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How to Fix a Slow WordPress Website ?

Last Updated : 14 Dec, 2021
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The speed and performance of a website and a web page matter significantly when it comes to its SEO. A faster website is likely to rank higher on the search engine results page. It is also likely to get more web traffic and views. For business websites, this directly translates to increased turnover and better reach.  

The speed of a website is considered by Google as one of the most important ranking parameters. Furthermore, a website’s speed also affects its user experience. It can affect whether or not a visitor will visit the website again.  

Issues with WordPress Websites: WordPress is a free and open-sourced content management system that lets you create your website with a few easy steps. But there are a few common issues that WordPress website owners often encounter. These are:

  • WordPress stuck in maintenance mode
  • WordPress memory exhausted error
  • Facebook and Instagram embeds breaking issues
  • Internal server issue
  • Image upload issues
  • Connection timed out errors
  • Slow WordPress site

All these errors and issues affect the performance of the website. And, all these can be solved using different methods. While all of these issues affect the performance of the website in various different ways, the slow speeds affect user experience the most.  

Why is my WordPress site slow: Let’s understand what can be the different reasons for a slow WordPress site. There can be various underlying causes such as:

  • Exceptionally Long Javascript or CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): The cascading style sheets run to multiple pages containing long codes. These codes are essential since they set the tone, font, color, menu, header, etc of the site. However, the CSS also contains other information like line breaks and extra spaces. These can weigh down the speed of the site.
  • There are Just Too Many Plugins: WordPress offers a variety of free plugins. However, using too many plugins simultaneously can add to the loading time of the site.  
  • Images on the Website are not Optimized: Using images that are optimized to an accurate size is important to maintain the performance of the site. Using large images can lead to slow loading and performance of the site on mobile and desktop devices.
  • WordPress or PHP is Outdated: Using outdated WordPress or PHP can be detrimental to the website code, themes, and plugins. Using up-to-date PHP can help increase the speed of the site since it is the primary programming language for WordPress.
  • Slow server response: The web hosting service for your site can also affect the speed of the site. If you use a shared hosting server that hosts numerous websites simultaneously, then your website is likely to be on the slower side.  

Fix slow WordPress site: If your WordPress site is witnessing reduced speeds, try troubleshooting and fixing it with the following tips.

  • Optimize the images on your website: Large images can hurt the performance of your website, especially on mobile devices. Make sure that you are using the right image format. JPG images can be easily resized and compressed without affecting the quality, but it is lossy. PNG is lossless and therefore can be easily used for infographics, graphic designs, or logos. WebP, a format provided by Google, offers lossy and lossless options.  
    Compress images using lossless compression, you can compress the image up to 70 to 80% of the image quality. You can set image optimization on autopilot, all you will need are good plugins. Some of the plugins that you can use for image optimization are Optimole, ShortPixel, and Smush.  
  • Optimize CSS or Javascript: As we mentioned before, the CSS of the site has code that is imperative for the appearance and performance of the site. But it also has line breaks, comments, and spaces that can add to the loading speed of the site. By loading the CSS asynchronously, we can speed up the loading of the website.  
    There are various plugins like Speed up, Autoopitmise,  WP Rocket, etc., that can be used to effectively optimize the CSS. These can help significantly in improving the theme of the website along with its performance.  
  • Use a good hosting service: Virtual hosting or shared hosting servers host tons of websites simultaneously and are often opted for by a majority of WordPress websites. While these are great in the initial stage, as the website gains traffic its speed can be affected by it. Also, since there are other websites on the same server as yours, the more traffic these sites have, the more it will affect the performance of your website. Therefore, investing in a high-quality host as your website grows is very important.
    There are several good quality hosting services like Cloudways, Siteground, WPX Hosting, etc., that you can consider hosting your website on.  
  • Use a caching plugin: Caching refers to the process of storing copies of website data in a temporary storage location. Caching can store static and dynamic content that can speed up the loading times of your website. So when a user visits your website, the static content stored in the cache is displayed while the rest of the site loads. Doing so increases the speed of accessing these files, thus decreasing the loading time of the website. Some of the tools can be used by anyone, irrespective of the level of acquaintance with coding. Adding a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket and Sucuri Firewall can help speed up the site significantly.  
  • Use a Content Delivery Network: The content delivery network is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers that can speed up WordPress websites remarkably. A Content Delivery Network or CDN caches internet content like web pages and images to the servers that are the closest to users’ location. This makes content distribution faster and easier.  
    Using a CDN for your WordPress website can help you reduce the distance between the users and the servers of your website.

There are various CDN services that you can consider like StackPath, Sucuri, KeyCDN, Amazon CloudFront, and Cloudflare. CDN reduces the website loading times, which in turn improves the overall performance of the website. It also optimizes the website for SEO, thereby improving the rank of the website on the search engine results page. CDN enhances the user experience and adds to the security of the website.  

Conclusion: There are various potent methods to speed up a WordPress site. To know which one will give you the best results, it is important to know the underlying cause of the slow speeds of the website. To maintain the consistent performance of your site make sure to use updated PHP and optimize the site regularly.

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