Website speed not consistent

21 replies
I have tried to optimize website for speed by decreasing active plugins, optimizing caching, etc, and while it worked to get it down to around 2.5 seconds for which I was really pleased, its not consistent however. Say I do 10 tests, the speed would range from 2.5 to 7 seconds. Twice I got 2.5 seconds, several times just over 4 and twice over 7. I did it a second time around 8 or 9 tests and the same thing.

I think I have to use content delivery network (CDN) to serve images. I think that's what will make the big difference.
#consistent #speed #website
  • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    I have tried to optimize website for speed by decreasing active plugins, optimizing caching, etc, and while it worked to get it down to around 2.5 seconds for which I was really pleased, its not consistent however. Say I do 10 tests, the speed would range from 2.5 to 7 seconds. Twice I got 2.5 seconds, several times just over 4 and twice over 7. I did it a second time around 8 or 9 tests and the same thing.

    I think I have to use content delivery network (CDN) to serve images. I think that's what will make the big difference.
    How are you testing these results? Most website "testers" aren't consistent unfortunately. There are many factors that play into it..
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  • Profile picture of the author Velant
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    I have tried to optimize website for speed by decreasing active plugins, optimizing caching, etc, and while it worked to get it down to around 2.5 seconds for which I was really pleased, its not consistent however. Say I do 10 tests, the speed would range from 2.5 to 7 seconds. Twice I got 2.5 seconds, several times just over 4 and twice over 7. I did it a second time around 8 or 9 tests and the same thing.

    I think I have to use content delivery network (CDN) to serve images. I think that's what will make the big difference.
    If you are using shared or vps hosting these kind of experiements are pontless and useless - there are too many factors except your own site that will affect the loading speed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    I have signed up to a dedicated server for two months and see how it goes. By the way, does anyone know if a website theme makes any difference to speed? I am in need of changing to fast loading, really nice looking, professional magazine theme. Any recommendations? I am willing to pay between $50 to $80 for the theme, may stretch it to $100 if I feel it will be worth it.

    I get the distinction impression the header area and the sidebar take an extra second, second and a half to load on my current theme.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      I have signed up to a dedicated server for two months and see how it goes. By the way, does anyone know if a website theme makes any difference to speed? I am in need of changing to fast loading, really nice looking, professional magazine theme. Any recommendations? I am willing to pay between $50 to $100 for the theme.
      Is there a specific reason why you chose a dedicated server? If the problem lies within the site itself, a dedicated server isn't going to fix the problem.... At most, you may end up wasting a bunch of money on unused resources..
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      • Profile picture of the author Anton543
        Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

        Is there a specific reason why you chose a dedicated server? If the problem lies within the site itself, a dedicated server isn't going to fix the problem.... At most, you may end up wasting a bunch of money on unused resources..
        Well, I am on shared server and the site gets several thousand uniques a day. I have not really been able to move the traffic up for months which I figure is partly due to the site straining the resources on a shared account. The hosting company did an analysis of the account as well and they suggest I move. And trust me, they are not only saying that to get me to pay extra money. Initially (a month ago) they recommended I stay, until they did a full analysis a few days ago and said the site was straining the resources which may result in slower page load times, minimize the ability to increase traffic.

        And as said earlier, the dedicated server is like a trial period. If I don't experience benefits, I will move back.

        Also, I will be moving my other sites to the dedicated account over time as well if things work out well.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          Well, I am on shared server and the site gets several thousand uniques a day. I have not really been able to move the traffic up for months which I figure is partly due to the site straining the resources on a shared account. The hosting company did an analysis of the account as well and they suggest I move. And trust me, they are not only saying that to get me to pay extra money. Initially (a month ago) they recommended I stay, until they did a full analysis a few days ago and said the site was straining the resources which may result in slower page load times, minimize the ability to increase traffic.

          And as said earlier, the dedicated server is like a trial period. If I don't experience benefits, I will move back.

          Also, I will be moving my other sites to the dedicated account over time as well if things work out well.
          What was the results of their "analysis? Did they provide you with any documentation on their findings?
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    • Profile picture of the author smoh
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      I have signed up to a dedicated server for two months and see how it goes. By the way, does anyone know if a website theme makes any difference to speed? I am in need of changing to fast loading, really nice looking, professional magazine theme. Any recommendations? I am willing to pay between $50 to $80 for the theme, may stretch it to $100 if I feel it will be worth it.

      I get the distinction impression the header area and the sidebar take an extra second, second and a half to load on my current theme.
      To answer your question: Yes themes can cause delays. I'm not sure which speed test you're using, but the one I use is the PageSpeed one by Google. It helps you optimize those areas. If you're using WP Total Cache, you need to tweak and find the right settings for your server. Do you have APC enabled on your dedicated? If not, you can enable APC. Make sure you bump up the memory limit on it, otherwise you'll see a whole bunch of errors flying over your WP page.

      Everytime the index.php page is loaded from WP, it loads all the active plugins theme and wp-cron. You should disable wp-cron and set it up in a manual cron yourself. There's a whole bunch of wordpress optimization tips, but as someone else mentioned, there's way too many variables as to why your site is slow.

      If you're not familiar with SSH, I'd recommend getting familiar with it. You will need root access to run proper tests on it. Alternatively, you can watch your server load, memory usage and swap in WHM. We've had a client with similar issues as you. Your fastest and best bet if you have a budget is to hire a server admin. If not, then the big G is your greatest resource!
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  • Profile picture of the author nitesh
    It means you are testing the speed of your site again and again from one system only and everytime speed is different. If this is the problem then it has nothing to do with your site because it is the problem of your internet service and not of site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Silvey
      I have to agree in part with Nitish. Ping times will fluctuate between hops to your site showing various levels of server activity of those hops.

      The CDN is a good idea, and Google does have a free one, but I cannot remember it off the top of my head.

      You also might want to look into optimizing your CSS, HTML, and PHP for whites space and ref notes that you don't need. If you go this route always make a back up copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Well, I genuinely think I need to be on a dedicated server when you get a few thousand uniques a day. You need to be prepared for site's potential growth.

    As for the speed tests, apparently, the speed of your internet connection should not matter since these are provided from servers based in the US and does not factor in your own connection speed.

    In any case, I will be testing it out for month or two and if no progress is made, I will revert back to the shared account.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      Well, I genuinely think I need to be on a dedicated server when you get a few thousand uniques a day. You need to be prepared for site's potential growth.

      As for the speed tests, apparently, the speed of your internet connection should not matter since these are provided from servers based in the US and does not factor in your own connection speed.

      In any case, I will be testing it out for month or two and if no progress is made, I will revert back to the shared account.
      That traffic doesn't warrant a dedicated server. In any case, you're probably over-paying for a bunch of resources you don't need. What host are you with? Could you give us a link to your site?
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      • Profile picture of the author Anton543
        Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

        That traffic doesn't warrant a dedicated server. In any case, you're probably over-paying for a bunch of resources you don't need. What host are you with? Could you give us a link to your site?
        I am on standard Bluehost account. Are you sure 6K uniques or so doesn't warrant a dedicated account? I must say my reason for moving is because I figure since I have the whole resources to myself, the pages will be served faster as won't be fighting for resources with lots of other websites, which is especially important with so many people nowadays accessing sites using mobile devices which typically tend load significant slower than on computer.

        Of course I would love to avoid paying $200 a month. Who would want to pay $200 a month if the $8 a month account is sufficient. I am going on the theory that I will increase traffic and therefore revenues, which in turn will hopefully not only pay for the dedicated server but also make over and above its cost.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          I am on standard Bluehost account. Are you sure 6K uniques or so doesn't warrant a dedicated account? I must say my reason for moving is because I figure since I have the whole resources to myself, the pages will be served faster as won't be fighting for resources with lots of other websites, which is especially important with so many people nowadays accessing sites using mobile devices which typically tend load significant slower than on computer.

          Of course I would love to avoid paying $200 a month. Who would want to pay $200 a month if the $8 a month account is sufficient. I am going on the theory that I will increase traffic and therefore revenues, which in turn will hopefully not only pay for the dedicated server but also make over and above its cost.
          Guarantee you your problem is an overloaded server and/or old & outdated hardware with minimal resources.
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          • Profile picture of the author Anton543
            Originally Posted by Kingfish85 View Post

            Guarantee you your problem is an overloaded server and/or old & outdated hardware with minimal resources.
            Bluehost is one of the top providers of shared account services so I don't think they will use outdated hardwares. I agree with the latter part though. You are always fighting for minimal resources on shared accounts.
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  • Profile picture of the author freotech
    I have tried to optimize website for speed by decreasing active plugins, optimizing caching, etc, and while it worked to get it down to around 2.5 seconds for which I was really pleased, its not consistent however. Say I do 10 tests, the speed would range from 2.5 to 7 seconds. Twice I got 2.5 seconds, several times just over 4 and twice over 7. I did it a second time around 8 or 9 tests and the same thing.

    I think I have to use content delivery network (CDN) to serve images. I think that's what will make the big difference.
    it probably depend on your web host and traffic bandwidth. I think people getting paranoid about speed due to SEO. But google penalize a site if they feel the site is "Too Slow". If you site was loading in 2.6 seconds and you manage to get it to load 2.4 seconds, i dont think that it will improve your ranking
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    • Profile picture of the author Anton543
      Originally Posted by freotech View Post

      it probably depend on your web host and traffic bandwidth. I think people getting paranoid about speed due to SEO. But google penalize a site if they feel the site is "Too Slow". If you site was loading in 2.6 seconds and you manage to get it to load 2.4 seconds, i dont think that it will improve your ranking
      Actually I am not so concerned about the ranking but rather the impatience of visitors. If the page doesn't load in 5 seconds there is a good chance some will just hit the back tab.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    I am pasting the following from another site, indicating the importance of speed.

    Google found that moving from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006). When the home page of Google Maps was reduced from 100KB to 70-80KB, traffic went up 10% in the first week, and an additional 25% in the following three weeks (Farber 2006).
    Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1%. (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007).
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    • Profile picture of the author smoh
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      I am pasting the following from another site, indicating the importance of speed.

      Google found that moving from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006). When the home page of Google Maps was reduced from 100KB to 70-80KB, traffic went up 10% in the first week, and an additional 25% in the following three weeks (Farber 2006).
      Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1%. (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007).
      No doubt speed is important. You need to tackle the issue though by first identifying it then finding the help for that specific area. Then you can ask in programming forums (ie. stackoverflow) to get the help you need. Since no one has access to your server let alone your URL, it's difficult to give you proper advice. I gave you a few possible things to investigate in my above post. Check those out. Sounds like a load issue since it's an issue of inconsistency. Either hire a server admin or your hosting company to fix it for you. You're right..People hate waiting
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    The site loads much faster now. However, the Google ads which already lagged the rest of the site, appears even slower now. The ads actually load at the same rate as before, but because the rest of the site is now loading faster the ads lag even more.
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