I recently ran a Pagespeed Insights analysis for my WordPress site and encountered two prominent issues that I would like to address: server response time and long main thread tasks.

  1. Server Response Time: According to the report, the initial server response time is around 0.91 seconds, which is considered slow. However, when I consulted my hosting service's technical support, they informed me that the server response time is actually lower. They provided a link to a static file (https://fotov60.com/license.txt) for verification, and indeed, the response time was faster in that case. I am using WordPress version 6.2 and the Litespeed Cache plugin, hosted on a LiteSpeed server. I would like to understand why the Pagespeed Insights report shows a higher response time and how I can improve this aspect.

  2. Long Main Thread Tasks: Pagespeed Insights also shows me a list of five long main thread tasks. I understand that these tasks can contribute to latency and affect the overall site performance. I would like to identify the specific tasks and explore how I can avoid them or improve their execution to reduce the load on the main thread.

Before we begin, here is the list of plugins I have installed on my WordPress site:

  • query-monitor/query-monitor.php
  • akismet/akismet.php
  • apcu-manager/apcu-manager.php
  • auto-image-attributes-from-filename-with-bulk-updater/iaff_image-attributes-from-filename.php
  • broken-link-checker/broken-link-checker.php
  • classic-widgets/classic-widgets.php
  • comments-cleaner/comments-cleaner.php
  • decalog/decalog.php
  • delete-expired-transients/delete-expired-transients.php
  • freesoul-deactivate-plugins/freesoul-deactivate-plugins.php
  • google-site-kit/google-site-kit.php
  • https-redirection/https-redirection.php
  • indexnow/indexnow-url-submission.php
  • jetpack-boost/jetpack-boost.php
  • jetpack-protect/jetpack-protect.php
  • jetpack/jetpack.php
  • litespeed-cache/litespeed-cache.php
  • ninjafirewall/ninjafirewall.php
  • performance-lab/load.php
  • seo-by-rank-math/rank-math.php
  • ssl-insecure-content-fixer/ssl-insecure-content-fixer.php
  • theme-check/theme-check.php
  • tinymce-advanced/tinymce-advanced.php
  • transients-manager/transients-manager.php
  • wordfence/wordfence.php
  • wp-issuu/issuu-embed.php
  • wp-sweep/wp-sweep.php
  • wp-youtube-lyte/wp-youtube-lyte.php

My questions are:

  1. Since the server response time appears to be lower when accessing static files like the one provided (https://fotov60.com/license.txt), why does the Pagespeed Insights report show a higher response time? Are there other factors that might be influencing the server response time on my WordPress site, considering I am using WordPress version 6.2, the Litespeed Cache plugin, and hosted on a LiteSpeed server?

  2. How can I identify the specific tasks on the main thread that are contributing to the latency? Are there any recommended tools or techniques for analyzing and improving the execution of these tasks?

  3. Based on the provided plugin list, are there any known plugins that could be causing these performance issues? Which plugins should I review and consider deactivating to optimize performance?

I appreciate any guidance or suggestions to address these issues and improve the performance of my WordPress site. Additionally, if there are any other aspects I should consider or any other data I should provide to get a better response, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

1 Answer 1

  1. I suspect that even though the site is using a server-side page caching plugin, some part of WordPress still loads, and that delays the server's response time. Static files will always be very fast, because there's very little processing to be done.

  2. Recommend reading articles on web.dev regarding optimizing the main thread. Start with this one: https://web.dev/optimize-long-tasks/.

The main thread can only process one task at a time. When tasks stretch beyond a certain point—50 milliseconds to be exact—they're classified as long tasks. If the user is attempting to interact with the page while a long task runs—or if an important rendering update needs to happen—the browser will be delayed in handling that work. This results in interaction or rendering latency.

  1. It is always better to use as few plugins as possible. Plugins come with a lot of options and features to serve as many people as possible, which can be problematic for performance, especially if the developers are apathetic or ignorant of writing performant code. That said, without a comprehensive site audit, it would be difficult to know if plugins are causing performance problems.
  • How can I check if some part of WordPress is still loading, causing delays in the server's response time?My intention is more focused on finding the cause and understanding the why,rather than seeking someone to provide me with a solution. I know I have many plugins, but some of them are there because they perform specific functions better than the main one I have. However,I would like to be able to know and understand why the domain appears five times with different durations in the report. The Insights report does not allow for much in-depth analysis on this matter Jun 6, 2023 at 21:55
  • Add code that you can track, and that only runs if/when WordPress is loaded, like writing to the error log on init action. I cannot help you with the site audit here: Stack Exchange is not the place for it.
    – Caleb
    Jun 6, 2023 at 22:15

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