- This topic has 21 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 5 months ago by Tom.
July 6, 2016 at 1:24 am #206911Jessica
Well that Autoptimizer plugin totally skewed every single thing on my site. The elements are literally ALL over the page. I will upload and revert back to what I had prior to doing this but ugh. I am not crazy – I do this for a living, maybe not as advanced as some people, but I’ve created some pretty large and robust sites – this is the first time I’ve had an issue like this. I”m really disappointed that I’m being told to install all these extra plugins to try and solve a problem that was never there. Plugins are the primary culprit for site issues 99% of the time.July 6, 2016 at 9:02 am #206984TomLead DeveloperLead Developer
I think it’s important to remember that we’re trying to help you – the issue you’re having in complex, so it’s going to take some testing to figure it out.
Since you’re experiencing the issue in your Dashboard, plugins like Autoptimize aren’t going to fix anything as they optimize the front-end.
It also means it’s not the CSS and JS files you initially posted, as they are only loaded in the front end.
So if you’re willing, here’s a plan to figure out what’s going on.
1. Deactivate GP Premium – does the issue still exist?
2. Deactivate GeneratePress – still happening?
3. Install Query Monitor – you can uninstall it when the issue is resolved, it will simply give us more information as to what’s causing the issue.
Looking forward to hearing back.July 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm #207112Patricia
I’m sorry to hear you’re going through that with your website.
When I was going through it, I felt like I was going crazy! When I’d contact my host service they would just offer tips for optimization (which was not the issue. I mean, it’s all great info! But not pertinent to that experience at the time). Adding to the mystery even more was (1) pingdom and other speed tests did not indicate the slowdown (what the heck?!) and (2) it did not happen to 100% of visitors (especially those with Mac/Safari). However MOST people who visited/tested my website – in different geographical locations, different internet providers, Mac & PC users, mobile and desktop, different browser types – experienced the horrific loading times. To make matters even more confusing, there was one stretch of time (a few hours) where the problem seemed to resolve itself. But then the slowdown returned, with a vengeance.
I deactivated every plugin, followed all the optimization advice, checked query monitor… all to no avail. On top of everything, only one of my websites was experiencing this dreadfully slow (20 – 30 seconds on a good day) loading time. I could not find one single consistent variable.
I contacted my host (several times), my internet provider, my theme developer (Tom is always there for me!), and the developer of the one plugin I used that had not noted that it was compatible with the most recent WP update.. still no improvement.
Trust me when I say I can feel your pain!
The good news is that it’s not happening anymore, yay!!
The less-good news is that I *still* do not understand what the problem was. However, I can tell you that the resolution happened in two stages:
1) I contacted my host (Site Ground) again, and this time the customer service rep “added some rules to htaccess” (per the chat transcript), and instantly the backend (/wp-admin) of my site was fast again. 🙂 I didn’t see any improvement in the front-end, but I was so happy to be able to at least access my site without it timing out.
He insisted that both front end and back end should’ve been fixed, and of course (as was the case before), the speed test indicated the lightning-speed loading time I usually enjoy. So I ended that chat hoping the rest of the problem would resolve itself in time.
It didn’t, lol.
2) I contacted Site Ground yet again late the next night, pretty much in tears, pleading desperately for a solution that did not involve “optimization,” haha! I chatted with a customer service rep, and FINALLY my problem had been solved, once and for all, woohoo! I believe there was one small thingy (not the technical term, lol) in my php configuration that he was able to change… but for the life of me, I cannot find my copy of the transcript to be able to refer back to and let you know exactly what it was. I was probably so thrilled that it was fixed that I forgot to select the option to send myself a copy. :/
I know this doesn’t help you diagnose (much less fix) the problem. But hopefully it points you in the same direction that lead me to the answer.
Hopefully this doesn’t come across as knocking Site Ground. I have had a very positive experience with them and highly recommend them to anybody who asks. Their customer service is awesome, and their uptime is unparalleled! I don’t blame them for the length of time it took to get to the bottom of the problem because – as you well know – it was so tremendously mysterious and unusual.
You *may* find some temporary relief if you restore your site from before the problem began (if you or your host have a backup).
Good luck with everything!!
And THANK YOU, TOM, for allowing us to continue this thread here even though this is NOT A GP ISSUE!! 🙂July 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm #207128Jessica
After a bit of jerry-rigging, deactivating & reactivating, & doing a bit of my own optimizing (this wasn’t the host b/c my other sites were loading fine) I was able to get the site load faster. However, there are still a ton of .css & .js that appear excessive (in quantity). I’ve never experienced this before when I test other sites. Using the Autoptimizer plugin messed up the entire layout so I had to remove it.
So yes, I got the site to load a lot faster but what the Pingdom test is showing me is several “F” grades b/c of the quantity of css & js.
32 .js files = 47.8% of the load time requests
18 css files = 26.9% of the load time requests
The rest, images, html & “other” was around 20-22%
The site has a worldwide audience and within the US the load time is okay but the further away I get (testing speed) the slower it gets. We have several people in Australia who visit and the load time from there was over 8 seconds – even with the caching plugin which significantly lowered the time.
How can all the .js & .css files be reduced or consolidated so there aren’t so many requests? That seems to be what’s causing it. The initial page is less than 1mb and everything has been simplified & optimized as much as it can be (following every instruction I’ve been given) yet these number of js/css files loading are things I suspect will not count in our favor – especially if they are loading in the header before any content is reached (and I’m referring to indexing crawlers).July 6, 2016 at 7:51 pm #207130TomLead DeveloperLead Developer
In order to merge the CSS and JS files into one file (for each), you need to use a plugin like Autoptimize or Better WP Minify.
There’s also various caching plugins available that can help you achieve this as well.
Not sure why Autoptimize isn’t working for you – it’s one of the best in my opinion at doing this without causing issues on the site. Did you copy the settings I mentioned in the article I posted earlier in the topic?
I might be able to help further if you can link me to the site in question?July 6, 2016 at 11:35 pm #207142Jessica
I am using Comet Cache which has significantly improved things. Autoptimize messed with the files enough that the layout got all screwy, even thought I followed your settings. I can try a different caching plugin locally to first see if the layout is affected. But I really didn’t want to have to go from 4 plugins to 8 after all this was done :/ In general, I am not a ‘solve by plugin’ person when a lot of this can be done with a few lines of code in the functions file (in my child theme). It’s the constant adding of plugins that almost always adds to existing or future issues.July 7, 2016 at 12:26 am #207155TomLead DeveloperLead Developer
I’m not familiar with Comet Cache, but they might have a minifying option if you look.
No need to go from 4 to 8 plugins, but if you want certain things like minifying all of your scripts and styles into one file each, you’ll need a plugin if your existing ones don’t have that feature.
Doing something like that requires a lot more than a few lines of code.
Did you ever get any results from Query Monitor?
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