Pingdom showing different results

Pingdom shows different results for the homepage, and when checking the pages individually, I’m getting the following results:

https://static.livechatinc.com/8801096/P8NUQPLLD2/6e0172f2e950f00b1185bb30fedc2b0c/20180517105910.j

Please advise, if there is anything that could be done to improve those, as pingdom is showing it as an error.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello OnlyDinosaurs

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

    Let me start with some background explanation :slight_smile: Pretty much all popular testing services, such as e.g. Pingdom Tools, Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix and similar, they do test only the page at the URL that is submitted to them. They don't follow links etc. The most common is a homepage URL and that's usually considered a "reasonable/comparable test".

    You can, however, test other URLs as well, of course and it's a good practice. But there might be differences which are usually caused by the way the site itself works. For example, because of the elements used on pages (e.g. sliders, forms, content embedded from external sources etc) particular pages might load different set of CSS/JS resources. Usually, in WordPress all the important resources of that type are already available on the homepage (as they are loaded upon site "initialization" – that's simplified but gives an image) but there might be exceptions.

    In this case, however, it seems to be a bit different. The tests report "external CSS/JS" which means that the resources (files) reported do not come directly from your site (even though they do belong to it) but from other domain(s). This is something that's not that easy to address with tools like Hummingbird (or any plugin of that kind) that work "locally" because it cannot interact with files/resources to which it doesn't have access to.

    If you take a look at the list of the files reported there, they seem to be coming from CDN (net-dnassl.com is MaxCDN domain so that's related to MaxCDN). The CDN works is always "external" to the site (so you cannot "combine" resources served from there) and is "in front" of the site (so browser first gets response from there and then from your site if necessary).

    Having that said, I checked the homepage and some randomly selected other pages of your site with Pingdom Tools and I got these results:

    1. homepage

    2. /features/animatronic-dinosaur/

    3. /blog/

    4. /our-projects/safar-park-mini-golf/

    These were four locations from your site selected at random. They were all tested using the very same location chosen in Pingdom Tools and while the Performance grade varies slightly they're all "green" (pretty much the same, within fully acceptable scope in my opinion) with only an exception of /blog/ page.

    The /blog/ page indeed shows different results but it's also quite a different template than most other pages on the site, meaning that it might be using/loading a bit different resources – or doing it in a bit different way. I say "template" but it's not only a matter of the theme's template file but also output/interaction of the plugins etc. It's a bit difficult to explain so I'm sorry if I'm not clear enough.

    The other aspect here is a CDN. MaxCDN, unline CloudFlare, is not integrated with Hummingbird so if you do any settings in Hummingbird, MaxCDN is not being informed of that, it's cache is not being cleared etc.So, what I would suggest to do would be this:

    1. Disable absolutely all caches related:

    – HB Page Caching (that's actually disabled but I'm mentioning it just in case)

    – Server-Side cache – I see that Endurance is set to Level 0 (and it should stay that way if you enable HB Page Caching later) but please double-check if there's nothing else like e.g. Memcached or similar cache on server enabled

    – browser caching as well

    2. Temporarily disable MaxCDN (on CloudFlare there's an option to set it to "dev" mode but I'm not sure if there is the same in MaxCDN, I think it should) so it wasn't interfering

    At this point the site will probably slow down a bit, at least in tests.

    3. Then clear Hummingbird's Asset Optimization caching, disable Asset Optimization and set it up from scratch, using advanced mode to fine tune it; please note that after saving any change made to AO it might need a moment to actually apply that change.

    By "fine tuning" I mean setting it "automatically", testing (via homepage), then using "Combine" and "Move to Footer/Load after page loads" options for as many CSS and JS files as possible without breaking the site. Only after you know that you got that set up and the site's running:

    4. Enable back page caching and give it a moment (you might want to browse a site a bit as a visitor in other browser) to re-build; then enable browser caching back;

    5. Finally, make sure that CDN cache is fully cleared and enable CDN back.

    Again, give it some time to "rebuild" all the caches and see about results. I realize it's sort of a daunting task but this way you'll "squeeze out" everything that you can from there.

    Technically speaking, it's not possible to perform asset optimization for each and every page completely separately due to the way WordPress works. It could be partially possible if you were running "clean WP install" with a fully custom theme and all the features (currently provided by plugins) custom coded in quite a "special way" and also such optimization would have to be done on that custom code level. But honestly speaking: in my opinion the cost of such custom development would in now way justify the results, which wouldn't be as spectacular as it might seem. The grades of your site are quite impressive in most cases as well :slight_smile:

    I'm sorry for such a long post, it's a broad but also very complex subject so if I made something unclear or you got any additional questions, don't hesitate to ask please.

    Kind regards,

    Adam

  • OnlyDinosaurs
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Adam,

    Appreciate your comments. That really helped a lot.

    We followed your instruction, and did some adjustment. However, odd things happened.

    As you can see below, the hummingbird test is good, such as Java, CSS etc…

    However, when you check pingdom test below. Java, CSS did not perform well. Why? Something wrong with HB test?

    When we test homepage, it performed well. Here's the link: https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/cHyChZ/https://onlydinosaurs.com/ However, it only show 8 test result.

    When we test another important page, it shows 12 test result. And NOT good.

    We are eager to find a way to improve the page speed. Looking forward your reply

    Thanks in advance,

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello OnlyDinosaurs

    Thanks for your response!

    The Hummingbird Performance Tests checks the Homepage, it doesn’t perform a check for all the pages on site so if comparing its results with other tools – the homepage should be checked.

    The homepage, however, seems to be quite fine. The other page that you checked does get different results indeed. I run Pingdom’s test on it too and it seem like with those three F graded “insights” it’s still referring to resourcess served from MaxCDN. What that means is that those resources were not “served” by your server/site directly or, in other words, regardless whether they are combined or not on your server, they are not on MaxCDN. I’m not sure why but it looks like either MaxCDN was fully active while making those recent changes in Hummingbird or there were/are still cached assets. That might also mean that Hummingbird is not quite doing its job there and need further adjustments or that we’re missing yet another aspect or… that this is the most you can get out of it.

    Still though, as long as CDN is actively running in front, there’s no way to get any direct “insight” into what really does you site/server serves (to see directly what it responds with). That said, is there any way/chance that you could temporarily disable MaxCDN so it didn’t get in a way at all? Or is it perhaps integrated on some server-level?

    Best regards,

    Adam

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