Optimising wordpress expert required


Any suggestions on who to approach to help me with optimising my DO droplet on cloudways?

The site often has database crashes, but for 90% of the time its running at less than 50% resources. So something is causing the admin of one site to run really slowly and consequently the database to become unavailable and then heal itself.

Please dont advise ‘upgrade your server’ im running a simple website with a few hundred visitors, whilst upgrading the server may fix the issue in the long term, I would like to identify the culprit now. I have looked at the New Relic logs but dont fully understand them, so am looking for someone who can help and can tell me what they did so I can learn for the future.

Site is running Woocommerce, W3T, Hummingbird and Smush.



Hi @paul

Have you tried disabling Database and Object cache in W3TC? It usually slows down the WordPress dashboard.


No not yet, but I have just swopped the object cache to Redis to see if that makes a difference.

The two W3Tc articles, contradict each other


For page cache one says to use DIsk Enhanced and the other says to use APC, which doesnt help.

Browser cache settings are a lot more detailed in the blog post too. Im just wondering which is right and best to follow.


Hi @paul,

Thanks for reporting your issue here. I think database crashing time and again points to some serious configuration issue. We are going to study your site and server and report what might be causing the issue.

W3TC has plenty of options and can be complex to set it up. Thanks for pointing out that two of our articles contradict each other. We will have it sorted. But I suggest you to test and compare what options work best for you.

We are also working on a WordPress caching plugin called Breeze, that we made public today. https://wordpress.org/plugins/breeze/. The plugin is still in beta, so testing on a staging/dev site before deploying on a live website is recommended.


Hi, this is great news. I will certainly try it on my staging server. Has the plugin been optmised for Cloudways? Will it give any advantages over W3tc and similar?

For now I have done the following
upgraded to php 7
Enabled https/2
Swopped DB to MariaDB
Enabled Redis (and set W3tc to use it as object cache)
Made some changes to W3tc settings
Cleaned out the database from 250mb down to 90mb, mainly removing 1 plugin!!

This seems to have had an effect on staging.

I think the automated server backup is a cause of the problems sometimes, as it seems to happen each day. Is it possible to set what time this backup is taken?


Hi @paul,

That is good progress! You might also want to cleanup your WP database using the Breeze’s Optimize Database options.

Not possible to define the time when automated backups are taken. If you have set backups to 1 backup / day then they will happen between 6 to 7 AM server time.

Seems like you already have a feedback submitted here: http://feedback.cloudways.com/forums/203824-service-improvement/suggestions/13338606-specify-time-of-day-for-backups

I have added 3 votes to it :slight_smile:


Not sure thats me but another Paul lol, but I will also add 3 votes to it :slight_smile:

Thanks :slight_smile:


I’m not sure if it will help, but the WP DB manager plugin allows you top optimize and repair your database automatically.

Also, I recently discovered BJ Lazy Load works very well with certain sites in terms of improving performance, however, it can break certain jQuery functionality.


I’m also interested to know what advantages the new plugin would have.


What about support for Redis and ElasticSearch in Breeze? Would they too need to be added, I am unsure? Great to see how fast you guys are developing. I had used Comet Cache Pro up until now. I work for a theme company and we have been toiling away developing (2 years of coding) an all-new WordPress theming system that is focussed on speed and usability. NOT written in PHP!!! I have been testing the alpha copies on Cloudways + DO and the speed is stunning. I should have the beta ready by this weekend, so I may put it on a cloudways server and use the new Breeze with it.

And yes, we always recommend your hosting when customers ask, and they are always delighted with your service, as are we.


Thanks for Breeze, very fast cache plugin. My new Cloudways go-to cache plugin now.


Do you use Woocommerce on any of your sites?

Im still finding that my newrelic stats are showing high php usage which im still trying to get down.


If possible deactivate all plugins- see if problem solved, and then start reactivating plugins one by one.


We have been having this same issue since we moved our company to cloud ways and their support keeps telling us to upgrade. Right now we are on the highest server offered by Digital Ocean and still having crashes.

If you figure it out, I wish you the best, I personally gave up and had to change our main site over to a new hosting. I kid you not when I say we have been working with cloudways support for months and to no success. I will say this, we changed to a different provider and have had zero issues since then. It has to be a mistake on cloudways side.

(Edit: we moved the site 48 hours ago and are leaving cloudways due to this issue)


welcome @bohlin. I hope Breeze - WP Cache plugin will perform better or just as well as other cache plugins out there.


Hi @paul I missed it before. But wanted to let you know that W3TC and Hummingbird are both cache plugins. It is never recommended to run two cache plugins on WP site on same time.

  • Ahsan


Hi @walt,

It is always sad to see a client go. But we need to understand what could be the issue, so we can improve things.

Can you PM me the URL of your domain? So I can check it out further. Also will take your history from our support department.

  • Ahsan


@ahsan.parwez … it does perform even better after I done some tests, the only function I like to see a better function in is the Group Files where it combines js and css files, but it is in beta so it´s ok for now, just think of it.

Have a great day in the sun today … =) (Hope it is sun where you are … =)


Read it in another thread here that w3tc developer has stopped development for it. not sure how true that is. I wold give this plugin a try on my site. Although since i recently moved my woocommerce site from Siteground to Cloudways, would love to hear the best practices to follow.


99 out of a 100 times this is a plugin or theme issue.

Some rubbish off of ThemeForest that bloats the database… Plugins storing enourmous log files or in other ways doing inefficient queries and bogging down the db…

Also, WooCommerce is getting better by the hour, but still is somewhat poorly made and could use some major optimization.

So usually this is poor work on devs of themes/plugins that create these “killing queries”.

I would never recommend W3TC, since it was abandoned by developer and left with some serious issues. I think its in some form of development today (maybe someone has taken over and doing bits on it), but we would never dare using it for production sites or client work. (Looking very much forward to trying Breeze out, on a sidenote)

I have quite a bit of experience in this field, and I’m sorry to say that generally its the crap installed on your site that is the issue :slight_smile:

We see this in lots of commonly used plugins. Just to name a few that we blacklist due to performance or cluttering issues:

  • WordFence
  • Autoptimize (or whatever that minimization plugin is called…)
  • Yoast SEO
  • Monster Insights (and most other Google Analytics plugins)
  • W3TC

There are so many of these “big name” plugins that are actual junk, and destroy your site/db efficiency.

Apart from that, when the daily backups run on Cloudways its a huge resource hog (they really need to work on this). We run a farm of Kyup servers, and everyday when a backup runs it autocales and adds 1gb of ram and 1 more cpu core just to do the backup, and before we switched to Kyup we’d see db crasches. So there is a chance that this is your issue as well.

But… If you have a cheap themeforest theme or similar, and several plugins installed, and you’re running this on a low-level server (such as 1gb/1core or similar) then this is probably your issue.