Why Are WordPress Sites Slow

One of the more common occurrences when launching a fresh new WordPress site is learning that it takes an inordinate amount of time to load. While open source content management systems can be quite useful, they can cause problems just like this. Adding extra features to your WordPress often seems to be the right idea, until you realize that they are adding to your load times, as well.

The following set of tips will help you get to the bottom of the “why are WordPress sites slow?” question. They will also provide the assistance you need in order to rectify the problem on a permanent basis. Read on to learn more about why your WordPress site is not running at an optimal speed and the steps that you can take to change this negative into a positive.

Lack of Proper Page Caching

If you have ever had the chance to take a close look at the template file for your WordPress page, then you know they become increasingly complicated when you add additional customization to your site. The majority of common hosting providers utilize LAMP (which stands for Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) for their shared hosting environments.

However, your WordPress may run slow due to the fact that Apache struggles to process PHP. Since PHP is the primary programming language that lives on WordPress servers and is also the language WordPress is built upon, this can be problematic.

The best solution for this issue is page caching. Depending upon your particular needs, an advanced user will typically opt to use W3 Total Cache, while those who are beginners use wp super cache. If you are someone who is willing to take on the challenging of fully fine tuning your cache, WE Total Cache works best, whereas wp super cache is geared towards taking the decision making out of the hands of the users.

The Blog Millionaire Podcast

The top rated blogging podcast on iTunes is hosted by Brandon Gaille. He built his blog from zero to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months, and he shares his secret strategies in his award winning podcast. Listen to the Latest Episodes Right Now.

Failure To Object Cache

Even if you take care of page caching, PHP continues to run each and every time your WordPress page loads. WordPress has a core PHP logic that cannot be cached, so if you have already executed the page cache, it is time to consider the object cache.

In order to object cache, all you need to do is store the PHP object in your hard drive’s database. Or, for even better results, use your memcache. This cuts down on load times, because the same object does not need to be generated every time the page loads.

Instead of forcing your site to retrieve the information from multiple areas, an object cache allows you to store the operation’s result in your personal database. Storing your object data that was used to construct the HTML allows page caching to take care of everything else.

Spaghetti Codes

When it comes to answering the question of why WordPress sites are slow, spaghetti codes tend to be the answer in a number of instances. There is no pasta involved, as the term refers to having an abundance of developers working on the same project simultaneously, which leads to an out of control codebase.

As a developer begins the process of plotting a new application or website, the process is easy. But once features get added, codes begin to take on a much more messier appearance. Once this takes place, it becomes nearly impossible to ascertain where one process begins and the next one ends.

Cleaning (also known as refactoring) code on a frequent basis is the best solution. When you optimize your code base, you not only maximize the loading times for your WordPress site, but you also help your site to rise higher in the Google search engine rankings.

Far Too Many Plugins Being Used

Before installing the next plugin for your WordPress site, be sure to ask yourself one crucial question: Just how necessary is this plugin and will it help browsers in any way? It is important for site builders to remember that every plugin that they install must also load every time the page loads.

The most common plugins that cause WordPress pages to load more slowly include: plugins that track a site’s overall performance metrics, plugins that suggest related posts to browsers and e-mail related plugins.

There are a wide range of services out there that you can offload these operations onto and a number of developers that are able to accomplish the same result with just a few lines of code, so consider these options first.

Shared/Inexpensive Hosting

As with any other major purchase that a person makes throughout the course of their life, a hosting service only delivers the service that you pay for. Should you have more than one website running through the same service, you are decreasing the chances that they will all run correctly at the same time.

There are a variety of ways to sidestep these concerns. You can download your own security plug in for your WordPress site, opt to utilize the new server software packages and scaling your server as necessary. Or you can do what others have already done and layer your Nginx server with your Apache, which has been proven to boost website loading speeds.

There is no reason to ever settle for a WordPress site that does not load fast enough. Instead of asking yourself why are WordPress sites slow, you should be asking yourself what you can do to fix the issue. The solution could be right under your nose and keep you from losing browsers to the competition when they become frustrated with your load speeds.

State of WordPress