If your business WordPress website is slow, then you’ve got real trouble!
Internet users have very little patience to dispense when surfing the net, and when they visit your business website, and it refuses to pick up in seconds, then they’ll bounce out! As a result, you will lose visitors, customers and ultimately record low sales on your products!
To make matters worse, Google will penalize your website for crawling when others are flying. And not Google alone; other search engines inclusive. Well, this is because site speed is now a ranking factor!
But, how fast should a website load?
It is estimated that your website must not take more than three seconds to load – or two for e-commerce websites – if you want to keep your customers around. According to Google, about 53% of potential visitors will not exceed three seconds of visiting a website before jumping on the next train if it refuses to load. And with 10 seconds load-time, there is a 90% possibility that the visitors will leave and never return.
So, the load speed of your website will either make or break your online business!
A study has shown that with just a second increase in your website’s speed, you can improve your revenue by at least 7%!
So, you want to speed up your slow WordPress site and improve its performance. Let’s first understand why your WordPress site may be so slow.
Here are the top reasons why your WordPress Site will be Slow
- Using bad or poor-quality hosting. Primarily using a hosting type that cannot match the level of traffic and activity going on, on your site will cause speed problems.
- Not using a caching plugin. Cache plugins help WordPress websites work more efficiently and speed up the load time. Not harnessing cache plugins that can boost your page load time may cause poor SEO ranking.
- No CDN in place. When your site begins to get very busy with heavy traffic, or you have huge geographically distanced visitors to where the server is located, they may experience poor site load time without CDN.
- Pages too fat. Your images are not compressed, or you haven’t optimized the pages of the site.
- Not using HTTPS. HTTP is slower and less secure. In fact, it has become a ranking factor on Google search.
- Old PHP version. Sticking to older versions of PHP can cause poor load time on your website. Another issue is if the version of PHP you are using is outdated.
- Database bloat or related issues. Plugins you do not use, and themes with unneeded codes can be unnecessary bloat.
- Out of date plugins. Poor or outdated plugins can pose a security risk to your site and slow down its performance drastically.
- Out of disk space or resources on your hosting. If you are on a shared server, you’ll often be limited by server resources, which can affect your site speed.
Finding out the cause of your website being slow can be challenging, especially when you are not tech-savvy. But significant reasons for your website’s slow speed are very likely due to a combination of the stated factors.
To fix these issues, you should opt for a faster hosting platform, use an efficient cache plugin, optimize your pages, switch to HTTPS, update your plugins and remove inactive ones, increase server resources available to your site, among others.
How To Fix Your Slow Loading WordPress Website
Check out the quick checklist for fixing a slow business WordPress site below. Each section has been further expanded in the article.
- Use better hosting
- Use caching
- Use a CDN
- Compress Your Images
- Use lazy loading
- Use HTTPS
- Use PHP7
- Update your plugins
- Optimize your database
- Disable anything you’re not using
1. Use Better Hosting
Your choice of hosting provider matters a lot to your site’s overall success.
Some fast WordPress hosts we’ll recommend if you are indeed serious about succeeding in your business are CloudWave seaways.net., Siteground, Cloudways, WPX Hosting, and Kinsta.
CloudWave seaways.net. – It comes with a fusion of simplicity and performance – you can bank on this hosting service anytime! Another top-level quality is their affordability, at just $2, $3, $5 per month, and with multiple locations around the globe, you’ll enjoy their fast and stable services..
Siteground – trusted by about 3 million domains for its top speed, guaranteed security features, affordability, and 24/7 expert support, you’ll enjoy everything a web host needs to succeed.
WP Engine – trusted by over 1.5million websites, it offers high speed, top-level security, and 24/7 support. Its scalability is unmatched, and developer tools are robust.
Kinsta – hosting is responsive and fast with very nice features. One of the most appealing is their customer service. They are ever-present when you need help.
WPX Hosting – think of a complete package for an online entrepreneur; WPX hosting offers free high-speed CDN, SSLs, and super-fast 24/7 support. It has pretty easy-to-use features whether you are kick-starting a new project or considering an upgrade. It is affordable, and data centers are located in UK and US.
Ensure that whatever hosting provider you are considering must be such that it is not located far from your customers or visitors. It is much better if the site is located in the same country where most of your customers are residents.
Why must you have good hosting service?
Hosting is critical to the performance and security of your business. Some of the advantages of an excellent hosting service provider include.
i. High speed and response time
Google has earlier mentioned that site speed is one of the crucial factors that determine its ranking. People are looking for answers, and they want it real quick. So, with a site that takes forever to provide solutions, you’ll lose out to your competitors even if your contents are the best answers.
Ii. Top-level technical support
As a business owner, you already know that customer support is essential to retaining your customers. With an excellent hosting service provider, even when you are not technically inclined, your provider will work as a member of your team.
iii. Guaranteed website security
With all your site’s data stored with a hosting provider, several layers of security must be put in place to prevent attacks on your website. A quality host will be unbeatable when it comes to security.
Iv. Domain-associated email address
With a reliable hosting service provider, you will be able to create your desired domain email address.
2. Use Caching
Caching is a data storage layer with high-speed that stores a subset of data – typically transient – so that it can be quickly retrieved when future requests are made for that data than is possible by accessing its storage base. With caching, you can efficiently reuse data that has been previously generated.
The primary purpose of caching is to speed up data retrieval performance by cutting down on the need to access data through the underlying slower storage layer. Generally, data is stored in quick access hardware like Random Access Memory (RAM) which may be used with a software component.
WordPress users must consider harnessing caching plugins to increase their site speed. With it, you’ll be able to prebuild each page on your website and have all the required processing done before the page is requested from your server.
WP Rocket is one of the most effective caching plugin on the web. It currently boasts of over 1.6 million active installations and is very likely one of the easiest to use on the market. The premium cache plugin instantly reduces load time and speeds up WordPress sites when installed. Prospective users who are less tech-savvy will have no issue using it.
W3 Total Cache is a free alternative to WP Rocket. While you do not have to do any paid subscription to use this plugin, less techy people may have difficulty configuring it. However, if you use it, enable the Browser and Page caching options.
You can install the Memcached or Redis on your server and activate Object caching on the W3 Total Cache plugin as a developer. This approach would give you a huge win, and you’ll see a significant improvement in performance on heavy database operations, especially in the backend.
Web hosts like CloudWave seaways.net., Siteground, WP Engine, and Cloudways have cache already configured in their system, which is a bonus to their prospective users for added site speed. However, please do not fall into the temptation of activating; two caching plugins, as they can cause problems for your website.
3. Use a CDN
Content Delivery Network (CDN) boosts site speed through content caching in diverse locations globally. It is a secret to the success rates of many websites. Many of the big names such as Netflix and YouTube leverage this medium to boost their sites’ efficiency.
CDN caching servers have Points of Presence (PoPs) in areas situated closer to their visitors or users than that of the web hosting providers. It is a way of delivering content to prospective users through caching servers that have been located in different areas across countries of the world.
PoPs are data centers with two primary goals. They contain one copy of your website pages in caching files and store the files. And two, they interact with users based on the location provided on the map because the closer the travel of data, the faster it delivers. So, this can help site owners serve content to their visitors faster in any part of the world.
So, as a business WordPress website owner with audiences located around the world or that experiences traffic spikes, you can leverage CDN to absorb the traffic, improve SERP ratings and ultimately offer your users a better experience on your site.
4. Optimize & Compress Your Images
Most beginner bloggers start a blog without optimizing them for the web. These images can become huge and slow down the performance of your website. Fix this by compressing the images new and old photos on your site,
You can often compress your site images by up to 50% without resulting in any poor picture quality. There are quite a vast number of image compression plugins available on the internet, and ShortPixel is one excellent option we’ll recommend.
For maximum results, the image file format could either be in JPEG, PNG, or GIF.
Image dimensions (width and height) and compression (Higher compression = smaller file size). By combining them appropriately, you’ll be able to reduce the site image by 50% or more.
5. Use Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is a system of deferring the loading of page resources that are non-critical when viewing a page. The resources are instead delayed till they are needed. For instance, when you scroll down a page, they’ll load lazily and help to reduce page size significantly.
When you open a web page and start scrolling through the contents, you get to a point where you scroll a placeholder image into the viewport. The final image suddenly takes the position of the placeholder image. This method of page loading helps to save time and provide content in good time to users.
There are different ways you can implement lazy-loading. The browsers you support and the pages you are trying to lazy-load will determine the solution that will work for you. Modern browsers support lazy-loading on browser-level lazy loading and enable loading attributes on iframes and images.
6. Use HTTPS
If your site currently uses HTTP, then consider switching to the HTTPS secure protocol. This mode is significantly faster than the HTTP 1.1 protocol.
Google had already stated that sites that use HTTPS encrypted connections would rank higher on their search engine. This means that it should be considered for SEO benefits. In addition, it helps browsers to access pages through the newer and faster protocol. But with HTTP unencrypted pages, they’ll constantly get bugged by error messages of how the pages are not secure.
Also, HTTP 1.1 requires that you make a hundred connections to the webserver if you download a page with one hundred things to download. This method makes page loading slow. HTTP2 allows you to download all files in a connection through just one connection that you make.
If you are not using HTTP2, you’d better migrate to it for a better user experience for your users – most cheap hosts are not likely to offer you access to the feature.
7. Use PHP 7
PHP has different newer versions, and each older version runs slower than its newer counterparts which also uses less memory and can process faster. In essence, if you stick to an older PHP, your site will lose out on speed. You could move to PHP 7.
But there is a PHP 8 version with some notable features such as a JIT compiler to improve performance, union types, nullsafe operator, error handling, attributes, and consistency. PHP code is directly executed on the server and is widely used by most web servers, including Yahoo, Wikipedia, and WordPress.
8. Update Your Plugins
There are often tendencies to forget about some active plugins which may have gone out of date and may be causing WordPress slow speed. Sometimes, some of these old plugins aren’t compatible longer with the new version of WordPress and can cause problems to your site.
Deactivate plugins you don’t use, and delete any that you are not going to need. Having fewer plugins is healthier for the overall speed-health of your site. Take caution with plugins that load elements from third-party websites to yours. Plugins that insert marketing codes, analytics codes, or live chat codes could slow down the performance of your website.
9. Optimize Your Database
WordPress database stores pages, blogs, posts, comments, links, forms, post types, website settings, plugins, themes, portfolio items, and everything else from your website, and as you continue to create content and use more functionalities, your database will expand. It may become more difficult for the server to retrieve information from your database tables.
You can improve your site’s performance again by optimizing your database and eliminating outdated and unnecessary information on the platform. Ensure to do this often to keep your site performing optimally.
You can manually optimize your WordPress site through PHPMyAdmin via your hosting provider. You will log in to cPanel first, open the PHPMyAdmin tool, and access your Databases. Choose the database you would like to optimize and check to optimize all tables
10. Disable Anything You’re Not Using
Stockpiling plugins will clutter up your site and create lag. Check for posts, images, and other content that are no longer relevant. If you don’t need them, then delete them completely!