There are many reasons why a WordPress website is slow, and there are many ways to optimize your WP, which we’ll cover in this article.
The first thing you want to do is check that you have a good and fast optimization for WordPress – Recommended Web Hosting. If your hosting is slow, your servers are overloaded, or the network is unreliable, you can not gain much speed from your optimization efforts, regardless of what you do.
How do you know if your host is slow or has problems?
Check the response time of your website, starting from 7 positions at a time, with our own Time To First Byte Checker, the tool tests your website for its operability, from 4 different continents:
You will know immediately how your host behaves. If you see alerts from all locations, or the majority of sites report the following 500 ms response time, then you have a problem and need to talk to your web host. What you want to see is a good response time for at least several sites (
If your TTFB response time is good, but you think your WP total load time is not good, then you should continue with the optimization process, as explained below.
NOTE: We recommend that you contact a developer / freelancer if you can not optimize or maintain WordPress yourself. Some of the terms used in this article may sound very technical, but some of the steps described may also be performed by a beginner webmaster.
First, check the total page size (content size) of your homepage or other inside pages within your WP, which seem to be slow – make sure you do NOT have bulky pictures, large CSS files, large fonts, long Java scripts, or bad topics in general!
A good tool for this is called Pingdom (below). You can confirm your total page size for each page you want to test:
NOTE: Always use the same location when performing your tests.
The quickest way to optimize your WP is to disable and delete unnecessary plugins that could slow your website down without you even knowing it!
You can test which plug-in slows you down by deactivating it one at a time and testing what increases or decreases your load time. More plugins you use increase the likelihood that your WP will not work as expected. Sometimes it’s very obvious and you can see it with the naked eye if a plugin slows you down once you turn it on / off.
If you have many plugins, you can simply rename your plugin folder to disable ALL plugins, the plugin folder is located in the subfolder: “wp-content” and “plugins”, rename it something like “plugins.” .old “. Note that a bad plugin can also affect your TTFB time as described at the beginning of this article.
You can also use third-party plugins that can help you recognize what is slowing down your website, here are just a few that we:
You can also check your entire WP CPU and memory usage with this plugin:
If you’re using third-party designs, we recommend that you test your design and performance by switching to another (lightweight WP design by default) and comparing the load time and performance of your website.
We’ve seen third-party issues that slow a site down as much as possible. 5 times! Do not use topics that have not been tested or whose origin is suspicious.
Besides removing slow plugins and using Light Weight Themes, the second most important feature you need to enable for your WordPress is the use of a caching plugin! Frankly, any caching plugin, regardless of which one, should give you a big boost if you do not currently use one.
These plugins cache your dynamic pages / posts and reduce the load time. The most popular caching plugins are:
WP Super Cache – this plugin is one of the best and is highly recommended if you have performance issues. You should try using one of the two plugins listed here, but not both at the same time.
WP Total Cache – This plugin contains many additional features in addition to page caching. It involves shrinking your content, which reduces the file size of HTML, CSS, and JS scripts, database caching, object caching, compatibility with CDN, and so on. You can use this plugin with our Redis cache, as described below. There are many more plugins, some of them are free. In our own tests, we found that even the free versions of most paid plugins work well.
Make sure you are using the latest PHP version. We recommend the version of PHP 7.x, not 5.x. Check with your hosting provider for more information. Make sure your PHP version has support for acpu / opcache and ask your hosting provider to enable these extensions for you.
High-quality / bulky images add the most to the size of the website, slowing down the page speed and driving visitors waiting to load the page. The following best practices for image enhancement contribute significantly to reducing the negative impact of images on the overall speed of the site:
Format Selection: Use JPGs if quality is a high priority and no image changes are required before uploading them. JPGs can only be processed and modified to a limited degree before image quality deteriorates significantly. For images with icons, logos, illustrations, characters, and texts, use the PNG format. Use GIFs only for small or simple images and avoid BMPs or TIFFs.
Proper sizing: Save valuable bytes of image payload and adjust the dimensions (width) of your web page template. Use the browser’s resizing capabilities to react to images by specifying fixed width and auto height instructions.
Compression: Image compression should be a well thought-out compromise between image size and quality. For JPGs, a compression of 60-70 percent gives a good balance. For retina screens, increase the image size (JPGs) by 150-200 percent, compress them by 30-40 percent, and resize them to the required dimensions.
Fewer pictures: Keep the number of pictures to an absolute minimum.
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