It is the truth that WordPress is a great platform, especially for bloggers and small businesses. However, the platform has been suffering from a weakness over the years: being slow.
A slow WordPress website can result in many problems. When visitors feel too frustrated to continue seeking out the information, they would not hesitate to leave the website regardless of how wonderful design and useful content it comes with. And then the next thing come up with the lost attention should be a negative word of mouth, which finally cause low search engine rankings.
Many people tend to blindly do a lot of work before figuring out what exactly causes his/her WordPress website’s slowness. Usually, the end turns out in vain or even worse. So, instead of stepping over the basics and telling you how to speed up your WordPress website precisely, this article tries to dig deeper to discover some common causes leading to a slow WordPress website.
One of the most common culprits for a slow WordPress website is your network connection is slow or intermittent. However, if you confirm that you are experiencing a network issue, you may have to test your local network or router.
There are multiple ways you can make use to test for network problems, including running a traceroute from your computer to the server, using a proxy server to load your web page, asking friends who live in another city to try loading your WordPress website, and so on so forth. If the result shows that your network problem occurs at your local internet service provider or later down the line, you can get in touch with the provider and ask them to re-route traffic to your WordPress website using another network path.
The most common reasons that cause long load times are elements including large images, inappropriate plugins, too many ads, excessive HTTP requests, and etc.
Wrong Dimensions for Images
It is a common sense that large images can consume a lot of bandwidth while loading thus making your WordPress website perform slowly. Before uploading an image, you’d better resize it to a smaller version. Also note avoiding scaling the original image down in HTML when changing width and height dimensions.
For the reason different plugin developer has different coding experience, no one knows how a plugin performs unless you install it and run it. When the plugins are found poorly written or unsupported, they will make your WordPress website load slowly. Then you’d better update them or replace them with similar ones but performing better in efficiency and speed, or just uninstall them entirely. For highly rated plugins, you can refer to our Best WordPress Plugins.
Excessive Usage of Ads
Google AdSense and other similar services can be an extra source of income for you but they can also slow down your WordPress website at the same time. Usually, a WordPress website uses 2 or 3 different ad services to load ads in header to the right sidebar, in the body of the post and at the bottom of the page performs much slower than that with only 1 ad in the body of the post or in the right sidebar. Far more than that, too many ads on one web page will greatly impact the user experience. Just as an old saying: grasp all, lose all, bad user experience will lead to low SEO rankings in turn.
Hundreds of HTTP Requests
All CMSs make use of a database to save a big set of data on it, WordPress is no exception. Database offers you a great way to manage your website, while remaining adding extra load on your server for the purpose of generating each web page every time it is requested. However, this can cause a slowdown in page load times at times.
The best way to solve the problem is using page caching. There are a lot of caching plugins available for WordPress and also a great number of articles debating which should be the best one. According to our test, WP Super Cache is typically designed for meeting basic caching needs, while W3 Total Cache is perfect for advanced users and developers. Alternatively, you can choose to rely on a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine or LiquidWeb and let it take care of your page caching.
Bad Server Configuration
It is quite common for you to experience slowdown in website if your WordPress website is hosted with a shard hosting plan that is not fully compatible with WordPress. Even worse is when you’re unfortunately running multiple websites on the same plan. Besides that, your WordPress website is also susceptible to attack since you have to share resources with other people on the same machine and a truly dedicated hacker can most likely gain access to all sites on a shared machine as long as he/she has gained access to one on that machine.
Here’s what you can do when you are having a bad server configuration:
- Transfer to a reliable WordPress hosting solution with good security such as InMotion Hosting or Bluehost;
- Upgrade your processor, RAM, and disk space by hosting your WordPress website with a VPS hosting or dedicated server plan instead.
Occasionally, you may also encounter with other technical difficulties that may the causes of your slow WordPress website, for instance, domain configuration issues, wrong server location, pointless redirects, 404 errors, etc. When you have a clear awareness of what leads to your website’s slowness, you can take a more effective measures to solve the problem, saving your time as well as money then.