Hummingbird Slow server response

The pages take several seconds to begin loading. Once they finish loading, then they load very quickly due to cache, but it typically takes 5-10 seconds of waiting for the server to respond. Asset Optimization only increases the server load time, and could notice improvement in pingdom when it's disabled.

Please check the chat transcript notes for more info.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi Ian

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    I checked the site and I'd appreciate some additional help from you. I visited both front- and back-end of the live site and noticed that Hummingbird and Asset Optimization are currently enabled and the site seems to be rendering really fast. I mean, as a user (not referring to any testing tools) I would consider it a fast site, there was no delays for me at all.

    I do see that when tested with Pingdom tools, the loading time seems to be around 4-5 seconds, depending on the testing location. However, that's a "complete load" time, meaning that this is how long it takes to fetch all assets but doesn't necessarily mean that it takes that much for the site to render in user browser. All the asset downloads seem to be parallel (which is great thing actually) and are not blocking rendering.

    Having that said, I'm slightly confused because I read the chat but I must say it was long and complex and was about two different issues. I would appreciate a bit of additional explanation (or a summary rather) of what exactly would you want me to check and deal with, so I'd be sure that we're on the same side and I'd get a clear image of the specific issue.

    I'd then check the sites (live and staging) again and look for the reason/solution.

    Kind regards,
    Adam

  • Ian

    Hi Adam,

    Some pages on the site, some of the site (often but not always), take 5-10 seconds (occasionally longer) to begin loading. In other words, the counter-clockwise spinning circle on chrome takes 5-10 seconds to switch to clockwise rotation, indicating that the page itself is beginning to download. My non-expert assessment of this is that it is taking too long for the server to BEGIN responding to requests. The pages themselves do load quickly once they begin loading, but this initial delay is catastrophic for my bounce rates.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Ian,

    Apologies for the delay here, we were doing multiple tests of your staging site and it seems that everything is working as expected but that it takes your server a bit more time to upload the files to CDN and while it's doing that the server is affected and it shows the server response time error in the speed results.

    Below two screenshots are from checking your site in browser console before and after switching to CDN.
    This is response time without our CDN enabled:

    And this is when the CDN was enabled:

    You can see that it has improved quite a bit.

    Another thing to note on your site is that you have a lot of resources being pulled from third-party servers and when this is the case you can get much better insight into your results by using GTMetrix scan.

    Here are the results we were running on your site, before CDN:
    https://gtmetrix.com/reports/cbddebug.wpengine.com/iIA1QN3p
    And after:
    https://gtmetrix.com/reports/cbddebug.wpengine.com/US0r11r8
    You can see that speed has improved for 1.5 seconds.

    So basically what happens here when you enable CDN is that it takes some time to upload your files to CDN and while those files are being uploaded it will show low server response time.
    Try waiting for some time 10-15 minutes after CDN has been enabled, so everything is uploaded and server has "cooled off" and then check the results again.

    Hope this explains things and let us know if you have any followup questions.

    Best regards,
    Predrag

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