Website Loading very slowy

Dashboard, and Frontend is loading very slowly at the moment. Tried disabling all the plugins, and switching to a default WordPress theme, still the same issue.

Checked with hosting provider, and they seem to pin point the issue within the website side. Would like to know whether it's related to SSL, or something specific within the WordPress side. Please check the chat transcript for more info.

  • mary

    I just got off the phone with GoDaddy, my hosting provider, and upon further investigation (and some big pokes in the ribs from me), they were indeed able to find an issue with the SSL certificate through both internal and external testing. No idea WHY or WHAT the issue was, but the certificate that was issued by GoDaddy has been replaced with a Starfield certificate, which is currently installing. If you check right now, the site is even slower but that is supposedly because of the installation. So I guess we will see.

  • mary

    Well, I spoke too soon.

    I received the attached warning on Query Monitor. It's the same warning I received both times right before the site "went bad." I don't know what the message means, and no one else seems to know either, but the website is now up and down again, from occasionally just below normal to completely non-functioning.

    I just got off an hour long call with GoDaddy and lucked out to get the only rep there who is willing to dive head first into Word Press issues. He ran a bunch of test scripts to rule out the problem originating with the server, and after working with him I was convinced the problem is some kind of weird conflict between Wordpress and SSL. I know, it sounds crazy. But there it is.

    To test the theory, we cloned the website to a staging site. The SSL cert, of course, does not go with it because I've only paid for one certificate. Which makes the staging site an exact copy except for one thing: no SSL. The cloned version is running like lightning, and has been for a few hours, while the original version is down or very very slow consistently.

    So... I have removed the certificate from my main site, but even if that solves the site issues it really doesn't solve the problem because I can't run an e-commerce site without SSL. I am currently migrating my site from a managed Wordpress plan to C-Panel (which I was planning to do anyway, this just lit a fire to make me get it done sooner) in the hope that it contributes to a solution. I won't know if removing the certificate made a difference for about an hour, as the "lock" is still on the site right now. But it is literally the only difference between the staging and the production sites; both are on the same server and have identical setup, files, plugins. So we'll see.

  • mary

    Well, there are so many certificate issuers, some more scrupulous and diligent than others, and there are several different types of certificates. My understanding is - and believe me everything I learned about this I learned in the past two days dealing with this issue - that it all comes down to the TLS handshake, wherein the browser verifies the identity of the site and decides whether or not to trust it. Some certificates have what’s known as a long chain, that is, they are signed by one entity, whose certificate is signed by another entity, whose certificate is signed by yet another… and so on. So this can dramatically delay WHEN that handshake actually occurs. It can cause things to run very slowly and even to stop. There is a documented problem on Firefox where certain types of certificates (self-signed) can cause a complete standstill as the browser stops understanding the info it’s being given if too many certificates of that type come through.

    I’m not saying this is what is happening with my site; in fact, the situation seems to be entirely different. But there is for sure some kind of issue, either with the cert itself, with how my Wordpress is handling it, or both. At one point since I’ve had the GoDaddy certificate, if you clicked on the lock, you’d be informed that my certificate was revoked, even though it was valid. Right before that happened, I received a warning on Query Monitor that the certificate was not valid according to WordPress, and that is the same warning I got both yesterday and today when the problems occurred. The tech support guy at GoDaddy felt that the fact that the version of the site that has no SSL also has no issues and the version with the certificate keeps going down or slowing to about a 4 minute load time was a good indicator that SSL is the issue.

    The issues happen with all plugins disabled and the theme changed to 2017. So neither plugins nor theme are to blame.

  • Kasia Swiderska

    Hello mary,

    This is a quite weird case. You mentioned that you might move to account with cPanel. Can you check if then you will be able to install your own certificate? Like, for example, Let's Encrypt?
    I found this tutorial for GoDaddy https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=GPcznB74GPs

    If that will fix the issue - then it's something wrong with GoDaddy certificate.
    Let us know

    kind regards,
    Kasia

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