Page Speed Wildly Varies

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Murray 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #45585

    pensacoladisabilitylawyer
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Hi, all. I have been told by some people that my site is slow to load. http://www.nickortizlaw.com I ran a speed test through gtmetrix.com, and come up with page load speed of 5.25 seconds one minute and 28 seconds the next.  Have tried to follow some of the suggestions from gtm, and things seem okay for a short while. Then I hit another 25 second load time a few minutes later.  Would welcome any help on suggested troubleshooting.

    #45598

    rfmeier
    Participant
    Post count: 596

    Hello,

    Since WordPress optimization is a broad subject, I would recommend asking within the WordPress Support forums.


    #45709

    cdils
    Participant
    Post count: 420

    Here’s another good site you can use to check load times:

    http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

    It loaded up quickly for me. If you’ve cleaned up script calls in your site header and done some of the other recommended items from gtmetrix and your site is still sluggish, it may be your web host. If you’re on an inexpensive shared host, speed can be very inconsistent.

    Cheers,
    Carrie


    Have you been helped in this forum? Pay it forward and answer someone else’s question. I bet you’ll know the answer to at least one question. :)

    I tweet @cdils.

    #45760

    pensacoladisabilitylawyer
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    I have done most of the recommendations, even set up CloudFlare and Amazon CloudFront for CDN.

    Site loads in 2.9 seconds in some instances and 29 seconds 15 minutes later with no changes made to site.

    Called HostGator. They refuse to admit it is a server-side issue. Say it has to do with (a) scripts and (b) they said that the htaccess file was really junked-up. (I looked in there and didn’t see any glaring problems (not that I would know what I’m looking for). I expected to see hundreds of lines of code and there were like 75-100.

    Hellobar does seem to delay things though….

     

    #45762

    rfmeier
    Participant
    Post count: 596

    If you are on shared hosting, you will only get so much out of their processing and bandwidth pipes.

    Especially if you are sharing with others.


    #45765

    pensacoladisabilitylawyer
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    I did research last night on other hosts. I was looking at Synthesis or WPEngine.

    Many said that I wouldn’t see any difference from HostGator, that I’d just be paying a premium for fancier support.

    From what I can tell, I could see real gains. Thoughts?

    #45767

    rfmeier
    Participant
    Post count: 596

    Upgrading to either of those from shared hosting would make a difference.


    #45768

    pensacoladisabilitylawyer
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    That was my impression. Weird thing with  WPEngine is that they said they would not migrate site, but they have good documentation on how to migrate, or, in the alternative, they recommended a company, thewpvalet.com, that charges “starting at $249″ for migration. Yowza!

    #45811

    Bill Murray
    Participant
    Post count: 572

    @pensacoladisabilitylawyer – My sense is you have a problem (slow page loads) and are throwing too many solutions at the problem (eg, CloudFlare and CloudFront). Your site has too much page weight (at 1.76 Mb), largely due to too many images. Beyond the page weight, as others have already said in this thread, the variation in the page loads are due to the design of your shared host.

    In 10 tests I did simulating a 5 Mb/sec connection (not using the tools mentioned here), your site had a median page load time of 25.3 secs, which means half of the 10 tests were above that. The fastest load time was 9.1 secs (very poor) and the worst was 55.9 secs (ridiculous). Of course, those results come down assuming a faster internet connection (the median drops to 18.4 secs with a 20 Mb/sec fiber connection), but not everyone has a fiber connection. As I am sure you know, page speed is costing you $ if organic search traffic impacts your business results.

    We do managed WP hosting and our pricing is $10 or $20/mo, and we’ll move your site for free, but we do things differently from the other managed hosts you mentioned. Still, before you consider managed WP hosts, I think you’d be well served to streamline and declutter your site (or plan to do that as part of the move). Ask yourself if you need all of the scripts you are loading. Streamlining alone won’t solve your problem, but that is in your best interest.

    We would load your site much, much faster (without CloudFront, CloudFlare, or any caching plugins), but we’d really push you to do the streamlining. For a speed comparison, you can look at http://readyfolio2.wpperform.com/ ; that site’s homepage is about 700 Kb, and first visit page load is about 1.2 secs over 20 Mb/sec fiber and repeat views (because we do use aggressive caching) are at 6/10′s of a second. I think that’s typical of the page speed we deliver, and that’s what you need to be competitive. If your pages are loading in over 2 seconds, that’s too slow.

    Hope that helps.


    Web: http://wpperform.com or Twitter: @wpperform

    We do managed WordPress hosting.

    #45852

    pensacoladisabilitylawyer
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    @bill-murray “My sense is you have a problem (slow page loads) and are throwing too many solutions at the problem (eg, CloudFlare and CloudFront).”

    From what I’ve read, it does not create a conflict to have CloudFlare and CloudFront together.

    “Your site has too much page weight (at 1.76 Mb), largely due to too many images.”

    I don’t know how to get the “weight” down any more.

    “Beyond the page weight, as others have already said in this thread, the variation in the page loads are due to the design of your shared host.”  That is kind of what I am asking here. Trying to determine how to verify that it is a server-side problem more than anything else.

    “In 10 tests I did simulating a 5 Mb/sec connection (not using the tools mentioned here), your site had a median page load time of 25.3 secs, which means half of the 10 tests were above that. The fastest load time was 9.1 secs (very poor) and the worst was 55.9 secs (ridiculous). Of course, those results come down assuming a faster internet connection (the median drops to 18.4 secs with a 20 Mb/sec fiber connection), but not everyone has a fiber connection. As I am sure you know, page speed is costing you $ if organic search traffic impacts your business results.”

    Again, this is relatively obvious and why I am asking the questions here.

    “We do managed WP hosting and our pricing is $10 or $20/mo, and we’ll move your site for free, but we do things differently from the other managed hosts you mentioned. Still, before you consider managed WP hosts, I think you’d be well served to streamline and declutter your site (or plan to do that as part of the move). Ask yourself if you need all of the scripts you are loading. Streamlining alone won’t solve your problem, but that is in your best interest.”

    Again, I’m trying to figure out how to streamline and declutter the site. I think my efforts have shown that I’m trying to streamline and declutter.  I am not a tech. That is why I am here. I’m trying to streamline and declutter.

    “We would load your site much, much faster (without CloudFront, CloudFlare, or any caching plugins), but we’d really push you to do the streamlining. For a speed comparison, you can look at http://readyfolio2.wpperform.com/ ; that site’s homepage is about 700 Kb, and first visit page load is about 1.2 secs over 20 Mb/sec fiber and repeat views (because we do use aggressive caching) are at 6/10′s of a second. I think that’s typical of the page speed we deliver, and that’s what you need to be competitive. If your pages are loading in over 2 seconds, that’s too slow.”

    There is little information out there on WPPerform. You only have a landing page, and when I put email in the contact form it threw an error that I needed to put in a name (there is only one box asking for email).  Looks like you contribute a lot around here. But throwing an error on a one page landing page is not very reassuring.

    #45857

    rfmeier
    Participant
    Post count: 596

    @pensacoladisabilitylawyer,

    I would gather shared hosting being a culprit here. You are sharing the cpu, ram, and bandwidth with who knows how many sites. If other people are abusing the resources, your site will feel it too. Caching plugins and CDN’s can still only take you so far for shared hosting.

    If you don’t want to take the Synthesis or WPEngine hosting route, I would recommend looking to upgrade to a VPS server. Some hosts give you a free week on VPS to test out their system. That way, you would have your own ram and cpu. Some VPS hosting also give you access to caching modules, which you will not find in shared hosting. This would speed your site time up quite a bit.

    I myself are currently running on shared hosting until I get more income to move up to Managed hosting. Until that time, I am just accepting my site response will fluctuate because I have to share resources.


    #45905

    Bill Murray
    Participant
    Post count: 572

    @pensacoladisabilitylawyer

    1) I wasn’t suggesting there is a conflict running CloudFlare and CloudFront together. Instead, I was advising that’s the wrong way to go about optimizing. When you optimize, you add 1 improvement, measure the results, and only when satisfied whether to drop or keep that improvement and with a new set of stable benchmarks in hand do you add another improvement. Otherwise, it’s impossible to know what hurts or helps.

    2) To get the page weight down, you have to remove stuff.

    3) On the stats I posted, I agree with you they are obvious, but my intent in posting them was not to belabor the point. I was trying to point out how bad they are. I’ve been doing this a long time. Your stats are some of the worst I’ve ever seen.

    4) You say you want to verify it is a server side problem but you also say you aren’t a tech. I don’t mean to be impolite, but when you aren’t a tech, you have to lean on the opinion of others with knowledge. Your site has 2 problems, the page weight and server issues. The server issues are the bigger problem. Your site essentially as you have it (without CloudFlare, CloudFront, or any caching plugins) would load much, much faster on our servers. If I had to guess, I would say first visit loads would come in around 2 seconds (which I’d still consider less than ideal), and repeat visits would come in at about 7/10′s of a second. I could write pages and pages on WHY that is the case, but I’ll give you the condensed version here: a) your current web server is not running the most optimal OS; b) that unoptimal OS is not configured for your needs (it’s configured for easy maintenance for HG); c) that unoptimal OS is running on a server where others can consume the bandwidth (however, HG is pretty good at monitoring this, so it’s not the big culprit here); d) the server is not load-balanced among several servers (since you are on just 1 webserver), so when your server memory runs out, visitors must wait for the server to become available; e) WP gets data from a database, and your DB connections are slow, from a single server running a less than optimal storage method, and are not aggressively optimized; f) if you are using any caching or security plugins, they are running in PHP, and PHP is much too late to be doing that; for example, we cache aggressively, but we cache at the OS level, so cached requests never reach PHP; in other words, via a cache we can serve your site without a DB, without WP ever firing up, and without PHP ever executing a line of code – things you can’t come close to. As I said, that is a condensed version of why your site is slower on a shared host.

    5) While I agree with much of what @rfmeier has posted, I don’t agree that a VPS is a good route for you, or for most people for that matter. If you are considering a VPS, ask yourself 1 question: are you currently a server admin or have server admin skills/knowledge or want to learn it via trial by fire? If not, skip VPS. VPS’s require server admin skills, period. You will either waste more time trying to become a server admin or have a VPS that costs more than your shared server but performs about the same.

    6) Thanks for the heads up on the landing page. I’ll check it out. The landing page is there to reduce new business, because we are busy, which is common in the WP world right now. When time permits we’ll take it down. If you have specific questions, I’ll try to answer them. I only offered info on us as a frame of reference. I’m always a little amused when people talk about not affording managed WP hosting. Using our numbers, @ $20/mo or $240/year (and we have cheaper plans), you should not waste any time fixing your site speed issues. Your hourly rate is likely above the annual cost of fixing your problem. Mind you, that is not poking at you to “host with us” – it is poking at you to switch to a managed WP host, pronto.


    Web: http://wpperform.com or Twitter: @wpperform

    We do managed WordPress hosting.

    #45909

    rfmeier
    Participant
    Post count: 596

    Bill,

    I should have been more specific. Some VPS service integrates cPanel (or similar background) or are somewhat managed. If like most and you have to provide the setup yourself, then I agree– It is not for most people.

    I personally would go with a managed solution.


    #45922

    Bill Murray
    Participant
    Post count: 572

    @rfmeier – Thanks for the followup, but I wasn’t referring to cPanel. For example, if you get a VPS with HG, you can get cPanel, WHM, and Parallels. It makes managing your VPS easy. That has nothing to do with optimizing it. Out of the box, a level 4 or 5 HG VPS won’t deliver results that are much different from HG shared hosting because out of the box, the VPS is not optimized. It is there for YOU to optimize – and secure.

    You have to be a server admin – that is, you have to understand how to optimize the OS (some flavor of Linux, usually), the web server OS (usually Apache, and by default on HG VPS, but this is a bad choice), and handle security, logging, etc. That is a big scope of work that most WP people – and even most tech-savvy programmers – never touch. If you’re thinking that you can call/chat with HG support and they can “walk you” through doing that, think again. The support people at HG that are your first line of defense don’t know the information themselves, because they are not server admins and they have no knowledge on how to optimize a server for an application such as WP.

    And imagine you go the VPS route: at the end of the day you have 1 webserver and the responsibility to manage it. If your webserver dies, so does your site. If you update a plugin or WP, you have to put your site in maintenance mode and are off-line, even if for a short time. In our managed WP world, we have multiple web servers AND multiple DB servers. If 1 were to go down, it would not bring down any site. We’re able to do updates without a site ever going into maintenance mode. And those big performance/reliability benefits come with something that is tuned for WP, the application a WP site plans to run.

    In the not so distant past, VPS’s were way over sold as a panacea for performance problems. They’re far from that. When a customer at HG would complain about performance problems, the default answer (from HG and many in the tech community) was “upgrade to a VPS.” Even for those that have the skills and desire to be a server admin, a single VPS is not a great route. I think if your budget can’t afford a load-balanced, multi-server solution (which I don’t think HG offers anyway), then managed WP hosting is a clearly better choice. For example, if you look at managed WP hosts (us, wpengine, websynthesis), I don’t think any of us are running Apache (I know we aren’t). In order to want to get into the VPS world, you have to know why Apache is not the best choice and how to set up the best choice – and that’s something that is beyond the skill and interest of most people wanting to host a WP site.


    Web: http://wpperform.com or Twitter: @wpperform

    We do managed WordPress hosting.

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