4 Things Slowing Down Your WordPress Website

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one. Read the full dislcaimer.

Over the years and by helping numerous bloggers and business owners with their websites I’ve come to find a few things that are notorious for slowing down a WordPress website.

The first place to look is your hosting and plugins and move on from there. Be mindful of the size and quantity of the images you’re uploading and what external scripts (I’m talking ads!) that you put on your website.

Today I don’t take on speed optimization projects anymore.

It’s not something I ever really enjoyed and I’m certainly no expert at getting the greatest speeds, but I did create a free challenge that includes a lesson on speed optimization. Be sure to join the challenge by clicking the image at the bottom of this post 🙂

1. Your (terrible) web host

This should be the very first place you look. From my experience, GoDaddy is the slowest web host around followed by the popular BlueHost. Most other shared hosts like HostGator and Dreamhost will probably be about average.

The hosting I recommend to all my clients (and use myself) is SiteGround. They have several levels of caching built right in but overall their servers are just really well optimized. Most people see a significant boost in speed when switching over.

There are several reasons why I love SiteGround, like the great support, free SSL and migrations, caching and speed, and the great up-time. There’s a reason why everyone recommends them!

If you’re interested in managed WordPress hosting then WP Engine is a great choice. While it’s a bit pricey, you’re going to need some heavy-duty stuff if you are getting lots of traffic and need your website performing at its best. 

2. Too many (bad) plugins

The next thing you should check is your plugins. While you should try to limit them and only use the one’s you absolutely need, you can probably get away with using quite a few. What you have to be weary of are large or poorly coded plugins.

I like to use the P3 Profiler plugin to scan a site and see what plugins are doing the most damage. Most high-quality plugins will not have a major impact on the size of your website. Just be sure to remove it too once you’re done testing. 

There is one specific plugin you should watch out for though…

Uplevel Your WordPress - FREE 5-day challenge to clean up, back up, secure, and optimize your WordPress website!

3. Jetpack plugin for WordPress

It’s a very common plugin and WordPress almost wants you to install it. On top of that, most users coming from WordPress.com are accustomed to using Jetpack on their sites. But it’s humongous and bloated.

Unless you’re using multiple features of it and absolutely must have it on your website, then delete it! There are plugins specifically built for social share buttons, related posts, and opt-in forms that outperform Jetpack.

4. Huge and unoptimized images

Another big thing I see on client websites are full-sized images being scaled down. This can be necessary in some cases but it almost always triggers a warning on a speed test. When an image is inserted at full-size but then scaled down through code, the full-size is still be loaded.

So this means you could have a 1200×1200 sized image but it only appears as 600×600 on your website. Although we’re only seeing the 600px sized image the server and visitor still have to load the image that’s twice the size!

That’s why it’s best to upload the image in the size you plan on displaying it. Luckily most speed tests will tell you exactly which images are being scaled so you can replace them or update the code. 

Speaking of images, don’t upload ginormous pictures! I try to keep my file size at or below 300kb and don’t upload images larger than the width of my website (because they’ll just be shrunk). Optimize your images before uploading for the best results then use a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer to get the most out of your media files.

Speed it up

If you want all my best tips for speeding up your WordPress website then join my free challenge, Uplevel Your WordPress. In the 5 day challenge I teach you how to keep your website running smoothly and make sure it stays safe and protected. 

There’s also lessons on cleaning up your website, setting up automatic backups, and securing it from hackers. If you’ve got your website up and running but need to make sure it stays that way, then join right now!

If you’d rather just someone come in and work their magic on your website, then I totally recommend Alexei at WP Speed Guru. For a super affordable price he can come in and make some tweaks to your website so that it loads faster and runs better. He also offers DIY and consulting services if you’re more hands on.

Uplevel Your WordPress - FREE 5-day challenge to clean up, back up, secure, and optimize your WordPress website!

Slow WordPress websites are a drag and can bring down your traffic. Learn 4 things slowing down your website and how you can speed up your website.

Shaylee Smith - WordPress Developer + Tech Expert

The Blog Writer

Hey there, I'm Shaylee! I've been building websites and working with WordPress for several years. I love helping others solve their tech issues, fix up their sites, and bring their business to the next level. My goal is to make it easier for freelancers and bloggers to enhance their websites without needing any tech or code knowledge!
Want to learn more about me? Click here!

4 responses on “4 Things Slowing Down Your WordPress Website

  1. Cindy Sewell Hohman says

    Great post! I like your short, very action-oriented advice. Much appreciated.

  2. Rawlings says

    i was thinking of Godaddy but have to change my mind now. jetpack to view statistics have been very good. keep up the good work.

  3. Melissa Keyser says

    Is there a reason you prefer EWWW instead of WPSmush for the optimization?

    • Shaylee says

      I like EWWW better because you can bulk optimize all your images at once. WPSmush limits you to 50 at a time on the free version. They also REALLY want to you to upgrade to the paid version for most of the features and better optimization. EWWW is simple and just gets the job done 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *