Wordpress Site Slow/Not Responding

My wife’s wordpress site has been slow and drops offline for sometime now. When it happens, I email Dreamhost and they always come back (very patiently) and tell me I have a plugin running that is consuming resources to the point that my allotted memory is totally consumed and eventually killed.

I was asked to turn on WP Super Cache and yesterday I removed the offending plugin that was consuming all my resources for a new one and it is still acting slow/unresponsive.

I have two questions:

  1. My wife’s website has roughly 15 to 30 (sometimes maybe 50) concurrent users at any given time of day. Is a shared server solution going to work for her website or do I need to upgrade her?

  2. How do I access the logs on the web servers? I can SSH to it, but I’m a .Net-Windows guy (software engineer by trade), not a Linux-LAMP guy, so while technical, I’m completely out of my element and have no idea how to go about anything once I am on the CLI in Linux.

I’d like to not bother the staff if I can see why the site is slow and what plugin is killing the site.

Shared will handle a well designed site with that traffic no problems at all. A Wordpress site, however, requires a bit of work. You will definitely need to use caching and you really, really, really need to go easy on the plug-ins.

The logs we users have access to are error logs - and those won’t tell you diddly squat. You can view those at /home/user/logs.

The only real ways to track down a resource hog on WP is by intuition, Googling, and trial and error. Turn off everything that is not absolutely necessary for the website to function and then one by one turn the extras back on until you find the culprits. Google all your plug-ins to see if anyone else has caught a bad one and if so swap it out for something else.

If you really need to use multiple plug-ins you’re probably using the wrong application to begin with. Using WP and a stack of plug-ins often means you are going to end up being instructed that “you require a VPS” - and that is not a cheap option here.

Thanks sXi, when my wife started the blog it was meant to be a fun hobby and here we are six months and 10k facebook fans later and I am stuck with my casual choice of Word Press and LAMP. When she started, I would just throw a plugin at the site b/c she was getting maybe 2000 visitors a month. Now she gets close to 200,000 visitors a month. I think you are right, I am going to have to roll up my sleeves and just dig in at this point. We aren’t running too many plugins, but apparently I’m running enough of them that I am having interaction issues.

By chance, do you know at what point we would have to upgrade to a VPS? And, how much memory are we allocated? All I ever get is it’s substantial, which is truly relative and means nothing to me.

You get 90MB for PHP. That’s more than enough for most things PHP, but WP likes more. Caching will seriously go miles to help - and you need to cache everything possible to static html files in order to keep your PHP processes from becoming overloaded. Also get rid of the WP cron as it can be abused by plug-ins. I think Ipstenu wrote an article in the Wiki for configuring wp-cron to run in a more manual manner should you need to have it running from time to time.

Well if anyone happens to stumbled upon this, I removed the official facebook plugin from facebook. Firebug showed it taking two seconds to load. I deleted the cache so it can rebuild and it seems to have helped in the mean time. I’m going to continue to fish around, but my my customer also happens to be the mother of my children and my wife so it’s hard to tell her things have to go. It puts a damper on things if you know what I mean :slight_smile:

Plug-ins for off-site things like Facebook and Twitter will usually appear to load slowly (even google analytics does this from time to time). This is not necessarily an indication that your server is working for that extra time. Most often the apparent client-side lag is the latency between the user’s browser and the social network which is loading data into an iframe or div via javascript, rather than from your website itself. Of course this is dependent on what the plug-in is doing - but usually they are just loading data like tweets and fb feeds or buttons externally.

It’s not imperative to time such off-site element loading after implementing caching if you are concentrating on keeping your server-side resource usage to a minimum. Check out what the plug-in is actually doing and if it’s just loading Share buttons or similar things you might be able to use it as a bargaining tool with the missus to get your favourite meal tonight.

Bit sneaky, but we do what we have to :smiley:

Core WP is happy with 42MB, it’s those darn plugins … :wink:

The cheap and easy way to speed up your site, after dumping the plugins you don’t have to have, is making sure you’re on at least PHP 5.3, and using Google PageSpeed. It does some backend caching that is way faster than having WP do it via a plugin.

Hi - I was having the same problems for month and months. Response from DH is always “it’s a plugin issue”, but given everyone seems to be having the same issues maybe it’s their servers can’t handle WP.

I got around this issue myself by caching every single page and changing the settings so that the caches don’t get deleted each day. This now works fine for me. Check out one of our pages and see it loads fast : http://www.alternativeafricanadventures.co.uk/classic-tours/

When I edit a page, I have to then manually delete the cache for that page and reset the cache. Then it’s all OK again.

It basically seems that DH either can’t handle WP or can’t handle PHP. Not sure which. But the SQL DB keeps losing connectivity so maybe some one else can explain?

Looking at your site… I still think it’s a plugin.

You have both “wp-realtime-sitemap” AND “google-sitemap-generator”

Dump them both, since you ALSO have “wordpress-seo” which can generate a sitemap just fine on it’s own :slight_smile:

Just seen this post response … I’ll try that today :slight_smile: