There is a lot of troubleshooting you can do to speed up your WordPress site, but the majority of WordPress issues usually come down to poor quality web hosting or hosting-related problems.
To begin with, I’m going to give you a brief overview of each of the steps you can take to speed up your site, and then we’ll get deep into the details further down the page. Whether you’re a tech newbie or you’ve done this a few times before, you’ll find an answer to your question of, “How do I fix my slow WordPress website?”
1. Get Rid of the Bargain Basement Hosting
Host your site on the best web hosting you can afford. This means NO Ksh 500 /month hosting. If you’re on Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, Dreamhost or any other host owned by EIG, then it’s time for you to find a new hosting solution.
Generally speaking, expect to spend a minimum of Ksh 2500 per month for high quality WordPress hosting. Some people balk at spending Ksh 5000 or Ksh 1000 a month on hosting, but you get what you pay for.
2. Set Up Cloudflare.com
Cloudflare is a content delivery network, web acceleration service and WAF (web application firewall). It will speed up your DNS resolution (often the cause of slow websites) and also adds caching and optimisation, which in some cases can cut load times in half.
Cloudflare is free, and even if your website is already fast, Cloudflare will speed it up even further and increase the number of visitors the website can handle at any given time.
Having a content delivery network is especially important if you have a business that serves customers worldwide. The further people are from your server, the slower your website will load for them, and Cloudflare removes most of the issues surrounding this.
3. Compress Your Images
Compress the images on your site using lossless compression (which creates smaller files sizes with no reduction in image quality). WP Smush is excellent and has a free option.
Often images can be compressed by 20 to 50%, which can easily cut 1 to 2 seconds off the load time of a page. This might not sound like a lot, but it can be the difference between someone taking the action you want them to, and losing their patience and clicking away from the site.
4. Try the Most Common Fixes. You Might Get Lucky!
Below we are going to dig into each of these solutions in detail. It’s amazing how often the same problems crop up for WordPress sites, so try out the common troubleshooting steps listed.
You might get lucky with an easy fix, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time, energy and money tackling these before you go looking for something much more complex.
Before making any changes, make sure you do a baseline speed test using tools.pingdom.com so that you have a baseline to work from. As a general rule, the site load speed needs to be under 5 seconds: 3 seconds is fast enough, and around 1 second is ideal.