WPMU Multisite Running Slow

I have over 3500 sites created on my MU.

Our site is running very slow. We are on a pretty powerful DV server.

Do you have any optimization tips so that we can speed up the loading?

  • shoppingsherlock

    Hello Aecnu,

    I've implemented the JS/CSS Plugin as well as enabled zlib on our servers. It may have sped it up slightly, but the lag is so slow, I'm not sure.


    This wasn't a problem before when I had only 1000 sites on the system. But now that we have 3500 sites on the system, it's just incredibly slow to load.

    Would upgrading our servers to something even stronger help? This has to be an issue people are running into because I'm sure there is quite a number of people out there that uses this system for thousands of sites.

    Any more info on this would greatly be appreciated. I will do my own research as well to dig into this further and if I find a solution, will post it here.

  • Fullworks

    Your webpage is running like a rocket, BUT there seems to be quite a lag on the initial first byte from the server. See graph.

    I'd love to be in your situation where I have to tune my server due to number of sites, but I'm not there yet. Hopefully soon.

    To look at
    1. load on your mysql server - have you split databases yet? https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/multi-db/

    2. load on your webserver - no idea about the quailty of theses articles, but there is plenty of advice out there e.g.

    ( Graph produced by this useful tool https://www.websitepulse.com/help/tools.php )

  • aecnu

    Greetings shoppingsherlock,

    Thank you for your additional input and ROIBOT is spot on that the page reads fast and the first second is the killer.

    I also ran a test on yours using the tool that ROIBOT suggested and found extremely matching statistics.

    Because there is no hint at what is eating up or causing the 1 second first byte this makes it tough to diagnose why.

    Are you running caching plugin of some kind?

    In any event the speed is really quick I do admit.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Fullworks

    Have a look here


    for some further ideas

    is http://blog.shoppingsherlock.com/ just one mapped domain?

    It is loading fast after the DNS is resolved, but the DNS for this blog is godaddy and then redirects to your IP, so assuming you don't have control over the customers choice of DNS there is nothing you can do about it - if you do then perhaps test an alternative DNS

  • shoppingsherlock

    Hello Everyone! First off thanks for everyone's assistance in this matter.

    The front-end website resolves fast, when you are not logged into the back office of the site.

    Here are the behaviors I am running into.

    Logging in weather you are a Super Admin or Author of a site takes roughly 1 minute to resolve.

    After that, authors of a site do not suffer much lag, but as a Super Admin, the lag from page to page takes a long time.

    So this is mostly a Back Office issue for the Super Admin. Anyway to speed up the Back Office?

  • Fullworks

    OK so at least you know where the issue is, now it is a case of narrowing it down.

    Without getting in to the internals, it is all a bit of guess work from here.

    Is there anything that is trying to gather data from 3,500 blogs on the dashboard (I recall a google analytics plugin that started to get really slow as it tried to display lots of data)

    Also now some high cost functions, notably http://codex.wordpress.org/WPMU_Functions/switch_to_blog may start to come to attention.

    Unfortunately that is about the end of my guessing ability :slight_smile:

  • shoppingsherlock

    Thanks ROIBOT.

    Here's the list of plugins I have going on.


    Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. To get started: 1) Click the "Activate" link to the left of this description, 2) Sign up for an Akismet API key, and 3) Go to your Akismet configuration page, and save your API key.
    Version 2.5.6 | By Automattic | Visit plugin site
    Select Anti-Splog Anti-Splog

    The ultimate plugin and service to stop and kill splogs in WordPress Multisite and BuddyPress
    Version 2.0.1 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select AutoBlog AutoBlog

    This plugin automatically posts content from RSS feeds to different blogs on your WordPress Multisite...
    Version 3.9.3 | By Barry (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Automessage Automessage

    This plugin allows emails to be scheduled and sent to new users.
    Version 2.1.3 | By Barry (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Batch Create Batch Create

    Create hundred or thousands of blogs and users automatically by simply uploading a csv text file - subdomain and user creation automation has never been so easy.
    Version 1.2.3 | By Andrew Billits, Ulrich Sossou | Visit plugin site
    Select bbPress bbPress

    bbPress is forum software with a twist from the creators of WordPress.
    Version 2.1.3 | By The bbPress Community | Visit plugin site
    Select Blogs Directory Blogs Directory

    This plugin provides a paginated, fully search-able, avatar inclusive, automatic and rather good looking directory of all of the blogs on your WordPress Multisite or BuddyPress installation.
    Version | By Ivan Shaovchev, Ulrich Sossou, Andrew Billits, Andrey Shipilov (Incsub), S H Mohanjith (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select BP Group Email BP Group Email

    This plugin adds group email functionality to BuddyPress allowing a group admin or moderator to send an email to all the other members in the group.
    Version 1.0.6 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select BP Hide Widgets BP Hide Widgets

    Adds the ability to choose which Buddypress widgets should only be available to the main blog.
    Version 1.0.4 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select BuddyPress BuddyPress

    Social networking in a box. Build a social network for your company, school, sports team or niche community all based on the power and flexibility of WordPress.
    Version 1.6.1 | By The BuddyPress Community | Visit plugin site
    Select Contact Form Contact Form

    Adds a contact form widget to your blog.
    Version 2.1.2 | By AdamGold | Visit plugin site
    Select Content Monitor Content Monitor

    Allows you to monitor your entire site for set words that you define (and get an email whenever they are used) - perfect for educational or high profile sites.
    Version 1.2.2 | By Andrew Billits (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Default Theme Default Theme

    Allows you to easily select a new default theme for new blog signups
    Version 1.0.3 | By Aaron Edwards (for Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Domain Mapping plugin Domain Mapping plugin

    A domain mapping plugin that can handle sub-directory installs and global logins
    Version 3.1 | By Barry (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Easy Blogging Easy Blogging

    Modifies the Wordpress admin area to default it to a "Beginner" area, with the option to switch to the normal, "Advanced" area
    Version 3.2.3 | By Incsub | Visit plugin site
    Select Floating Social Floating Social

    Make sharing easy - add a floating social media box that scrolls with your content.
    Version 1.6.1 | By raggedrobins (Incsub), Ve Bailovity (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Follow Follow

    Adds a floating Follow Button at the bottom right corner of WordPress.ORG sites
    Version 10.0.6 | By TheAdityaJain | Visit plugin site
    Select Google Analytics Google Analytics

    It's great to offer your users Google Analytics, but it's even better to be able to offer it to individual bloggers AND at the same time capture sitewide stats for yourself!
    Version 2.1 | By Ivan Shaovchev, Andrey Shipilov, Hakan Evin (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Infinite SEO Infinite SEO

    Every SEO option that a site requires, in one easy bundle.
    Version 1.5.1 | By Ulrich Sossou (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select JS & CSS Script Optimizer JS & CSS Script Optimizer

    Features: Combine all scripts into the single file, Pack scripts using PHP version of the Dean Edwards's JavaScript Packer, Move all JavaScripts to the bottom, Combine all CSS scripts into the single file, Pack CSS files (remove comments, tabs, spaces, newlines).
    Version 0.2.3 | By Evgeniy Kotelnitskiy | Visit plugin site
    Select MailChimp Sync MailChimp Sync

    Simply integrate MailChimp with your Multisite (or regular old single user WP) site - automatically add new users to your email lists and import all your existing users
    Version 1.1.4 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Members Directory Members Directory

    Provides an automatic list of all the users on your site, with avatars, pagination, a built in search facility and extended customizable user profiles
    Version | By Ivan Shaovchev, Ulrich Sossou, Andrew Billits (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Messaging Messaging

    An internal email / messaging / inbox solution
    Version | By S H Mohanjith (Incsub), Andrew Billits (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Moderate New Blogs Moderate New Blogs

    New blogs(aka sites) await a final click from a Network Admin to activate in Network-->Sites "Awaiting Moderation". WP3.3.2+ only
    Version 3.3.2 | By D Sader | Visit plugin site
    Select Moderation Moderation

    Moderate posts, comments and blogs across your WordPresds Mu install
    Version | By S H Mohanjith (Incsub), Andrew Billits (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Multi Post Multi Post

    Allow a user to author a post accross multiple blogs in the same Multi-Site install.
    Version 1.1 | By Ioannis C. Yessios, Yale Instructional Technology Group | Visit plugin site
    Select Multisite Privacy Multisite Privacy

    Adds more levels of privacy and allows you to control them across all sites - or allow users to override them.
    Version | By Ivan Shaovchev, Andrew Billits, Andrey Shipilov (Incsub), S H Mohanjith (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select New Blog Templates New Blog Templates

    Allows the site admin to create new blogs based on templates, to speed up the blog creation process
    Version 1.6.2 | By Jason DeVelvis, Ulrich Sossou (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Pro Sites (Formerly Supporter) Pro Sites (Formerly Supporter)
    Network Activate | Edit | Delete

    The ultimate multisite site upgrade plugin, turn regular sites into multiple pro site subscription levels selling access to storage space, premium themes, premium plugins and much more!
    Version 3.3.2 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Remove Permalinks Menu Item Remove Permalinks Menu Item

    Removes the 'permalinks' configuration options
    Version 1.0.3 | By Andrew Billits, Ulrich Sossou | Visit plugin site
    Select Signup Code Signup Code

    Limit who can sign up for a blog or user account at your site by requiring a special code that you can easily configure yourself
    Version 1.0.3 | By S H Mohanjith (Incsub), Andrew Billits (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Simple Sitemaps For Multisite Simple Sitemaps For Multisite
    Network Activate | Edit | Delete

    The ultimate search engine plugin - Simply have sitemaps created, submitted and updated for every blog on your site
    Version 1.1 | By Viper007Bond (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Ultimate Branding Ultimate Branding
    Network Activate | Edit | Delete

    A complete white-label and branding solution for multisite. Login images, favicons, remove WordPress links and branding, and much more.
    Version 1.0.3 | By Barry (Incsub), Andrew Billits, Ulrich Sossou, Ve Bailovity (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select Ultimate Facebook Ultimate Facebook
    Settings | Network Deactivate | Edit

    Easy Facebook integration: share your blog posts, autopost to your wall and notes, login and registration integration, BuddyPress profiles support and more. Please, configure the plugin first.
    Version 2.5.3 | By Ve Bailovity (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select W3 Total Cache W3 Total Cache
    Network Activate | Edit

    The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.
    Version | By Frederick Townes | Visit plugin site
    Select WordSocial WordSocial

    Version 20
    Select WP-Cycle WP-Cycle

    This plugin creates an image slideshow from the images you upload using the jQuery Cycle plugin. You can upload/delete images via the administration panel, and display the images in your theme by using the wp_cycle(); template tag, which will generate all the necessary HTML for outputting the rotating images.
    Version 0.1.13 | By Nathan Rice | Visit plugin site
    Select WPMU DEV Dashboard WPMU DEV Dashboard

    Brings the power of WPMU DEV direct to you, it'll revolutionize how you use WordPress, activate now!
    Version 3.2 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site
    Select WPMU DEV Videos WPMU DEV Videos

    A simple way to integrate WPMU DEV's over 40 unbranded support videos into your websites. Simply activate this plugin, then configure where and how you want to display the video tutorials.
    Version 1.1 | By Aaron Edwards (Incsub) | Visit plugin site

  • aecnu

    Greetings shoppingsherlock,

    Thank you for the plugin listing, by any chance have you tried taking a run through standard plugin trouble shooting protocol?

    I.E. first to switch to the Twenty Eleven theme just long enough to check for the problem - if the problem still exists next involves deactivating all plugins except the plugin in question and then see if the issue still exists.

    If it does not, then you want to activate plugins one at a time testing in between to see if the issue returns. Even when you find one plugin, it may be in your interest to deactivate the problem plugin and continue testing the rest of the plugins to insure no others are also conflicting.

    You will know the conflict when the issue returns and which plugin(s) you activated that cause the issue.

    Please advise if there are any plugin conflicts and if so what the plugins are that are conflicting.

    Cheers, Joe

  • shoppingsherlock

    Unfortunately, the server is currently in production mode and we have many users using the system.

    I'll have to find a time to shut down the website for maintenance.

    So far, the only lag is for the Super Admins, and I have to believe it it's because it's pulling all 3500 sites for it's Dashboard.

    I'll have to mark this as resolved for the time being, but may open another ticket mainly for Super Admin being very slow.

  • aecnu

    Greetings shoppingsherlock and ROIBOT,

    @ROIBOT Great tip there and thank you for adding that!

    @shoppingsherlock it is strange that you would not take it down for the few minutes it would take to test this out as I suggested above. Personally I would pop up a maintenance page on the front end and go after finding the issue or at least trying.

    Also though you did not mention it, when you get into trying to hunt this down again and if it is not helping i.e. disabling the plugins etc. Maybe some advice from Mark De Scande is in order who is running 80,000 + sites on one of my dedicated servers and does not have the issue you are having.

    Cheers, Joe

  • sean_hyne

    Hello shopping sherlock,

    I seem to have the same problem. I believe it may be a function of WPMU, not your servers. I would say your right below, its just "logging" in to each to see which ones your have rights to. Create a new WPMU install, and I bet it won't happen with 2 or 3 sites.

    "So far, the only lag is for the Super Admins, and I have to believe it it's because it's pulling all 3500 sites for it's Dashboard."

    Is it slow after the initial login? There may be no way around it, unless you want to create a permenant login session?

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