Tag Archives: performance

WordPress performance with caching

In my last entry, I detailed the performance gains to be had from switching host providers.  That’s pretty cool, but a lot can still be done within WordPress to improve performance with caching.  Here, I’m going to use the URL from my previous blog post (https://ryanveach.com/280/i-switched-my-host-provider/), and I’m going to run it through similar benchmark tests to see what kind of difference that makes.

During these tests, nothing is being changed except for the caching plugin.  All server variables remained constant, and no other plugins were touched at this time.  This plugin will allow wordpress to generate a static html webpage to take the place of php/mysql code.  Therefore, a page request will simply read a flat file that is ready to go vs execute php code and pull data from the database, limiting processing time.

Note, this test is not downloading images, javascript or any other static content that can be included with a webpage.  I’m purposely leaving that out, testing the webserver’s ability to process the wordpress php code only.

Test #1: 1000 requests, single threaded

Example command: ab  -n 1000 -e post_280_ssl_std.csv -g post_280_ssl_std_gnuplot.tsv https://ryanveach.com/280/i-switched-my-host-provider/

General Numbers:

 Uncached  Cached
 Document Length  35424 bytes  35568 bytes
 Concurrency Level  1  1
 Time taken for tests  280.391 seconds  171.673 seconds
 Complete Requests  1000  1000
 Failed Requests  389 (length)  0
 Total Transferred  35,789,569 bytes  35,873,068 bytes
 HTML transferred:  35,423,569 bytes  35,568,000 bytes
 Requests per second:  3.57 [#/sec]  5.83 [#/sec]
 Mean time per request:  280.391 [ms]  171.673 [ms]
 Transfer rate:  124.65 [Kbytes/sec]  204.06 [Kbytes/sec]

For this test, there were 389 failed requests based on length.  Researching this error indicates it could be caused by dynamic content, and does not necessarily indicate a problem.  Therefore, I’m going to ignore this figure, and assume all connections were successful.

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I switched my host provider!

DO_SSD_Power_Badge_Blue-077bf22e…and you should too!
(provided you know a thing or two about system management and online security)

I found myself in a place where the basic and plus hosting accounts were providing extreme sub-par service, with no SSL.  I had two options, move up to the $15 dollar a month (on sale) “Pro” hosting account, or jump ship.  I jumped to a $10/month Digital Ocean Droplet and I couldn’t be happier!

  • root
  • Faster performance
  • SSL for free, thanks to Let’s Encrypt
  • Free reign to monitor and tune system
  • Complete control over security policies and patching

Note, all of these things come with a varying levels of responsibility, which should not be taken lightly.  There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to harden a servers and configure web services.  If you go down this road, I highly suggest you do your research first.

While that short bit on the “why” is imporant, I really wrote this to share some performance data!  I used Apache Benchmark against my old hosting account and my new VM.  Honestly, I don’t get that many hits, so load on my own server is negligible.  In order to give both hosts a shot, I performed these tests between 12:00 am and 2 am CST.  I used the same theme and the same config options.  I’m unable to modify the my.cnf file on my shared hosting provider, so I left the defaults in place on my new host.  I did create an apache virtual host, otherwise I left the apache configs alone for similar reasons.  My site runs wordpress, and I made sure both sites were running the same plugins with the same options using the same theme.  At the time, LightWord, Akismet, Jetpack, SyntaxHighlighter Evolved, Ultimate Google Analytics.

Test #1 – 1,000 gets against the main page, single thread:

There is a slight difference in the total bytes and the filesize transferred.  I’ve identified this to be the difference between a custom footer and the standard.  It was a negligible change, and the tests took a while to complete, so I’ve left it alone.  Also, the hostname was different, because I chose to run the tests at the same time, using a sub-domain to point to the new host.

Example Command: ab  -n 1000 -e digitalocean.csv -g digitalocean_gnuplot.tsv http://do.ryanveach.com/

General Numbers:

 Host Type:  Shared  Virtual Machine  Virtual Machine
 Host Provider  Bluehost  Digital Ocean  Digital Ocean
 Monthly Cost:  $6.95  $10  $10
 Server Software  Apache  Apache/2.4.7  Apache/2.4.7
 Server Hostname:  ryanveach.com  do.ryanveach.com  do.ryanveach.com
 Server Port:  80  80  443
 SSL/TLS Protocol:  n/a  n/a  TLSv1.2,ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256,2048,128
 Document Path:  /  /  /
 Document Length:  88453 bytes  84502 bytes  84502 bytes
 Concurrency Level:  1  1  1
 Time taken for tests:  1380.997 seconds  265.789 seconds  399.775 seconds
 Complete requests:  1000  1000  1000
 Failed requests:  0  0  0
 Total transferred:  88714000 bytes  84824000 bytes  84524000 bytes
 HTML transferred:  88453000 bytes  84502000 bytes  84203000 bytes
 Requests per second (mean):  0.72 [#/sec]  3.76 [#/sec]  2.50 [#/sec]
 Time per request (mean):  1380.997 [ms]  265.789 [ms]  399.775 [ms]
 Transfer rate:  62.73 [Kbytes/sec]  311.66 [Kbytes/sec]  206.47 [Kbytes/sec]

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