You have geared up your WordPress website with an awesome design, amazing content, well-thought services, a prompt response system, stunning images, and up-to-date fonts and styles…. But every time a viewer tries to open your website, it takes ages to open up. Is it, not a perfect way to put off the reader? In this fast-paced world, patience is rare, and more over the first thing a user wants is a smooth interface, a smooth access to your website right? If you are battling a super slow website, this article is just meant for you. Follow the very useful suggestions.
Why does your WordPress website slow down?
It is important to understand the reasons that pull your WordPress website down. Understanding them is a sure shot way to get rid of the trouble as quickly as possible. So let us look at the reasons here:
- Is your website loaded up with way too many plugins? Yeah, plugins are too fascinating and they definitely add an edge to your website, but using too many of them can slow down your website.
- Does your WordPress theme call for an update? Yeah, this can be another reason behind this unwanted issue.
- Website caching clashes with third-party caching can also land you in slow performance of your website.
- Sometimes the content loading from an offsite source can pull the speed of your website to slow down.
- Is your website burdened with way too many heavy images, photographs, vector images, and so on? This is another culprit behind the slow loading of your website.
- Another reason behind this trouble is malware infection.
- Some ad services can also slow down the loading of your WordPress website.
Now that you have got a glimpse of the possible causes, let us not waste any time and straight away jump to the solutions.
Before we fix the unusual slow loading of your WordPress website pages:
How slow is your website?
Sometimes our excitement for our website makes things appear to be slower, as we just want an instant everything to match our excitement. And sometimes the case is genuine that your website is genuinely slow. So how should we decide upon that? Well, here is a smart way to calculate that:
Speed test for your website:
Internet presents several highly useful free tools to check the speed of your website. All you need to do is to paste the URL of your website into the address section of the online testing tool and get the results. Yes, it is that simple!
Some of the useful online tools are given below:
Tools like the above, offer you a good review of your website speed performance. Some of them even suggest the causes that are keeping your website slow. And sometimes they suggest tips that can rescue you from the problem. They suggest tips like:
- Removal of query string from the static resources.
- Optimizing the browser caching.
- Advice on combing external CSS.
Now that you have the speed test results in your hands but you are still wondering how you should use those results to solve the problem. Well, what are we here for? Here is how you can decipher the results:
If your score is above 70 or 80, it means your WordPress website is doing just fine. But if the score is lower, we have issues to worry about.
In case your website scored any less than 70, then, in that case, the rest of this article will surely help you out. Please move on to the troubleshooting section of this article.
How to troubleshoot the slow loading of the pages on your WordPress website?
In this section we will touch all the possible causes and for every cause we will suggest you ways to fix the issue. All you need to do is to follow the instructions carefully and with patience. So let us start!
Solution 1: Let us inspect the plugins of your WordPress website:
What happens sometimes is that we get too engaged in using various types of plugins on our website which results in a heavily loaded website. Not that you should use very less plugins, but you must use well-coded ones. Good plugins will always have the following traits:
- They are coded well.
- They are up to date.
- They use less memory.
- They don’t load duplicate assets on your website.
- They don’t send too many requests to your database.
One good example of a good plugin for checking the plugin issues in your website is ‘P3 Plugin Profiler’ plugin. Here is what you should do:
- Install the ‘P3 Plugin Profiler’ plugin.
- Upon activation, open the ‘Tools’ section.
- Now you need to run the ‘Auto Scan’ function.
- After the scan you will be suggested the required measures that need to be taken.
Tips for plugins:
- Get rid of all the plugins that you are not currently using on your website.
- Please make sure that the plugins are up to date. You can do so in the following ways:
- Go to ‘Dashboard’ on your WordPress Admin section.
- Click on ‘Updates.’
- You should remove the plugins that are making your website heavy unnecessarily.
Stay at bay from these plugins:
- Cybersyn, Uploadify,
- Display widgets,
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin,
- W3 Total Cache,
- WP-Live-chat-software-for- WordPress.
The list is too long to mention every plugin here, but all we want to suggest is to avoid dodgy plugins.
Solution 2: Let us look at the WP themes Updates:
It is always recommended to keep the themes of your WordPress website always up to date. You can easily check any update that is required, in the following ways:
- Open the ‘admin’ section of your WordPress website.
- Now open the ‘Dashboard’.
- Here you will be notified if there is any pending update to be made.
Solution 3: You should switch off the external caching:
- Although website caches are very useful, bust sometimes there occurs a clash between the usual cache which is enabled on your website and a cache from a third party. This clash makes your website very slow.
- You should clear the already enabled caching plugin on your website. Then you should deactivate it to finally delete it.
- You should then install a fresh caching plugin from a safe online source.
Solution 4: Lighten up the offsite content weight
Therefore you should use WP-friendly plugins. If you are set on using a particular plugin, and it is causing you a slow loading of your website, in that case you can check with the plugin authors and work with them on the response time of the plugin in the following ways:
- Open the ‘Plugins’ section of your website.
- Then click on ‘Add New’ option.
- Now go to ‘View Plugin Site’ option, to contact the author of the plugin.
If you wish to handle things on your own then you can take care of the following suggestions:
- Using a direct link of the things like images, videos, photographs, GIFs, animations etc in your WordPress website is a sure way to drag the speed of your website. Instead, you should first download such useful content to your computer first. Then upload it to the Media Library of your WordPress website.
- Some ad services can also slow down the loading of your WordPress website. Therefore you should get rid of such ads.
- A smart way to handle the speed of your website is to avoid putting more than one video per page. The idea is to keep the pages of your website light and efficient.
- You should closely inspect the social media widgets.
Solution 5: Let us optimize images:
We understand that the high resolution images are wonderful to look at. But not everywhere you require a high heavy file. No matter how wonderful the images that you are using on your WordPress website, if they are heavy files, they are definitely contributing to the slow loading of the pages of your website. In such a case what you should be taking care of are the following points:
- You can try optimizing the images. This reduces the file size and thus helps your website to speed up.
- Every time you upload an image, make sure the size of the file is optimal.
- If you edit images in software such as Photoshop, or Illustrator before uploading them on your website, you should make sure that you save the files with the option ‘Save for web.’ This takes care of the file size.
- Usually a file size of 60 in a .jpg format is good enough for uploading it on your website while not at all compromising on the quality of the image.
- Images usually work fine with dimensions 2000px wide. You really don’t need to exceed that.
- Make it a practice that you convert the GIF to PNG excluding the circumstances when there is an animated image involved or if it uses very less bytes.
- You should get rid of the alpha channel when the pixels are opaque. You can follow this for both GIF and PNG files.
- If you require to handle the image optimization directly on the server, then you can make use of plugins such as ‘Photonmodule’. You can do so by installing the plugin by clicking ‘Add New’ option in the ‘Plugin’ section of your WordPress Dashboard. It is a speedy and effective way out. This a useful plugin for high-resolution files.
- If you are handling too many images, and high resolution is not the major concern then in that case you can make use of plugins like: ‘Imsanity.’ It helps in limiting the file size and thus it helps in speeding up your website.
Solution 6: Let us inspect the configuration from the Server- Side:
- If the plugins are not the issue, and still the speed of the website is still lagging, in that case, there is a high possibility that the issue lies at the server side end. It may also involve issues such as malware infection.
- You should contact the service provider for your website in such a scenario to get the issue sorted.
Solution 7: Is the internet speed an issue?
The internet speed is a very basic cause, but definitely it can affect the loading of the pages of our WordPress website. You should do the following to resolve this issue:
- You can try restarting your router to refresh the internet connection.
- If you have placed the router near the signal emitting devices such as microwaves, cell phones, and other routers, they may affect the internet signals of your desired network. Therefore you should keep the router is a clear space.
- Have you placed your computer or laptop or mobile far off from the router? Well, routers have a range of coverage. If you are far away from the internet source, there are chance you will find difficulty in loading the pages of your website.
- If all the points are already covered, then you should contact your internet service provider to increase the speed.
By following the above list of solutions you can see a noticeable change in the speed of your website. You should make it a practice to test the speed of your WordPress website once in a while so that minor issues can’t grow into major matters.
Terry White is a professional technical writer, WordPress developer, Web Designer, Software Engineer, and Blogger. He strives for pixel-perfect design, clean robust code, and a user-friendly interface. If you have a project in mind and like his work, feel free to contact him