Slow page loading speed not only affects your brand’s online reputation negatively but also lowers its SEO results. Thus, your website’s performance is very important for your brand’s success. Most researches show that if the loading of your website takes more than 2 seconds, %40-50 users will close the website, which means losing almost half of your visitors.
In some cases, it might be tricky to find the problem that causes the slow loading speed. If you are unsure about your website’s load speed, there are plenty of online benchmarks that allow you to test your website. Google’s PageSpeed Insights also provides a slightly detailed report about the issue. If you have a WordPress website with speed issues and can’t find the source of the problem, you may want to check these 7 simple steps to pinpoint the cause.
Hosting service provider
Your hosting service provider and the plan you have chosen is a major factor that affects your website’s performance. First, you should check if your server’s resources are enough for the website. If you are using a shared hosting service, other websites hosted on the server can be causing performance issues. The best solution to avoid this issue is to switch to a dedicated or VPS plan. You should also check your server for malware and attacks like DDoS. If you are sure that performance issues are caused by the service provider, you can always ask the support team to help you to pinpoint the problem.
If your visitors are geographically far from your server, the loading time increases. Content delivery networks eliminate this issue. It basically keeps a copy of your website in data centers located around the globe. When a visitor tries to reach your website, CDN lets the visitor connects to the closest data center. If your visitors are from different locations around the world, CDN is a necessity for your website’s success. Some of the most popular CDNs are:
The theme you chose is a huge part of your WordPress website, not only visually but also technically. You should always avoid cracked themes. Those themes won’t get any updates and might even have malicious codes hidden inside. Most theme creators are also providing support for their customers to overcome technical issues. You should also look for a lightweight theme if it suits your needs. More features included in the theme will need more resources and it will cause slower load speeds. Customers’ reviews about the themes you are interested in can be helpful.
When someone visits your website, its computer downloads all the page and its contents. If the page includes multiple images with large file sizes, it will take longer to download those images. To avoid this, you can change the format of your images’ file format, resolution, optimize them to have a smaller file size, or you can split long posts into multiple pages. There are also online services to lower your images’ file size.
Your website’s database includes all the content of your website on the server. Naturally, its size gets larger with every new content. Keeping its size to the minimum not only improves the performance but also lets you get backups faster. To reduce its size, you can delete spam comments, drafts, fake or inactive users, and plugins. There are multiple plugins to help you clean up your WordPress database. Some of these plugins are:
You can also optimize your database from the phpMyAdmin page. In the list of databases, you’ll see some tables with numeric values in the overhead column, which indicates that they can be optimized. You can select those tables and click “optimize table” from the drop-down menu to optimize them. This can take several minutes depending on the tables’ sizes. From the same menu, you can also repair corrupted tables.
Too many plugins
Plugins are vital for WordPress websites. However, they also require resources and increase file sizes. The only solution is to get rid of all the unnecessary plugins installed. Make sure that you only install the plugins that you need. Most plugins also offer various features. So instead of installing multiple plugins for various features, you can try to find one plugin to cover them all. You can also try finding out which plugin is slowing down your computer, by disabling them one by one.
Caching basically reduces the required resources to generate page views. Depending on its settings, caching determines which files to be stored on the disk or RAM. This feature allows it to remember and duplicate the same content which has been served in the past. WordPress caching plugins takes care of adding caching rules to the website elements easily. Combining these plugins with advanced caching mechanisms can improve your WordPress website’s performance drastically. Some of the most popular WordPress caching plugins are: