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Why Is Your WordPress Site Loading Slow?

March 31st, 2017

Optimizing the loadtime of your website is important as a slow loading website loses users and frustrates those that don’t leave altogether. Google also factors site speed into its rankings. If you’ve noticed your website is loading slow, here is what I recommend:

1. Run your website through a tool like GTMetrix.

I personally recommend using GTMetrix or Pingdom to get an idea of what might be behind your slow load versus something like Google PageSpeed Insights. However, any tool will give you an idea of what could use further optimization within your site.

2. Evaluate your host.

If any of the page speed tools are showing a slow server response, it may be worth evaluating your choice of hosting company and making the leap to a better host. If you want your site to load blazing fast, but you’re only willing to pay for the lowest tier of shared hosting available on economy hosts, there is a disconnect there. There are WordPress managed hosts who optimize their servers for excellent WordPress performance such as Kinsta (I host my own site here), Flywheel and WP Engine (note: affiliate links but genuine recommendations, visit the sites directly to check them out, if preferred!)

3. Utilize optimization tools.

Especially if you aren’t utilizing a managed host that has built-in optimization features like a site cache and similar, utilization of some great WordPress tools out there can boost your site loadtime. Two that I personally recommend are Imagify for image optimization and WP-Rocket for overall site optimization. Neither are free but both add value to where their minimal cost is well worth the investment. Use of those tools will help you boost your site speed considerably.

4. Clean house.

I’ve seen WordPress projects that could use a bit of house cleaning. Things like multiple plugins that offer the same functionality where only one is actively being used and the others never were deactivated and deleted out. Get rid of those! Plugins often add stylesheets and scripts to your site’s front-end so there is no reason to take on these additions! Optimizing your WordPress database by deleting old revisions can also be beneficial. There are numerous WordPress database optimization plugins in the repository. Like with any database change, it’s highly recommended to make a full site backup before doing anything here, just in case! But you’re already backing up your WordPress website regularly, right?!

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