This post will answer the question “Why is my WordPress Website Slow”. The short answer is what you do not want to hear. First myth that people have is that WordPress Websites are slow. This is not true at all. In my opinion WordPress engine is very powerful, clean and an awesome framework to set up your Website. Having said that, there is a ton of themes that independent developers write. To make the theme visually attractive, designers use high resolution large images, lot of CSS and JavaScript. Using large high resolution images can certainly slow down any website. However, this is just the beginning.

There are a number of factors that slow down your WordPress Website. I will provide several factors that effect the performance and load times of your WordPress website and optimization tips to resolve these problems.

Why is WordPress Site Slow

Still I really did not answer your question Why is my WordPress Website Slow ? So lets get into a little more technical detail and try to debug your site. A good point is an on-line diagnostics test, something like pingdom tools that help you pin point the problem. You can enter the url to your website and then test for speed. The tool will breakdown the load files based on each http request that a page makes to completely render. Looking at the results you will have the breakdown for each resource that has to be downloaded on a client browser before your website is rendered.

times for each http request

If you see a resource that takes the longest to load or slows down your website, you know the problem area and how to go about debugging it.

Image Types and Sizes

WordPress engine has a built in functions that many themes use to resize images. Many themes override this setting and specify resolution for thumbnails and various image sizes. All you do is browse for image files on your computer and the theme magically does everything for you. This is not good. Make sure your images are the right size to begin with, they are the correct image types and are scaled properly to take optimum advantage. Also on a given page try to maintain a decent balance of text and images. This will certainly help if not resolve the problem.

Missing styles or CSS

Do you see that it times out a fixed interval every time ? Lets say 8 seconds before it renders. Pingdom tools will actually help you missing files. When the page renders and makes an HTTP Request for a file (resource) and cannot find it, it times out. The time out is a fixed interval and it moves on after timing out. In case of missing files, consider contacting the theme author, replacing the theme or at least create a stub file that your page is referencing. I have seen some cascading style sheet (css) missing. This is primarily because developer copied and pasted some code or removed the file later.

Broken Plugins on your WordPress Website

If you see in pingdom tools or any other scanner tool that a particular plugin is causing the delay. Try deactivating the plugin and see if it makes it faster. Even if you don’t see anything in pingdom tools, still I would recommend deactivating the plugins and then reactivating one by one to see if there is a particular plugin that slows down your WordPress Website.

Do you really need all those services ?

Extensive External Services like Facebook, twitter, linked in, youtube videos or xml feeds can slow down your website. Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely need them. Social Media Services are highly Search Engine Optimized and you have to integrate them with your site to take maximum benefit. The downside for your website is an extra http request which can introduce delays.

I have checked for everything that you specify but I still Don’t know Why is my WordPress Website Slow ? Continue reading ..

Have you tried WordPress Caching Plugin

I will compare WordPress Caching Plugins in another post. This is becoming too long. However I would like to give you some pointers. I have used 8 different WordPress caching plugins and if configured properly they can make a huge difference to your site. Some good caching plugins that I recommend are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. There are pros and cons for both and the choice can be made based on your Website’s structure and features.

I hope that I helped you understand and answer your question “Why is my WordPress Website Slow” ? If you need professional help, feel free to drop me a line. I can debug slowness of WordPress websites with advanced debugging tools and tune up your Website, after all its your on-line brand !

IDesignsmart provides Expert WordPress Services in Atlanta. I can work with you on-line and provide instructions via my WordPress Screen Share Service. Drop me a line and I will be happy to assist you with your on-line goals. I strive to be the leading Atlanta WordPress Developer and Service Provider. Best of luck !