Support » Fixing WordPress » Site loads very slow, 'waiting for server'

  • Resolved hellomcfly


    My site used to load pretty quickly (in about 0.9 seconds), but since a few days loading is suddenly really slow.

    With almost all of the optimizations of W3C Total Cache and CloudFlare turned on, it takes 6 seconds to load. Every now and then, it drops to about 19 seconds.

    According to the page speed test at, about 90 percent of the time is used by ‘waiting for the server’. Hoewer, not every file has this waiting problem: it’s mainly waiting for the ‘html’ at my WordPress-folder.

    Here’s Pingdoms report

    It looks like CloudFlare and W3C Total Cache are doing their work: almost all files load swiftly. Something, however, is dragging it down. Do you guys have any idea what this could be?

    I’ve already measured plugin loading speed; that seems to be fine. My database is optimized as well.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • damoncloudflare



    Can you make sure you don’t have minify options turned on at both CloudFlare and W3TC? You only want to have one option active because conflicts can arise.

    Did you change any of the static content on your site recently (css, javascript, images, etc.)?



    Note: I’m also wondering if you also have cdnjs turned on for minification?



    Good questions. Cloudflare has minify enabled, W3TC has it disabled. W3TC does have ‘rewrite URL structure’ enabled, though.

    In Cloudflare’s CDNJS-section, Modernizr, Flexie and JSON2 are on.

    By the way, I just noticed this message, written in red on the top of the W3TC settings page:

    It appears Page Cache URL rewriting is not working. If using apache, verify that the server configuration allows .htaccess or if using nginx verify all configuration files are included in the configuration.

    I did have some problems with the .htaccess file of my WordPress-folder last week (got a 500 Internal Server Error after messing with a referrer group in W3TC and solved it by renaming that .htaccess). Maybe W3TC is behaving strangely? Should I try removing and re-installing it?




    I just remembered I started using a child theme last week. Just switched back to the parent theme and loading time seems to have improved quite a bit: from 8-20 seconds to about 2,5 seconds. Great stuff. Any idea what could have been wrong?

    The ‘waiting for server’-part still takes the most time, though: about 1,7 seconds. Seems a waste of time. Any idea what could be causing that?



    ” Great stuff. Any idea what could have been wrong?”
    Did you go to CloudFlare Development Mode or Purge the Cache for the .css file? Might be a factor.

    “The ‘waiting for server’-part still takes the most time, though: about 1,7 seconds. Seems a waste of time. Any idea what could be causing that? “

    No. Seems odd & probably difficult to troubleshoot this issue here (seems like a hosting provider issue). Any insights from your hosting provider about that?



    Yes, I do purge the cache every now and then. I’ve done that before, though. Didn’t make too much of a difference.

    I just noticed that the loading time has risen again. It’s about 9 seconds now. I’ll ask my host about this. Though the jump in loading time is new, the ‘waiting for server’-part isn’t.



    Got it! Turning off the All In One SEO-plugin seems to do the trick. Page loading time is now just 1 second – just like it used to be. I think stuff went wrong when I updated the plugin, last week.

    (Judging on the plugin forum page, though, this doesn’t look like a common issue. Could there be some form of interference with W3TC or Cloudflare?)

    Thanks for your help, Damon!

    Did you ever figure this out? I am having the same problem. Was it really the SEO plugin? I don’t use All-in-One SEO, but I do use WordPress SEO.

    No, I never really figured it out. My site loads quite swiftly now, but I’m not sure what did the trick.

    I tried a lot of things, including switching off minification in the W3 Total Cache plugin and getting rid of CloudFlare. It might have to do something with the intermingling of minification/caching and the workings of the SEO plugin. Do you use CloudFlare or any other optimization tool?

    I switched to WP Super Cache and instantly saw a big decrease in my load times.

    I have also used EWWW plugin for condensing my images, and have started to use Amazon S3 plugin to serve my images. I am not sure if these plugins are doing much….

    Hmm. Sounds quite similar to my approach. It would be nice if Yoast could chime in on this one. I wouldn’t be suprised if the SEO tricks interfere with speed optimization tricks.

    I am having the same problem. Ever since I updated to the latest W3 Total Cache a few days ago, my site has slowed down terribly. I use Yoast SEO.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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