Many site owners ask this question. Why is my WordPress site so slow?
Our attention spans are getting shorter the more we use technology. The average attention span today is eight seconds. Think about what that means if your WordPress site is slow to load or function.
Why Your WordPress Site is Slow
Your website’s visitors have an attention span less than that of a goldfish. So they’ll click off of your site and find another option pretty much immediately if your site is slow to load.
Various things cause slow loading speeds on websites, including:
- Poor Hosting. Your website hosting server must have proper configuration or your website will load more slowly.
- Page Size. Large page files cause your website to load slowly. Large pages typically are caused by images that aren’t optimized or compressed for online use.
- Plugins. Poorly coded or infrequently updated plugins can slow down your site significantly. Also, just having too many plugins loaded with features you don’t use slows down your site.
- Browser Cache. If your site is not providing cached pages, load times will be significantly longer.
- External Scripts. External scripts such as ads can negatively impact your site’s performance.
- Core Technology. Updated versions of technology contain improvements that will help better your site’s speed and performance. If you don’t update them, it will slow down your site.
- Bulky Themes. Some themes are just bloated with unnecessary features that slow down your site.
- Images. Images are likely to impact loading time if you don’t make them as small as possible.
- Video. Streaming video onto your site from other sources like YouTube will drag down your site’s speed.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
There are a lot of seemingly minor mistakes you can make that slow down your WordPress site. The good news is that there are also many steps you can take to speed it up.
Invest in Quality Hosting
Choosing a good web host is an essential step in keeping your site running quickly and performing well. Don’t just go with the first web hosting company you find. Instead, do some research and ask for recommendations. Be willing to invest in a hosting company with a strong reputation that balances speed with performance and cost.
Avoid shared hosting if possible. Shared hosting is when multiple users share space on a single server maintained by the hosting provider. But, if you share, other people’s sites can slow yours down. This slow down is because you rely on them to take steps to keep their sites running quickly.
Update Core Technology
There is a reason that new versions of technology like HTML, PHP, etc. are released. They contain improvements and new features that will help improve speed and performance. The best practice is using the newest versions of these technologies.
Keep WordPress Updated
Make sure your version of WordPress and all of its components are always updated. Each WordPress version includes new features and bug fixes that make your website run better. Updating WordPress core keeps your site running its best and protects it from security issues. Be sure also to update plugins when you update WordPress.
Choose a Quality Theme
Find a theme that’s just what you need and nothing extra. You should even consider getting a minimal theme and adding the functionality via plugins. That way, you aren’t adding anything unnecessary to your site’s operations.
Maintain the Database
Regular database maintenance is vital for keeping your database operating smoothly. Items to remove from the database include uninstalled plugins and post revisions. Tools and services are available to help you clean your database if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself. Plus, quality hosting companies do their own database maintenance.
Set Up Monitoring
You can’t change what you don’t measure. Set up monitoring so you know how quickly your site is performing.
Decrease Server Requests
A server request happens each time your browser asks for a resource (style sheet, script, image, etc.) from your server. The more server requests required to load your site, the longer it takes. Therefore, you want to minimize the things your server needs to do to load the page.
To reduce server requests:
- Decrease the number of posts shown on a page.
- Only show post excerpts on archive pages.
- Reduce the number of visual elements on pages.
- Deactivate and uninstall unnecessary plugins.
- Enable lazy loading to delay loading images until necessary.
- Reduce external resources like fonts.
Images take up the most space on a page. They are likely to impact loading time if you don’t make them as small as possible. There are websites you can use to compress photos before you put them on your site. There also are plugins you can use to do it automatically. If a WordPress site is running slow, typically images are the first culprit.
Avoid Hosting Video
WordPress can host and play videos, but it’s not a good idea to use this feature when it comes to speed and performance. Hosting video on your site slows it down and makes it more difficult to back up. Instead, keep the video on its hosting site where it belongs and just embed it on your site.
Cache for WordPress means storing commonly accessed data to speed up processing. Caching is the most common way to get your website to load faster and generally perform better.
Run a CDN
A content delivery network distributes the work of delivering content to your web browser. A CDN makes your site more efficient by increasing the number of sources, closeness, and caching.
Try WordPress Hosting with Nexcess
Hopefully, this post answered your question, “Why is my WordPress site so slow?”
There are a lot of factors that slow down your website. There also are a lot of ways to fix it. But the most critical factor for website speed is the host company you choose.
A good host company, like Nexcess, manages your site, so you don’t have to worry about slow loading times or other performance issues. Contact us today to learn more about WordPress hosting from Nexcess.
Or, try it for yourself. Start your free 14-day trial of fully managed WordPress today.
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