Fixing WordPress and Switching to OpenLiteSpeed!

My website has been mostly snappy from the user side of things but the back-end functions (designing, writing, saving) have been very slow. It was taking anywhere from 6 to 12+ seconds per page load. Even for small changes, that (slowly) adds up! Especially, when your edits aren’t saving and you start to get in the habit of always periodically saving your edits somewhere else. Just in case!

Time to Troubleshoot

  • Switched themes from Total to GeneratePress (ultra-light theme) – Issue continued
  • Got rid of WP Rocket (caching plugin) – Issue continued
  • Tried out Statically.io (CDN) – Issue continued
  • Got rid of RankMath (seo tools) – Issue continued
    I found RankMath was running code slowly, however I think the underlying issue was making matters worse on RankMaths code.
  • Ran a DB repair – Issue continued
  • Ran a DB optimization – Issue continued
  • Enabled Redis (caching server)- Issue continued
  • Verified that the server was running the latest version of PHP – Issue continued
  • Increased the WordPress memory limit – Issue continued
  • Reduced how much content is displayed in the WordPress Admin – Issue continued
  • Disabled unused dashboard widgets in the WordPress Admin – Issue continued
  • Disabled Cloudflare from caching my website on their end – Issue continued

My website was hosted in Las Vegas but because I use Cloudflare, it is hosted all over the world so that location shouldn’t matter as much.

  • Migrated a full backup to a beefier VPS (2 CPU, 4096MB, 80GB SSD) – Issue continued
    I had two different trains of thought… either go big or go home, or remain the same resource-wise. This helped me determine that there wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with my web hosting but something with my WordPress installation.

How could this not fix the issue? It didn’t even band-aid the issue but continued to load about just as slow as it did with the original virtual server.

  • Installed a fresh copy of WordPress, restored the database and media content – SUCCESS!

Website is loading faster than ever! Also, editing and navigating the admin pages are lighting quick now. .5-2 seconds tops.

Without Cloudflare

Ignoring whatever happened in Sydney during this test because I was making a lot of changes.

With Cloudflare

Resolution?

So, sometimes upgrading isn’t always the best solution if you have an underlying fundamental issue with your installation of WP. At least that is what I found in my situation.

Next, I want to try re-installing the original VPS and restore the working backup from the beefier setup and see if the problem returns.

Fix 404 errors on Posts and pages

Getting 404 errors now that you have everything restored back onto your OpenLiteSpeed webserver? Get this fixed by deleting the .htaccess file and restarting the webservice. It should be good to go!

The last thing I did now was reset my original origin server back to a factory image and performed a restore of my website with WPvivid’s Backup Plugin (from the test server data). Now all is well! Something must have been up within a random WordPress core file because the database went unchanged through this process.

Later on After the SSL Cert Settled Down

TLS was on the frits before in the other screenshots so here it is again a day later. As you can also see the response times change quite a bit between tests.

Big Thanks for These Services, Tools & Articles

WPvivid Backup Plugin | WordPress Plugin | This plug-in has the ability to do ‘site to site transfers’ and doesn’t require spending any monies. It really makes the process easy!

Vultr.com | Fast SSD VPS Cloud Servers.‎ Great for quick testing for litte $$$.

Download Google Drive Files using wget | Used these instructions to download backups from Google Drive with the wget command.

Query Monitor | This tool helps you find resource heavy plugins throughout your website.

SSL Server Test by Qualys, Inc.

KeyCDN | Website Speed Test

Feature Photo Credit

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash