One of our sites has been really suffering and our ISP pointed out that we needed to optimize our templates because we were generating some really slow queries.

For example this:

SELECT DISTINCT(t.entry_id) FROM exp_channel_titles AS t
            LEFT JOIN exp_channels ON t.channel_id = exp_channels.channel_id LEFT JOIN exp_members AS m ON m.member_id = t.author_id INNER JOIN exp_category_posts ON t.entry_id = exp_category_posts.entry_id
                     INNER JOIN exp_categories ON exp_category_posts.cat_id = exp_categories.cat_id WHERE t.entry_id !='' AND t.site_id IN ('1')  AND t.entry_date < 1399575836  AND (t.expiration_date = 0 OR t.expiration_date > 1399575836) AND t.entry_id != '2706' AND (t.channel_id = '1' OR t.channel_id = '3' ) AND t.entry_id IN ('164','162','356','354','145','180','230','221','218','207','243','244','254','256','257','272','281','283','308','309','314','315','318','319','323','324','329','330','331','332','333','337','338','343','346','348','349','350','351','359','360','361','362','363','371','376','384','393','394','409','411','426','450','455','470','471','480','488','507','509','513','514','517','522','527','529','532','538','539','557','559','560','563','582','583','584','588','604','609','613','614','617','621','625','633','641','650','652','682','813','674','676','677','678','679','688','694','696','699','704','712','718','724','726','728','732','757','758','759','763','770','783','778','784','794','796','799','810','822','828','837','1216','871','843','844','845','846','847','855','861','863','864','865','866','868','873','887','888','879','884','890','891','892','896','900','902','907','912','913','914','916','917','918','924','925','929','955','935','936','940','946','950','953','954','95! 7','961','965','967','968','1169','981','983','998','999','1131','1005','1007','1014','1019','1026','1185','1030','1031','1032','1045','1046','1050','1056','1078','1073','1075','1081','1088','1094','1099','1109','1116','1120','1124','1144','1151','1152','1153','1154','1156','1158','1161','1163','1166','1172','1241','1195','1198','1199','1200','1201','1204','1591','1209','1215','1220','1223','1226','1232','1233','1245','1246','1257','1258','1261','1270','1274','1275','1279','1280','1283','1288','1289','1300','1301','1303','1308','1312','1313','2378','1345','1351','1354','1357','1366','1372','1379','1386','1387','1390','1405','1393','1402','1403','1416','1417','1420','1421','1423','1430','1432','1434','1447','1450','1455','1465','1468','1469','1473','1475','1478','1481','1487','1488','1503','1506','1507','1512','1513','1517','1520','1521','1546','1547','1548','1550','1571','1557','1558','1559','1561','1564','1565','1567','1568','1595','1600','1604','1609','1614','1613','1624'! ,'1641','1633','1638','1644','1645','1650','1653','1655','1658! ','1659','1660','1662','1663','1676','1677','1687','1688','1690','1693','1697','1699','1700','1701','1703','1704','1705','1711','1713','1715','1718','1722','1726','1730','1731','1738','1742','1744','1752','1759','1762','1767','1768','1772','1773','1776','1797','1779','1782','1791','1795','1810','1813','1815','1828','1840','1841','1843','1844','1845','1860','1861','1867','1885','1879','1888','1889','1892','1893','1894','1900','1904','1910','1914','1912','1915','1921','1925','1927','1929','1930','1939','1948','1949','1952','1954','1956','1958','1959','1974','1976','1985','1988','2001','2002','2003','2007','2015','2014','2020','2324','2033','2034','2035','2039','2046','2044','2048','2052','2059','2057','2061','2062','2066','2078','2075','2082','2102','2124','2129','2128','2225','2144','2146','2177','2184','2187','2188','2192','2193','2197','2199','2201','2212','2222','2226','2227','2234','2240','2245','2246','2253','2274','2275','2276','2293','2297','2299','2301','2304','2314'! ,'2323','2334','2343','2348','2351','2363','2367','2368','2369','2379','2382','2387','2400','2405','2416','2417','2420','2434','2440','2442','2445','2452','2458','2460','2462','2463','2473','2480','2484','2497','2499','2502','2505','2509','2511','2520','2521','2523','2525','2530','2531','2537','2547','2553','2557','2566','2592','2598','2602','2608','2612','2638','2641','2643','2645','2648','2651','2655','2658','2661','2663','2694','2665','2693','2700','2701','2702','2704','2708','2709','2739','2736','2722','2723','2725','2727','2729','2731','2733','2737','2746') AND t.status  IN ('open','draft') AND t.status != 'closed' ORDER BY t.sticky desc, t.entry_date desc, t.entry_id desc LIMIT 0, 5

So yeah, that's a mess. But how would I identify what EE tag is generating it so I can find a better solution?

Any tips on tracking these things down?

2 Answers 2


If you enable the Output Profiler you'll see the profiler at the very bottom of the page. Look around for this:

Output Profiler SQL Queries

If you click the show link you'll see all of the queries required to build your page along with the file, line number, class, and method that ran that query:

Output Profiler SQL Queries Expanded

You might still need to do a bit of hunting because a query could be created in one place and run in another. It might also help to enable the Template Debugger because it shows the memory usage after certain logged items. Take this for instance:

(0.010291 / 5.69MB) Processing Tags
(0.010321 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Moblog/check
(0.010340 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Search/simple_form
(0.010356 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/entries
(0.010372 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/entries
(0.010389 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/entries
(0.010405 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/categories
(0.010421 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/month_links
(0.010437 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/calendar
(0.010453 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/entries
(0.010469 / 5.70MB) Module Tag: Channel/entries
(0.010488 / 5.70MB) Including Files for Plugins and Modules
(0.020725 / 7.62MB) Files for Plugins and Modules All Included
(0.021423 / 7.64MB) Beginning Final Tag Data Processing
(0.021446 / 7.64MB) Calling Class/Method: Moblog/check
(0.021545 / 7.65MB) -> Class Called: Moblog
(0.021594 / 7.66MB) -> Method Called: check
(0.022470 / 7.69MB) -> Data Returned
(0.022506 / 7.68MB) Calling Class/Method: Search/simple_form
(0.022611 / 7.68MB) -> Class Called: Search
(0.022635 / 7.68MB) -> Method Called: simple_form
(0.023925 / 7.82MB) -> Data Returned
(0.023951 / 7.82MB) Calling Class/Method: Channel/entries
(0.024100 / 7.82MB) -> Class Called: Channel
(0.025505 / 8.01MB) -> Method Called: entries
(0.076083 / 11.72MB) -> Data Returned

You can see that loading the files for plugins and modules used 1.92MB of memory since it jumped at that point. Continuing down the list, the channel entries method used close to 3.9MB of memory.

  • Thanks. Is the functionality that shows the class and method relatively new? We're on 2.7.2 and I can see the time used and the queries but not the class and method. Might be time to upgrade.
    – Pete Smith
    May 8, 2014 at 20:25
  • 2
    @PeteSmith Yes, it was added in 2.8.0
    – Wes Baker
    May 8, 2014 at 20:32

In addition to the fine answer by Wes I'd add that most likely you don't need to "find a better solution" you just need to use the disable parameter in your exp:channel:entries tags.

A couple of those JOINs will be eliminated with this simple fix.

  • Thanks, I hadn't really gotten as far as thinking about how to fix it, but if you can tell by eyeballing the query that it is generated by an exp:channel:entries tag, that narrows things down for me. This is an MSM install running 7 sites (something I'd never do again) so there's a lot of templates to check!
    – Pete Smith
    May 9, 2014 at 13:25
  • 1
    You want to look on site "1" for something that displays 5 entries. I'm thinking that long IN() array might be "related entries", that's just a guess to.
    – AllInOne
    May 9, 2014 at 20:01

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