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5 Ways to Test WordPress Site Performance 2018 Tutorial

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WordPress is a very popular PHP product that is used to power 60% of the market of content management systems.

Very popular WordPress sites may suffer of performance problems if they are not optimized to avoid using too much server resources.

Read this article to learn how to test the performance of WordPress based sites and what you can do to solve this different types of problems that may case speed loss.

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By Glen Lee United States

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1. Scripting Languages

2. Instancing

3. Performance Plug-Ins

4. Client Scripting

5. Use Professional Tools



Web site performance has become a popular goal for many individuals and businesses. Leaving aside the obvious benefits of having a quick and responsive site for the benefit of customers, there are numerous search engine advantages that can be gained by demonstrating good development practices and maintaining a site that provides a good experience for readers and customers.

Many developers use content management systems for the purpose of automating site performance. Chief among these CMS options is WordPress, which has increasingly become a go-to solution for webmasters interested in using a standardized approach to both client-side performance and ease of maintaining middleware and database management.

If you are interested in maximizing the performance of your WordPress site, here are some things to keep in mind when testing.

1. Scripting Languages

As you know, WordPress, like many powerful server-side content management systems, is built on a middleware scripting language called PHP. It is important to remember that any performance test of a site running on a scripting language must be interpreted in light of the server CPU and the limits of the PHP interpreter.

While scripting languages running on a Web server as part of the server process have generally good performance, when under significant load, some servers will experience bottlenecks and slowdowns. This is often due to hardware limitations which are far more difficult to overcome than a simple software upgrade.

The key thing to remember is performance issues are not always a software issue, and when they can be traced back to hardware, they aren't always due to inadequate processing power. Sometimes there are practical limits on what one server can do.

When testing your site, make sure you compare hardware configurations in addition to software. You may find unexpected results.

2. Instancing

Concurrent with the hardware limits of script-based middleware is the fact that in many circumstances, every new user will spawn a new instance of the script interpreter on the server.

While most modern Web servers are powerful enough to handle many hundreds or thousands of scripting processes at once, some aren't.

When a server is processing many scripting instances, the bottleneck shifts from being CPU-bound to being RAM-bound. Depending on the server architecture, this can create process table issues with older CPUs and can lead to service outages.

Often the only way to overcome these problems is to load balance on multiple servers with multiple hardware buses. If you have the option during your testing process, see if changes in CPU and/or RAM make a difference to your performance. Even if this requires extra work or expense, in the long run having the answers will be worth it.

When you embark on the testing process, it's wise to choose the correct tools as well. LoadView is an excellent tool for initial load testing, as well as JMeter from Apache if you're doing testing inside the firewall.

3. Performance Plug-Ins

The WordPress platform is replete with plug-ins and add-ons that purport to improve performance. Many of these software options are excellent choices for sites that expect to have sustained traffic, or in the case of Accelerated Mobile Pages, expect considerable traffic from mobile devices.

Web Hosting Buddy states that it's very important to start by choosing a quality WordPress host, or all the performance optimization in the world won't make a difference.

When testing your site for performance, it is important to check the base site without plugins first, then to compare that performance to the results with the plug-ins enabled. This will give you the opportunity to strengthen the base site first and thereby maximize the effect of your plug-ins and add-ons.

4. Client Scripting

Web browsers can be incredibly taxing on older PCs. The combination of high-performance graphics, Javascript, misconfigured Web sites and anti-malware and anti-advertising plug-ins can bog down a PC to the point where an otherwise fast site looks sluggish and unresponsive. This is also true for budget mobile devices.

Make certain your WordPress site runs well on older machines. Otherwise, no matter how much performance tuning you do, the practical results are not going to be satisfying to you or your visitors.

5. Use Professional Tools

There are multiple free options for performance testing any web site including ones running on WordPress. Google, for example, offers a tool called "Pagespeed Insights" which automatically tests your site on multiple devices and provides you with a standardized report you can use not only to get a snapshot of performance but to also measure improvement over time.

A lot of the requirements of a good test suite can be met by automating at least some of the time-consuming work. Use good tools and you're more likely to get good and reliable results.

Performance testing is only going to become more important as web sites and the management systems they run on become more advanced. If you have a system in place you'll be one step ahead of your competition and well liked by your visitors.


WordPress is a very popular platform that many Web sites use. Over time it has been optimized to be very efficient in terms of server performance that it uses. However, other factors need to be considered like the eventual performance inefficiency of plugins and high volume of user accesses.

This article clarified about the several methods to test problems of performance of your WordPress installation, so you can act now and fix any issues as soon as possible, for instance with the help of tools like LoadView that you can try now for free using $20 of testing credits.

If you liked this article and think it is useful for all developers like yourself that use WordPress in your server or in servers of your customer, share this article by copying this link.

Also feel free to post a comment below if you have questions or other things to say about this article.

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1. 5 Ways to Test WordPress. - shivkumar (2019-06-24 19:48)
We can know the step to flow in wordpress test.... - 0 replies
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