How Can I Speed Up My Website? Getting Desperate!

Hey everyone!

I just signed up to this site in the hope there is someone here who can help me as I REALLY need some assistance.

I run an online magazine and for ages now we seem to have problems with the site becoming very slow. It is set-up as a wordpress multi-site as we are looking to launch new websites next year but at the moment the slowness is really setting us back as we can’t look to launch anything until we know everything will be running as it should.

The site is

It's been quite an ongoing issue over the past few years and I have tried paying for wordpress optimisation services through Envato and even paid the W3TotalCache team to optimise stuff and no luck. It always seems to work for a while and then slow again. The wordpress admin side is very slow and we get a lot of spikes in the CPU .

Caching plugins all seem to just slow the site down to a halt. I've tried W3, Super, Rocket, Hyper, Quick and probably some others I've forgotten so the site currently has no caching.

I've minimised/changed the themes, the plugins and anything else I can think of but now I'm stuck.

Our hosting has also done their best to tweak things their end and even when it speeds up a bit they still agree the site isn't running as fast it should be.

If anyone here can help that would be amazing. I'm even willing to pay someone if it's a big job.

Hopefully speak to someone soon

Many thanks

Chris x

Hosting: (Diamond Plan - May have to click the Professional Plan below the one shown to see)

PHP 5.4.35
Apache 2.4.10

Wordpress 4.01
Multisite: 4 sites (only 2 live)

Main Site: Around 100,000-150,000 page views monthly - Updated Daily -

Second Site: Small Blog (50 Views Daily Only Just Launched so shouldn't be the issue)


Multi Site Enabled
- Unfiltered MU
- User Switching
- Wordpress MU Domain Mapping

Plugins On Main Site
- Ad Rotate
- Custom Permalinks
- Disqus
- Edit Flow
- Google News Sitemap
- Posts In Sidebar
- Tiny MCE Spellcheck
- Ubermenu + Sticky
- Shift Nav Pro
- Wordpress SEO
- WP Post Views
- WP Category Permalink
- WP Missed Schedule

Theme: Jarida -

  • Vaughan

    Hi Chris,

    After running some tests on some pagespeed sites, the biggest issue seems to be JS loading.

    You can try using the following plugin to lazy load the JS, making it load last.

    Here's the metrics.

    So once you've sorted the JS.

    I also noticed there's an audio/video that automatically starts when the page loads, this will also increase page loading time as the page will wait for the video to load up. So I would recommend not really using auto start.

    I would start by going through the list of items in red on the GTmetrix page above, which should make some improvements.

    Hope this helps

  • Chris

    It hasn't seemed to have made much of a difference :slight_frown: The GT Metrix score has actually gone down

    I've turned off the advertising and ran the report again

    The strange thing is, by this you would think it is working well but if you go on the site it's still VERY slow. Taking around 5-6 seconds to load a page.

    This website here - - uses the same advertising agency as us and their site seems pretty fast so I don't think the source of the problem is the adverts.

    Any ideas?

  • calvinrogercanas

    Hello Chris,

    Sorry to hear of the problem you are having.

    I can also confirm the issue you are having. I suggest look at the option of using CDN for your assets file and optimize the image you will use on the site. Also, try reaching your hosting provider to ask for their opinion on this matter. I am sure they can give you some helpful advise that you can do to improve your site's performance. :slight_smile:

    Looking forward to solve this issue.

    Best Regards,

  • Chris

    Hey @Calvin

    Thanks for the reply!

    I have tried CDN in the past with MaxCDN and also with Cloudflare.

    I did see there is a plugin (Smush) on here I may try for the image compression and then maybe try the CDN again and just see if it makes any small improvement

    Are there any CDN's you would recommend? I remember I ran MaxCDN through W3Totalcache last time and any caching programs seem to crash the site :disappointed:

    I've spoken to my host many times and they have doing everything they can but can't seem to work out the issue. Last thing they said was....

    "The huge spike in Entry Process Faults EPf between 20:00 and 21:00 last night correlates with your last reply at 20:29

    Something on your site was clearly taking so long to process it caused a backlog and used up all of 100 of your apache process slots.

    Currently pages are being served within 1 second (at 07:25) so I'm not sure what the problem is going to be. Application analysis would require the site to be run with something like New Relic installed - and we don't provide that on our production servers.

    I have disabled ioncube loader and imagick PHP extensions as you probably don't use these (just enable them again if you do) - as running extensions needlessly will also slow things down a little.

    High Max CPU usage is really to be expected - it's the first factor that will become busy, and by no means suggests that the account is not powerful enough. You can see from the aCPU (average) that things are around 50% busy most of the time.

    Those load spikes need to be looked at though - and with this in mind I have enabled Raw Access Logs in your cPanel account so we can look back at events like this to see if you were being hammered from an external client."

    I'm just waiting to hear back from them to see if the Raw Access Logs have reported anything new

  • Chris

    Just heard back from hosting after asking if anything spotted since last spoke.

    "No more spike events, but overall load remains quite heavy.

    You can check your resource usage for spikes yourself:"

    I'm currently compressing all the images on the site (Using Smush) and I'm reducing the amount of tags we have as our theme does have a related post section that we are currently working on tags and read that could also slow it down.

    Anyone know a way we can trace the root problem of this heavy load?

  • Vinod Dalvi

    Hi Chris,

    This website here - - uses the same advertising agency as us and their site seems pretty fast so I don't think the source of the problem is the adverts.

    I tested performance of both of your sites on pingdom and got the results as displayed in the attached screenshots.

    You can also see the performance of the sites on pingdom by visiting the following receptive pages.!/eedE1r/!/djQSCU/

    From the attached screenshots you can see the load time of their website is 2.06s compared to your 10.77s and page requests and page size of their site are 296 and 3.0MB respectively and your site are 320 and 1.5MB respectively.

    You can see the page size of their site is grater than you and page requests are a bit lesser than your site though their site is loading faster so i don't think it's the major issue of optimizing media but i think the issue is with the Warnings displayed in the pingdom result as shown in the third attached screenshot.

    The Warnings messaged display when the request got a 4XX, 5XX response or couldn't be loaded therefore your site waits some time for the resources to get loaded until it get a 4XX, 5XX response.

    Their site doesn't even display a single warning message.

    Please resolve these all warning messages on your site and let me know how the site works.

    Vinod Dalvi

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