Reasons For A Slow Loading WordPress Website

The speed of your website is critical to its performance, and thus to its success. Slow loading and response times on WordPress sites are not only infuriating; they can also be detrimental to your business.

In an ideal world, your site should load in less than two seconds for most of your visitors. Nearly half of consumers anticipate web pages to load in less than two seconds, according to research. Even a one-second delay can result in a 7% decrease in conversion rates, resulting in a negative impact on revenue and growth.

Additionally, when page load times grow from one to six seconds, the likelihood of bounces (visitors who depart immediately) increases by 174 percent. Without a doubt, every second counts when it comes to the performance of a website.

How to Determine the Speed of Your WordPress Site

Mostly likely, your site is cached in your browser, which means that when you visit it, the pages load rapidly. Regrettably, this may not be an accurate representation of other visitors’ experiences. As a result, it is vital to do third-party loading speed testing on your website.

To determine the speed of your website, you can use a service such as Pingdom Tools: 

Reasons Your WordPress Site Loads So Slowly & How To Fix Them

1. You Have an Excessive Number of Plugins Installed

Plugins are critical to the development of a working WordPress site. However, an excessive number of plugins might actually harm a site rather than benefit it. The longer your site has been live, the more plugins you’re likely to have installed.

Plugins that are out of date or poorly designed might slow down your site and cause it to load more slowly. Additionally, the more plugins you have, the harder it is for your site to load pages. This is especially true for plugins with a lot of features, such as page builders and all-in-one solutions.

This is why it’s critical to clean out your plugins on a regular basis, removing those that are obsolete or no longer useful. You can uninstall any plugins that are no longer required and hunt for replacements for the remainder.

2. You’re Using An Inexpensive Hosting Plan

Another frequent cause of slow WordPress blogs is bare bones cheap hosting options. While keeping costs low is a commendable goal, it’s critical to remember that you frequently get what you pay for.

Your WordPress site’s hosting is the basis and has an impact on everything from uptime to security. As a result, the critical nature of selecting a reputable provider cannot be overstated.

Initially, a low-cost hosting package may have been a suitable option. However, if your site grows and your traffic and storage requirements increase, it is probable that your current plan will become insufficient, and you will need to change.

Particularly shared hosting options might overburden server resources, resulting in slower response times.It is not uncommon for shared hosting providers to have over 700 different sites being serviced by the same server. (Think about it, you are sharing the resources with 700 different websites !! )

By switching to a premium WordPress hosting provider and plan that are a good fit for your needs, you can drastically improve your site’s performance.

3. Your WordPress Theme Can Make All The Difference In The World

To begin your theme selection process, you should check out our WordPress video tutorial where we discuss free and premium themes.

Your WordPress Theme is the most important part of having a extremely fast loading site. The Theme is the base and no matter what counter measures you apply such as those stated in this article, if you theme is poorly coded or outdated, there is nothing you will be able to do, to speed up your site beyond a certain threshold.

But How are you to know which one to choose? We recommend one of the following two alternatives:

A quick, lightweight WordPress theme with only the functionality you need.

A more feature-rich WordPress theme, where you can eliminate non-essential functions.

Google Fonts, sliders, galleries, video and parallax scripts, and so forth. These are just a handful of the numerous items that you should be able to switch off while not in use. You do not want to be attempting to manually adjust these after the fact. You should begin with or move to a WordPress theme that is either lightweight by default or provides these alternatives.

You need to check out our section on: The Most Beautiful & Fastest Loading Themes, we have spent months doing the research for you. Our article will not disappoint in helping you find the right theme from the get go.

4. Your Images Aren’t Compressed

It is normal for WordPress customers to want to have to have visually appealing websites. Images, are a very important feature to have. This, however, requires the addition of numerous ‘heavy’ files to your site and server. Larger file sizes imply slower loading times, which can become problematic if you utilize a lot of media.

Fortunately, you can optimize your photos and site speed by using lossless compression. Lossless compression enables you to create smaller files without sacrificing image quality. When done correctly, picture compression can result in a reduction of up to almost 2 seconds in loading times.

One simple plugin tool you can use for this task is called Smush Pro.

5. Minify CSS, HTML, JS, & other files

Computers operate more efficiently when they are not required to decipher lengthy, intricate codes. You may reduce the time it takes for your site to load by minifying all CSS, HTML, and JS files. There are numerous plugins that can assist you with this, most notably Hummingbird Pro

6. Your Site Isn’t Being Cached

When someone visits your website, their browser sends a request to your server, requesting access to the site’s files, which include all of the site’s graphics and scripts. Your pages almost certainly contain a significant amount of dynamic content, which takes longer to load than static information.

Caching is a technique for storing static copies of your website’s files in order to facilitate their retrieval. Without caching, response times are frequently slower because your server must reply to additional requests to retrieve information.

This is why it is highly recommended to use a WordPress caching plugin. There are several free choices available, including W3 Total Cache:

7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The term CDN refers to a content delivery network. These are a global network of servers (also known as POPs). They are designed to host and distribute static (and occasionally dynamic) material from your WordPress site, such as photos, CSS, JavaScript, and video streams.

To begin, you do not want to confuse a CDN with your WordPress host. These are completely distinct services. A CDN is not a substitute for your hosting provider, but rather an extra method of increasing your site’s speed.

How a CDN Operates:

How precisely does a CDN work? For instance, when you host your website with Bluehost or Sitegroud, you must select a physical data center location from the United States of America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, or South America.

Assume you select US East Coast Location. This signifies that your website is physically hosted in Washington D.C on a “host server.” When visitors from Europe visit your website, it will take longer to load than if they were from, say, Boston, MA

Why? Due to the fact that the data must travel a greater distance. This is referred to as latency. Latency is a term that refers to the time and/or delay associated with data transmission via a network. The greater the distance between two points, the larger the latency.

CDNs are classified into several categories. Two distinct types of content delivery networks exist:

1. CDN Traditional Pull

2. CDN Reverse Proxy

While traditional pull CDNs cache all of your content and media, the client still makes a direct request to your hosting provider. Traditional CDNs include KeyCDN and CDN77.

A reverse proxy CDN, on the other hand, is slightly different. While it functions similarly to a CDN, it intercepts all incoming requests and works as a middleman between the client and your host. Cloudflare and Sucuri are two instances of reverse proxy content delivery networks (CDNs). This is one of the reasons why you must direct your DNS to these services rather than your host.

The advantage of this is that, as an intermediary server, they can provide robust web application firewalls that assist in preventing malicious traffic from ever reaching your WordPress site or hosting provider. One disadvantage is that they incur some performance overhead when compared to a standard pull CDN. However, with the addition of performance and security features, this may be argued to be insignificant.

8. Cluttered WordPress database

To keep your WordPress site running on optimal speed, you need to regularly get rid off all the unnecessary clutter from your database. Spam comments, unused data, and content are just a few things you should delete every other day. You can use plugins to get this done efficiently without wasting hours on it yourself.

Using a Plugin like WP Rocket is a great way to keep your Database optimized.

Another Great Database Optimizing tools is called WP-Optimize and it has many other functionalities that are essential for speeding up a WordPress Site all bundled in one plugin.

9. If needed, use Lazy Loading

If your blog entries contain a large number of images, several video embeds, and photo galleries, your site may benefit from lazy loading.

Rather than downloading all of your photos and videos at once, lazy loading only downloads the ones that will be viewable on the user’s screen. It substitutes a placeholder image for all other photos and video embeds.

Your website loads graphics as the user scrolls down, which are now visible in the browser’s viewing area. You may use lazy loading to load photos, videos, and even comments and gravatars from WordPress.

You can use the Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin to load images, iframes, and videos slowly.

10. Premium DNS is Better Than Free DNS

DNS, an acronym for Domain Name System, is one of the most widely used yet misunderstood components of the web. Simply put, DNS aids in the direction of Internet traffic by associating domain names with actual web servers. Essentially, it converts a human-friendly request – such as – to a computer-friendly server IP address, such as

How DNS operates

You can choose between free and premium DNS. Through several vendors, one of which is Amazon Route 53

One of the primary reasons to use premium DNS is for its speed and reliability. It takes time to look up DNS records and redirect traffic, even if it is only a matter of milliseconds.

Typically, the free DNS provided by your domain name registrar is somewhat slow, but premium DNS frequently performs better. For example, in recent tests, it was discovered that the free NameCheap DNS service was 33 percent slower than the premium Amazon Route 53 DNS service. Additionally, premium DNS can provide increased security and availability, particularly during a DDoS attack.

You may verify your DNS lookup times using a tool such as SolveDNS speed test. Additionally, DNSPerf gives good performance data for all of the leading DNS providers.

Cloudflare DNS is a decent compromise between free DNS supplied by your domain registrar and premium DNS. It is a free service that retains many of the benefits of premium DNS. And they are lightning quick, with an average reaction time of less than 20 milliseconds worldwide.

11. Too many external links

Incorporating relevant external links into your content is an effective technique to improve it according to SEO standards. However, if you include an excessive number of external connections, your server will struggle to retrieve all associated data in a timely manner. Conduct an audit of your links and include just those that are only necessary for your SEO rating.

12. Don’t Upload Audio/Video Files Directly to WordPress

You can submit audio and video files straight to your WordPress site, and they will be displayed instantly in an HTML5 player…

However, you should NEVER do so!

Hosting music and video will incur bandwidth charges. Your web hosting business may charge you overage fees or even shut down your site entirely if your plan includes “unlimited” bandwidth.

Hosting huge media assets also significantly increases the size of your backups, making it more difficult to recover WordPress from backup.

Rather of that, you could utilize an audio and video hosting provider such as YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, or SoundCloud and let them handle the heavy lifting. They have the necessary bandwidth!

Because WordPress includes a built-in video embed capability, you can just copy and paste the URL of your movie into your article and it will instantly embed.

If you’re using WordPress to create a podcast website, we recommend the podcast hosting provider Blubrry for the greatest performance.

13. Don’t Use The Same Service More Than Once

With The Hyper-commercialization of WordPress, it is extremely common for new WordPress users to seek advice online.

Most WordPress references on the Web are motivated by profit, they push as many plugins as they can to make money.

Customers often purchase various plugins that offer the same functionalities such as caching, lazy loading, image optimization, security, backup, minification, CDN & Etc.

When users turn on the same functionalities from 2 or more different plugins, they experience a severe detrimental effect on their sites performance.

Online references are in the business of promoting and recommending as many plugins as possible to maximize their revenue. You as a consumer needs to be vigilant and do proper research and never turn on the same functionalities offered by various plugins more than once.

14. Disable Hotlinking and Leaching off your content

This Topic is for more experienced and advanced users. Modifying the htaccess file if not done correctly, can destroy access to your website. One extra space or character can render your website useless.

if you’re creating quality content on your WordPress site, then the sad truth is that it’ll probably get stolen sooner or later.

One way this happens is when other websites serve your images directly from their URLs on your website, instead of uploading them to their own servers. In effect, they’re stealing your web hosting bandwidth, and you don’t get any traffic to show for it.

Simply add this code to your .htaccess file to block hotlinking of images from your WordPress site.

#disable hotlinking of images with forbidden or custom image option

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www.)? [NC]

RewriteRule .(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,R,L]

Please note: change with your own domain name. Meaning the name of your website.

Article written by Mark Sayegh
Last Updated: 12/20/2021