Simple Social Icons In The Header Widget Area Issues

Community Forums Forums General Discussion Simple Social Icons In The Header Widget Area Issues

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  rachelwild 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    I’m new to the forum, so apologies if I don’t get it quite right…

    I’ve recently spent a couple of days trying to figure out why my site (Wild Digital) had gone from reasonable load times to pretty appalling… sometimes taking between 7 and 10 seconds to load. (I was using the very useful free tool from Pingdom to monitor the problem)

    I eventually realised the problems were all to do with having put Simple Social Icons in the header widget area. The moment I removed them my site load speed reverted to a respectable 1.37 second load time. (Still not good enough by Google’s standards, but good enough for me for the time being.)

    The relief was immense! My site had been hurting for about two weeks and I was losing rankings in Google. I was in the process of writing some long form articles but didn’t dare publish as this would have only exacerbated the problem… It has been a very major problem for me to say the very least!

    Has anybody had the same problem?

    Has anybody found a good workable fix?

    Has anyone got any good alternative fixes? (I would very much like my social icons to be in the header.)

    I’d really appreciate any input.
    Many thanks,

    Simple social plugins never caused such problem for me. I just checked your website code [view-source:, so much text code is being left by catch plugin – this does not look good.

    Just for testing, try combination of wp super cache and wp minify plugins and compare performance. Always used these plugins for quick loading.



    @rachelwild, you can try asynchronously loading social sharing icons; see That way, page rendering is not slowed by slow loading social services. It may be complex to implement that and keep your current icon styles.

    Your site speed is reasonable: But optimize your images with Your web host may be a bit slow, too.

    And turn off Db cache debug info in W3TC; it’s dumping lots of text into your page source. WP Super Cache is a better cache plugin than W3TC and easier to use, too.

    I’m on WordPress Answers (Stack Exchange) and Support Forums and check my consulting and portfolio site at



    Dear Davinder and Songdogtech,

    my sincerest apologies for my tardy response. This has been caused by a number of factors; illness, a forced evacuation due to storms and flooding (I live in Somerset, UK) and, to top it all, some major server outages which have damaged my site… some more, (as if I needed any help!) It’s been some week!

    I really appreciate your input, insights and advice. I haven’t been able to action very much as I’m into day three with my hosting support ticket, waiting for the functionality of the essentially unbroken elements of the site to be restored before I can address the issues you’ve raised.

    The advice re. W3 Total Cache seems sound. I have been issued with a Minify Error Message today. (I went in and slimmed down the functionality of W3 Total Cache in anticipation of deactivating the plugin… including all the debug options… and it’s not happy!) My main concern in decommissioning plugins and replacing with others is that I’ve read that they leave tables and files behind which slow down WP sites over time… Is there any way of identifying which plugins create which tables? I have installed WP DBManager and so I’ll be able to remove the tables if I knew which ones relate to decommissioned plugins.

    Is there also a straightforward way of identifying and removing the text that the Db cache debug function in W3TC has dumped into my page source? Or, does the automatically get removed when I deactivate the Db cache debug function? (I’ve read the W3 Total Cache blurb about how it leaves ‘detailed caching information’ at the end of each page in the form of an HTML comment, so I’ve tried to find it in my source code, but have failed.

    Songdogtech, I’m keen to try all of your suggestions. Thanks so much for offering such detailed ways in which to improve the ergonomics of my site. I see that both you and Davinder rate WP Super Cache, and I’m grateful to read that it’s easier to use than W3 Total Cache. Do you also agree that WP Minify is worth trying?

    Thanks again for all of your help. It’s very much appreciated.

    Davinder, I just followed and listed you on Twitter.

    Songdogtech, I’m just about to trundle off and track you down as well :0)



    @rachelwild, Sounds like you’ve been through the ringer there. I’ve seen the news about the storms.

    I wouldn’t bother with WP Minify; it won’t make much of a different. But WP Super Cache should; use the php rewriting – it’s easier to get working than the mod_rewrite cache. W3TC doesn’t use or leave database tables, and the debug junk will be gone when you deactivate the plugin. The standard Wp database tables are listed here: works really well to get rid of old options, and it works fine under 3.8 even though there are version warnings, but be careful of the options you do delete.

    And, try bumping your php and server memory, too: once the host is back up and stable.

    — Mark

    I’m on WordPress Answers (Stack Exchange) and Support Forums and check my consulting and portfolio site at



    Hi Mark,

    Once again, thank you so much for your help. I’m very grateful for your input.

    I’ve installed Clear Options, and although terrified by the prospect, I deleted a load of listed items.

    Most of the listed items began with WPPA, which related to a deleted plugin, WP Photo Album Plus, and so these are the ones I went ahead and cleared.

    I didn’t touch anything that referenced ‘Genesis’ or plugins that I know to be live.

    However, I also found the following… which I find rather worrying. All of the timeouts relate to important facets of the site… although I have now deleted W3 Total Cache. Are the timeouts something to worry about, and should I be deleting these items or not?

    _transient_dash_4077549d03da2e451c8b5f002294ff51 * Google it _transient_dash_4077549d03da2e451c8b5f002294ff51
    _transient_genesis-update * Google it _transient_genesis-update
    _transient_Listly-6Ri-gallery * Google it _transient_Listly-6Ri-gallery
    _transient_Listly-Auth * Google it _transient_Listly-Auth
    _transient_premise_version_info * Google it _transient_premise_version_info
    _transient_timeout_dash_4077549d03da2e451c8b5f002294ff51 * Google it _transient_timeout_dash_4077549d03da2e451c8b5f002294ff51
    _transient_timeout_genesis-update * Google it _transient_timeout_genesis-update
    _transient_timeout_jetpack_https_test * Google it _transient_timeout_jetpack_https_test
    _transient_timeout_Listly-6Ri-gallery * Google it _transient_timeout_Listly-6Ri-gallery
    _transient_timeout_Listly-Auth * Google it _transient_timeout_Listly-Auth
    _transient_timeout_premise_version_info * Google it _transient_timeout_premise_version_info
    _transient_timeout_w3tc_cloudflare_ip_check * Google it _transient_timeout_w3tc_cloudflare_ip_check
    _transient_timeout_w3tc_license_status * Google it _transient_timeout_w3tc_license_status
    _transient_timeout_w3tc_minify_tested_filename_length * Google it _transient_timeout_w3tc_minify_tested_filename_length
    _transient_timeout_wpcom_subscribers_total * Google it _transient_timeout_wpcom_subscribers_total
    _transient_timeout_yoast_tracking_cache * Google it _transient_timeout_yoast_tracking_cache
    _transient_w3tc_cloudflare_ip_check * Google it _transient_w3tc_cloudflare_ip_check
    _transient_w3tc_license_status * Google it _transient_w3tc_license_status
    _transient_w3tc_minify_tested_filename_length * Google it _transient_w3tc_minify_tested_filename_length

    I have also loaded WP Total Cache, and have enabled it in the easy’ tab. I have not touched the ‘advanced’ tab yet. I’m not sure that it’s working in this basic mode. (My site load times haven’t improved any.) Is there a good support document to help me set the advanced settings?

    My hosting company kindly bumped up the php and server memory, but sadly this hasn’t improved load times either.

    I am yet to optimise the images as recommended, and so hopefully this will have a very positive impact. I will use the plugin recommended by you.

    There’s two things that consistently come up in the site speed tests that are causing an issue.

    The following link delivers a 404: /wp-content/themes/balance/images/header.png This appears to be a link that is auto created by Genesis as it is present on other Genesis pages where no header image has been loaded up, i.e. where the page title has simply been typed into WP.

    Do you know why this is doing this? Do I need to submit a ticket to Studiopress for this one?

    This link also causes quite a delay:
    I got this whilst running W3 Total Cache and I’m still getting it now (after I deleted this plugin and replaced with WP Super Cache).

    Once again, thanks so much for your help. You really are very kind.

    Have a great weekend.
    All the very best,

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