Speed Issue after Submitting Single Field Form

By: Mark Hansen | Asked: 12/22/2022
ForumsCategory: General questionsSpeed Issue after Submitting Single Field Form
Mark HansenMark Hansen asked 1 year ago
Hi All - Has anyone else run into speed issues when submitting a form? I can't tell if it is a MySQL issue or possibly a javascript issue. The server itself is super fast, pages load lightning fast, memory to this site is allocated at 512mb and the php.ini is set for 10000 input variables. Whatever happened, seems to have happened in the last week at most, and there are no errors reported in the developer console. In my case, I have a single visible form field that collects a zip code, with 3 hidden form fields for related routing functions. The user inputs their zip code and the form leads them to a second form which allows them to complete a request from us. There is no javascript checking outside of the format field, which assures it is a number and 5 numbers long. ^[0-9]{5}(?:-[0-9]{4})?$  Before now, this all happened in under 1 second. In the last 7-10 days I noticed leads slowing a bit, decided to see what is happening, and see that the form (All forms on site) now take 4-5 seconds to go to the second page, which is not a good user experience. The same issue occurs on my singular contact form, as well as other forms on the website so I do not think it's specific to these zip code forms. I have roughly 250 of these single field forms (Each is custom to a specific task and has a different form title) on the website and use the "duplicate form" function in WordPress when creating new forms. In total, there are 260 form on the entire website.

Thanks in advance for any guidance or tips that can help me diagnose this issue.
Victor Font replied 1 year ago

Mark, thank you for your post. I see that you haven't received a response yet. It's unusual for a post to sit unanswered for a day or longer on this site. I think you didn't get an answer yet because this a very tough problem to solve because the root cause can literally be anywhere along the internet. You didn't say what kind of server you are running but from what you describe it appears more than adequate to support your data needs. It sounds like the type of performance I would expect from a VPS.

The source of a systemic slowdown can be anything from a bug in custom code, a problem with your server or available space like bandwidth or disk space, WordPress plugin incompatibility, jQuery/Javascript error, internet outage somewhere along the route between origin and destination, web security or firewall issue, DDOS attack, or something else having to do with server type and/or configuration. There are so many variables. While I can't help you to solve your specific issue without performing hands-on diagnostics, I can help you by sharing some troubleshooting tips.

Before I do, please let me assure you though, as a long-time Formidable customer myself, you'll rarely find that Formidable is the root cause of server slowdown problems. I have not experienced Formidable related speed issues for so long that the last time might have during the Mesozoic Era.

For the most part, Formidable is a solid and well tested product. Maybe testing could be better with some releases, but it's solid. There's no software, even the stuff that we write for our clients, that doesn't go through a hiccup once in awhile (LOL!) .

The Strategy 11 support team is highly response to fix disruptive bugs. I classify yours as a disruptive issue. Whatever the root cause is, it disrupts the user experience. If this is a previously unknown bug in Formidable, more people may be experiencing it. But based on the fact that nobody has answered your question yet, it's more likely something related to your system than a pervasive problem.

Here are the tips I promised:

First, have you opened a ticket with the Strategy 11 support team? If you have somehow uncovered a Formidable bug, please report it to the support team. If it's something that other people have already reported, I wouldn't be surprised if Strategy 11 doesn't already have a fix ready or at the very least one of their top troubleshooters assigned to the investigation.

Since I believe the problem you are experiencing is more likely in your environment and not Formidable, I suggest you take the following steps before reporting it as a bug to the Formidable team. This is my checklist:

1. Does all server software, including PHP, WordPress, and all plugins, meet current version requirements?
2. Are there any errors in the PHP and server error logs? You already mentioned there were no jQuery errors. You should also check the browser console for Ajax errors on the console's network tab.
3. Enable WordPress debug and look for errors in debug.log
4. Check bandwidth and disk space usage on server
a. does your host trigger bandwidth throttling at peak times?
5. Other server related issues could be related to type of server. How is the connection from the server to the backbone? 10Mb/100Mb/1000Mb,2.5Gb+
6. What do the firewall logs show? Any significant penetration attempts?
7. Has the host performed any server maintenance that could have slowed down the system?
8. Report the issue to the host and get their help to troubleshoot.

That's about as much as I can tell you. Good luck with tracking this down.

Mark HansenMark Hansen replied 1 year ago

<p>Victor - Thanks for the very thorough and detailed reply. Happy Holidays! <br /><br />The server is a VPS and has 3 websites running on in it, but also has plenty of resources in terms of storage, RAM, etc. Of the 3 websites, all are running Formidable Elite, and this specific site is the only one with this issue and the form process is nearly identical on all of them. (User submits a zip code, the value of the zip and 2 hidden fields are sent to second page via URL parameters, that contains a second form, storing the previous values in hidden fields.)<br /><br />None of these fields are saved to the DB in form 1. However form 2 does save all the data, including the user information into the db. I empty this stored data regularly to keep the DB free of clutter as well.<br /><br />I'm a speed optimization fanatic, and have the website performing at 95+ Mobile / 100 desktop in Core Web Vitals, so these small 2-3 second load times are noticeable to me and this final lead form page with the parameters is the ONLY page this is occurring on. <br /><br />When I load the second form page URL without the parameters, the page loads very quickly, less than 1 second. When the parameters are in the URL, it takes 2-3 seconds for the page to load, so it's leading me down the path of the database and TTFB being involved in this issue as the values are retrieved from the database. <br /><br />With no URL parameters - <br />- 84ms TTFB <br />- 189ms DOM content load <br /><br />WITH 3 URL parameters - <br />- 2.1 Second TTFB <br />- 2.2 Second DOM content load <br /><br />As mentioned previously, I have a couple hundred of these zip code only forms, and only one main lead gathering form. I'm just digging in to see if the high number of forms, their ID fields etc, are causing a logjam in the database. <br /><br />I have spoken to the support team about this in the past, and they said it should not be an issue and I could have 10,000 forms with no issue as long as the server and database could handle it. <br /><br />Thanks again for the reply, and Happy Holidays from a fellow North Carolinian. (Charlotte). I hope you came through the cold blast OK. We were out of power for 23 hours yesterday but the generator kept us warm in the house. A lot were not so fortunate. Mark</p>

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