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Sitefinity Performance optimization tips

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Article Number000070905
EnvironmentProduct: Sitefinity
Version: 5.x, 6.x, 7.x, 8.x, 9.x, 10.x, 11.x, 12.x
OS: All supported OS versions
Database: All supported Microsoft SQL Server versions
Question/Problem Description
General recommendations to improve performance on Sitefinity?
How to improve the time Sitefinity takes to generate pages?
Performance improvements to the time to load the main HTML page.
Pages take too long to update after leaving the main page.
What Sitefinity features are available to improve Websites which handle a large number of requests?
Can Sitefinity preload specific pages to improve server load time?
Page updates take too long in general.
Steps to Reproduce
Clarifying Information
Error Message
Defect/Enhancement Number

NOTE: Performance fine-tuning and debugging performance issues fall outside of the scope for support: .

Measure, measure, measure

When dealing with performance issues, it is useful to know as precisely as possible what type of performance degradation one is talking about, e.g.

  • An example of a page that takes a long time to load
  • How long does it take to load?
  • Is the page always slow to load regardless of the time of day?
  • Is the page always slow do load on production and in development?

This allows a comparison between other environments and measures any improvement. For instance, if the same page loads normally off hours but is too slow during peak time, this is an indication the site is overloaded. On the other hand, if the same page takes a long time to load both on the production and development environment, a heavy load can be ruled out.

Where does the issue come from? 

Loading the page using the developer console Network tab (press F12 on most browsers) provides the first clues about where the issue could come from. In particular, focus on the time it takes to load the main HTML page:

User-added image

In the above example, the Web browser waits for 250ms for the main page to be ready to load ("Waiting (Time to First Byte)" metric), and 32ms to load it ("Content Download" metric).

  • A long "Time to First Byte" is often an indication that the Web site takes a long time to generate the page.
  • A long time to load is symptomatic of a slow network. Check with hosting provider.
  • If the main page is quick to load but nonetheless takes a long time to be displayed, this may be because there are too many custom static resources to load (JavaScript, CSS, images). One way to reduce the overhead is to combine multiple resources into one (e.g. combine all custom CSS files into one)

General performance optimization

If Sitefinity takes too long to generate pages, check the following articles for performance optimization:


One can check if the Data Caching is enabled: under Administration > Settings > Advanced > DataEnable data caching should be empty, so it gets the default value (True).

See Sitefinity documentation, cache settings for further information about Sitefinity Caching

Use Load Balancing

Websites which have to handle a large number of requests should be hosted in a load balanced environment with at least 2 instances. This will guarantee not only very high availability for the website, but also allow to execute procedures on the website without affecting its availability. One can, for instance, remove one of the instances from the load balancing, perform some maintenance operation and put it back online, while the other node handles all the requests during the maintenance.

This setup will also allow to warm-up the instance before letting it handle requests, and hide the waiting for that initial load.

Deployment of a new version of the website should always detach the instances from the load balancer one by one, perform the upgrade, warm them up and even then put them back on. In this way the website will provide a nice, consistent experience for the end users.

Static resources take some time to load: consider using a CDN

Customers who want optimal performance often rely on third-party Content Delivery Networks (CDN) so that static files such as images, style sheets or JavaScript pages are loaded as fast as possible for their end users. One can see how to configure Sitefinity to use a CDN on Sitefinity documentation, CDN storage for content libraries

Faster system restart

Refer to the Sitefinity startup performance article.

Speedup the Local development

Use SSD disk or RAM disk when possible. More information

Remove the unnecessary assembly references, keep only the ones needed and used, e.g. in case of using nuget packages

Install Roslyn compilation:

Usage of the Diagnostics module

If Diagnostics module is active, deactivate it by navigating to Administration > Modules & Services > Action (of Diagnostics module) > Deactivate

Host the site with IIS web server. Running the sites through local development servers (IIS Express) doesn`t count as a benchmark for speed because the web server is for development purposes and doesn`t have the full IIS Performance boosters.

Make sure the websites are not running debug mode. In web.config check the debug is set to false
<compilation debug="false"

For sites running Sitefinity version 10.1.6500 there is startup performance boosters. One of them is Sitefinity 10.1 itself and the other is the option to use Roslyn compiler (~ 6 times faster page compilation).
Details here:

Another part of the bootstrap process is the code added in Global.asax on Application_Start event and Boostrapper_Initialized events. If there is a slow executing code or code that works through a large collection of data this will impact the startup.

If the site warmup module is configured based on this Sitefinity Documentation, site warmup it will slow down the site startup in order to preload certain pages. Check if it is configured and how many pages it preloads.

Slow load for pages or a certain page
 Slow compilation time. If the page has a lot of widgets that query data, this load of data from the page and from its page template needs to be executed once so that the page compiles and outputs HTML, this is the slowest process of the page request. Once compiled all will be faster. The compilation can be speeded up via installing Roslyn compiler.

In case the Roslyn compiler doesn`t improve the time to the first byte for the request to homepage then the page itself needs to be examined for causes of the problem.
Run a copy of the site locally out of the production server.
- measure the startup time
- remove a widget from the homepage and measure the time again. 
- Keep removing widget until the load speed improves, the last removed widget is the one causing slowdowns. 
- If all widgets from the page are removed, but it still loads slowly go to the page template and continue the removal process to narrow down a problematic component.
- move to the page template on which the page is based to narrow down the root or the problem to a widget on the page template.
References to Other Documentation:
Progress, Sitefinity Scope of Support
Progress Sitefinity Documentation, Optimize performance
Progress Sitefinity Documentation, Recommended environment settings
Last Modified Date12/2/2019 12:35 AM