We have been spending this month going over various ways to optimize your WordPress website and tools to use to do so.
One of the most asked questions we get is how to actually track the performance of your plugins and other processes on your website.
Luckily, we managed to spot a plugin called WP Performance Profiler from Interconnect IT Ltd. which hopes to help determine how fast all of the processes on your site are performing as well as other facets of development, like plugin speed.
Note: This post can be a bit more technical than some of our other blog posts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is WP Performance Profiler?
- WP Performance Profiler versus P3
- Notes for developers
- Monitor WordPress plugins
- Track WordPress database requests
- In-depth reports
- Adjust WP Performance Profiler settings
What is WP Performance Profiler?
As mentioned above, WP Performance Profiler is a plugin which is currently free and can be downloaded here.
Note: The plugin is in beta at time of this review and may cost money at it’s official release.
WP Performance Profiler allows you to track:
- WordPress plugin performance
- All website requests
- Database actions
- In depth reports of processes that support them
The plugin also allows you to set up how often you track these requests and allows you to clean the content from the database after you have run your requests (all of these requests can add up!).
Using this information, you have a jumping point to go forward and optimize your WordPress website.
What this plugin is NOT
WP Performance Profiler is NOT to be confused with P3 Plugin Performance Profiler. While we have talked about using the tool, created by GoDaddy, in the past, this is a different plugin.
This one goes more in depth and is recommended over P3 since it provides more depth and is easier to remove when finished. It also allows for more depth if you are a developer on a project.
Like P3 Plugin Performance Profiler, WP Performance Profiler is a tool that is meant to be used in short chunks or during site development to make sure that there are no processes or plugins severely slowing down a site. It is always recommended to deactivate these plugins when you are finished using them to conserve resources and improve page load speed.
Additionally, this plugin does not track theme load to our knowledge. Make sure you are using a WordPress theme that is clean and well coded to avoid any page load issues with your WordPress theme.
How does it work?
From a technical perspective, WP Performance Profiler detects what function and file are current being executed and has a separate timer for each plugin and function. The duration calculated is the time between ticks for each plugin.
WP Performance Profiler works out of the box as another WordPress plugin. You can navigate to the WordPress dashboard after downloading it from their website. Go to Plugins > Add New to install the plugin.
WP Performance Profiler for developers
You can also adjust the plugin in your FTP as a must-use plugin after install. This is recommended for developers so that the plugin fires right away, capturing data of ALL processes involved with loading the site, versus processes that happen after the plugins fire.
Though there are instructions provided in the plugin, in short:
- Deactivate the plugin
- Go to your FTP
- Go the ‘plugins’ directory
- Move load-wp-performance-profiler.php and wp-performance-profiler to your wp-content/mu-plugins folder
Breakdown of WP Performance Profiler
Whether you are developer, freelancer, or agency, the WP Performance Profiler is a good tool to have. Here is a breakdown of some of the tools you can use, built into the plugin.
Monitor WordPress plugins
The first and simplest item you can track with WP Performance Profiler are your plugins.
WPP will go and monitor how many milliseconds (ms) it will take to load each plugin on a page.
Use this tool to see which of your plugins are taking up the most space and consider alternatives or optimizing them to lower your speed. For example, the plugin that had the longest load time was Jetpack, but there are a lot of add-ons in this particular staging site that aren’t being used that could be disabled to save load time.
Testing WordPress Theme Speed
If you would like to test WordPress theme page load speed, you can also do it with WP Performance Profiler.
On the same plugins tab, you might notice that your theme is also on the list of “plugins.” This was added intentionally to the plugins section to provide the WordPress theme page load speed.
Generally, you want your theme speed to be under 100ms, as you want your site’s entire load speed to be around 2-3,000 ms.
Monitor WordPress database requests
The next element that the plugin allows you to track are database requests. Perhaps beyond plugins and your themes lie other developed processes or database issues that are occurring too frequently or are unnecessary and are causing your site to load more slowly.
You can track all of the processes that are occurring in your database and any server requests in the “Database” tab and “Requests” tab respectively.
Go in-depth with the request
Within the “Requests” tab, there is also potential that certain requests will allow you to click on “Details.”
Doing this will send you to the “In-Depth” tab on WP Performance Profiler.
From this tab you can view a more specific breakdown of the individual requests. This is definitely a lot more helpful for developers, but allows you to track how much memory and how many queries the process takes, among other things.
Manage WP Performance Profiler settings
Out of the box, WP Performance Profiler will log on every thousandth request to the system, but you can turn this up or down in the settings. You can change this number as a percentage (using a decimal point) in the “Basic Logging Frequency” section.
Be wary that increasing the number of requests will increase the latency of the plugin and how much content is locally stored on your website, further increasing page load speed.
You can also choose what requests are included in your reports and which aren’t, including:
- Frontend requests
- WP-admin requests
- Cron requests
- AJAX requests
Disabling the plugin
You will want to disable the plugin after using it. Otherwise, all of the requests that you have tracked will be stored on your site, and that’s not good.
The best way to disable the plugin AND remove all data is to go to the “Maintenance” tab and choose the uninstall option from that tab. This will not only deactivate and uninstall the plugin but will also delete any extra data collected after running the report.
Track theme and plugin speed with WP Performance Profiler
Do you have any questions about our walkthrough of WP Performance Profiler? Do you have any other suggestions for free or paid tools that can be used to track the performance of your WordPress website?