WordPress Tune-up

Screen shot 2012-12-23 at 11.51.28 AM

Recently, I’ve had another website start to get a bit too large for it’s britches. 1 regulation, class A nasty gram sent (that was missed) and the site was suspended by the host. Why? Resource usage that was 4x what was allotted for that account. Part of the trouble with shared hosting if your site gets popular.

Not to worry, since the host is Site5, I was able to get them to turn the site back on so I could take a shot at reducing the usage and brings things under control. Sure, an upgrade was going to have to happen, but why not try to put that off until after the crazy that is this time of year.

So I donned my labcoat and went to work.

Traffic hasn’t been that much more than normal, and nothing was looking out of the ordinary short of some excessive bot traffic that was quickly blocked. But that was not enough! I trimmed out the plugins, deleted all that weren’t being used and really tuned the cache (WP Super Cache is the one I like). Still thinking there was more than I could, I turned to something I thought I would never do; a GoDaddy Product called WordPress Plugin Profiler (P3).

What it does is check to see what’s happening on your site, which plugin is taking the most resources to execute and display that in a very easy to read graph. I know, strange for a GoDaddy product to be useable, but let’s not digress. After running it, turns out that one of the biggest offenders was our pal Jetpack.

This didn’t please me, even a little. But I started reading around the internet and turns out that Jetpack is, what we call back at the shop, a pig. When it’s installed, **everything** is running, even the bits that you aren’t using. This isn’t so much a problem on a site where you get low traffic numbers or are rocking things on a your WP Engine account. But on a cheap shared hosting plan with a site getting about 15K uniques a month, it’s a little bit of a problem.

The trick is simple. Go into Jetpack and disable everything that you aren’t using. In my case, it was everything except sharing, stats, publicize and enhanced distribution. Besides those 4 (and Vault Press, which is not free), everything is now switched off and showing blue boxes.

And I’m happy to report that after 22 days of going over the allotted resources, the site has been under 4 days in a row.

If this is you, and you want to avoid the dreaded upgrade as long as possible, you could take one more step and move your data storage to a Content Delivery Network like Amazon S3. That would bring resource usage down even further without having to stop using the plugins that are needed by the site or making radical changes to theme (which aren’t in the budget). You can get more information on doing that on a post from last year.

So, if you want to keep Jetpack around, just take a few minutes to disable all of the bits that you aren’t using. That will keep your host happy and your site cruising along without issues.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

1 comment

  1. Stumbled onto this old-a** post… followed your example and ran “P3” to discover JetPack at @ 69% of runtime activity! After some tweaking I was able to dial it down to 59%. I guess every little bit helps! (Related- any thoughts on WPtouch versus the Jetpack mobile theme?)

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