Jump to a section:
- Check if production mode is enabled »
- Update your website theme and plugins »
- GTMetrix »
- WebPageTest »
- Jetpack site optimization settings »
- Performance plugins »
- Disable plugins to test »
- Things that disable batcache »
- Query Monitor plugin »
- Database optimization: MyISAM vs InnoDB »
Check if production mode is enabled
When you log into your MyPressable Control Panel, you will see that your site is either in Development Mode or Production Mode. When production mode is enabled, this activates server-side caching (Batcache) and our content delivery network (CDN). The first step when looking into website speed issues is to check if production mode is enabled or not.
Update your website theme and plugins
A slow response time can also be due to outdated plugins and theme files. Not only that, outdated plugins can also be a source for malware to infect your website – another great reason to stay on top of updates. Make sure that everything is running on the latest and greatest versions.
Also take a look at the number of plugins that your website is using and try to keep that number as low as possible. The more plugins that you use, the higher the chances that one of those plugins will negatively impact your website or will conflict with one another. The fewer plugins, the better.
GTMetrix is a free tool that analyzes your page’s speed performance. It generates reports about the load time and size of your website. Additionally, it provides recommended actions to better improve speed and rates your website against those recommendations. When trying to analyze what might be affecting the load time of your site, this tool is very informative.
WebPageTest is another tool for measuring webpage performance. It provides a filmstrip view of all assets being loaded by your website, how long those take to load, and what assets might be causing rendering issues. It is also useful for testing your website’s time to first byte (TTFB). Ideally you would want your TTFB to be 0.50 seconds or less.
Your Pressable hosting account comes with a free version of Jetpack Premium for each of your websites. Not only does Jetpack Premium provide automatic backups, malware scanning, and activity reports, it also offers site optimization. Enable the Site Accelerator to run static files and images through Jetpack’s CDN. Enabling image lazy loading is usually particularly effective at increasing the load time of your website.
Sometimes you may need a little more help in optimizing your website images and static files. The following plugins may be useful in that regard:
WP Smush is an image optimization plugin that allows you to compress and optimize your website images quickly and easily without loss of quality.
Autoptimize makes optimizing your site really easy. It can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, injects CSS in the page head by default (but can also defer), moves and defers scripts to the footer and minifies HTML. Plus much more! Read more about it here.
It is extremely common to find that a plugin has been the culprit in a slow loading website. The quick way to test if a plugin is causing performance problems is to disable them all. If you see an immediate improvement then you know at least one of those plugins is to blame. Reactivating them one at a time until you notice a problem again will help you identify which one is the source.
Another way to identify a problem plugin is to test your website using either GTMetrix or WebPageTest, and then deactivate those plugins one at a time, retesting the site speed each time. It can be a time consuming but very productive experiment.
Please make sure you back up your database before performing this test. Occasionally, deactivating plugins can also reset their settings.
Things that disable batcache
Batcache stores and serves rendered pages. In a nutshell, when your page receives two visits within a period of two minutes, a cached version of the page is stored on the second visit for five minutes. Future visitors will receive the cached version for five minutes, after which a fresh render of the site will be used.
Certain things can cause Batcache to stop working. Most notably, cookies that begin with “wp” or “wordpress” will prevent caching. If you are logged into WordPress, one of those cookies will be loaded and you will not see a cached version of your site. WooCommerce pages will also load these cookies.
To verify that your page is indeed being cached by Batcache, load the source code of your page. For example: view-source:https://kb.pressable.com/. You should see an HTML comment like this at the very bottom of the page:
If you do not see that comment, and the website has been reloaded a couple of times, and you are not logged in, you can check for cookies in the Network tab of your browser dev tools:
The Query Monitor plugin is a free debugging tool that helps assess the performance of your website. It gives an in-depth analysis of all of the requests being made to the server including database queries, HTTP requests, hooks & actions, and so much more. It can be used to help identify a plugin, script, or database query that is negatively impacting the load time of your website.
If you are experiencing performance issues with your website and have already checked obvious possibilities, the Query Monitor plugin can help you dig deeper into the functionality of your site to identify problems. Read more about the features and how to use the plugin here: https://kb.pressable.com/article/query-monitor/
MyISAM vs InnoDB – advanced users
MyISAM and InnoDB are both storage engines used by MySQL databases. Both have their pros and cons. Oftentimes, when a WordPress database grows quite large, it will run more smoothly when the storage engine of the database tables are InnoDB rather than MyISAM. To check what your database tables are using, log into phpMyAdmin. Take a backup of your database before making any changes! Each table in your database will display what storage engine it is using:
To convert a table to InnoDB, click on it’s name. Then select the “Operations” tab at the top. In the “Table Options” area you can select InnoDB in the Storage Engine select menu. Save those changes.
With a little effort and assessment, an improvement in website performance should be seen if the suggestions and guides above are implemented. If you have further questions you can contact the help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.