Support » Plugin: Site Kit by Google » Large jump in ttfb – increased by 2 to 7 seconds!

  • Resolved mattgoddard

    (@mattgoddard)


    I had a major problem – it killed the performance of my site. I couldn’t figure out why Time To First Byte had rocketed from 0.5 seconds to anywhere between 2.5 and 7 seconds!!

    Took me a while to figure out it was this plugin – but once disabled everything’s ok again.

    I was asked to raise this ticket off the back of a negative plugin review
    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/killed-site-performance-with-slow-ttfb/#post-13385646

    I have .HAR files I’m happy to share if you let me know how I can send securely.

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Many thanks for opening a support topic. We’d certainly be happy to investigate this for you. Before reviewing your HAR file let’s check a few things. I’ve already performed some performance checks on your site, although it doesn’t seem Site Kit is active (nice site by the way).

    Can you active the plugin once more, even temporarily and activate just the Search Console module? After doing so feel free to share your Site Health information so we can inspect any other possible factors. If you can let me know once that’s done I can perform another check.

    Hi @jamesosborne, I’ve submitted the site health info with only the GSC element enabled. Since capturing slow ttfb on several occasions via GTMetrix – the ttfb appears to have improved again, at least for now. I had the same experience previously where the problem was intermittent but later became 100% of the time.

    I’ll leave the plugin enabled and only deactivate it if my site slows down.

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Hi @mattgoddard,

    Many thanks for the update and apologies for the delay. I’ve checked the details you’ve provided and today I’m seeing little difference in your performance scores. I’ve used both web.dev and lighthouse. See this image, or view the reports. (Before Site Kit | After Site Kit). You’ll notice there’s a time stamp on the footer of each.

    While I don’t see much difference there are many factors at play when it comes to performance scoring. The TTFB metric in particular can also be impacted by server performance.

    Note also that Site Kit itself only adds one line of code to the front end of your site when active, the meta generator tag. I noticed from looking at your Site Health information that you have the AdSense module active. When you choose to activate other modules or Google services, with Site Kit or via manually inserting the snippets (such as Analytics, AdSense, Tag Manager) these additional services do make additional requests. It’s the services themselves that make requests as opposed to Site Kit, which simply facilitates the insertion of such snippets.

    As you’re using AdSense have you also considered adopting AMP for your site? I noticed you’re using the Generator Press theme, which has an AMP add on which you can use to ensure your navigation menu works in AMP (With JavaScript being restricted in AMP this is a common issue for themes that doesn’t support AMP). AMP ads perform better than traditional ads.

    Let me know if you’d like to perform any additional checks on your site. If you re-enable only the Search Console module we can do a source code comparison of your sites homepage.

    Hi @jamesosborne,

    I think I would have deactivated the plugin by the time you checked again. Hence why the before and after tests are very similar, if not identical.

    I haven’t configured Adsense – it’s as per a fresh install and asking to be set-up. How can I disable it?

    Thanks
    Matt

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Hi Matt,

    Sorry about the delay. We provide support during weekdays only. If you want to activate the plugin once more I can check your sites performance once more and do a comparison.

    I haven’t configured Adsense – it’s as per a fresh install and asking to be set-up. How can I disable it?

    To connect or disconnect a plugin using Site Kit you’ll find the settings when you visit the “Settings” tab. It will list all connected services.

    When activating Site Kit please ensure only the Search Console module is active. We can then perform a thorough analysis. I’ve performed another on your site now with Sit Kit deactivated.

    Hi James,
    No problem, I expected as much.
    I’d already looked at the settings to disable Adsense but there is no option to disable it. It’s simply asking to be configured for the 1st time. Maybe you can recreate it at your end by installing a fresh install – you’ll see what I mean. Or I can send a screenshot if it helps.

    Thanks
    Matt

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Thanks for your reply. In that case the setup process may have been started previously. If you follow the steps to complete the AdSense module setup you should then be able to disconnect the module.

    Let me know if that works, and when you have only the Search Console module active. We can then troubleshoot further.

    Thanks James. I’ve managed to delete the ad sense state. It’s now disabled.

    The website times aren’t impacted by just having search console enabled, as expected.

    Is next step to enable Analytics and see what happens?

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Perfect, I can see that on your site now.

    Is next step to enable Analytics and see what happens?

    Certainly, we can do so if you wish. When you enable the Analytics module your site must make one additional request via the JavaScript snippet placement. This is the same whether you implement Analytics manually or via Site Kit, there should be no additional performance impact when you use Site Kit. I’ve recorded some performance tests and source code checks on your site now. If you want to enable Analytics via Site Kit first you can let me know and I’ll do some more checks.

    I’ve enabled Analytics and Site Kit states it’s inserted the code. I can’t see the 2x JS files loading for analytics from gtmetrix or webpagetest but can see them via dev console > Network.

    Can you confirm all looks ok? The site performance has been uneffect and page weight has only moved by 1kb. Doesn’t quite feel right to me.

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve checked now and I can see the Analytics script placed on your site. It looks like you may have some JavaScript resources minified or combined, which is why you may not see it directly in your network panel in Chrome dev tools.

    Note I’m also not encountering any negative impact on performance.

    You can also see a source code comparison check here (from earlier today before you had Analytics active).

    Can you confirm all looks ok? The site performance has been uneffect and page weight has only moved by 1kb. Doesn’t quite feel right to me.

    While all looks ok I think it’s fair to say your caching and optimisation plugins can also impact performance, in a positive way. The minification or combining of JS files can also have an impact on performance.

    If you like we can test other modules active on your site? With or without Site Kit. Note Site Kit only facilitates the placement of these other product snippets, so we can test the snippets with and without Site Kit if you like. While you left a review based on Site Kit’s performance impact I’m guessing these are more product based differences you may be encountering.

    I’m starting to suspect it was either Adsense, Pagespeed insights integration, or something a bit weird.

    I’ve enabled Tag Manager with a FB pixel tag configured and everything’s looking great right now. I did some extra performance tuning late last week – but only combining CSS and removing the Jetpack plugin.

    Does the Pagespeed insight integration do anything on the site or just connect to PSI to retrieve previously run benchmark tests?

    Thanks for your patience in going through step by step. It appears to be in a much better place now.

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    You could be correct. When using additional services, in particular adding scripts to Google Tag Manager many of these make additional requests, not always evident on your site. When you add tags within Tag Manager also some of these may make additional requests, like the Facebook Pixel you referenced. While Site Kit facilitates the placement of these snippets (via the Tag Manager module) it’s not a Site Kit specific request.

    Note also your’re using an optimization and caching plugin (which is always recommended) with features that minify and compress files. This can make it harder to determine additional causes of any requests or JavaScript footprint.

    Does the Pagespeed insight integration do anything on the site or just connect to PSI to retrieve previously run benchmark tests?

    Good question. It’s a backend (admin panel) operated feature which doesn’t make any additional requests on the front end. You won’t see any snippets when checking your front ends source code and it doesn’t impact the sites performance.

    Thanks for your patience in going through step by step. It appears to be in a much better place now.

    No problem at all, happy to help. Get in touch if you have any further queries. And if you’re happy with having narrowed down the cause of your sites performance feel free to review the plugin rating.

    If you happen to investigate other performance tweeks also consider the AMP plugin with the GeneratePress AMP addon. You could apply for your blog pages alone before comparing performance.

    Plugin Support James Osborne

    (@jamesosborne)

    @mattgoddard As we didn’t receive a response I’ll mark this as resolved. Feel free to open a new support topic if you have any further queries. And thanks for using Site Kit.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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