Why is my WordPress site loading so slow?
In this article you will learn some of the reasons why your WordPress website is running slow and some of the things you can do to improve your page performance. After reading this article, you will have a good base understanding of some of the things you can do about your WordPress site loading slow to improve your sites loading speed.
WordPress site slow loading times can potentially be losing you money
Users have a very minimal attention span these days. That’s why as a website owner, it’s important to give your clients the information they need in a timely manner. If your WordPress site takes more than 3 seconds to load, your visitors will most likely hit that X button on the top of the browser tab. Here at Southtown Web Design, pagespeed optimization is one of the most imprtant aspects we look at when building sites for our clients.
Potential customers go to your site in order to get the information they need quickly and easily. When you get a visitor on your site, it’s important to keep them on the page longer to have them take some sort of action on your web design. Whether that be to fill out a contact form, purchase a product or give you a call. By visitors leaving due to page performance, could result in lost sales.
You might think that your page loading time isn’t that important
Google considers a faster website, as a SEO ranking factor . So if you want that extra help to move your business up Google’s search engine, It’s important to take into consideration your websites performance. Plus Google and your users will thank you!
There are a lot of different factors to consider when optimizing your slow WordPress site. I’m not going to go into detail in this article, but I’m going to share with you, some of the things you can do in order to speed up your website.
Here are some tips you can use to get your site up to speed:
One of the easiest things you can do that can make a world of a difference, is choosing the right hosting provider. Yes, there are a lot of hosting providers out there, but don’t always go with the cheapest. As someone once told me, you get what you pay for.
It’s important to choose a premium hosting provider that handles WordPress based websites. Choosing a provider that focuses on that, will mean that the server is fully optimized for WordPress. Depending on the size of the website you have, will help determine the right hosting package that specifically suits your needs.
Some of the things a good hosting provider can get you:
- Fully optimized for WordPress
- 24/7 premium support
- Built in caching tool
- Free SSL and SSH for site security
- Staging and Dev environments for you to test things out on your website without worrying that you might break something
- Daily Backups when something does go wrong
- Malware removal in case of an attack
I personally started off with a lower end hosting platform and didn’t realize the difference until I made the switch. If you’d like my selection on the best hosting providers for your WordPress site, shoot me a message. Maybe this is the only change you need to make in order to get your site running faster!
If your website hasn’t been setup with a CDN, your losing out on the performance enhancements that will help your site load faster. A CDN helps shorten the path information that needs to travel between the server and user, according to designshack. Some hosting providers have CDN services built into their platforms, making it easier to setup from the get go.
WordPress Caching Tools
Premium WordPress caching tools will dramatically help improve your loading times, by at least a second! 40% of visitors would leave a website if they had to wait more than 3 seconds, according to a study by akamai, cited by Hosting Manual.
A good hosting platform + a premium caching tool can make a world of a difference. Which will result in visitors staying longer on your website, thus boosting your ranking! It’s a win-win in my books.
One common issue that causes your WordPress site to be so slow, is the lack of image optimization. I’ve seen this many times and people still continue to do this. They do this to save time in the build process and don’t want to take the much needed time to properly size every image.
This is probably one of the biggest issues that affect your page speed and one of the easiest to fix. I like to make these edits through Photoshop in order to get the size down as much as possible without sacrificing too much of the image quality. If you’re looking for a huge performance increase, do this one thing now, stop procrastinating.
Bad Plugins or plainly just to many plugins
A poorly coded plugin that’s not optimized the right way will contribute to slower loading times on your website. Another issue is not keeping up to date on the plugins you do have installed. Outdated software not only slows down your site, but also opens up opportunities for hackers to find a hole into your website, causing issues you don’t want to ever deal with!
On top of that, just having too many plugins on your site will drastically decrease the performance of your site. Sometimes you add plugins to your site that you don’t even need or end up using and it’s important that you remove unused plugins. Each plugin added to your site, increases the overall size of your website design.
External scripts are front loaders that will affect your website’s loading speed performance. Each external script is another HTTP request your website has to reach out and connect to. The more HTTP requests you have will put a damper on your site. Yes, it’s important if your running ads and need to set up tracking tools to measure your campaign, but once those ads are done, remove those tools.
Sometimes you just need to have certain external scripts and it’s important to optimize them the best you can. One way is to merge these scripts into one single file in order to cut down on the HTTP requests.
In conclusion, these are just a few of the main issues that can stunt your page speed. I hope I could somewhat clear up the initial question as to “why is my WordPress site loading so slow?”. Google will be rolling out it’s web core vital update pretty soon and if you’re looking to get any edge you can over your competitors in terms of your SEO rankings, you need to start thinking about these issues. The update probably won’t affect any of your current rankings, but it’s something to start considering when Google does fully roll it out.