When operating on a WordPress building challenge with dozens or extra plugins put in, it’s not unusual to stumble upon functionality problems. Then again, discovering what’s inflicting the functionality factor isn’t all the time simple.

You’ve eradicated the standard suspects: hosting is adequate, there are not any obvious JavaScript or PHP errors, and not anything else is amiss. You watched that a number of of the plugins you’ve put in are accountable, however how do you determine which plugin is inflicting the issue?

The standard manner of figuring out a hard plugin is to deactivate plugins till you to find the functionality bottleneck.

Then again, there’s a sooner and extra environment friendly manner. That is the situation that the unfastened Question Track plugin was once made to unravel. It help you debug functionality problems, broaden websites extra successfully, and get a greater maintain for your WordPress website.

On this information, you’ll be informed the entirety you want to learn about Question Track — what it’s, what it does, and the right way to use it.

What Is Question Track?

The Query Monitor plugin.
The Question Track plugin.

Query Monitor is a 100% unfastened plugin that is helping you debug your WordPress website’s functionality and building.

You’ll bring to mind it like Chrome Developer Gear, however in particular for WordPress. You’ll dig into database queries, scripts, timing, and extra. And you’ll be able to additionally view heaps of useful news, akin to common atmosphere news and main points for particular pages.

Question Track then gifts all of this data in an simply obtainable means that you’ll be able to get right of entry to from any place for your website.

Question Track is maintained by way of John Blackbourn, a main internet engineer at Human Made. He additionally has a number of different helpful plugins, together with WP Crontrol (nice for wp-cron debugging) and User Switching (nice for debugging the studies of different user roles).

John may be very responsive and repeatedly operating on keeping up and making improvements to Question Track. Automattic and different sponsors improve his paintings.

In the event you to find worth within the plugin by the point you end this submit, you’ll be able to improve Question Track by sponsoring the project on GitHub for as low as $1 monthly.

Trying to determine which plugin is causing issues on your site? 😅 This is the sort of scenario that the free Query Monitor plugin was made to resolve ⬇Click to Tweet

What Does Question Track Do?

Question Track help you debug greater than queries to the WordPress database regardless of the identify.

Don’t get us incorrect – debugging database queries is one thing that Question Track does neatly and one of the important advantages of the plugin.

Then again, it additionally digs into many different spaces, together with performance-focused debugging and simply common building debugging.

Right here’s a sampling of the numerous main points that Question Track help you analyze and debug:

  • Database queries, together with appearing you queries from particular plugins
  • PHP mistakes
  • Reminiscence utilization
  • HTTP API calls
  • Enqueued scripts and kinds, together with dependencies
  • Hooks and movements
  • Theme template information
  • Languages and translations
  • Rewrite laws
  • Block editor blocks
  • Basic atmosphere news
  • WordPress admin displays

One notable limitation of Question Track is that it’s basically for “within the second” debugging. When it displays you the database queries, timing, and so forth, it’s simplest doing it for the present web page load.

It in most cases does now not observe or show historic news/developments, although John says this selection is deliberate for long term variations.

How To Use Question Track to Debug WordPress and Give a boost to Efficiency

Now that you understand what Question Track is and what it does, let’s get into how you’ll be able to use Question Track to debug your website’s functionality and probably the most different gear for common building debugging.

We’ll provide you with a common creation to the Question Track interface and the way it works. Then, we’ll dig into every space within the interface.

There are 12+ other high-level interface spaces, so there’s lots to hide. Then again, the precise selection of interface menus you notice is determined by the web page you’re examining.

Let’s dig in.

An Advent to the Question Track Interface

Question Track doesn’t have its personal separate interface space. As a substitute, it shows new news within the WordPress admin bar on each the frontend and backend.

Question Track to start with shows a handy guide a rough abstract with 4 items of data:

  • Web page technology time – 0.05 s within the screenshot.
  • Height reminiscence utilization – 7.7 MB within the screenshot.
  • General time taken by way of SQL queries (in seconds) – 0.00 s within the screenshot.
  • General selection of SQL queries – 54 within the screenshot.
Query Monitor's summary on the WordPress admin bar.
Question Track’s abstract at the WordPress admin bar.

In the event you click on in this abstract, you’ll open the entire Question Track interface, which shows as a window overlay at the frontend or backend web page that you simply’re recently viewing.

The full Query Monitor interface.
The Question Track interface.

The entire options and data that Question Track gives are contained on this overlay window.

In the event you’d favor to modify the structure of the overlay window, you’ll be able to click on the button within the top-right nook to modify it to a sidebar interface. You’ll additionally use drag-and-drop to modify the scale of the window.

How to switch to a sidebar interface.
transfer to a sidebar interface.

The Question Track interface and its news are simplest visual to Directors (or Tremendous Directors on WordPress multisite).

There’s additionally an approach to set an authentication cookie to nonetheless view the Question Track output, even while you’re now not logged in (otherwise you’re logged in as a person with a lower user role). We’ll percentage how to try this a little bit later within the information.

Let’s undergo every tab within the interface and provide an explanation for how you’ll be able to use it to debug your WordPress website.


The Assessment tab shows extra main points from the admin bar abstract and a few common atmosphere news.

For instance, as an alternative of simply seeing the height reminiscence utilization, the Assessment tab is going one step additional to peer how that top utilization compares for your server and WordPress reminiscence limits.

The Overview tab in Query Monitor.
The Assessment tab in Question Track.

There’s not anything too detailed right here – it’s simply an outline (therefore the identify).


The Queries tab allows you to dig into every database question for the web page you’re taking a look at. It’s one of the information-rich spaces in Question Track, which is smart while you imagine the plugin’s identify.

For every question, you’ll be able to see the next news:

  1. The whole question
  2. Question caller
  3. Question element (e.g. whether or not it comes from the core, a theme, or a plugin)
  4. Selection of rows
  5. The time that the question took

Amongst common debugging, you’ll be able to use this to search out slow-loading queries which might be bottle-necking your website’s functionality.

Question Track will escape queries by way of your theme and person plugins in an effort to see the affect of every extension.

Think a particular plugin is inflicting a number of slow-loading queries. If so, you’ll want to give you the option to mend that – both by way of optimizing one thing within the plugin’s settings or your server’s configuration (e.g. the usage of database or object caching) or by way of switching to a different plugin that’s more efficient.

In the principle tab, you’ll be able to see the entire high-level news for every question.

The main Queries tab shows a list of all queries.
The principle Queries tab displays a listing of all queries.

If you wish to be informed extra a couple of particular question, click on the plus icon to amplify extra detailed news.

How to view expanded details for a query.
view expanded main points for a question.

In the event you’re seeing abnormally low numbers right here, it may well be on account of some type of caching – e.g. web page caching or a plugin caching its database queries. For this reason, it may be useful to disable caching when you’re debugging issues.

There also are a couple of sub-menus on this space that mean you can to find particular sorts of queries:

  • Reproduction Queries
  • Queries by way of Caller
  • Queries by way of Element

Reproduction Queries

The Reproduction Queries space highlights reproduction queries and listing the “doable troublemakers” that will help you debug them and streamline issues.

How to see a list of duplicate queries.
see a listing of reproduction queries.

Queries by way of Caller

The Queries by way of Caller space allows you to view all callers in this web page. In the event you click on on one, you’ll be able to see a listing of queries for that caller.

How to view queries by caller.
view queries by way of the caller.

Queries by way of Element

The Queries by way of Element space displays a listing of all parts that made queries, together with the WordPress core, your theme, and person plugins.

You’ll click on on a particular element to view all of its queries.

How to view queries by component.
view queries by way of element.

Once more, this is among the most precious studies as it allows you to to find particular plugins that degrade your website’s functionality with gradual queries.

Learn This If You Don’t See Queries by way of Element

In the event you don’t see the element news in Question Track, it’s most probably as a result of Question Track can’t symlink its db.php record. You’ll see an error message like the only beneath in those scenarios.

If this error displays, you won't be able to see queries by component.
If this mistake shows, you received’t be capable to see queries by way of element.

There are two most probably reasons right here:

  1. The file permissions of your website’s wp-content folder.
  2. The wp-content/db.php record already exists (possibly on account of a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache).

You’ll see some fixes and workarounds in this GitHub article. If you’re feeling comfy connecting to your server via SSH, you’ll be able to repair the issue with a WP-CLI command (although there are different strategies).

Maximum of Question Track’s capability will nonetheless paintings with this factor, however you received’t be capable to see any of the element news till you repair this.


The Logs tab is a complicated tab that permits you to arrange your messages and variables to log. This help you debug technical problems or keep watch over your website to catch issues.

Whilst you first set up Question Track, this tab received’t show the rest since you received’t have arrange any logging variables.

Then again, for those who do need to arrange customized logging variables, you’ll be able to accomplish that the usage of a easy syntax like so:

do_action( 'qm/debug', 'This came about!' );

Question Track helps the next movements, which allow you to log problems at other ranges:

  • qm/emergency
  • qm/alert
  • qm/crucial
  • qm/error
  • qm/caution
  • qm/realize
  • qm/data
  • qm/debug

In the event you’d like to be told extra and spot some examples, take a look at the Query Monitor Logging Variables page.


The principle Request tab displays the question vars for the present request.

The main Request tab.
The principle Request tab.

There also are sub-menus to peer the Request Headers and Reaction Headers, that are most likely extra useful for functionality debugging.

For instance, possibly you wish to have to debug caching habits or CDN habits. Within the Reaction Headers sub-menu, you’ll be able to see Cache-Regulate habits, letting you debug browser caching on your site.

How to view response headers.
view reaction headers.


The Blocks tab is simplest visual for those who have a look at a web page constructed with the native WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg).

In the ones scenarios, this web page will listing each individual block at the web page, at the side of detailed details about that block.

One good factor this is that it’s going to let you know if the block got here from the WordPress core or a distinct plugin.

The Blocks area only appears if you created the content using the block editor.
The Blocks space simplest seems for those who created the block editor’s content material.


The Template tab will simplest be visual for those who’re the usage of Question Track at the frontend of your website. It is helping you view and debug the template hierarchy for the web page you’re taking a look at.

You’ll see the precise template record for that web page and the quite a lot of template portions and frame categories.

This doesn’t have the rest to do with functionality, however it may be advisable for custom theme development.

How to view the template hierarchy.
view the template hierarchy.

Admin Display

The Admin Display tab will simplest be visual for those who use Question Track in the WordPress admin dashboard. You most likely received’t use it that ceaselessly, however it may be useful if you want to debug habits in a customized admin display screen.

In the event you have a look at an admin display screen with an inventory desk, it’s going to display you the customized column filters and movements. It’ll additionally display you the state of get_current_screen.

The Admin Screen details.
The Admin Display main points.


After the Queries tab, the Scripts tab is most likely the following maximum useful functionality debugging space in Question Track.

This tab shows each enqueued JavaScript script at the web page and its dependencies and dependents. You additionally get filters to briefly to find scripts from a particular host or with particular dependencies/dependents.

As a coarse rule, extra scripts equivalent a slower web page as a result of they build up the web page dimension and upload HTTP requests.

You’ll use this space to find the affect of various extensions and to find tactics to scale back the selection of enqueued scripts that load on every web page.

The Scripts area shows all enqueued scripts.
The Scripts space displays all enqueued scripts.

Question Track doesn’t display you the timing of the way some of these scripts load, although. If you wish to see that, you’ll want to use a speed test tool and dig into the waterfall research – Pingdom and GTmetrix are each very good choices.

If you want lend a hand the usage of those main points to optimize your website’s scripts, we’ve numerous treasured guides for optimizing JavaScript on WordPress:


The Kinds tab is just like the Scripts tab, but it surely shows enqueued CSS as an alternative of JavaScript. It’s some other to hand tab for debugging functionality for your website.

Simply as with scripts, loading extra stylesheets on a web page ends up in a slower-loading website as a coarse rule.

On this space, you’ll be able to uncover the affect of various extensions for your website. You’ll use this data to scale back the selection of stylesheets that want to load at the web page, which is able to cut back the record dimension and HTTP requests required to load the page.

The Styles area shows all enqueued stylesheets.
The Kinds space displays all enqueued stylesheets.

As with scripts, Question Track won’t provide you with an in-depth research of the way your CSS rather a lot and whether or not it’s blockading crucial portions of your website from loading. For that, you’ll want to use the waterfall research once more.

We’ve got some useful posts that will help you optimize your website’s CSS:

Hooks & Movements

The Hooks & Movements tab lists all the hooks and movements from the present web page, at the side of their precedence.

For movements, you’ll be able to amplify a person motion to peer the real record and line of code related to that motion. You’ll additionally clear out movements by way of element to search out movements from the WordPress core, plugins, and subject matters.

This space isn’t actually serious about functionality, however it’s handy for customized building.

How to view hooks and actions.
view hooks and movements.


The Languages tab displays you the language and textual content domain names for your website and the language file used for every extension.

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This isn’t very helpful if in case you have a single-language website in English. Then again, this tab can also be useful for those who have a multilingual site and/or your website is in a language that may now not have complete translation pack protection.


The HTTP API Calls tab displays you all the server-side HTTP requests that passed off all the way through the web page load, together with the request main points, timing, and HTTP status code.

If a plugin or theme is making gradual HTTP API calls, that may ceaselessly be a “hidden” reason behind deficient functionality, and also you’ll need to give you the option to mend this, both by way of converting one thing within the extension’s settings or switching to another extension.

For lots of pages, you must see “No HTTP API calls,” which is a great signal because it way not anything is entering into the best way of your website’s functionality.

Capacity Exams

The Capacity Exams space allows you to see which person features can get right of entry to the present content material that you simply’re taking a look at. This can also be to hand to peer if other users can access certain frontend or backend content material.

This option is disabled by way of default for functionality causes, although. If you wish to permit it, you’ll want to edit your site’s wp-config.php file and upload the next code snippet:

outline( 'QM_ENABLE_CAPS_PANEL', true );


The Surroundings tab supplies an in depth abstract of your website’s environments, together with:

  • PHP
  • Database
  • WordPress
  • Server

You’ll see essential main points, limits, model numbers, configuration settings, and so on.

This will additionally tell essential choices about functionality.

For instance, for those who see that your website’s reminiscence prohibit is proscribed, it’s possible you’ll need to increase the memory limit to avoid memory limit-related errors.

In a similar way, for those who see that you simply’re the usage of an older version of PHP, it’s possible you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version for improved performance.

How to view environment information.
view atmosphere news.


The Conditionals tab is helping you notice which situation statements observe to the web page you’re taking a look at, which can also be useful in customized building.

You’ll see each “True” conditionals and “False” conditionals.

How to view page conditionals.
view web page conditionals.

View Question Track Knowledge As a Non-Admin Person

You may need to view the Question Track news as a distinct person function or as a logged-out person in some scenarios. It is extremely helpful for WooCommerce stores, membership sites, and an identical websites.

You wish to have to set an authentication cookie for your browser to perform this. When you’ve set that cookie, you’ll be capable to view Question Track news every time you seek advice from the website, although you’re logged out.

To set the authentication cookie, click on at the equipment icon within the top-right nook of the Question Track panel. Then, click on the Set authentication cookie button.

How to set the authentication cookie in Query Monitor.
set the authentication cookie in Question Track.

In the event you ever need to disable this capability, you’ll be able to come again to this interface and click on the Transparent authentication cookie button to take away the cookie.

In the event you mix this with User Switching, some other useful plugin from the similar developer, you’ll be able to briefly transfer between different user roles for your website.

How To Lengthen Question Track With Upload-Ons

Thus far, we’ve targeted solely at the options and research choices within the core Question Track plugin. Then again, a number of third-party add-ons can prolong Question Track additional.

Those can upload improve for particular functionality applied sciences, akin to Memcached and Redis, in addition to particular WordPress plugins, akin to WooCommerce or GiveWP.

Question Track additionally helps all add-ons for the Debug Bar plugin, which provides integrations for ElasticPress, Elementor, Cache Look up, and a lot extra.

You’ll see a complete list of Query Monitor add-ons on this GitHub page.

Different Helpful Gear To Debug and Give a boost to WordPress Efficiency

Whilst Question Track is a to hand unfastened software to debug WordPress functionality, it doesn’t quilt the entirety. There are every other helpful gear you must imagine to research other spaces of WordPress functionality.

Kinsta APM (Software Efficiency Tracking)

The Kinsta APM tool.
The Kinsta APM software.

In the event you host your site at Kinsta, you get unfastened get right of entry to to Kinsta Application Performance Monitoring (APM).

An APM tool like Kinsta APM goes even deeper than Question Track with the next sorts of analyses:

  • Sluggish PHP processes
  • Sluggish database queries
  • Lengthy API calls
  • Lengthy exterior URL requests
  • Complete-stack strains into problematic spaces

You’ll additionally view how this data adjustments through the years, which is one thing Question Track can’t do. Plus, you’ll be able to analyze all of your website somewhat than move page-by-page.

For a common instructional, you’ll be able to follow our Kinsta APM guide.

We even have particular guides on the usage of APM to optimize resource-intensive WordPress websites:

New Relic

New Relic is some other useful functionality tracking software very similar to Kinsta APM.

In the event you’re now not webhosting at Kinsta, it may be a good way to get right of entry to an identical sorts of analyses. Even though you might be webhosting at Kinsta, you’ll be able to still enable New Relic tracking if wanted, although you want to have your personal license.

To learn to use New Relic, you’ll be able to follow our New Relic performance tutorial.

A High quality Pace Check Device

We discussed this previous when speaking concerning the waterfall research, however a just right pace take a look at software can also be worthwhile for debugging what your website rather a lot and how your website rather a lot.

That will help you use whichever software you select, we’ve a devoted information on the proper way to run a speed test. We even have posts serious about probably the most most well liked gear:

WordPress Debug Mode

WordPress comprises its personal integrated debug mode to peer all PHP mistakes, notices, and warnings. You additionally give you the option to save lots of those problems to a log record.

For extra main points, take a look at our complete guide to WordPress debug mode.

Internet Browser Developer Gear

Chrome comprises very detailed developer gear that help you debug your website’s functionality, as do a little other browsers.

For instance, the Community tab allows you to view timings for each HTTP request for your website, in addition to waterfall research. The Efficiency tab offers you an excessively detailed functionality research.

You’ll additionally run Lighthouse audits from the Lighthouse tab. It’s the similar performance test algorithm that PageSpeed Insights makes use of.

If you wish to learn to use Chrome Developer Gear to debug functionality, this help center hub is a brilliant position to start out.

Instead of deactivating plugins one by one, learn how to pinpoint and debug WordPress issues more quickly and with greater accuracy right here 🐛⬇Click to Tweet


If you wish to debug functionality and building problems for your WordPress website, the Query Monitor plugin is among the easiest unfastened gear.

To investigate your website’s functionality, you’ll most likely need to focal point essentially the most on those spaces of the interface:

  • Assessment
  • Queries
  • Logs (for extra complex customers)
  • Scripts
  • Kinds
  • HTTP API Calls
  • Surroundings

Then again, the opposite spaces will also be handy for those who broaden WordPress websites.

Give Question Track a check out lately and spot the way it is helping. In the event you don’t need to set up it for your reside website, you’ll be able to all the time create a staging site and set up it there to peer what’s taking place beneath the hood of your website.

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