, that you can consider if you have a successful project like Marco ! Overcast earned $164K in 2014 after Apple’s 30%, and server cost was $750 monthly, so reducing cost by $4.5K yearly that’s very healthy for the project growth.

Programming languages are just tools that we do not have necessary to stick to. First understand and find the bottleneck, try available alternatives, evaluate migration options, then share your experience.