A common complaint about WordPress is that it’s too slow. I’m not going to lie to you or even try to dodge. WordPress is slow. Sometimes it’s unbearably slow. But that’s okay.
WordPress is slow for good reason
The comparison between WordPress and a static website isn’t fair in the slightest.
A static HTML website is a bunch of files. Your computer makes a request. The web server simply delivers them to your computer. Usually there are a few more file requests, a few more file deliveries, and the website is loaded in the blink of an eye.
WordPress isn’t a bunch of static HTML files. In fact, there aren’t any HTML files. None.
WordPress web pages take longer to load because they have to be built first. When your computer makes a request of a WordPress website, the web server uses the WordPress files to create the HTML files on demand. Then it has to go through the rest of the process as it would for a static HTML website.
It’s obvious why WordPress websites are slow. And it doesn’t stop there.
And it’s your fault too
It’s completely unfair to look at the “average” WordPress website. A quarter to a third of all websites are built with WordPress. The bulk of them are built by amateurs and amateurs make mistakes.
A common problem is nothing more than making the web pages too big. I’ve seen web sites with dozens of images. Loading that much stuff takes time. Period.
It’s just math. 12 images take 3 times as long to load as 4 images.
A cell phone image can be 3 times bigger than your average web page. An amateur can easily and instantly destroy a page’s load time by adding needlessly gigantic images. It’s almost too easy to add images. There’s nothing in place to unsure you do it right.
Too much stuff behind the scenes
How many plugins are on your site? How well designed are they?
Think about it like this. Every time you add a plugin, there’s at least 1 more conversation that has to happen before the page can load.
You’re cheap (I’m cheap too)
Look at all the extra work I’ve listed – giant images, too many images, too many plugins.
Now look at your server. Is it basic, budget hosting? Shared hosting? Statistically speaking, that’s what you have.
Add to that the fact that every other website on that shared server is as amateurish as yours. Not only will your site be slowed by your site’s shortcomings, you can be slowed by shortcomings of any of the other sites.
How to speed up your WordPress website
But those are amateur mistakes. You can do better than that. Here are 4 things you can do to speed up your WordPress website:
- Remove any extra fluff on your site.
- Make sure you’re using images that are the right size. And make sure they’re optimized. See EWWW Image Optimization
- Use caching. This is my favorite caching plugin.
- Get better hosting.
Featured image credit: Wikimedia