WP Engine, Slow Admin Panel, Object Caching, Running About 35 Plugins

Hi There,

I have a very interesting situation that I have been battling for the past month or two. I am on WP Engine (Pro Plan) running a MPMU Network of 4 sites in total. I am running about 32 plugins. All of which are Premium Plugins. 20% have come from WPMU. 65% have come from WooThemes, and the other 15% have come from Envato.

I have been experiencing a PHP Memory Consumption problem. PHP Memory being consumed on each site, even ones that have very few plugins is very high. The sites where all plugins are activated, I fluctuate between 90-115 MB with Object Caching off. The sites with fewer plugins (maybe 15 network activated) average about 65 MB of PHP Memory Consumption with Object Caching turned off.

When I turn on Object Caching, the PHP Memory Consumption drops from 90 to about 45 MB. What is weird is that eventually the memory creeps back up to 90 MB. I have no idea what triggers it. Sometimes it's low for about 2 days, other times it only lasts at 45 MB for about an hour or two. I am beginning to suspect that this is being caused by something on the WP Engine Platform.

I have contacted WP Engine about this and they give me the usual run around about using too many plugins. I have a local dev stack here that is an OS X Server and the issues do not manifest themselves here. I also tried out Pagely's VPS-1 (which was very expensive $500 per month) to see how my site did on the AWS platform and it was FANTASTIC! Just very expensive. My site is 100% e-commerce and only drives about 10,000 hits per month. So in terms of traffic, it is very small.

I am beside myself. Other than paying Pagely $500 per month. I am basically out of options. WP Engine is no help. They want $600 to be placed on one of their Premium Plans that is basically a dedicated VPS at linode. I have a very hard time trying to stomach paying such high costs to keep my website performance healthy. My website only generates about $6,000 per month and that is total profit from our business. We're not making enough yet to swallow a $500-600 monthly hosting bill.

I do not want to do any server management at all. Been there and done that, it was a nightmare and I am never going back.

So my question for the WPMUDEV Community, is basically... What should I do? Do you think this is a WPE problem? A problem with WP 4.4.2, an issue with the plugins? I know there are tons of variables at stake here. So it would be very hard to narrow down a definitive answer.

I just wonder if the issue is WP Engine and if I need to find a better host? The PHP Memory Consumption is very alarming to me. Especially the fact that when I turn on Object Caching it drops from 90MB to around 45MB. But then slowly creeps back up to 90 MB. Maybe a Memory Leak somewhere?

The plugins I do run are all good plugins. Written by WooThemes, WPMUDEV, and very few from other raando devs. Running the Divi Theme.... All of the code seems to be good from all plugins and the theme, as per my developer... I am just at a loss here.

Any and all advice, suggestions, tips, thoughts, feedback on WP Engine, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much in advance!

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Nick,

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

    Let me start with this: memory consumption at 90-115M level on Multisite WordPress running 32 different plugins and an advanced theme is not really alarming. That's a bit but I wouldn't say it's a terribly high usage.

    The "spike" that you experience with Object Cache also shouldn't be very surprising. I do not have much experience with WPEngine apart from servicing some sites of WPMU DEV members (and reading a lot of enthusiastic reviews) but they seem to "know what they are doing". Except maybe the fact that almost always they bounce the ball saying that "3rd party plugins are working wrong" :slight_smile:

    Having said that, I suppose that it may be possible to optimize the site at least a bit. It usually is. I'd strongly recommend getting used to the fact that some "cache-like" solution will be necessary (though WPEngine takes care of this) but most likely there are some other things possible to tweak.

    Do you think you could install "P3 Profiler" plugin (it's free) and then grant me an access to the site so I could take a look around? I'd like to review the site in order to give you some suggestions here. I will not of course make any changes to your setup without your prior consent!

    Here's a guide on granting access:

    Best regards,

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