If you use WordPress for your blog or site, you must be careful not to overload it. Your site performance is an integral part of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The overload can come from using too many WordPress Plug-ins. Plug-ins are generally helpful and can be beneficial. The issue is that many plug-ins are hefty CPU or Memory users for your site.
Some examples of high usage Plug-ins are:
- JetPack – while its functionality is great and helpful, it can be a CPU hog. The Premium version has even more capability to become a pig.
- Yoast – this SEO plug-in has plenty of good functionality. The issue is the internal services can take up a lot of computing power on your site.
On my financial site, The Canadian Personal Financial Site, I had issues with HTTP 504 Errors. These errors occurred whenever I logged into the Admin Page. Some calls to the website also timed out. My Service Provider suggested doing the Plug-In Wipe Out Game.
The Service I receive has limited CPU and Memory. If I overrun these, the Service typically kills any significant process. This is important to remember.
WordPress Plug-in Wipe Out Game
How is this game played? Simple:
- Guess which of your plug-ins might be CPU or memory hogs. Write that down.
- Turn off ALL of your Plug-ins (i.e. deactivate)
Once that is done, check your site. How is it running? If it continues to be slow and sluggish, you have other problems. If your site is peppy and fast, go to the second phase.
- Create a list of Plug-ins on your site. Go to the Plug-ins Page of your WordPress site.
- Order this list with an eye towards which you guess might be CPU or memory hogs. The bigger hogs are at the end of the list.
The next phase is simple.
- Turn on the Plug-in
- Determine if the website performance was affected by this being turned on.
I suggest waiting at least an hour if things seem fine when you turn the plug-in back on. In some cases, I waited a whole day to see what the Plug-in did to the site.
In my case, the last 2 Plug-ins on my list were:
I turned back on JetPack, and the site did run a little slower, but there were no timeouts. I waited a whole day to see if things got worse, and they did not.
When Yoast was turned on, the timeouts appeared right away. Now I am attempting to see if I can remedy this issue but may remove Yoast if I cannot. Rank Math is a suitable replacement.
I started by asking Reddit about this issue. I was surprised at the responses and how they pointed me at alternate plug-ins for JetPack and Yoast.
Why Do This?
Performance is an essential part of Google Indexing. If your site runs slowly, it will disappear off most search engine pages quickly.
It is Yoast, after doing some extensive testing. The site is far too big, although the re-index did finally complete after 48 hours. The plug-in makes the site unusable and unworkable. I will be looking into Rank Math a bit closer. I do have a ticket open with Yoast about this as well. Another issue that seems to have come up is that some of my library images are a bit wonky. I will be checking that out as well.
The next logical step will be to get Rank Math Pro and learn about it here. I have done part of that and have imported it from AIO SEO, seems to work just fine.