P3 Plugin Performance Profiler is a useful WordPress plugin from GoDaddy that creates a report that shows you which plugins are slowing down your website. By analysing the report you can narrow down problem plugins and speed up your website.
After installing the plugin you have the option of either an automatic or manual scan. The difference is the manual scan lets you choose which page is scanned whilst the automatic scan will simply scan your home page.
After P3 has performed the scan you can see your results. The top of the page shows your total number of active plugins, plugin load time, plugin impact and MySQL queries per visit.
The runtime chart gives you a breakdown of which plugins are causing your page to slow down. This is a quick and easy way of seeing what plugins are responsible for your page slowing down.
The detailed breakdown shows the time in seconds each plugin takes to load on your page. It also shows the load time for WordPress itself and your theme.
The simple timeline tab shows when WordPress, your theme and your plugins increased your page load.
The detailed timeline essentially shows you the same information however the load time for each plugin is shown rather than a summary of all plugins.
The query timeline graph shows you when your MySQL queries were called. Spikes in this graph highlight when a particular plugin was loaded.
On the advanced metrics page you can see a summary of your website performance. It shows your total load time, website load time, plugin load time, theme load time, WordPress load time and memory usage. One of the best ways of using P3 is to take a note of the values noted on the metrics page and then after deactivating problem plugins, go back and see if your load times have been reduced.
P3 saves every single scan you have ever performed in a profiles folder inside your uploads folder (i.e. wp-content/uploads). This is useful for tracking how your load time has increased or decreased after installing or removing plugins.
Underneath each type of graph is an option to email the results. The generated email contains some of the information that is shown in your advanced metrics tab such as average plugin load time, average WordPress core load time etc.
Problems With Using The Plugin
I first tested P3 when it was first launched in December. I was extremely eager to review it on WP Mods as it’s such a useful plugin; I’m not aware of any other ways of getting a report of exactly which plugins are slowing down your website. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get the plugin to work properly on WordPress Mods.
Normally, when a WordPress plugin is released by a large company, support is very poor. Despite P3 being developed by one of the biggest companies on the internet (GoDaddy), the support that they are providing users is fantastic. Specifically Kurt Payne has been working tirelessly with P3 users to try and resolve any problems with the plugin. Since I first tried the plugin and had difficulty getting it working, Kurt has exchanged around 50 emails with me. He’s sent me lots of suggestions on how I can resolve my issues with the plugin, sent me new versions of the plugin with fixes and has tried everything he can to help me out.
He’s not only helped me. If you look at the support room for P3 on WordPress you will see that Kurt has been actively helping dozens of WordPress users.
It seems that many users are having problems with the plugin. Problems seem to be quite varied too. The plugin has never caused any fatal errors or caused any problems with my website. Initially, the problem was that when I ran the scan, no results would be shown. Scan files would be created though would be 0kb in size.
The plugin now provides a report however the report it provides is incorrect. All it shows is 100% load time for the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler plugin itself.
Despite me having problems with the plugin, I have recommended it to a few friends. Last week I recommended the plugin to Zac Johnson as he found his admin area was loading slowly. The plugin worked perfectly on his website Blogging Tips.
I test every plugin that is reviewed on WordPress Mods and if the plugin doesn’t work, I don’t review it (this happens more often than you would think!). I decided to break my own rule for P3 as (a) it seems to be working for many WordPress users, and, (b) it’s such a useful plugin and I know that many WordPress mods readers will benefit from using it.
Even though it seems to be buggy on many WordPress installations, I still highly recommend trying P3 Plugin Performance Profiler out. If it works correctly on your site it will provide you a useful report that will highlight which plugins are responsible for your page loading slowly. You may be able to find a better solution for any plugins out there which are causing your page to slow down.
The GoDaddy team are working hard on improving this plugin so I’m hoping that they will improve it over the next few months and make it less buggy. They are actively working with users of the plugin and responding to suggestions so I’m confident that the problems that I have experienced will no longer be an issue in the future.
In future I will be using the plugin to monitor the performance of my WordPress powered websites. By installing it in my test area it will also help me test the loading times of any plugins that are reviewed here.
I encourage you all to give P3 a try, particularly those who have a lot of plugins installed and those who have noticed their website slowing down.