Local by Flywheel Slow Development Speed

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Local slow development

How to Fix Local Slow Page Load / Development Speed

What is Local? 

Local by Flywheel is a popular WordPress development tool. It allows you to work on websites on your computer or laptop without having to do it on a hosting site (while paying monthly). It is supposed to save time and money because it can take a while before a website is ready for deployment. The more offline development you can do the more developed your website will be when it is ready to go live. But when Local development is at a crawl it can get frustrating. Can a SSD Fix Slow Local WordPress Development / Page Load Speed? Read on below.

How to Fix SLOW Local page load speeds

The first thing to check is the task manager. If the Disk usage is at 100% then this is most likely the problem – a slow Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Disk usage will bounce around normally but a good way to test is to add a task to WordPress and monitor the task manager. A good test is to install a plugin for WordPress and monitor the disk usage to see if it spikes. A spike in disk usage for a prolonged period of time indicates the disk drive is the bottle neck. Even with a good CPU and plenty of RAM a slow disk drive will keep the Local WordPress development speed slow. If Local is running on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) a significant performance boost will come from installing a good Solid State Drive (SSD). A SSD can fix this slow Local WordPress development.

Is There a Difference between HDD / SSD for Local Development?

Yes absolutely. A 5400 or even a 7200 RPM HDD will get bogged down and will not keep up no matter the CPU or Memory availability. During testing a large HDD (1TB size) was a culprit for slow Local development speeds. With Local running on a HDD, page load speeds were at about 15-20 seconds. 15-20 second page load times are an eternity. After installing the Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe SSD, page load speeds were cut down to a few seconds. Fast Local page loads make for a much better and productive experience. 

A quick comparison, a HDD will be at best about 100-160 mbps, a SATA SSD will be around 500-520 mbps, and the Samsung NVMe drive can get up to 3500 mbps. If your system supports a M.2 NVMe SSD they are relatively inexpensive (a 1TB one will cost about $150). If choosing between a regular SATA SSD or an NVMe SSD – go with the NVMe you will not regret it.

Are There Other Reasons Local can be Slow?

Yes, if you have a HDD a good SSD will make a world of difference. If you do have a good SSD and you still have slow page load speeds on Local, you can checkout the Local forum for other potential issues here.


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