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general slowness

  • hello, glad to see the new forum is up. i just have a general question and was wondering if anyone has run into similar problems. I have about 70 posts and each one has about 30 custom fields and my site on the front-end is very slow, average of about 5 seconds to load a page. i was just wondering if this may have something to do with ACF and the site getting bogged down. if anyone has run into similar issues i would be glad to hear any suggestions. thank you !

  • there could be a variety of things slowing your site down. I usually start troubleshooting with the theme:

    • Change to a default theme (TwentyEleven, TwentyTwelve) and see if it gets faster
    • Try running Google PageSpeed tools
    • In Firefox or Chrome, open the developer tools (F12) and change to the Network tab (Chrome) or Net tab (Firefox)… watch for slow-loading javascripts or images. Also check for errors while you’re here.
    • Install a caching plugin like BWP Minify
    • Check out the WP Debug Bar for some query information

    I have never had ACF slow my site down on its own, and I have made sites with dozens of custom fields. Let us know what you find!

  • thanks for the reply ! its about the end of my work day but i will definitely try out all of these strategies next week when i come back in and keep you posted as to what i learn !

  • i finally had a chance to test out your methods, thank you ! switching to TwentyTwelve theme reduced my average load time by about half, but is still around 3 seconds. Using the Network and analysis tools it seems about 90% of the load time is waiting for the initial html/text (roughly 2-2.5 seconds). I have tested other sites that we have on the same server and they all load in under half a second so i dont think server speed is what is slowing down my site…

  • Very interesting. Did you get a chance to try out the WP Debug Bar plugin? That initial html/text load is the server running its queries and grabbing post info to display – it might be worthwhile to do a comparison of the debug bar readings between your slow site and one of the other faster sites you have on that server.

  • i did and there didnt seem to be any major differences. the main thing that is stumping me is that ALL of my pages whether large or small have a long html/text load time. I have pages with custom templates with a small amount of php, templates with tons of php/sql queries, pages with lots of shortcodes, and pages with nothing more than a paragraph of plain text on them and yet, regardless of size or complexity, they all seem to be taking around the same amount of time for the server to send over (~3-4 sec). with something like this it would seem that there is issues with the database, i ran database optimizers and clean-ups and they all say that the db is in tip top shape…could there be something more fundamentally wrong?

  • Wow, no idea… that’s a tricky one to troubleshoot. Last 2 suggestions that come to mind: check server error logs to see if PHP is reporting anything, and troubleshoot plugins by disabling them one at a time then testing load speed. Of course, the problem could also be due to plugins interfering with each other, so it might be worth disabling ALL the plugins and testing load speeds you turn each plugin back on.

    What a pain…

  • ya i know…ive been working on this performance issue for the last three weeks…definitely worth a shot to disable all plugins and see where that gets me. thank you greatly for sticking with me and giving me all of these suggestions (ironically, none of which had to do with ACF lol), they have been a help to narrow down my focus, i will leave this thread open so that if i can find the root of the problem i will post it for anyone who finds this thread to use as reference. thank you emcniece !

  • Hey, no worries… stockpiling information like this will be useful to somebody, someday 🙂

  • Hi, I’m struggling with some slowness as well.
    I’m using on my front page a repeater field and just one more custom field (for a simple slider).
    If I just remove the code for the ACF everything loads fast but as soon it is “on” it just takes ~4.5secs to “refresh” the page.

    I’ve already removed some code and I’m not sure what to do next.

    Well using caching is okay but I really don’t like having the page so slow on the development “stage”.

    Any help?

  • the first thing that comes to mind is how large is the image/images that are in the slider? if they are really big that could be causing your problems. I would hesitate to blame the repeater field as i have had nested repeater fields with hundreds of inner-fields on sites and never noticed a slow down.

    one thing that really helped me solve the slowness is to use the Network section of the Developer Tools (Chrome, but firebug for firefox does the same if not more). I was able to locate what exact files that were causing the lag and then adjusted/shrank them down to help. another great resource is

    another option is to contact your hosting provider and see if there is anything they can do. i had one site with average load time was almost ten seconds! one weekend the hosting company did server maintenance and did some resets etc. and my site was back down to average load time of 1-2 seconds, even with php/sql heavy templates.

  • Hi williamotto,

    Well as I said this happens locally (on my machine during development)…for the live version I’ll be using “AWS” with caching (that will work for some areas).

    This is just for the GET request… and this is the amount of images I have..

    As soon as I remove the ACF code it works great.

    Well I’m making use of get_template_part for loading some “partials” but I don’t think that’s the issue…as for the ACF code I’m pretty sure it’s clean.

  • oh, i totally missed the dev part sorry…

    and hmm…the amount of images is large but not insanely large. maybe try finding a really small image and use that in the ACF instead just to see if it is still taking forever. if it does still take a long time than you can rule out the image/s size as the problem. if it speeds up your load time than it would seem the problem is with the image sizes. in my experience, ACF, even coded poorly doesnt take an enormous time to run. sorry if this isnt much help….i know how much of a headache slow loading time can be.

  • No problem and thanks for the help 🙂
    I’ll be digging a bit more…

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