We sometimes get reports that the WP Overnight Sidekick ‘Is slowing down my website!’. In every case so far it’s been a misunderstanding tied to Go Daddy’s P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) plugin. So, we thought we would take a few minutes to address the issue.
In your WordPress admin you have a page where you update plugins and themes. The page is completely inaccessible to your customers and visited only when you are updating your plugins/themes.
The WP Overnight Sidekick attaches to that update page and every time you load the page it runs to see if any updates are available from WP Overnight.
That means that sidekick does not affect your customers in any way, and only impacts you when you load the update page.
So where does P3 come in?
P3 takes a sample of different known WordPress pages and checks each of them for the load impact of plugins. There are a total of 6-8 pages it tests. The impact of a plugin on each of those pages is averaged out across all pages and that gives you the results they show in the scan. So, even though our sidekick ONLY runs on the update page and ONLY when it’s loaded, the impact is averaged across all pages tested, even though it never runs on the other pages.
In short, the P3 profiler is a false flag in this case. In the case of most plugins, it matters, but in this case it’s capturing a very specific, intentional task and making it appear as if that was a problem on all pages.
Why does it slow down the update page at all?
Unfortunately this part is unavoidable. The reason it slows your page is because the sidekick is communicating with our servers to check for updates. While we’re constantly working on improving the speed, it’s always going to have some impact. The good news? It’s only running when you check for updates so it’s never affecting your customers or your employees in their day-to-day tasks.