Why is my WordPress site so slow? – How to fix?

Like the say, a site that takes too long to load doesn’t care a dime about users’ time.Once you’ve purchased your WordPress account or website, you’d expect it to perform seamlessly with minimum maintenance – However, this is usually not the case. Over a period of time, websites often experience unprecedented down times.

We’ve put together a list of issues and fixes for WordPress site performance.

My WordPress website works fairly well on laptops and desktops. Why am I seeing hang/crash issues on mobile and tablet devices?

Looks like your WordPress site is not device-optimized. Our article about mobile optimization gives an overview of its benefits.

The fix: Enter device optimization. First off, determine what percentage of users might be accessing or transacting with your website on mobile devices. If this number is greater than 40%, it is advisable to switch to WordPress theme and plugins that are 100% device-optimized.

So how exactly device optimization help? You may find websites like https://imdb.com redirect to their mobile-optimized URL, https://m.imdb.com/ on mobile. The optimized site probably runs only a few plugins and widgets (as compared to its desktop peer) to keep up with the device’s performance. Ads or heavy images are almost always eliminated from the mobile-optimized sites.

My WordPress site is new and there’s hardly any content. Why is it then extremely slow to load?

Your WordPress theme should be sensitive to website performance:

  • Is your WordPress theme bulky or over-engineered?
  • Did you choose a free WordPress theme and then realize that it was poorly coded?

In both cases, script execution time is much longer, thereby impacting website performance.

The fix: Choose a different WordPress theme. It is advisable to read reviews on WordPress or on our website carefully before finalizing a theme. If it is too late for you to change the theme, consider deploying other WordPress plugins that boost site performance.

My WordPress website was performing well in the past, but is now facing sudden down times. Why?

Sudden performance glitches could be due to several reasons as follows:

  • Did you recently install any new plugin on your WordPress site that might have caused performance issues?
  • Did you add a new widget that with extra features?
  • Are any of your plugins or widgets out-dated or no longer maintained by the developers?
  • Is there a spam or malware attack on your website? Have you noticed any suspicious comments or ping-backs on your articles?
  • Is your web hosting server facing a downtime due to maintenance?

The fix: From your WordPress Plugin Manager, enable and disable plugins and widgets one by one, and then verify website speed using web tools like WP Engine Speed Tool. If specific plugins or widgets might have been your performance-killers, take them down for some time or find better alternatives. You can also report a bug to the developers from within your WordPress site.

Unless you are a plugin developer yourself who knows to fix custom issues, it is best to choose WordPress plugins and widgets with over 4-star ratings and excellent user reviews. A handy tip is to check how many other users have downloaded the plugin – 30000 or more active users indicate that the plugin works pretty well. Also look at the last updated date – is it more than a year since update? As a general rule,disable all out-dated plugins and regularly update all actively supported plugins.

Spam or malware attacks require immediate attention. Schedule maintenance on your website; run a thorough scan; remove or block any suspicious comments and ping-backs; and clean up your repository. Contact your web hosting server if you suspect server crash due to down times or malware attacks.

Text loads quickly, but images take about 3-4 minutes. Why?

Again, there are several troubleshooting points for this issue:

  • Are you using images of very high resolution?
  • Are you using the same image resolution for desktop and mobile devices?
  • Do you have redundant images in your Media Library?
  • Are you using fancy widgets, like a carousel, on your website?
  • Are you using bulkier image formats (like .png) instead of lighter formats (like .jpg)?

The fix: The deal with images is simple – using lighter formats like .jpg significantly reduce the Media Library size. Re-use images if you need to – regularly clean up any dupes in the Media Library. Invest in a plugin that caches various resolutions and thumbnails of the image and picks up the most relevant resolution as per the device and screen size. Avoid fancy widgets, unless you are sure that it doesn’t affect performance. Also find a good caching tool or plugin which saves snapshots of your pages and images for quick loading on browsers.

These are some of the reasons why your WordPress site may be slow. Dotry these fixes and let us know in the comments below.