Performance of BuddyPress vs Multisite with community plugins


Even with great serverside performance, Buddypress sites are not good for those slower connection speeds. Even the default BB theme adds some 100k to the home page download. I've been using as a way to determine the size of the home page download and the calculated download times. Is there a better way?

It seems that there are sufficient plugins to create *much* Buddypress like functionality w/o Buddypress scripts, eg. membership directory, blogs directory, friends, etc. I don't see one fro adding Groups but I think there is one for blog activities. I need to ba able to add fields to the user profile w/o BuddyPress; any suggestions?

Will a non-Buddypress site with such "community" plugins perform better than a Buddpress site? Which themes are good with this approach, like any Buddypress theme? Could I use the Corporate Theme os the Scholar(can they be sued w/o Buddypress)?

Kind Regards,

  • Philip John

    Hiya Larry!

    I get ya - performance can be an issue even with a standard WP site, let alone BuddyPress.

    However, I think much of that is down to how BuddyPress is structured. It uses a lot of custom database tables which means more database queries and that's where a lot of the suck comes from.

    So... the upcoming new versions of BuddyPress are actually fixing this. They're moving away from custom database tables into custom post types which helps to keep everything a bit more fluid.

    If you're able to I'd recommend setting up a test install with the beta versions that are out and testing the performance against your current site.

    Of course, using caching plugins is certain to help as well and you may want to check out this thread:


  • tishimself


    I think caching works on the server side and to the extent the data is compressed then less needs to get transmitted to the person with a slower interent connection.

    I will look into buddypress beta 1.5, that is the only one I could find.

    The main question I have is, Will a WP site built with your Membership Directory and the Blog Directory perform better with less to download than a BuddyPress site? I have yet to figure a way around the ability for Buddypress to add required fields to the Profile.


  • tishimself


    I suppose I want it all, but I don't want to pay for it. :slight_smile:

    It is nice to have all the BP functionality, but those with slower connection speeds will not be able to view the site in a reasonable time so the audience will be that much smaller. If those with faster connection speeds are like me, then I expect fast response and move away from a slower site too.
    Since most cafes near where I live have have free T1 connectivity, maybe I'm making too much of this.

    Here are my benchmarks with and w/o BP (default theme) site with no tinkering on my part:

    With BO Default theme Total Size: 189902 bytes
    Connection Rate Download Time
    14.4K 150.98 seconds
    28.8K 77.39 seconds
    33.6K 66.88 seconds
    56K 41.65 seconds
    ISDN 128K 15.39 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 4.81 seconds

    And w/o BuddyPress Total Size: 62906 bytes
    Connection Rate Download Time
    14.4K 49.16 seconds
    28.8K 24.78 seconds
    33.6K 21.30 seconds
    56K 12.94 seconds
    ISDN 128K 4.24 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 0.73 seconds

    My BP Corporate theme site with Membership/Supporter/images plus other plugins
    Total Size: 276564 bytes
    Connection Rate Download Time
    14.4K 217.55 seconds
    28.8K 110.38 seconds
    33.6K 95.06 seconds
    56K 58.32 seconds
    ISDN 128K 20.08 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 4.67 seconds

    Just comparing T1 times and total size, the benchmark tool is not very accurate.

    I can disable much of what I don't need in BuddyPress too, but I'm not sure how much this will "downsize" BuddyPress, but I will try. For one site I'm working on the only thing I seem to need is the additional required Profile Field at signup. I don't seem to get that w/o BP.

    But I really want that non-BP load time!

    On the server side, I'm also looking at going with "lighty" rather than Apache 1.3, but may go to Apache 2.2.


  • tishimself


    Based upon whgat I'm told about nginx, I will not be taking that path:

    "The nginx will not allow the other caching services such as eaccelerator,xcache,apc to function corrcectly if installed. Also it is not recommended for servers with more than just a couple of domains/subdomains. This web services requires manual setup of the vHosts for each new domain and you will have to add these after you create an account if the service is installed."

    > If those tests show anything it's that there isn't a huge amount of difference, to be honest.
    ISDN 128K 15.39 seconds
    ISDN 128K 4.24 seconds
    ISDN 128K 20.08 seconds
    ISDN 128K 10.06 seconds
    Everyone to their own opinion, but I think a factor of 5 is significant, far more that I expect from a servicer change from my current Apache 1.3 to "lighty". I'm looking fwd to the BP Beta going prod.


  • tishimself


    After going with Apache 2.2 I have been struggling with Out of memory errors, but with recent changes they *may* be gone. :slight_smile:

    However, in my cpanel I found a WebOptimizer for Apache 2.2 that sets up website compression. After having installed a BP theme and some basic plugins:

    Without Compression
    Total Size 172970 bytes
    14.4K 136.06 seconds
    28.8K 69.03 seconds
    33.6K 59.45 seconds
    56K 36.47 seconds
    ISDN 128K 12.56 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 2.92 seconds

    With Compression
    Total Size: 54516 bytes
    14.4K 44.25 seconds
    28.8K 23.13 seconds
    33.6K 20.11 seconds
    56K 12.86 seconds
    ISDN 128K 5.33 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 2.29 seconds

    Oddly enuff, compression did not improve the BuddyPress Beta very much and it is performing about the same as compressed site.


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