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
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 Squoosh.app because they are free and very easy to use.
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.