Application Performance Monitoring (APM)

WP Engine has partnered with New Relic, leaders in Digital Intelligence, to include New Relic APM Pro as part of a new Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution. Application Performance provides code-level visibility to help teams troubleshoot faster, optimize their WordPress experiences, and increase development agility.

NOTE: APM bundles are available for Premium and Enterprise hosting plans. APM is not currently available for Shared hosting plans.


About Application Performance

Application performance allows you to see detailed information about how your WordPress site on WP Engine is performing. This will allow you to see, to the code-level, what is causing bottlenecks in your site’s performance. You will have read access to the New Relic account, granting you the ability to see all the data New Relic collects on your sites performance.

During your onboarding process of the product, you will be trained on how to use the Application Performance tool. It’s recommended that you have some experience with code development to get the most out of the service.

Where Page Performance takes a point-in-time snapshot of a page and gives high level recommendations to improve performance, Application Performance gives real-time, ongoing, code-level monitoring to every part of your site so you can troubleshoot faster and optimize site performance. Overall APM provides more detailed insights all the way down to individual pieces of code or queries.

At this time, Application Performance Monitoring is only available for dedicated hosting plans (Premium and Enterprise). APM is not available for shared hosting plans (Startup, Growth, Scale). If you would like to purchase this add-on for your plan, please reach out to your Account Manager.


Apdex

Apdex is an industry standard threshold that allows tools like New Relic to compare satisfactory to unsatisfactory response times. The Apdex can be adjusted for an individual website in order to more accurately reflect a satisfactory speed for its user base.

For more information on Apdex, check out the manual on New Relic here.

The Apdex can be calculated with the following formula:

Apdex * 4 = Satisfactory load time in seconds

By default, we set the Apdex to .5. This means any response time that is slower than 2 seconds (.5 * 4 = 2 seconds), will reflect poorly against your Apdex. If this value is set too low or too high, it can cause issues when alerting, debugging, and summarizing your site’s performance. If your Apdex score is showing that your site is in the red and not performing well, it may be a simple fix, like adjusting your Apdex to a higher setting.

It may seem counterintuitive to raise the threshold on satisfactory performance. However, once New Relic is configured it can provide more accurate insights to improve your performance from a code level. As your performance increases, the Apdex can in turn be lowered.

If you believe that you need to adjust your Apdex threshold, reach out to your WP Engine support team with the environment name and new threshold value.


Alerts

Setting up alerts requires you do two things; 1. Set up an alert policy, 2. Set up a notification channel.

Click the “Alerts” button in the top right corner of New Relic to manage alerts.

Information on configuring alerts can be found in New Relic’s documentation here.

For basic alerts, we recommend the following settings:

Now, you will want to create a notification channel. Read the New Relic documentation on setting up notification channels. The way you setup notification channels relies heavily on how you want to be notified.

Please note, if you want to notify many email addresses, you will need to create a email distribution address on your email system. You will then provide that email distribution address to New Relic.

Finally, connect the notification channel to the alert policy you just created. You can do this by following the New Relic documentation.


Limitations

Currently, WP Engine does not allow API access to the Application Performance platform.

Due the the restrictions of read access, you also cannot add new user or adjust the Apdex threshold. However, your WP Engine support team will be more than happy to assist with these tasks. Just contact us via chat, ticket, or phone.


Support

If you need help at all with the tool, please contact your WP Engine support team. You can also check out New Relic University for up to date tutorials on using the platform:

https://learn.newrelic.com/courses/intro_apm/ (You can skip the “Install the agent” section, we do that for you!) or check out New Relic’s Documentation.


NEXT STEP: Optimizing WordPress for performance and speed

Code-level performance analytics

Application Performance provides real-time, code-level visibility to help you troubleshoot faster, optimize WordPress experiences, and increase development agility.