Troubleshooting Slow Builds
Let’s discuss the troubleshooting path for when you encounter a build that is slow to load, edit, or save.
Step 1. Connect Via VPN
Connect to an employer provided VPN and attempt to access the site using an IP address registered in the United States. Your management should provide you with access to this type of VPN for intermittent use. If this works, please continue work on the site.
Step 2. Update Plugins and Theme
Your first step on any troubleshooting issue should be to make sure the plugins and theme are up to date. Make sure you are updating to the latest version available in core and updating plugins that are not in core. Check out the guide to updating plugins here: https://styleguide.wdsgallery.com/how-to-update-plugins/
Step 3. Disable any unnecessary plugins or features
If there are plugins or features active on the site that are not needed to build out the site, disable them (do not delete them). Here is a list of the plugins and features that are auto enabled that you may disable when troubleshooting.
- Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin
- CoBlocks Plugin
- Sucuri Security Plugin
- WP101 Video Tutorials Plugin
- Lazy Load in Smush Pro
Note: If there are 3rd party plugins installed that do not control the site build, and the site is not live, please disable these while troubleshooting. Be sure to re-enable them once troubleshooting and work has completed. If you notice that a 3rd party plugin is causing an issue, please notate this in your ticket. If notes are present and the ticket is a care or post publish ticket, please send for a Non-Technical Clarification, so a rep can reach out to the customer. If the ticket is a revisions, please leave your note and complete the ticket as usual.
Step 4. Check for excessive/unnecessary content
Excessive content is often a culprit of slow sites. Be aware of the amount of content on any single page as well as the type of content on the page. Too many modules of any kind on a single page can lead to poor site performance. Splitting content into multiple pages or taking advantage of organizational tools such as pods/posts is a good way to alleviate slow page speeds. Make sure you are utilizing the best module or set up possible for your content. For example, if you have team members that have a large bio, you should make these into Posts NOT Popups. Take a second to review this article to help you make the decision on whether or not to use posts: https://styleguide.wdsgallery.com/posts-vs-pages/
Some other points to keep in mind are:
- Insure all images are appropriately resized within individual module settings or compress/resize large images in Photoshop.
- Double-check the Smush Pro plugin to make sure that its active and using the appropriate settings.
- Be aware of any videos that may be hosted directly on the site, larger videos should be hosted on third party sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
- Limit the amount of saved modules/rows that display within other modules, too many modules within modules are taxing on site resources and can lead to database timeouts.
Step 5. Increase PHP Memory
Adding a .user.ini file to increase the PHP memory limit often helps with site speed and upload issues. Please follow the steps outlined in this article to increase the limit: https://styleguide.wdsgallery.com/increasing-php-memory-limit/
Note: Be sure you are removing the plugin after the upload is complete.
Step 6. Flush the Cache
You can flush GD cORe cache in a couple places in the WordPress dashboard.
- Hover over the “GD cORe” menu item in the top black admin bar, and click the “Clear Site Cache” option.
- Click GD cORe in the left menu bar. Next to “Flush All Cache (hummingbird, mwp and beaver builder)” Click the blue “Flush” link.
Note: Give this a moment to process. your screen should refresh when it is complete.
Step 7. Check the CDN
You can check to see if the MWP CDN is enabled in 2 places:
- Hover over the “GD cORe” menu item in the top black admin bar, and look for the last item.
- Click GD cORe in the left menu bar. Under Website Settings, look for MWP CDN:.
If it shows CDN: Disabled, the CDN is not active. If it shows CDN: Enabled, the CDN is active and should be disabled. This can only be done through the customer’s account. If all of the previous steps have been performed and further troubleshooting is needed, please submit a Technical Clarification to have the CDN disabled and further troubleshooting to be done.
Note for Internal Builders: Please turn off the CDN yourself, if you are still having issues and there are no Known Issues, proceed to submitting a Technical Clarification with the items listed below.
Step 8. Submit a Technical Clarification
Make sure you are only submitting a Technical Clarification AFTER all the previous steps have been completed. Be sure to include the following items in your Technical Clarification:
- A detailed explanation of the issue (slow builder is not enough)
- The steps taken to resolve the issue
- A complete traceroute both on VPN and OFF
- A Speed test that is run to “Ashburn, VA” via SpeedTest.net
- A screenshot of the error while connected to VPN