As a website owner, it is important to look at your website from a user’s perspective. Is your website loading quickly? How long would you be willing to wait for a website to load?
In a time when everything needs to happen instantly, it is no surprise that most people abandon any website that takes too long to load.
If you are checking out your WordPress website and find yourself asking why it is loading so slowly you can bet that there have been users on your page questioning the very same thing and could be causing you to lose traffic.
In this piece, we look at the reason why a WordPress website may be loading slowly and how to solve this issue quickly to improve the website’s speed.
What Is Considered Slow For Websites?
To maintain users on your site it would need to be loading within 2 seconds.
If it takes any longer the user’s patience will go and they will simply abandon the website and carry on to a competitor’s website instead, which can severely impact a site’s traffic.
If you want to check how slow the loading time is on your website you can use speed measurement tools such as GTMetrix, Pingdom, or WebPageTest.
These tools will highlight the average loading time for your site and they also highlight why this is happening to your WordPress site which can help you to fix the issue faster.
Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Is Running Slow
If you have noticed that your WordPress is running slow and you have checked using one of the speed measurement tools mentioned above for clarification now it’s time to look at the most common reasons for this so you can troubleshoot your way out of slow loading and get your traffic back to what it used to be.
1. Hidden Malware Within The Website
Malware threats can hide within WordPress sites and not be detected for days, weeks, or months.
These malware threats can severely impact your website’s loading speed and often it isn’t until you notice a dip in your traffic that you realize there is an issue.
Malware slows a site by consuming the bandwidth and too many server resources.
2. Too Many Plugins Running
With a huge selection of plugins available for everything, you could possibly need it is easy to get carried away and end up installing too many plugins which of course will eventually impact the loading speed of your site.
The issue with too many plugins is that it is likely that not all of them have been optimized for performance.
Any plugin you add to your site should be optimized for both security and performance to boost speed and prevent malware from getting through the firewall unnoticed.
If you aren’t using cache plugins this can be another reason why your website is loading slowly.
These plugins will help repeat users see the same version of a website each time they visit which means there are lesser server resources needed to load the page and improves the speed of a webpage.
3. Poor Web Host
If you are saving money using a cheap hosting plan from a poor web host this will impact the loading speed of your website.
When there are too many websites being hosted by a single shared server each of these websites may have owners saving money but the load speed of each site will also be affected.
4. Images Are Not Optimized
If you want an aesthetic website you may have hundreds of images and this is likely the reason your website is loading slowly, especially if the images have not been optimized.
High-resolution images may look great but they are vampires that suck the life out of loading speeds on any site.
If these scripts and codes are not necessary or not optimized then they are likely blocking your website from loading faster and causing a huge delay in the loading process.
6. Running Too Many External Scripts
As a website owner, there is a fine line between optimizing your website not enough and too much.
While scripts and external links are hugely beneficial to Search Engine Optimization(SEO) which in turn benefits your Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) ranking but they can also be harming your website’s loading speed.
Too many external links and scripts require a lot of bandwidth to load and if the user trying to access your website does not have this level of bandwidth the speed of your website will suddenly become extremely slow.
7. Not Utilizing Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
CDNs are a coalition of multiple servers that are placed in different locations around the globe.
These networks store a copy of your website content so that your site can be accessed quicker by the closest user.
This is particularly important to use if you have a website that has users spread across the globe.
How To Fix A Slow Running WordPress Website
Below are five suggestions that are great for troubleshooting slow loading issues with a WordPress website.
1. Check Out Your Plugins
Make sure you check out the plugins you plan to use before installing them to ensure that they are optimized for great speed.
Buying plugins from reputable developers and from within the WordPress plugin repository will aid with finding good quality plugins.
2. Pick A Decent Web Host
Using a shared host or a cheap host can be a cause for slow loading.
The best way to resolve this is to change to a managed hosting platform that offers users dedicated server resources to ensure good website speeds.
3. Optimize Website Images
Images should be compressed as this can benefit the load time. Optimized image formats such as JPG and PNG should be used for all website images.
You can use tools such as Otimole and ImageOptim to optimize your images without affecting the image quality.
4. Use Lazy Loading
This is a technique that has been shown to defer loading on non-critical web page elements which helps to improve the loading efficiency of a site.
Lazy load plugins such as Lazy Lod by WP Rocket or Smush are great and compatible with WordPress websites.
5. Update WordPress Core, Themes & Plugins
Ensure you are not using an outdated version of WordPress as this can affect a site’s load time.
Update everything to the latest version and also update the Core WordPress and plugins and themes to avoid possible issues with compatibility.
Using lightweight themes can also help solve slow loading issues. Themes such as Astra and GeneratePress are great for speeding up the speed of a WordPress site.
We hope that you have been able to solve what is causing your problems with the slow loading speed on your WordPress website.
Try implementing our suggestions and we are sure you will notice a difference in your site’s load time within hours of initiating the suggested fixes.
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