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Scalability Pro

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Scalability Pro helps you identify and fix potential and existing scalability issues with your site. Scalability is not quite the same as performance – it’s related to how well you can keep your site performing fast as your site gets larger.
A highly scalable site will not slow down as your site gets bigger.
The Scalability Pro Plugin is the core WP Intense plugin to transform the speed and scalability of your WordPress site. It does so primarily by eliminating table scans and using index seeks instead.

A highly scalable site will not slow down as your site gets bigger. Without Scalability Pro, you’ll likely see a degredation of performance on your website once you exceed 5000 products, orders or users. Caching can help, but what you really need is to make sure your website scales, regardless of how big your website becomes. A scalable website is as perceptibly fast at generating a web page when there are 1,000,000 users as it is when there are 10,000.

How it works

  • Makes WP_Query lightning fast (0.4 seconds uncached vs over 180 seconds for 820,000 products on /shop/ page)
  • Works by optimising your underlying database and queries and eliminating table scans
  • Provides options to alter or remove slow WooCommerce and WordPress features
  • Complements caching systems perfectly
  • Speeds up SLOW queries – install the Query Monitor plugin and view your slowest pages, if you see slow queries being reported, Scalability Pro will help. If you instead see thousands of queries occurring, there is a separate solution for that type of performance problem.
  • It adds indexes to your key WordPress tables to help optimise underlying SQL queries
  • It alters database queries to make them more efficient, avoiding table scans
  • It provides options to disable, alter or microcache slow WordPress/WooCommerce/Import functionality
  • If Scalability Pro is implemented and there are still table scans occurring, we will fix them.

Three-pronged approach to real scalability
Scalability Pro works best in conjunction with Redis object caching and a good quality hosting stack. Any one of these on their own is not enough. If too many queries (over 1000) are being registered in Query Monitor when you have Redis activated, then the related plugin is not using an object cache. If this is the case, you should contact the plugin author and tell us too. We can advise them on how to fix their plugin to scale properly with good use of the object cache. If you’re still seeing slow queries, as opposed to too many queries, then Scalability Pro has missed something — please let us know and we’ll endeavour to get it fixed.

Five problem areas for Scalability
Slow queries as your site gets bigger – this is what Scalability Pro helps with. It makes slow queries run quickly when your site is bigger.
Too many queries – the Redis object cache helps with this, unless the plugin author has not implemented object-caching support
Too much RAM and CPU consumption in PHP – you’ll see low SQL time, low numbers of queries, but long page generation time and large RAM usage. You’ll probably find some queries that return large row counts, often over 5000 rows returned or more. These plugins are filling objects with those 5000 rows every page load. Normally, this can be fixed by implementing an object cache – but it depends on the type of data.
Slow API calls – your site may be using ajax, or it may be calling third-party APIs. This is especially true when an admin is logged in, and especially so on the dashboard and the plugins page and especially so if you have unlicensed plugins that keep trying to update themselves.
Poor hosting – make sure you get a good quality hosting stack. PHP 7, MySQL 8, nginx, fastcgi_cache or some kind of http accelerator, redis in-memory-only and a proper configuration.

A note about Table Scans and Page Caching
WordPress has many occasions where table scans occur against the database. For example, the Price Filter causes a table scan to obtain the maximum and minimum price range and means your page is reading every item in your database to gather this information. When you only have a few hundred products in your WooCommerce store, you would never notice. But once you get to a few thousand or tens or hundreds of thousands this becomes dreadful for your server.
Page Caching helps – especially if you can implement it at the Nginx or Varnish level. But still, when you have a huge site, you cannot cache everything, so your site still needs to be fast for newly generated pages. This is why eliminating Table Scans is fundamental to solving your WordPress scalability issues. Instead of reading every item in the database, well written queries read only the 20 items they need to read in order to present 20 items on page.

Scalability Pro speeds up your archive pages by speeding up WP_Query
Archive pages are the pages on your WordPress site that contain lists of other pages. Your blog archive, your /shop/ page, your custom post type archive, your category or author archives. All of these lists become slower to generate once you have more of them.
Scalability is about avoiding slower speeds as data volumes get bigger. By avoiding table scans, it’s possible to have a 1 million product store respond as quickly as a 20 product store.

Scalability Pro speeds up your imports
Plugins like Datafeedr and WP All Import store information in wp_postmeta about imports and the SQL queries they use cause table scans to happen. When they are importing, they will check wp_postmeta for certain values (meta_value column on the table). By default, WordPress has no index on this table – probably because meta_value is a ‘text’ field meaning unknown size. You can still create an index on the first few characters however and massively speed up the majority of checks against this table.
Scalability Pro also provides an option to let you Defer Term Counts until 2AM. Term Counts involve recounting the number of items (posts, products, custom post types) within a category or taxonomy. When you are importing, this can mean term counts after every individual item. If you are importing 10,000 products then by deferring the term counts, you can run the count once when the import is finished rather than 10,000 times.
If you’ve been experiencing your imports becoming slower the bigger your database gets, Scalability Pro will help you.

Scalability Pro speeds up wp-admin and your site in general
The 13 indexes speed up multiple queries around your site including wp-admin.
Additional options are available to speed up wp-admin archive pages (e.g. post lists or product lists) and editing pages.

Scalability Pro Installation & Options
Go to Plugins->Add New and browse to your zip file for Scalability Pro. Upload then activate.
After you have installed and activated Scalability Pro, you should visit the Settings->Scalability Pro page.
Click the big button on the settings page to create your indexes. This is a one-time operation and the indexes will remain in place even after you de-activate the plugin. If you wish to remove the indexes before de-activation, you should click the button to delete the indexes.
On larger sites creating these indexes may take some time but you can leave the page and come back later if you need to.
Below the list of indexes you’ll find the various options for Scalability Pro.

Scalability Pro Options
The options below involve either removing, altering or microcaching certain slow parts of WordPress.
We have tried to group these as best as possible, and we have enabled some key defaults. Please read the description next to each item carefully so you know if you should activate it or not. These options are ‘safe’ in that when you change the option back, your site will be as it was before.
Each option tells you which page types to check for before & after performance. You can read more about each option below, and see Dave using the various options on our demo site with one million products in the video below.


 

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