How To Troubleshoot A Slow WordPress Site


It could be a big headache to find the source of the problem that causes your WordPress site to perform slowly. This article will focus on how to troubleshoot a slow WordPress site, along with several suggestions to speed it up.

#1. Test your site’s loading speed

There are many causes can cause slowness to occur. For most experienced webmasters or developers, the first thing is testing the loading time of the WordPress site using a third-party tool. In this way, you can clearly know whether or not your site’s poor performance is happening in all locations.

There are plenty of free or paid tools you can make use of to test how long your page takes to load, including:

  • Pingdom
  • GTmetrix
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • YSlow
  • WebPageTest

In the case of Pingdom, you just need enter your site’s address and test it from all locations including Stockholm, Melbourne, California and San Jose.

#2. Optimize your WordPress database

All your WordPress site’s data, such as post revisions, comments, drafts and user information are stored in your database. When it accumulates too much unnecessary information, it is possible to get bloated and WordPress may take longer time to process each user request. Fortunately, many hosting providers, like Bisend, enable you to interact with your databases from your control panel—cPanel or Plesk.

However, manually optimizing your database to remove the overhead and make the overall size reduced can be tedious and extremely boring. The good news is, there are a number of WordPress plugins available to help optimize your database automatically, such as Clean Up Optimizer and WP-Optimize.

#3. Keep updating web applications

Web applications, including WordPress plugins, are powerful indeed in extending functionality. But they can also be the prime culprit for a slow site.

First, update all web applications regularly. Developers launch new version of WordPress, plugins, and other web applications on a regular basis, not for the purpose of improving the applications themselves, but also in order to fix security holes found in previous versions.

Secondly, delete unused plugins. Having too many unused WordPress plugins, regardless of they are inactive or disabled, means there would be more time to execute code therefore affecting your site performance.

Thirdly, use effective caching plugins. A caching plugin can significantly improve page loads time by saving the dynamically generated HTML files and serving them from the cache whenever a request is made. WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket are all recommended WordPress caching plugin options.

#4. Optimize your images

Images are a big part of online content, but usually high-resolutions images would take up more space. Large file sizes finally result in long loading times.

Wonder if there is a way to get your WordPress site to load faster without compromising the quality of your images? Yes, sure!

Many WordPress plugins can help you automate the process of optimizing your images. As I know, WP Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, and Compress JPG & PNG Images are widely-used WordPress image optimization plugins on the web.

#5. Use a CDN Service

CDN (or Content Delivery Network) will cache the website static file to multi locations, and your visitors could download the file from the one closest to their location to gain a fast page loading speed. Nowadays, almost all bloggers and webmasters are leveraging this technology to speed up WordPress.

I personally suggest you use the CloudFlare CDN on your WordPress site. Besides three premium plans, CloudFlare CDN offers a total free solution that includes unmetered mitigation of DDoS, global CDN, shared SSL certificate, and etc.

#6. Contact your web hosting provider

If you’ve done all the above solutions step by step, and fail to see any improvement. It is reasonable to attribute the slowness to your web hosting provider.

I don’t recommend you to leave your web host immediately. Instead, I think it is better to ask if they are upgrading their system or migrating to a new server, and how long it will take to complete the process. But if your hosting provider doesn’t have any plan to improve the performance and has been notorious for slow hosting speed experience according to your research, it’s time to consider transfer to another company. Most reputable hosting providers have free migration services to settle customers’ worries back at home.

If you’re new to the web hosting business and want a fast WordPress site, I recommend that you check out our Linux web hosting that allows you to build professional WordPress site using the latest Plesk Onyx at a very affordable pricing.