Reduce server response times (TTFB)

The performance test is giving 0 in Reduce server response times (TTFB), tried everything but can’t improve. Please check and help on this.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello Bonnie

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

    I checked the site and found some things there that worried me a bit. Let me explain then.

    When I first tried to visit/access the site, it wasn’t even loading, with the “connection refused” error message. I’ve asked our sys-admins to check the server and it turned out it had to be restarted because, apparently, something on the site is “clogging” it. By “clogging” I mean there’s some code on the site that causes high CPU usage and memory leaks.

    After restarting the server I was able to access and check the site and I found out some malicious code on it. That looked to me like some sort of either “leftovers” from some infection in the past or some “incomplete” infection. Still though, the code was there spread across different files and trying to execute some queries/load some content. So that was not only potentially dangerous but also could significantly affect performance.

    I did some clean up on the site and I believe I managed to deal with it, though I’m not entirely sure yet. We’ll need to let the site work for a while – a day or two – and see what’s happening. Possibly run another Defender scan on it again soon – to see if (hopefully not!) any new “bad code” shows up.

    That said, I’d start with this. If you could please give the site, let’s say, a day and then see if it’s still working or it got down again and also run a Defender File Scan on it – that’d be great. At the moment, the scan reports one file and if it stays that way, it should be fine (that reported file is a “false positive” – it’s fine). But if any new item shows up in the report, that would mean that further clean up is needed.

    Once we’re sure about that part and we know that site’s fine, we could then look for other possible tweaks.

    However, there’s also yet another thing that should be addressed. Apparently the site (most likely the theme) is using a library called “Aqua resizer” and that’s causing errors. The debug.log was full of error messages related to it and that most likely is also affecting performances – the Aqua resizer is supposed to resize images “on the fly” so if it doesn’t work properly, the speed might be significantly affected.

    Since there was a lot of these errors I’ve currently disabled debugging in WordPress so the debug.log file wouldn’t grow unnecessarily. However, you might want to get in touch either with the theme or Aqua resizer developers as the error that shows up seems to be related to the wrong usage of the “aq_resize()” function, as described here:

    https://github.com/syamilmj/Aqua-Resizer/issues/103

    This should be taken care of but it’s related to the theme or one of the 3rd-party plugins so I can’t make any code changes there.

    To sum it up: please keep an eye on the site and also run Defender File Scan on it in a few hours from now and then again in, let’s say, a day and then let me know if it found any more problems than just the one file that it’s showing currently.

    We’ll then decide what to do next to improve the site’s performance.

    Best regards,

    Adam

  • Bonnie
    • New Recruit

    Hi There,

    I was dealing with this issue when were being hacked however that side of things have been dealt with but the issues is still showing in hummingbird

    Reduce server response times (TTFB)
    0
    0
    Potential savings of 359.868 ms

    I am having a real issue getting our SEO to improve and imagine this is part of the reason so I need to get this resolved.

    I think I have addressed all issues listed above and have been on chat to get assistance but was told to put this ticket in to get proper assistance.

    Kindest,
    Bonnie

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello Bonnie

    Thank you for response and information.

    I tried to check your site right now and I’ve run new Performance test and Defender file scan but I noticed that meanwhile

    – the Hummingbird Page Cache was cleared multiple times while I was checking
    – GTMetrix and Page Speed cache started to give 403 (access forbidden) statuses – apparently there’s country locking enabled in Defender
    – when I started testing with GMetrix using AU location (to bypass country lockout) it started to give much better results but also much more inconsistent

    I stopped any further actions as I assumed you (or somebody else for you) might be in a process of making some important changes to the site configuration at the moment. Can you confirm that (around the 4.00 – 4.15 PM UTC-0 time) or would that be another “manifestation” of performance issues rather than this?

    I’m asking because I would like to avoid “getting in a way” but also if e.g. such big inconsistency in GTMetrix results that I noticed are related to an actual performance and not changes currently being made by you – that might also be important to the case.

    Let me know, please, and I’ll continue checking the site then if necessary.

    Kind regards,
    Adam

  • Bonnie
    • New Recruit

    Hi Adam,

    Apologies for the late response.

    I am unsure if I were doing something at that time.
    I have removed country locking to see if that solves the issue but doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    I was told moving the site to this hosting and also upgrading the hosting would fix this issue but it’s been months and nothing and I am getting frustrated that I need to keep coming back to this and can’t even use chat now to get this resolved without having to remember to come in here and check over and over.

    I definitely need this looked into and I will grant support access so you can go in and check things. I am happy for you to go in and make changes if they better this as it’s affecting my ad performance and SEO.

    Thanks,
    Bonnie

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