Support » Fixing WordPress » Are your sites running slow?

  • Hello –

    PROBLEMS: I think there are a number of you here that have posted about your sites running slow, and there are a number of threads running on the topic. One thread is at:

    SOLUTIONS: Most threads I have read seem to suggest one or more plugins are the culprit. If you use a lot of them, it can be tough to pinpoint the CPU hogs. That’s where PluginHog Detector (a plugin that reveals CPU stats in a table at the bottom of a page), can help. I suggest that those with slow site problems install this plugin, then share screenshots here where we can all compare notes. Get the plugin at:

    I will leave this as the lead post to the thread, and next post specifics on my speed issues, some things I have done to address it, and a screenshot or two of the hog detector.

    I wish you well in the spirit of, “we’re all in this together.”

    – Scott Frangos

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Hello All –

    I have had 4-5 instances of my sites (I have three running WordPress 2.3.x on a Virtual Private Server — all have relatively low traffic) running slow in the past month. They are running much faster as I write this. I will give you a list of things that have been done/ruled out in process of elimination troubleshooting, followed by a screenshot with the PluginHog Detector plugin discussed above.

    1) Rule out ISP problems. This involved both a local program to monitor my connection (phone DSL), and also use of ping/trace route tool to make sure the route from my computer to my web server showed normal hop times in miliseconds (your hosting provider should help interpret this).

    2) Check the Load on your server. My VPS is located with other VPS’s on one dedicated server. Part of my problem was the load caused by a different company on the same server. A good host will report that to you and offer you options. My host moved me to a different server.

    3) LAMP stack issues. Is anything going on with, or is there a tweak to Linux, Apache, MySQL, or PHP that might help? Two things we tried here: One of my Host Tech.s made a tweak to cause “MySQL databases to close faster.” We also upgraded to the current version of PHP — PHP 5.2.4. The jury is out on whether PHP upgrade (many hosts prefer PHP 4.x ) helps, but some people believe the ZEND engine included with version 5.X of PHP can help speed things up a bit.

    4) WordPress Issues. Here I am talking about the main program, which I do NOT believe causes any slowness, but I have seen some posts around the web that claim it creates a lot of MySQL drain. Maybe someone from AutoMattic (the folks behind the program) can comment on this.

    5) Plugin Issues. Here, is where I believe many of you will find solutions to your slow WordPress sites. I suspected a couple of plugins were slowing my sites down (I use over 12 plugins at a couple of sites), but in the busy rush of things, I could not “prove” it. This is where the PlugInHog Detector Plugin can help us. I am going to finish this post with a comparison of the table generated when I click on a post at, to a table generated with I click on the Tag Cloud (it is a plugin — “Configurable Tag Cloud”). You will see that the load takes much longer after a click on a tag cloud link:

    <img src=””>

    In case the image does not load in this post, click the following link to see it:
    Load Time Comparison

    Discussion Points/Questions (I could use your help)

    • While it seems likely that Configurable Cloud Tag plugin (anyone else notice slow load times when using it?) is the culprit, because that is the main difference in how the comparison pages were loaded, the table seems to focus on the “Header” as containing the slow loading code. Any ideas on what could be going on in the header?
    • I am using the Fluid Blue Theme, and instructions on using PluginHog Detector explain that different themes load their component sections in different order. How can you determine the order that a theme loads? Is it simply the sequence shown when you look at say, the index.php file for a theme?
    • Following the advise of the PluginHog detector author, I ran (reloaded page by click on cloud links) the output a number of times. The other results, while signifcantly higher, were not as dramatic as on the screenshot — my first output. Total times were around 1.5, average, for pages generated after clicking a link in the tag cloud generated by the plugin, Configurable Tag Cloud.

    Ok… that’s it for now — thanks for your thoughts. I will report back here on the results of further testing.

    Yours, Scott

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for trying to lead us out of the slow woes.

    I wish the “Plugin Hog Detector” could work without me turning off and on all my plugins individually. I know, the author does give tips to see if the biggest increment is in the comments section or elsewhere, but since my admin pages also take a long time to load, and I have about 25 activated plugins, I’m reluctant to go through the process.

    Here’s the result for my page

    Time……..End Header.Begin Loop.End Loop.End Footer
    Total…….1.59 1.59 2.88 2.90
    Incremental.1.59 0 1.29 0.02


    Is Firebug better?

    Via Firebug’s “Net” tab, I can see the load times of every file (javascripts, css, gifs…).

    But I don’t understand it – it sometimes says the an element took 15 seconds to load, when the whole page loaded in 6 seconds.

    YSlow is a Firebug add-in, but it’s somewhat generic – it hasn’t helped me see what’s slowing my site.

    ( )

    I have 63 active plugins and 53 inactive plugins.

    My plugins list is at:

    For the blog homepage:
    ……….. Header StartMain EndMain Side+Footer
    Total Time 0.63 0.64 1.69 1.73
    Incremental 0.63 0.01 1.05 0.04

    Total Time 0.61 0.62 1.67 1.68
    Incremental 0.61 0.01 1.05 0.01


    Total Time 1.25 1.46 1.47 1.48
    Incremental 1.25 0.21 0.01 0.01

    Perhaps that’s not bad, but it seems slow to me.
    My admin pages are slower.

    Here are my 63 active plugins. I won’t include my 53 inactive plugins.

    This list is taken from

    404 Notifier 1.1 404 Notifier 1.1
    » (url)
    This plugin will log 404 hits on your site and can notify you via e-mail or you can subscribe to the generated RSS feed of 404 events. Adjust your settings here.

    AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget (drop-down) 1.2 AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget (drop-down) 1.2
    » (url)
    Help your visitor promote your website or blog. Put the AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget on your site or blog, so any visitor can easily bookmark it. The widget works with all popular bookmarking services.

    Advanced Category Excluder 1.0.6 Advanced Category Excluder 1.0.6
    » Zsolt Lakatos (DjZoNe) (url)
    With this plugin you can define categories for some parts of the site to be hidden.

    AJAX Comment Preview 1.2.1 AJAX Comment Preview 1.2.1
    » Michael D Adams (url)
    Click Button Coment Preview which filters content through WordPress filters. Inspired by Bitflux GmbH via Jeff Minard.

    Akismet 2.0.2 Akismet 2.0.2
    » Matt Mullenweg (url)
    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” To show off your Akismet stats just put <?php akismet_counter(); ?> in your template.

    Articles 1.2 Articles 1.2
    » Alex King (url)
    Display posts in an ‘Articles’ list. To include a post in the list, add a custom field to the post: ‘article’ = ‘1′. Set your Articles Options here. Questions on configuration, etc.? Make sure to read the README.

    Better Feed 1.1 Better Feed 1.1
    » Ozh (url)
    Your feeds, on steroid.

    Blicki 0.1 Blicki 0.1
    » Automattic (url)
    Blog + Wiki = Blicki

    Cache Images 1.2 Cache Images 1.2
    » Matt Mullenweg (url)
    Goes through your posts and gives you the option to cache all hotlinked images from a domain locally in your upload folder

    Different Posts Per Page 1.5 Different Posts Per Page 1.5
    » MaxBlogPress (url)
    Show different number of posts in home, category, search or archive page.

    Digital Fingerprint Beta 0.2 Digital Fingerprint Beta 0.2
    » Kirk Montgomery (url)
    This plugin enables you to easily and quickly search the web for potential cases of plagiarism and content theft. It works by adding a customizable “digital fingerprint” to your RSS feed in posts that you select (or all posts if you wish). You can then easily monitor the blogosphere for your digital fingerprint in the hopes of finding potential content thieves and scrapers abusing your content.

    Draft Control 1.2 Draft Control 1.2
    » Ken Villines (url)
    A simple and flexible Admin control for WordPress Drafts

    Draft Notifier 1.1 Draft Notifier 1.1
    » Michael D. Adams (url)
    Draft Notifier sends a notification email to your blog’s admin address when a post is written by a Contributor or when such a post is edited.

    Duplicate Sidebar Widgets 1.0 Duplicate Sidebar Widgets 1.0
    » Lancelhoff (url)
    Duplicate sidebar widgets and use them more than once in multiple sidebars or more than once in the same sidebar.

    Executable PHP widget 1.0 Executable PHP widget 1.0
    » Otto (url)
    Like the Text widget, but it will take PHP code as well. Up to 9 instances of this widget may exist. Heavily derived from the Text widget code included with the widget plugin by Automattic, Inc.

    FeedWordPress 0.99 FeedWordPress 0.99
    » Charles Johnson (url)
    simple and flexible Atom/RSS syndication for WordPress

    Flv Player 1.0 Flv Player 1.0
    » Chris Ravenscroft (url)
    A filter for WordPress that displays Flash Streaming Videos using Geoff Stearns’s player Petitions 1.0-beta Petitions 1.0-beta
    » James Davis (url)
    Adds a single, simple petition with e-mail based confirmation to your WordPress installation.

    Fullscreen for WP Super Edit 1.1 Fullscreen for WP Super Edit 1.1
    » Laurel (url)
    Fullscreen for WP Super Edit is a plugin for WP Super Edit. By using it, you can enlarge your TinyMCE editor to fit the full screen of the browser, and toggle between those two views.

    Gmail Posting The plugin’s Version Number, e.g.: 1.0 Gmail Posting The plugin’s Version Number, e.g.: 1.0
    » jaco (url)
    Automatic post from google gmail – based on a work of Jonathan Hernandez

    Google Adsense for Feeds 1.0 Google Adsense for Feeds 1.0
    » Matt Mullenweg (url)
    This puts Google RSS Ads in your feed, make sure you fill in your publisher ID by editing the plugin file.

    Google Adsense widget 1.0 Google Adsense widget 1.0
    » Otto (url)
    Like the Text widget, but specifically for Google Adsense blocks. Up to 4 instances of this widget may exist (since Google only allows 3 ads and one link block on a page). Heavily derived from the Text widget code included with the widget plugin by Automattic, Inc.

    Google XML Sitemaps 3.0 Google XML Sitemaps 3.0
    » Arne Brachhold (url)
    This plugin will generate a compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. Configuration Page

    inlineRSS 1.1 inlineRSS 1.1
    » Cal Demaine (url)
    Allows inline RSS feeds from any source in any format (hopefully). Click here to edit the sources and here to edit the xslt file. Usage in templates: inlineRSS(‘feedname’); Usage in posts / pages Feed feedname not found . This flavour uses multiple processing engines.

    Jiglu Autotag widget 1.1 Jiglu Autotag widget 1.1
    » (url)
    Jiglu Autotag widget

    Language Translator 1.0 Language Translator 1.0
    » Lancelhoff (url)
    Adds a multi-language sidebar widget which enables visitors to translate your blog in their own language.

    Moderation Notify Author 1.0 Moderation Notify Author 1.0
    » Mark Ghosh (LaughingLizard) (url)
    Activate this plugin to automatically notify the author of a comment moderation request (in addition to the admin of the blog)

    MyBlogLog Widget 2.0 MyBlogLog Widget 2.0
    » MyBlogLog Team (url)
    Adds MyBlogLog widget to your blog.

    New User Email Set Up 0.1 New User Email Set Up 0.1
    » Alex Cragg (Alex Cragg“>url)
    A Plugin to set up the registration email sent to new users.

    OneClick Installer 0.9.8 OneClick Installer 0.9.8
    » Anirudh Sanjeev (url)
    Installs any plugin or theme without having to upload them manually via ftp. Can also delete theme and plugin folders.

    Page Link Manager 0.3 Page Link Manager 0.3
    » Garrett Murphey (url)
    Adds admin panel to choose which pages appear in the site navigation.

    PluginHogDetector 0.1 (Beta) PluginHogDetector 0.1 (Beta)
    » Lucia Liljegren (url)
    Helps you figure out if your plugins hog resources. To use, activate. Load a page, scroll to the footer. You will find a table showing how much was required to serve different portions of your page.

    Post/Page Update Notification 2.2.1 Post/Page Update Notification 2.2.1
    » Andy Staines (url)
    Allows for subscribed users to receive email notification when a Page is updated

    Posts By Category 2.0 Posts By Category 2.0
    » Frucomerci (url)
    Displays a list of the post titles in each category.

    Post Templates by Category R1.3 Post Templates by Category R1.3
    » Kaf Oseo (url)
    Use custom single post templates for specified categories.

    Search and Replace 1.7 Search and Replace 1.7
    » (url)
    A simple search for find strings in your database and replace the string. Use in Manage -> Search/Replace by Mark Cunningham and Frank Bueltge

    Sexy Comments 1.4.6 Sexy Comments 1.4.6
    » Matthew Batchelder (url)
    Sexify your comments with avatars and forum-like formatting.

    Subscribe To Comments 2.1.1 Subscribe To Comments 2.1.1
    » Mark Jaquith (url)
    Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Based on version 1 from Scriptygoddess

    tags4page 1.0 tags4page 1.0
    » Michele Marcucci (url)
    Now you can add tags to pages too (native Worpdress 2.3 tagging support) – Works ONLY with WordPress >= 2.3

    Tag Suggest Thing 1 Tag Suggest Thing 1
    » Christine From The Internet (url)
    Tag Suggestions for WordPress using

    Target Blank In Posts And Comments R1.0.1 Target Blank In Posts And Comments R1.0.1
    » Lazar Kovacevic (url)
    Keep your visitors. Inserts target=”_blank” into post and comment content URLs and external links will open in new tabs. Lazar blatantly stole the code from Kaf Oseo’s ‘Nofollow In Posts’ plugin, and replaced rel=”nofollow” with target=”_blank”.

    The Holy Scripturizer 1.7 The Holy Scripturizer 1.7
    » Dean Peters, ported by Glen Davis, updated by Laurence O’Donnell (url)
    Automatically converts Bible references into hyperlinks pointed to major online Bible sites.

    Theme Switcher 0.5 Theme Switcher 0.5
    » Ryan Boren (url)
    Allow your readers to switch themes.

    Tiny Search Replace 0.0.1 Tiny Search Replace 0.0.1
    » Windy Road (url)
    Add search replace controls in the TinyMCE Rich Visual Editor

    Viper’s Video Quicktags 5.2.1 Viper’s Video Quicktags 5.2.1
    » Viper007Bond (url)
    Allows you to embed various video types, including those hosted at YouTube and Google Video as well as videos you host yourself, into WordPress. Credits: Owen Winkler for ButtonSnap and An-archos for help with WP 2.1+ button code. Stats 1.1.1 Stats 1.1.1
    » Andy Skelton (url)
    Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a API key.

    WordPress Database Backup 2.1.4 WordPress Database Backup 2.1.4
    » Austin Matzko (url)
    On-demand backup of your WordPress database. Navigate to Manage → Backup to get started.

    WordPress Mobile Edition 2.0 WordPress Mobile Edition 2.0
    » Alex King (url)
    Show a mobile view of the post/page if the visitor is on a known mobile device.

    WP-EMail 2.20 WP-EMail 2.20
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Allows people to recommand/send your WordPress blog’s post/page to a friend.

    WP-FileManager 1.2 WP-FileManager 1.2
    » Johannes Ries (url)
    FileManager for WordPress based on a hack by Joe Schmoe. With this plugin you can easily change, delete, organize and upload files.

    WP-PluginsUsed 1.00 WP-PluginsUsed 1.00
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Display WordPress plugins that you currently have (both active and inactive) onto a post/page.

    WP-Polls 2.21 WP-Polls 2.21
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and css styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It now supports multiple selection of answers.

    WP-Polls Widget 2.21 WP-Polls Widget 2.21
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Adds a Poll Widget to display single or multiple polls from WP-Polls Plugin. You will need to activate WP-Polls first.

    WP-PostRatings 1.20 WP-PostRatings 1.20
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page.

    WP-PostViews 1.20 WP-PostViews 1.20
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Enables you to display how many times a post/page had been viewed. It will not count registered member views, but that can be changed easily.

    WP-RSSImport 4.0 WP-RSSImport 4.0
    » Frank Bueltge (url)
    List a RSS-Feed in your WP-Blog, only headlines or with description.

    WP-Syntax 0.6 WP-Syntax 0.6
    » Ryan McGeary (url)
    Syntax highlighting using GeSHi supporting a wide range of popular languages. Wrap code blocks with <pre lang=”LANGUAGE” line=”1″> and where LANGUAGE is a geshi supported language syntax. The line attribute is optional.

    wp-Table 1.52 wp-Table 1.52
    » Alex Rabe (url)
    This plugin is a simple table manager. I didn’t find anything in the web which creates the same result, for my purpose.

    WP-UserOnline 2.20 WP-UserOnline 2.20
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Enable you to display how many users are online on your WordPress blog with detailed statistics of where they are and who there are(Members/Guests/Search Bots).

    WP-UserOnline Widget 2.20 WP-UserOnline Widget 2.20
    » Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan (url)
    Adds a UserOnline Widget to display users online from WP-UserOnline Plugin. You need to activate WP-UserOnline first.

    WP Grins 1.5 WP Grins 1.5
    » Alex King (url)
    A Clickable Smilies hack for WordPress.

    WP Since Last Visit WP Since Last Visit
    » Alex King (url)
    Indicate new posts and comments since your last visit.

    WP Super Edit 1.1.2 WP Super Edit 1.1.2
    » Jesse Planck (url)
    Get some control over the visual/wysiwyg editor and add some functionality without modifying the WordPress source code.

    Hello Imagiscape –

    Thanks for taking the time to post. I am hoping that some more knowledgeable PHP engineers can get a handle on what is going on by reading what we are reporting here. I think FireBug can be a help — if you know how to focus in its output and interpret that. I can’t help you much there, but perhaps another member will.

    My thoughts are that 63 plugins are an aweful lot. There can be conflicts between plugins, let alone with how they interact with WordPress itself.

    I found some useful information at this link:
    WordPress Performance (by Elliott Back)

    I also learned that my Tag Cloud plugin (Configurable Tag Cloud) was out of date, and so updated it.

    My sites are running faster now. Problem is, I didn’t have time to actually pinpoint a specific cause. I simply tried about seven things, and my hosting techs. helped with a few more things (upgrading to latest PHP, moving to a new Virtual Server, tweaking the MySQL database calls). And, Finally, everything is moving at a good clip.

    I again encourage other WP users with speed issues to post here, and together we can help each other troubleshoot.

    – Scott

    Are you reluctant to deactivate all your plugins?
    Because my admin section went blank after every submission of a post or plugin activation/deactivation, and was slow, I needed to find if there was a conflict in my plugins, but I was reluctant to go through the slow process of deactivating them one by one (and being met with a blank page after every one).

    But by accessing the database directly through phpMyAdmin, I found the active plugins field in wp_options, and removed them all except Akismet in one step.

    When I went to blog/wp-admin/plugins.php, I did get an error message, but when I began activating plugins, the error message went away. Now I get no blanks! I activated 46 of my plugins and still the site runs very well.

    I read the article you linked to, WebFadds, “WordPress Performance” (by Elliott Back), it is great indeed. It’s a bit intimidating – mainly in terms of time – but I expect it will be worthwhile.

    Sometimes my site loads pretty quickly and other times all I get is a blank page with a ‘done’ in the bottom of the screen, or parts of the page do not load at all. I have added the ‘cache’ plugin to help, which does speed things up, though the admin panel on my Windows hosted site does not appear.

    Testing the loading of my site on my mobile, I sometimes get a ‘no response from server’ message. I plan to contact my hosts.

    Perhaps plugins should be given a rating to how fast they may run?

    What they need is a way to list what version of WordPress the plugins have been tested to work on. Old plugins will either slow down or point blank not work on newer versions of WordPress, but people have no way of telling if the plugin they want to use will work properly with the version of WordPress that they have. Something as simple as a designation like “This plugin has been tested to work properly up to version x.xx of WordPress” would be nice. Without a system like this in place you’re going to see people having problems with their WordPress/plugins, especially when they update WordPress.

    I had a very slow wordpress website. Then I started deleteing the plugins one at a time, and tested the speed. I finally found the plugin that slowed everything down. It was … (drum roll please)

    Top Commentators Widget (Adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in your WP site. Adapted from Show Top Commentators plugin.)

    Yes, it will of more use to list any problematic, CPUhog plugins.
    Thx the OP and GeekThug

    Gaaahhhh!!!! For the last few weeks I have been upset thinking it is my template slowing things down. It was actually an old plugin… Weighted Words. I can just imagine how this has been slowing things down all along! I installed the PluginHog and was shocked at how slow the site was running. I decided to turn off Weighted Words first because I knew it was the oldest plugin version I had running. Voila!

    Thanks for the tips.. much appreciated.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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