Chat Icon

How to Fix Common Bottlenecks that Slow Down WordPress Sites

Is your WordPress web site loading sluggish? Many elements can decelerate WordPress, however fortunately you don’t want to be a tech-expert to repair them. In this information, I’ll stroll you thru the commonest bottlenecks that decelerate WordPress and current an answer to every one.

You can (and may) observe together with this information even when your web site is simply in your pastime or if you happen to don’t have any monetization technique for it. Having a quick web site not solely is proven to enhance income however efficiency additionally issues to retain customers and to get extra individuals to learn your content material.

As Jeremy Wagner says in one of his articles for Google Web Fundamentals:

“Performance plays a significant role in the success of any online venture, as high performing sites engage and retain users better than poorly performing ones.”

You will discover varied statistics about how lowering the web page loading time helped companies enhance conversion charges of their outlets, enhance the time guests spend on their web sites, and finally added extra income to their backside line.

A quick web site will assist your content material get seen and consumed – and that’s all that issues.

How Fast Is Your Site Currently?

Tools for Analysis: GTMetrix, Pingdom, Google Pagespeed (solely use for server response time), “Speed Suggestions” tab in Google Analytics (Behavior -> Site Speed -> Speed Suggestions)

To understanding what slows down your WordPress web site, you first want to analyze how briskly your web site is loading. Therefore we will make the most of quite a lot of free instruments and providers that present fascinating insights into the loading course of. By operating your web site by the platforms I’m about to point out, you’ll be getting an thought of which of the widespread bottlenecks is slowing down your web site.

Check Mark Become a WordPress guru. Subscribe to Liquid Web’s weekly e-newsletter to get WordPress ideas despatched straight to your inbox.


One of probably the most highly effective instruments for analyzing your web site’s loading pace is GTMetrix. It’s a platform the place you possibly can enter your web site’s URL after which get an in depth report on its loading course of. I extremely advocate you join a free account, as that’ll offer you extra info you possibly can’t see as a visitor person. Click right here to discover out how one can get probably the most out of GTMetrix.

fix slow wordpress site with gtmetrix reports

This is an instance for my very own web site, WP Mastery. As you possibly can inform, GTMetrix is displaying my web site takes 4.6s to load, which is sort of lengthy (I’ve acquired some work to do!). Since I’m logged in as a free person, I can even see the Timings tab. In that tab, I can see that my internet hosting may very well be an element slowing down the location. The TTFB (click here for an explanation) is sort of sluggish, there are total websites that load inside 0.7s!

You can browse round in your GTMetrix report and collect concepts what you possibly can work on to take away bottlenecks out of your web site.


Pingdom is one other pace evaluation supplier, related to GTMetrix. You can create related studies with Pingdom and it’s a good suggestion to test each instruments to uncover bottlenecks. Relying on only one pace evaluation report may go away issues in the dead of night, as every platform has proprietary algorithms to test your web site.

check for slow down wordpress with pingdom website speed test

As you possibly can inform, Pingdom reveals the loading time of my web site to be 3.62s as an alternative of 4.6s. That’s a distinction of twenty-two%! But far more fascinating is the half the place Pingdom reveals the timings:

look for slow down wordpress site using pingdom wait time report

Even with CloudFlare CDN enabled, the primary request reveals a ready time of 1.8s! That’s, in fact, an enormous drawback in my present setup. I’m sharing this overtly, despite the fact that I’m offering WordPress upkeep and pace optimization providers. Why? Because I need to present you that all people, even “an expert”, depends on providers being arrange correctly.

That’s why I’m contemplating transferring to Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting plan. Their infrastructure is optimized to make WordPress websites load quick and so they take the essential upkeep duties like backups and updates out of your fingers too.

As we’re seeing within the first two studies already, your internet hosting supplier performs an enormous position.

Google Web pageSpeed Insights

The final instrument I need to share with you is Google’s Web pageSpeed Insights. I need you to watch out with not getting caught up within the scores Google is displaying – Web pageSpeed Insights is a instrument for builders solely.

My major motive to embody it’s that it reveals whether or not your internet hosting efficiency is a bottleneck. It’s tremendous easy to perceive in case your server response time is sluggish or not.

page speed insights

In my very own web site’s outcomes, you possibly can see that Web pageSpeed Insights is suggesting to scale back the server response time – confirming what GTMetrix and Pingdom already indicated. I don’t fear concerning the scores although, as they do NOT replicate the person expertise on my web site. For instance, the “Leverage browser caching” suggestion generally is unattainable to implement. In my case, Google suggests I cache information that are loaded from Google’s personal servers – so I technically can not cache them.

Getting The Right Hosting

With these three studies at hand, let’s tackle the elephant within the room – optimizing my server response time and lowering the time to first byte (TTFB). There are quite a lot of steps I can do to get that time down:

  1. I’ll speak to my internet hosting supplier and ask in the event that they may also help me get the location down. Often, internet hosting suppliers can tweak their settings somewhat bit to make your web site load quicker.
  2. As I even have the CloudFlare CDN enabled, I’ll speak to the CloudFlare assist staff as effectively.
  3. Lastly, I’ll run a plugin like WP Sweep to clear up my database from outdated knowledge.

As I stated above, having an excellent internet hosting plan is sort of essential and may most frequently be step one in making your web site load quicker. WordPress web sites closely profit from optimized internet hosting just like the one LiquidWeb is providing. There are sure technical configurations internet hosting firms can do that let WordPress load quicker if their internet hosting plan is concentrated on WordPress solely. If you may have a generic internet hosting firm that permits you to set up all types of content material administration techniques, these optimizations doubtless won’t be in place.

If your web site is a part of your corporation technique and meant to generate revenue, internet hosting is an effective place to spend money on.

Is Your Theme Slowing Down Your Site?

Another widespread bottleneck is the theme that you’re utilizing. Themes management the design of your web site and their code high quality closely varies. There are WordPress themes that deal with being super-fast and there are themes that have tons of options however sacrifice loading pace for these.

If you discover that your theme provides tons of menu objects to your WP Admin menu which you don’t use, it’s an excellent indicator that your theme is extra bloated than you want it to be. Even although you just like the design, you may want to speak to a developer about rebuilding the location with a theme that’s tailor-made extra in direction of quick loading occasions. Often it’s fairly easy to hold the design whereas rebuilding a WordPress web site with a brand new theme.

Another good indicator of whether or not your theme is slowing down your web site are the studies we generated earlier.

In GTMetrix, open the Waterfall diagram and test for the sources that are loaded out of your theme’s folder. You can hover over the person requests and test whether or not they have “wp-content/themes/” of their URI. If they do, your theme is producing that request.

gtmetrix waterfall diagram

In Pingdom, scroll down to the “File Requests” part and enter the phrase “themes” within the filter. This part is extra comfy to use than GTMetrix’s Waterfall diagram and provides equally detailed info.

file load times

In this case, each instruments present an affordable quantity of information being loaded from my themes (dad or mum and youngster theme). They don’t take up a lot knowledge nor trigger any cheap delays to my web site’s loading time, so I do know that my theme is about up correctly. The solely factor that’s worrying me a bit is the ready time (vibrant yellow within the Pingdom report). Seeing in proportion, it’s method too lengthy – so that’s another excuse to speak to my host about it.

If you see that your theme causes too many requests, there are a few steps you possibly can take to repair it (run new pace evaluation after doing every step and be sure you have a backup in place):

  1. If you haven’t already, set up a caching plugin.
  2. Enable file minification and mixture for CSS and JS information. Be cautious right here and guarantee to check your web site’s frontend after this step! Especially combining CSS or JS information can break your structure.
  3. Use the caching plugin to load JS information asynchronously or extend your theme to load JS async/deferred.

At this level, you could be asking your self what information to load asynchronously. Web pageSpeed Insights is displaying you precisely which information you need to work on! Head over to the report and test the “Eliminate render-blocking resources” suggestion:

optimization suggestions

If you haven’t executed these steps already, this could already repair a typical bottleneck. The three steps outlined above won’t simply repair the information out of your theme however may even deal with plugin information. Especially once you’ve enabled file minification, begin loading chosen information asynchronously and began combining CSS / JS information, your web site ought to load fairly quicker.

Are Plugins Slowing Down Your Site?

Once you’ve adopted the steps outlined above to optimize your theme, it’s time to analyze the plugins you’re utilizing. Go forward to the three platforms GTMetrix, Pingdom and Web pageSpeed Insights and run the studies once more. If the steps had been executed accurately and weren’t in place earlier than, your loading time ought to have already got gone down fairly a bit.

Let’s see if we will uncover extra bottlenecks in your plugins. Firstly, test in along with your internet hosting firm if any plugin is taking on extra server sources than others. A very good internet host will likely be in a position to test if any plugin in your web site is slowing down the server. Some plugins are identified to be fairly resource-heavy on servers, e.g. plugins for displaying associated posts, plugin packs like Jetpack, or safety plugins that scan your web site for malware within the background.

The quickest method to test if a sure plugin is slowing down your web site is to copy your web site to a staging model (how to arrange staging on LiquidWeb) after which deactivate one plugin after one other. After every deactivation, run the pace evaluation studies once more – the numbers will present you which of them plugin causes slow-downs.

Obviously, you may also once more undergo the Waterfall part of GTmetrix and the “File requests” part in Pingdom and test for plugin-related information.

pingdom report for wp mastery

The Pingdom report for WP Mastery reveals that not many plugin information are loaded. That’s as a result of I already mix CSS/JS information into single information – however it appears that I missed the “Better Click to Tweet” information. They’re only some bytes and take up a few milliseconds to load. At this level, together with them is a query of ROI – I don’t assume spending the time including these information is well worth the efficiency enhance. It’ll doubtless haven’t any measurable impact. However, if you happen to discover that sure information take an affordable time to load, they’re positively price optimizing!

Is The Google Bot Taking Up Server Resources?

Another bottleneck that’s typically uncared for is how typically bots just like the Google Bot (or bots from different search engines like google and yahoo) go to your web site to index your contents. Bots could cause heavy server load once they go to your web site too typically, so if that’s the case, you may want to reduce the crawl frequency.

Maintenance Tasks To Keep Your Site Fast

Lastly, let me point out a couple of upkeep duties you need to carry out commonly to hold your web site operating easily and quick:

  • Keep your WordPress core, themes and plugins up to date
  • Eliminate unused plugins and themes out of your set up
  • Regularly clear up your database with WP Sweep or related plugins
  • Off-load duties like backups and safety to third-party providers that run on their very own servers and never on yours
  • Be cautious when utilizing plugin suites like Jetpack or massive plugins like BBPress, YARPP, and alike.

Try Managed WordPress Hosting from Liquid Web

Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting takes the trouble out of internet hosting with automated updates to the core WordPress and plugins, together with picture compression which accelerates your web site and retains it safe.

Check Also

New Themes for May 2023 – News

New Themes for May 2023 – News

Five lovely new themes. Which one is your favourite? The staff is at …