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I have a big site with several plugins that take up memory, a lot of requests to the server, etc. I've maxxed out my hosting to help account for this, but are there optimum PHP and Wordpress settings for big heavy site, or just optimum PHP base settings for Wordpress period.

Here are my current settings:

allow_url_fopen =   Disabled
allow_url_include   =  Disabled
display_errors      = Enabled
enable_dl       =  Disabled
file_uploads        =  Enabled
max_execution_time  = 600
max_input_time  = 400
max_input_vars  = 10000
memory_limit        = 128M
session.save_path   = (blank)
upload_max_filesize = 2M
  • no setting will magically fix bad code. You should optimize your code, and not waste time on trying to find simple easy to use hacks. Optimization is rarely easy or simple – Mark Kaplun Sep 22 '18 at 8:36
  • You're assuming it's my code or that I haven't optimized what I could. It's 3rd party plugins causing this. You can say "just disable the plugins", but this is not an option at this point in my site, it's too invested & depended on by the site/brand/users. The question is some suggestions on the best settings for wordpress or big sites, and if there are best practices. – JJ100 Sep 23 '18 at 4:51
  • it is your site, therefor it is your code. No one forced you to use those plugins, and if they hurt your performance, write one of your own or find a better one – Mark Kaplun Sep 23 '18 at 4:58
  • .... you can not just use 3000 plugins together and hope for the best. It is a valid strategy if you are willing to pay the cost of having more expensive hardware, but you rarely can use it and end with optimal performant site – Mark Kaplun Sep 23 '18 at 5:00
  • It'd be lovely to not have to use these plugins & hire a programmer to write my own plugins, but it's just not realistic or practical right now. I think the answers I've received for this question are trying to answer a different question. I'm not looking for cure-all, just some suggestions on what php settings work best with wordpress OR if there are php settings that 'help' performance or are best suited for performance. Or does it not matter what php ini settings I have for performance. – JJ100 Sep 24 '18 at 4:58
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From a WordPress perspective, there's not a lot to configure for performance. You can set define( 'WP_DEBUG', false ); in your wp-config.php to disable logging, which will gain you some minimal savings.

Beyond that, I would recommend working on making sure your heavier plugins are optimized as best as you can, reduce the number of requests if possible, and optimize your queries.

You can take a look at plugins like Debug Bar to get an idea of what may be taking up the most resources on any given request, and services like New Relic can provide deeper insights to what's going on with your server in general.

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Unless you have a compelling reason (for example: IP geolocation, heavy use of dynamic membership features) to process each request with PHP, you need a static HTML caching plugin to maintain decent performance on a shared hosting plan.

Here are a couple popular plugins to generate static HTML in no particular order:

Static HTML caching will take most of the CPU load and memory usage out of the picture - there may still be a need to optimize front-end performance (image optimization, Javascript and CSS minification, etc), however, you'll find configuration options for some of these features in the plugins I mentioned (recommend a quick review of the documentation) and specialized plugins for image optimization.

Note: Just came across another free plugin which does things a little differently - if your site does not allow user registration or rely upon dynamic functionality, you'd probably be happiest with WP Static Site Generator (which aims to obviate any need for PHP parsing or database overhead).

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