I recently purchased a premium WordPres plugin called Hide my WP. I planned on using this plugin for my nonprofit organization's website, which is a multisite WordPress installation with an SSL.
Upon implementing it, page load times went from 4-6 seconds (already pretty bad, but I have a lot of content) to anywhere from 30-60 minutes.
I should add that 95% of the page load times deals with the server response time (you'd see "waiting for nationalcdp.org" in the lower-left when using Firefox); there must be bottlenecks in there, but I can't figure it out. Once the browser connects to nationalcdp.org, the actual pages load quite quickly.
I explained that while I'm not knowledgeable with servers, I'm quite familiar on how to speed up page load times, especially when it comes to WordPress and SEO / speed optimization.
I'm using a VPS from BlueHost, and the details of my VPS are:
- Had 2 cores (I just bought 2 more)
- 30 GB SAN storage
- 1 Terabyte of bandwidth
To solve the issue of the page load times, techs at BlueHost suggested I purchase 2 additional cores. I did just that, for $112 / 6 months.
This didn't help, however, and page load times were still 30-60 seconds. BlueHost techs said it was because I had "too many php running processes".
The tech said, "specifically, I'm looking at one process that has been open for 10 minutes now, and that shouldn't happen".
But plenty of others have used this plugin with little to no effect on page load times.
I might add that the BlueHost techs told me I was running at about 4.0-5.0 "server load" (I didn't understand what they were talking about), when ideally, you want to run at about .7 to 1.0 at most, and referenced me to review this article on server load. So that leaves me with these questions for the server experts (you, if you're reading this and kind enough to proffer a reply):
- Did I do the right thing in purchasing the 2 extra cores?
- Should I ask for a refund?
- Should I ask for something else, like more Terabytes of bandwidth? More than the 30GB of SAN storage I currently have on my Linux?
- Should I just wait until I have exhausted this billing cycle, which ends in September, and go with another host?
I'm currently paying $30/month for this VPS -- and then an extra $18/month for the two additional cores.
Thank you for any guidance anybody can offer!
Update: Thank you for everyone who took the time to read this question and answer. Unfortunately, BlueHost has had one of their infamous blackouts that occur monthly since they were acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in August 2014. So I'm unable to tinker with any of the solutions posed, as I have no websites, no FTP, no e-mail, and no cPanel access.