Two small words can ruin your workday - WordPress Slow. If your customers are leaving your site soon, not engaging with the page they clicked through, and are not exploring the rest of your website… you have a problem. The number of people who do this will profoundly affect your SEO ranking.
A high bounce rate can be challenging to troubleshoot, but in my experience, one of the key reasons will almost always be a slow loading WordPress site. These are the bane of any entrepreneur, no matter how much experience they might have.
Signs That WordPress Slow is Affecting YOU
If you don't know where to begin to look for speeding up your WordPress website, then I have a handy list of solutions for you. If you take a look at each one of these reasons and act accordingly, you will go a long way toward improving your users' experience. That will lead to more engagement and happier visitors. Happier visitors means more money and more success.
So let's take the first step and find out the underlying issues.
Table of Contents
- Plugin and Theme Bloat
- Uncompressed Images
- Keeping Up To Date
- Spam Comment Overflow
- Slow Server Repsonse Time
- Redirecting Too Much
Plugin and Theme Bloat
If you install too many plugins or a theme with far too many bells and whistles, this can have an immediate impact on your site load speed. Anytime you find yourself thinking why my WordPress site is slow, go to your list of plugins.
A quick look at each will give you a rough idea of what is duplicated. Specifically, what plugin features overlap with one another and which ones are more useful. If three plugins provide four overlapping features, can you get maximum bang for your buck if you only use 2? Is that one extra feature worth losing people to a slow loading website, WordPress or otherwise?
Here is a problem many will have, that is not talked about often. The super-fast speeds we are used to today means that many images you find will not be compressed.
The perfect image might be a few megabytes - not that large when you download it. However, when you have multiple images like this, it can quickly become a problem. Make sure your images are compressed, and your site speed will improve dramatically.
How do you compress the images? There are numerous ways to do it - enough to make a list of blog posts. We will get into more detail soon on the best ways to compress images for your website rapidly.
Keeping up to date
Bugs will creep into any WordPress installation. Every update you do should, theoretically, speed up your WordPress website. Simply due to safety concerns, you should always have an up to date WordPress install (the same goes for every single plugin you've installed).
If you haven't updated in a while, your WordPress website being slow might be the push you've needed.
Spam comment overflow
Spam hurts. It hurts our mail inboxes, it hurts social media, and it hurts your website. How? If you are a minimalist with regards to the theme and number of plugins, you've compressed all your images, and you still see a massive slowdown in individual pages…
You need to check the spam you've received. Delete spam regularly, and you will rarely, if ever, see a slowdown on specific pages. Some plugins can take care of this for you - and are worth it if your website is getting far too many spam comments.
You could go with the route and do it all yourself if you have the time. It would depend on what else you have automated with regards to running your business.
The key factor here is that too much spam on your WordPress pages will have your customers pulling their hair out, waiting for the page to load. That is not something you want to happen - ever.
Slow server response time
The one thing you cannot change is how your server reacts to an influx of people. It could be that your hosting provider is simply not good enough. That is always an option. If you are using one of the blue-chip hosting providers, maybe it's time you stepped into a better package - more power for your growing business. After all, you need to spend money to make money, and if your current package is holding you back, there is no other option than to pay for better service. If not, your WordPress website will continue to be slow.
It could also be a slight hiccup on their side. This is something that takes time to both analyze and to fix. If the problem is on their side, and you think you need to move - that move can take time. It will also take a lot of effort. However, you must follow through if this is the case.
Redirecting too much
Every single website will have redirects. They are a staple of the online world at this point in time (and will only become more important as time goes on). The problem is when there are too many, and redirects pile in on themselves. Maybe you're redirecting one webpage (cheese producers) to another (milk providers).
You decide to make a listing of all cheese producers, and they will update the listing themselves. You have a plugin that redirects to the list instead of the cheese producer that doesn't pay up. Now you have two redirects.
Two redirects will take longer to load than one, and with the complicated nature of many websites, some have even more redirects. You need to keep on top of any redirects and make sure your website is appropriately mapped out. This is a continuing process that takes effort but will pay itself off in the long run. Untangling a messy redirect system is a nightmare.
Tip of the Iceberg
These are the things you need to take a look at when your WordPress website is slow. However, we have just scratched the surface of how each of these truly impacts your website. Each of these problems has a lot more depth than what is written here - and I will go into more detail in each in short order.