A website is one of the first touchpoints for prospective customers and an important marketing tool to retain and grow customer engagement. Slow websites or pages, broken links, and non-performing scripts can impact website performance and create a poor experience for a site visitor, impacting growth in business opportunities and shedding negative light on the brand. A WordPress website could be performing slowly for a number of reasons, the usual suspects being infrastructure—high load due to large content file sizes, hosting capacity issues, misconfigurations, or large network distance between user and website host—or software glitches—image sizing, misconfiguration, incompatible versions, or clashing plugins. While it can be challenging to investigate what's causing a slow-down and identify how to optimize the site for better performance, thankfully there are tools and plugins that help.
Site24x7 is a tool that checks the performance speed of a WordPress website.
WordPress.com states “A WordPress.com baseline site on a Business plan with built-in custom plugins and a default theme activated, loads in around 1 second.” A good target time for a full-fledged website or webpage load is between one and three seconds. WordPress.com further mentions that “4 to 5 seconds is the time that a site takes to load on average, across the web.” As a good practice, optimizing pages and images will lessen time to load a page or site.
The automated site performance tools mentioned above provide a general perspective on improvement possibilities for a faster website response. For example, a sampling of areas most tools touch upon includes:
Typically, a slow performing WordPress website occurs due to infrastructure and/or software-related issues; however, slow performance can be contributed to a number of factors outlined below.
a. There could be issues with the physical hosting. Hosting could be:
b. Hardware performance: Having multiple high speed processors, memory systems, and solid state devices, as well as higher disk storage capacity and internet bandwidth is important for faster processing and performance. For example, when the load increases on a server, higher processor speeds and memory process page requests quickly. Higher memory and speedy storage can help to cache pages and page requests, ensuring that the website systems aren't overwhelmed.
a. Location: If the location of the server and visitors of the site are geographically distant from each other, internet performance can impact user experience. This can be addressed by using a content delivery network (CDN), which mirrors static files (including images) and keeps them on CDN servers in selected geographic regions served, resulting in improved performance.
b.DNS: If high incoming traffic is expected on the site, having a separate Domain Name System (DNS) provider rather than hosting it on the same web server can help reduce the load on the web server.
c. Feeds: As explained on WordPress.com, “Feed is a function of special software that allows feedreaders to access a site, automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. There are several different kinds of feeds, read by different feedreaders. Some feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files.”
d. Security: Defensive implementations and applications should be in place to prevent malicious traffic like login brute-force attacks, denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, and hotlinking attacks, wherein high traffic pages may be redirected to a website link or image.
a. To prevent exploitation of known vulnerabilities and to access the latest performance enhancements, ensure that the latest updates and patches are applied to the website software including WordPress itself, the server operating system (Linux/Windows/other), and supporting applications (Apache, MySQL, MariaDB, PHP).
a. Most HTTP page requests come from plugins, and every installed plugin adds a bit of weight to the site. Only enable plugins that are being used, and disable and delete other plugins.
b. Plugins use server resources. The more plugins are enabled, the more computing resources are needed. Monitor resource needs, and ensure that sufficient resources are apportioned appropriately
c. If you suspect that a plugin is slowing down a site, consider a trial approach where you disable one plugin at a time and check the performance. Sometimes a combination of plugins may clash for resources and slow down the site.
d. Keep plugins updated with the latest versions and patches. Work with plugin support desks and user forums if the plugin is important but appears to slow down the site.
WP Super Cache by Automattic is a free plugin that includes a number of caching features that speed up a website. These include GZIP compression, page cache, cache preloading, CDN support, advanced cache preload, and more. Highlights include:
WP Fastest Cache is a caching plugin that enables pace caching with just the check of a box.
W3 Total Cache by BoldGrid is a feature-rich caching plugin that expects users to be at a level higher than beginners or casual users to get most out of the tool. It allows control of many caching aspects on a site. Highlights include:
Unoptimized websites impact performance and create a poor experience for a site visitor, in turn impacting growth and brand reputation. A WordPress website may be running slowly due to infrastructure or software-related issues, and tools can be used to identify other factors that impact performance. To combat these issues, consider various solutions in web hosting configuration, hardware optimization, infrastructure-related interventions, software, and content optimization.
WordPress websites could be slow due to infrastructure and software-related issues. Use speed testing tools, understand the reasons for the website load and speed up your WordPress websites. You can also use plugins like W3 Total Cache and LiteSpeed. Start speeding up your WordPress websites.➤
Maintaining a WordPress website includes the management of backups, broken links, updates, spam prevention, image optimization, and several WordPress database tasks. All these can be automated using free and paid plugins. Start automating your WordPress websites!➤
Multipurpose themes on WordPress offer quick ways to set up websites and can be used as templates that suit the need of multiple brands, companies, organizations, or causes. Multipurpose themes include marketing, promotion, and SEO features and some of the popular multipurpose themes are Twenty Twenty, Astra, Twenty Seventeen, OceanWP, and Twenty Twenty-One. Try multipurpose themes for your WordPress websites!➤
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