9 Reasons Why Your WordPress Site is Slow and What to do About It

Most websites are created to either provide helpful information or sell a product or service. But they have one goal in mind: to increase traffic and grow their followers. Website owners can accomplish this by designing a good website and providing relevant content to the readers.

While content marketing is imperative, speed can also immensely affect website traffic. The recommended page load time is less than 2 seconds for a user to stay on your site. When it takes more than that, expect the user to leave. If your WordPress site isn’t consistent with speed, you will lose conversions.

So, why is my WordPress site so slow? This is one of the questions web owners ask when the aforementioned facts are laid out. What causes websites to load slowly depends on several factors. Below are some of the common reasons why it takes longer for your WordPress site to load. In lieu of it, we have also provided simple solutions on how to remedy them.


1. Website Image Issues


Large image files contribute a lot to your WordPress Site’s speed. Extra-large photos may look great but they are not ideal especially when viewed on mobile devices. Photos attract readers but speed also matters to them.


To rectify this, do not publish images with more than a DPI of 72 or your page load time will be affected.

In addition, a WordPress Smush plugin can immensely help. As much as possible, upload images that are just enough for your page. Compressing images to just the right size, ideally the one mentioned above, will speed up your WordPress site.

2. Unnecessary Plugins


The right plugins can help you increase traffic and grow your audience. They are excellent for customizing your site and making it more user-friendly. However, too many plugins are one of the reasons why a WordPress website can be slow to respond.


One of the solutions to this problem is to replace plugins with a coding option or a lighter plugin. Keep between 5-10 plugins on your website. That should be enough to manage your website’s speed.

3. Not Enough Hosting


When server response time for WordPress is slow, your page load times suffer. This could be due to the type of hosting you signed up for or your web host is limiting the speed they give you. Another reason that your WordPress page is loading slow can be attributed to the distance between your website server and the visitor’s server. This is important because the further the two servers are, the more time is taken by servers to respond to each other . Keep in mind that a WordPress site running slow isn’t good for business. You won’t be able to win more users and conversions with slow page load times.


To fix a slow WordPress site, get a dedicated server especially when your website receives a lot of traffic. Shared hosting may be cheaper but you will be sharing it with thousands of other websites.

Additionally, consider getting a server close to where you are selling a product or a service, or where your target audience is located.

4. Too Many Audio and Video Files


Engaging and an interactive website not only helps with SEO but also helps with user retention. Uploading more audio and video will encourage more users to stay on your page. The downside is that your page load times will be affected. When you do not remove audio or video files you no longer need, it will take time for users to navigate your site.


To resolve this, consider externally hosting your audio and video. You will not only improve your website page load speed but you will also save money on the hosting costs.

5. Use of Other Website Resources


Anything that extracts information from other sources and loads it to your WordPress site affects speed. If you are using tools like Google Analytics, and even YouTube videos, your WordPress page load times will be affected.


You can resolve this by uploading videos to other sites and then embed them to your WordPress site. For other website tools, try a technique called cache prefetching that anticipates in advance which page will need to be loaded. To do this, you need to install a cache plugin and then add common domains to your WordPress plugin setting.

6. Outdated WordPress


Having outdated tools can also be one of the reasons why your WordPress site is slow. How? If you have plugins, and they have not been updated to the newer version, it can cause incompatibility issues with new versions of WordPress or other plugins that may have been automatically updated. There is however, a bright side to this: the fix is very simple although it will need to be done manually and you might need some professional assistance.


You can take advantage of WordPress’s updated version with just a few clicks. Just make sure that you have a backup before upgrading or you may lose all of your content. Also, ensure that your hosting supports the upgraded version of WordPress. Use a PHP Compatibility Checker for checking your current version and update it to PHP 7.3 in the PHP Version Manager. Now this may sound easy, but a fair warning – sometimes, updates do go wrong and can cause a website to crash. Our advice – hire a professional like WP-Bridge to help you with this.

7. Unnecessary Items Cluttered in the Database


Unnecessary items such as comments or drafts take up valuable space. When they add up, it will slow down your WordPress site. Without  a periodical cleanup, expect even slower page load times.


You need to do a cleanup of your database to increase page load times. Go through each post and delete spam comments and other posts that are not beneficial to your post or your website. Get rid of old revisions or drafts, and other things that you really do not need.

8. No Page Caching


Whenever a page doesn’t load correctly, what a user usually does to resolve it is to clear the cache and the cookies. It usually fixes the problem; after clearing the cache, the page can now load correctly. In some cases though, clearing the cache may slow down page load times. This is because loading a page involves retrieving information from your WordPress site or database, and that will take time.


Set up Page Caching for your WordPress site. A cache is temporary storage for all web pages the user had or has accessed. Because the pages are already stored locally, it will be easier to access them the next time you open it. A plugin like SP Super Cache can help you configure this to speed up page load times.

9. CSS and JavaScript


CSS allows you to create attractive and unique websites by playing with different colors, layout, fonts and effects. On the other hand, JavaScript is a programming language designed to help you with website animation, automation and interactivity. However, unusually long CSS and JavaScript on your WordPress site can slow it down. With hundreds of code lines, it will take a few seconds for your page to load.


You can manually remove or enter short codes in place of  these long codes but you need to be careful or you may jeopardize the structure of your WordPress site. Better yet, hire an expert to help you especially when you are not highly adept with this style sheet and programming language.

Wrapping it Up!

Before launching your WordPress site, test it out first. It wouldn’t hurt to find out whether your site is performing at optimal speed or not. A tool like GPMetrix can help you assess your WordPress site speed. If you get an unsatisfactory score, use the list above to help you find out what makes WordPress slow and then resolve them with the help of a professional if you are not tech-savvy.

If you want to get the most of your WordPress site, consider using WP Bridge. It has a reputation for being extremely reliable and it can help resolve your website speed problems. Whether you have a small or a robust website, WP Bridge can provide you with the best solutions.

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