Is your website loading slowly? We know how it feels to deal with a WordPress website that takes forever to load! Worse, it’s not just a matter of inconvenience… A slow website can affect the overall website performance of the site and lead to far grimmer consequences. Website speed affects SEO (search engine optimization) which can be a real blow to all the hard work you’ve put in to rank your website.
According to research, 1 in 4 visitors will abandon the website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load! Not just that… a 2-second delay in transactions causes almost 87% of shopping cart abandonment!
Apart from losing site visitors, a poor website speed also affects search engine (like Google, Yahoo) rankings. That is because Google also rates the site speed as a prime factor in its search results.
Now that we know website loading speed impacts your business, it’s time you stop cribbing about your site’s lack of speed and do something about it!
Try out the website speed test to understand how your website is performing. Plenty of free speed testing tools to choose from like Pingdom website speed test, Google Pagespeed Insights, etc. If your website is running slow, you know you have to work on improving your site.
But wait… Before we try to solve the problem, it is important to understand the reasons why your website is so slow.
10 Reasons Why Website Is Running Slow
Here are a few reasons why your WordPress site is giving you trouble in terms of loading speed!
1. You are running too many plugins
With thousands of plugins out there promising to do amazing things for your site, it’s easy to get hooked and catch the plugin fever. Soon you will have plugins controlling every feature and function on your site, making your site slower and slower.
This happens because the more plugins you have, the more work it is for the website to do while the site’s loading. Secondly, not all plugins are created equally – poor or outdated plugins can cause the website to load slowly.
Instead of having several plugins to handle the various aspects of a single function, have a single plugin to do the work efficiently. For instance, if you are looking for an all-in-one plugin solution for your security needs, you might want to opt for MalCare. It keeps your site safe and secure from hackers, malware and other malicious activity that can wreak havoc on your site… including slowing it down.
Along with taking care of all your security needs, it also enables you to manage your WordPress site, update plugins without any hassles. Plus MalCare doesn’t use your site’s server resources (it uses its own) and it’s always better to choose a plugin that runs on its own server so that there is no additional burden on your site.
2. Your homepage is crammed
The homepage is the medium through which you need to forge a connection with your audience. You might have gone overboard and designed it to show off everything to create an impactful first impression.
However, the more widgets, stunning high-resolution images, graphics and content you have on the front page, the longer your site takes to load. Not just that, moving from one web page to another also becomes a hassle.
Remember that clean website design is just as impressive and impactful. So, don’t overwhelm your homepage with unnecessary content.
3. You are running a poor-quality theme
If you are using low-quality free themes, there is a chance that these come with a high price tag of hidden spyware or viruses. Hence your website loads slowly.
To prevent this from happening, ensure that you install trustworthy themes from reliable sources. Don’t fall for free ones if you are not sure of its source. And always keep your themes updated as outdated themes can serve as an entry point for malicious activities.
An automatic security scan plugin such as MalCare will help you detect anomalies in your themes apart from helping you manage them as well. You can also effortlessly perform central theme updates to multiple WordPress sites at a time.
4. Your host is the problem
A proper web host is essential to run your WordPress platform. You can choose between dedicated hosting, managed hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, shared hosting, etc. There are several plans and options when it comes to WordPress hosting providers at various price points offering various features. If you have opted for the lowest possible price tag to save money, without assessing its features, then you get what you pay for. A poor web host can hurt your site’s load time, performance and other aspects such as security and scalability.
A high-quality HTTP2 protocol support web host will make a world of difference.
5. You are not caching
Have you taken a look at a WordPress page template file? They can be complicated with lines and lines of code depending on how much you have customized your site.
Most of the hosting providers run their hosting on LAMP (Linux – Apache – MySQL – PHP) environments which can make it tedious for the database to retrieve the file, fetch the code, translate the code to HTML and then finally display a page.
Opt for page caching so that all static files like HTML documents and images are already stored locally. This will allow the user to access a page quickly since the database does not have to retrieve each file every time there is a request.
CSS, or cascading style sheets, dictate the tone for your site and include instructions for the web browser on what colors to load, font type and size, table code, header, footer, menu, etc.
These types of files can be dozens of pages long and have hundreds of lines of code. Also, they might contain extra spaces, line breaks and other information that is not relevant. As a result, it can add a lot of load time to your site.
A few ways to optimize the CSS to make your website load faster would be:
- Using image sprites to package your images into one large .png file, and reduce HTTP requests.
- Using CSS minifiers to compress your CSS file into a new one with minimal white space.
- Checking for unnecessary or duplicate code.
- Organize your CSS code into hierarchical branches to avoid duplication.
7. Unnecessary page & post redirects
Has your site been around for a while? Then, chances are that you may have deleted a few pages or made other changes.
However other WordPress sites that are linked to yours may still hold onto your old URLs. This again puts the onus on the web server, piling on the load time. And your server performance takes a hit. One way to get rid of unwanted redirects is by appending UTM tags to identify the ones that are used on a regular basis.
8. Not utilizing compression tactics
9. Not updating WordPress
While it can be annoying to see WordPress asking for updates often, it is crucial to keep your CMS up-to-date so that it can function at optimum capacity and not slow down your site. This is where automated plugins like MalCare come in handy. As it not just offers comprehensive security protection for your site, but also helps you manage WordPress updates effortlessly all under one roof.
All hackers don’t announce their intrusion in your site. It is possible for undercover malicious activity to make use of your own server resources. For example, every time a visitor requests to load your site, hackers may have directed files from another server to load along with your page. This is the reason behind the slow loading website.
Invisible to the naked eye, malware removal tools like MalCare will come in handy to easily recognize this kind of malicious activities. Such security tools will also clean-up your site without breaking it, helping improves performance and response time. Ultimately speeding up your website.
Don’t settle for a slow site. The last thing you want is your visitor leaving your site because it’s taking too much time to load. After all the hard work you have done with your site, it is imperative to ensure that your site’s performance is efficient and able to attract more visitors!
For complete security of your site, try MalCare for free!