For a much fuller and in depth guide on the topic check out my WordPress Speed: The Ultimate Guide post!
1. Web Host – the main reason for a slow WordPress site
This will always be the number one cause of a slow WordPress site.
Many people try to cheap out in this area or just don’t know which hosts are the best.
I remember myself trying to find good web hosting and each time I thought I found it I discovered I was wrong.
That was until I found SiteGround.
They are hands down the best shared hosting provider on the market today.
2. Images – that sneaky reason for a slow WordPress site
Many new WordPress site owners get all excited and start splashing large, unoptimized images all over the place because they look amazing.
But little do they know they are killing their site’s speed!
The key here is to reduce the resolution of these images and as a result reduce their size as well.
For starters this can be done before uploading the images to WordPress.
And then I suggest having a plugin do the rest of the work once you import the images.
I’ve tried many image optimization plugins and for me ShortPixel does the best job.
3. Theme – the quirky reason
Now many people choose a theme for their WordPress site and expect it to look and work great.
Unfortunately though this is often not the case.
Many WordPress themes are visually appealing but when it comes to optimizing your site for speed they are lacking.
There are many great themes out there and I suggest thoroughly researching any before choosing one.
4. Plugins – the unexpected reason for a slow WordPress site
When using WordPress you’ve no doubt had that moment when you start to question your own plugin usage.
If you haven’t already then I hope to bring you to that first moment now!
Plugins are great BUT use the wrong plugin and it will bring your site to a crawl.
You see the problem is when a plugin is badly coded or has a bug going on with it.
And this bad plugin will eat up your server (CPU) resources and drag down the speed of your site.
A great test you can do is to disable all of your plugins and see if your site speed improves.
Then turn them back on one by one, while testing your site each time, until you find the culprit for your slow WordPress site.
5. Cache – the unknown reason for a slow WordPress site
A lot of people don’t even know what this is no less that without doing it can cause your WordPress site to be much slower than it should be.
Caching is when your server stores certain static content from your website so it can be served up quicker than if it had to fully reload it every time.
This is a quite complicated process to explain and out of the realm of this post so I will be fully delving into it at a later time.
Just know for now that if you have a WordPress site it is essential to have a caching strategy in place.
And luckily there are many great plugins to do this caching for you.
The caching plugin that I highly recommend is WP Rocket.
6. CDN – the missing link
A CDN is a Content Delivery Network and within the last five years or so they have become quite popular.
When a CDN is working in conjunction with your regular web host you greatly improve the speeds of your slow WordPress website.
The Content Delivery Network has servers strategically placed all over the globe so the end user will have content delivered to them from a closer location.
And a closer location means greater speeds when delivering your site’s content to its visitors.
7. Minify – the easy fix for a slow WordPress site
Minifying is the process of removing all of the excess whitespace and characters from your slow WordPress site.
By doing this you will reduce the size of your site files and speedup your WordPress installation.
And once again there are many great plugins to easily take care of this process for you.
The one I use and highly recommend is the above mentioned WP Rocket.
So there you have it, my top seven reasons why you might have a slow WordPress website on your hands.
Make sure to comment below and let me know of anything you think I missed.
Thanks for reading!