The world’s most popular and widely used content management system now powers 37.6% of all websites on the internet. WordPress has a 60.8% market share in the CMS market and WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites.

Those are impressive numbers! We have to say, that Wordpress is absolutely number one on our servers too. Many of them install it using 1-Click installer and many of them manage their Wordpress sites using wp-cli tools which is available on Nuclear.Hosting.

Alongside with easy of use, install and extend this system by many plugins and themes comes also problematic with speed and slow page loading.

The primary causes for a slow WordPress website are:

  • Web Hosting: When your web hosting server is not  properly configured, overloaded or does not use SSD or NVMe drives, it  can affect your website speed
  • WordPress Configuration: If your WordPress site is  not serving cached pages, or is not configured properly, then it will  overload your server thus causing your website to be slow
  • Page Size: Mainly images that aren’t optimized for web
  • Bad Plugins: If you’re using a poorly coded plugin,  too many plugins or poorly coded themes, then it can significantly slow  down your website
  • External scripts: External scripts such as ads, font loaders, etc can also have a huge impact on your website performance

How to measure your Wordpress speed

The usual way how to measure your website speed is by using  specialized external services. It is a good starting point but the  result is not a holy grail.

Every time when you use external service to measure your site speed,  you have to always keep in mind, that you are using an external service  where you do not know how they are providing measurements, how loaded  are servers where these measurements are provided and the distance  between external measurement servers and your website/server. The  difference in real loading time of your website and the time from  measurement result may differ rapidly.

Also, keep in mind that those tools does give you information about  total load time and some more deeper information about page elements but  does not give you detailed information about problematic plugins or  problematic themes on your website (slow PHP, PHP bottlenecks, etc).

So, what are the most common online services to test your website speed?

  • Pingdom Tools - Pingdom  Tools rates your site based on several metrics. For instance, it shows  how many requests were required, how many redirects were performed, and  how your site’s speed compares to others. Since the results will differ  slightly each time, you’ll want to do this a few times to get an average  figure.
  • GTMetrix - GTMetrix works much the same way as the previous tool, but it also  provides more in-depth metrics and even offers optimization suggestions  based on your results. Remember to run this test a few times as well to  get a reliable average result. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a  solid idea of how well your site is currently performing.
  • WebPageTest - The most  detailed tool and in-depth metrics from the previous two. You can choose  from many locations from where to proceed with your tests. You can find  many important pieces of information in results.
  • Google PageSpeed Insights - Provides you with detailed metrics for both mobile page view and  desktop page view. You can find some additional information to help you  optimize your website in addition to previous tools.

How to speed-up your Wordpress

Web hosting

As we mentioned above, one of the the speed problems are related with web hosting. Mostly they are caused by overloaded servers, lack of SSD/NVMe drivers or inproper configuration.

What we do to fix this common issue?

In Nuclear.Hosting we are strictly limiting number of domains which can be placed on every webserver, depending on server performance and free available resources. We do not overloading server by puting thousands of websites on the same machine.

All our servers are using NVMe drives, or at least SSD drivers. Configuration of all servers is standardized and tuned accross all machines to achieve best possible performance with available system resources and fair resources usage for every website.

So, choose your webhosting provider wisely and confront them if you are not satisfied with servers performance or often downtimes.

Always Keep Your WordPress Updated

As a well maintained open source project, WordPress is updated  frequently. Each update will not only offer new features but it will  also fix security issues and bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may  have regular updates, too.

As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your WordPress  site, theme, and plugins updated to the latest versions. Not doing so  may make your site slow and unreliable, and make you vulnerable to  security threats.

Optimize Background Processes

Background processes in WordPress are scheduled tasks that run in the  background of your WordPress site. Following are some examples of  background tasks that run on a WordPress site:

  • WordPress Backup plugin tasks
  • WordPress cron jobs to publish scheduled posts
  • WordPress cron jobs to check for updates
  • Search engines and other crawlers trying to fetch content

Tasks like cron jobs for scheduled posts and updates have minimal impact on website performance.

However, other background processes like backup plugins and excessive  crawling by search engines can slow down a website. As for crawling,  you need to keep an eye on your crawl reports in Google Search console.  Frequent crawls that are ending up in errors can cause your website to  slow down or become unresponsive.

More information how to deal with this issue you can find in our Knowledge Base.

Use Image Optimization to Make Your Media Files Smaller

One of the biggest drains on your site’s resources is its images.  They’re great for making your site look amazing and for supplementing  your text content, but they also require server space and bandwidth.  This is especially true if your site contains high-quality images, such  as in a portfolio, gallery, or online store.

Image optimization is a process that compresses the size of an image  file without noticeably affecting its quality. This is easy to  implement, and you can even automate the process entirely. The first  method you can use is to optimize your images before you even upload  them to your site. We recommend TinyPNG or because they are free and very easy to use.

There are also numerous plugins that enable you to optimize images  automatically when you upload them to your WordPress site. One of the  favorite is ShortPixel or WP Smush.

Use a Content Delivery Network

While communication is becoming more and more digitized, physical  distance is still a factor when it comes to sending information online.  Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help you create a consistent  and faster experience for visitors, regardless of their geographic  location.

A CDN refers to a network of proxy servers that are spread across the  world. Each server contains "static" files used to make up your  website, which can be used to deliver your static content more quickly  to users all over the globe. Not only will this improve your site’s  speed, but it will also increase its security.

The easiest way to use a CDN with WordPress is to install a plugin. We recommend Cloudflare, which protects and accelerates your site with minimal configuration required.

There are a few more recommendations on how to improve your Wordpress performance significantly. All of them you can find in our Knowledge Base.