Why Is My Website Slow?

A slow website is a serious problem.

60% of your potential customers will wait 3 seconds for your website to load. After that, you’ve lost them.

Where did they go? To a website that loads faster!

That’s if you even showed up in the results in the first place..

Page speed is a critical factor when it comes to ranking your website higher on Google’s search engine results. A slow page is not good SEO and a worse User Experience.

So, if your website is slow then you are either not showing up in front of your potential customers, or turning them away. Here we’ll list the most common reasons for WordPress Websites to load slowly, and how to fix it.

The most common reasons your WordPress site is slow to load are:

  1. Poor Quality Shared Hosting
  2. No Caching System
  3. You’re letting your host deliver all your content
  4. Your images are too big
  5. Your technology is out of date
  6. You’re running to many plugins

Google gives preferential treatment to websites that load quickly.

Neil Patel

How to Fix a Slow WordPress Website

1. Use a Great Host

Cheap hosting is a false economy. €5 a month web hosting is never going to be reliably fast because you are sharing your websites ability to handle traffic with countless other websites. If your neighbours website is super busy, your websites performance suffers as a result.

The pricing difference between bad hosts and amazing hosts is very little in the grand scheme of things.

Some great web hosts we recommend are:

Great Web Host 1: WP Engine

These guys are cream of the crop. Everything is fine-tuned and geared up for WordPress sites, and nothing more. If you care enough about your WordPress site and its security, load times, and reliability to spend €30 a month on it, then there is no one better than WP Engine.

Always keeping up to date with cutting edge hardware and an industry-leading software layer built especially for WordPress, WP Engine are the go-to company for hosting WordPress Websites.

24/7 support with Irish engineers, an amazing set of administration tools, and some really friendly and knowledgable support staff who are very rarely needed.

Great Web Host 2: Hosting Ireland

If €30 a month is too steep for your current situation, and you want something more all-encompassing (domains, emails etc) then Hosting Ireland are the ones for you. We host a multitude of websites with Hosting Ireland and have always been impressed with the performance, reliability, and support.

Some web hosts we know from experience that you should avoid are:

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Bluehost
  3. Hostgator
  4. Host Monster

2. Cache Your Website (A WordPress Essential)

WordPress websites are dynamic. This means every time a page is loaded on your website, it retrieves the same information from your servers every time it loads, format that information, and render it our for your sites visitors.

This involves a lot of steps, and puts pressure on your website and hosting environment.

Caching goes and fetches this information for you in advance, and saves it. This means it only needs to make the trip once in a while, instead of every time every page loads.

Good caching can make your website load incredibly quickly vs a site with no caching.

We love WP Engines built-in caching, and we love it even more when it’s paired with the WP Rocket plugin and Cloudflare Content Delivery Network.

Speaking of Content Delivery Networks…

3. Use a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is essentially a network of really powerful, high speed servers distributed around the globe.

When you use a CDN, many of your websites “static” files like images, javascript files etc, are sent directly to your users from the server closest to them.

4. Optimise Your Images

The next most common cause of a slow website is large images. A switch to a better web host and a pass optimising websites images usually significantly speeds up a website.

One of the simplest ways to make your images smaller is by compressing them. By doing this you can cut image sizes in half.

If you use WordPress, and your images are already in your websites media folder, then an image compression plugin is the way to go.

Here at Upfront Digital we love using the Smush plugin for its simplicity. Its easy to use, and it does it all for you in the background.

5. Stay Updated

An out of date plugin or theme could have an exploit or bug in it that is grinding your site to a halt! Make sure you keep everything updated.

If your site is slow and you can’t get to the bottom of it, we’ve got some WordPress Speed Optimization Specialists here at Upfront Digital to help you out, just get in touch now!

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About The Author

Picture of Marc Murray

Marc Murray

Marc is our lead designer, and regularly writes about design, marketing and everything else Upfront gets up to.

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