AdRotate causing unusual server load

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  • #122982

    Meryl Moss


    This is Tony Zeoli, Booktrib’s webmaster.

    We received this from WP Enging after they investigated an unusual server load from the AdRotate plugin. We’re not sure what’s causing this. We didn’t have an unusual spike in traffic on the day in question. Can you check this and let us know.

    See below:

    Hi Meryl & Tony,

    I spoke with my technical support team and the high server load is coming from excessive admin ajax calls. I’ve copied down their notes below on which plugin is causing the issues. Let me know if you have any questions for them.

    Support Notes:

    Looking at the server, it looks like a lot of admin-ajax requests are coming from the booktribcom site which appears to be the busiest site:

    I enabled admin-ajax logging and captured the adrotate-pro plugin is calling the adrotate_impression action very frequently:


    1296     [action] => adrotate_impression
    6     [action] => as_async_request_queue_runner

    I would recommend taking this information to our customer and asking if they can work with the plugin developers to better optimize this as it does appear to be causing performance issues.

    Thank you!”


    Arnan de Gans

    If your hosting can’t keep up with stats collection, mainly in dynamic groups (which is where admin-ajax is used in AdRotate).
    Try to use less Dynamic groups.
    Or, if that doesn’t help – Consider getting better hosting or moving stats elsewhere.
    If you’re considering changing webhosts I make some recommendations here –

    If even dealing with 1296 requests is an issue for them you choose the wrong hosting company.

    You can also track your stats in Matomo or Google Analytics:
    Personally I prefer Matomo over Google, it’s more private and it has a much easier dashboard.


    Meryl Moss

    Surely you can’t say that WP Engine is a problematic hosting company. I’ll speak with them about this and see what they say.

    Okay, so I have to look back at “dynamic groups.” The editorial team is setting up the ads, so I’m not sure how that’s happening or even what a dynamic group actually is, but I’ll look at it.

    Yes, I saw that you have a Google Analytics integration. Maybe we can move to that and that will help, instead of tracking on the server side.

    I’m a non-technical webmaster in the sense that I don’t code, but I have resources to assist me with technical issues.


    Meryl Moss

    Oh, I think we’re using a few groups – one for the header ads. One for the ads in the home page that need to switch mobile to desktop. Sounds like we just have to track stats offsite.


    Arnan de Gans

    That’s exactly what I’m saying – 9 out of 10 people complaining about admin-ajax being a problem are WPE users. Most $5-10/mo hosting providers have better performance and equal or better hosting features.

    Anyway, before buying into their complaint you should figure out your setup. “thinking” you have a bunch of groups is not how you find a problem. Just look at the Manage Groups dashboard to see how many groups you have and how many are set up as a dynamic group.
    If there are a lot (Or all) of dynamic groups and you have a lot of visitors on your site you may want to consider switching the groups to default mode. That should work around WPE their shortcomings for admin-ajax.


    Arnan de Gans

    Moved to ‘installation and setup’. Not a bug.


    Meryl Moss

    Okay, I have two dyanmic groups. One in the header. One in the main part of the page. I’ll switch to default mode. I’ll see if that solves it.


    Meryl Moss

    So, I just checked and we’re only using a single dynamic add. We have three groups, but two are default and one is dynamic.

    I talked to WP Engine. I already knew we are on a dedicated server, but they have levels from 0-10. We’re at 0 on their dedicated platform. We could increase a level and that has a cost, but it’s ridiculous to increase a level for one dynamic ad set that is causing the problem. So, it’s not cheap, shared hosting. It’s serious dedicated server.

    I can’t turn off dynamic, because then it won’t rotate the ads and only load a different on per page load.

    So, I’m left with offloading stats to GA option, which I’ve checked the site tutorial. Because it’s really the stats that’s causing the problem when there are high traffic days.

    I’ll report back after offloading to GA if that solves the issue.


    Arnan de Gans

    Ok, good luck 🥳


    Meryl Moss

    Okay, I’ve gone ahead and disabled Ad Rotate ad tracking.

    I did the following:

    1. Added the GA tracking code using the Header and Footer Scripts plugin to the Footer.
    2. Disabled Ad Tracking in Setting from Ad Rotate to Google Analytics.
    3. Set as a Google Global Tag
    4. Save

    I’d did this once and do see the stats save in GA, then reverted back, but am now reverting fully to track. Seems like it does work correctly.

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