Why is my site so slow?

If you bought a theme from us and once is installed and configured you realize that it is very slow, here are the most common issues: 

Take a look at any of our theme demos – for Neve or Hestia – you’ll see that they perform rather well, even despite being emulated on the fly.

The trick is simple, we invest money to achieve this result.

Here’s what you can do to get similar results, or even better ones  (hey, we too could still improve things):

5. You are using big images - Use Optimole for image optimization (it's free).

Nowadays you can find images at really high resolutions and with a size up to 10-20MB, however uploading an image like this to your site, will make the loading animation that we have on some of our themes to load forever, so make sure your images aren't bigger than 500KB - 1MB ( for the bigger ones )

On most sites, images account for the majority of bandwidth consumption. Just look at this quick example; the small image you’re seeing here is 35KB:

However, the whole text content of the message you’re reading now – the whole thing, from top to bottom – is only around 7KB.

If you want to increase the speed, images are your quick win.

Now, why Optimole?

It’s simple, they improve your website’s performance by reducing the image size drastically and serving through CDN covering up to 110 server locations worldwide. It maintains the image quality even after optimizing it.

Talking monetarily, it is freemium. In the free plan, it serves up to 5000 visits /month.

Check Optimole here

Test your website Images

Quick Steps to optimize images in WordPress:

  • Download and Install Optimole WordPress plugin.
  • Sign up for Free at https://optimole.com/ and copy the API key from the Dashboard.
  • Paste it at Media -> OptiMole and click on "Connect to Optimole Service". It will get connected and start optimizing the images automatically. 

4. You have a lot of plugins - Check P3 Profiler (is free )

Most of the plugins add CSS/JS on their own, so on top of the theme, you might have a lot of code that slows down your site, so make sure you investigate this.

Check https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/ to analyze the plugin back-end performance, for the front-end simply look with View-Source and see what scripts the plugins are adding.

Caution: This plugin is not updated since long. It might not work for you. What to do then?

Choose a manual path to find the slow plugins:

  • Take a back up using  Updraftplus WordPress Backup Plugin.
  • Deactivate all plugins.
  • Activate the plugins one by one and check how the different pages are performing on each activation.

3. Hook up your site to StackPath (previously MaxCDN).

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network – a network of servers that deliver your website to the visitor from the nearest geographic location possible.

The data has less distance to travel, therefore it can get to your visitor quicker. Simple.

Now, the free CDN services (like the native one for images, provided by WordPress.com) will only take you so far. Again, everyone’s using them, so it’s not like you gain anything just by joining the bandwagon.

That’s where StackPath comes into play. They are the leader in the CDN market not without a reason. The service is not free, but it’s well worth your money. They offer a range of features and performance improvements that you simply won’t find with the free alternatives.

Their  Starter Plans go for $9/mo For that, you get 100GB of bandwidth/mo. This plan should be good enough to get you going.

2. Go for a good caching tool like WP Super Cache.

WP Super Cache delivers really impressive performance improvements which can be compared to the premium solutions.

The setup is easier, there’s cache pre-loading, compression, and many more features that you don’t get from the competition. 

Or explore premium alternatives like WP Rocket if you're looking for more advanced features and on-the-spot support. With WP Rocket you can cache all the pages on your site, load images only when the users scroll over them, minify static files, and integrate a CDN.

1. Do yourself a favor … use a good web host.

We’ve been talking quite a lot about the importance of a good web host in the recent months.
This topic really can’t be stressed enough. A good web host can mean the difference between a successful website and a failed one.

I won’t get into the whole story here, but we’ve been testing various hosting options on the blog, looking for the company offering the best performance ( the whole case study).

The best overall hosting plan according to those experiments comes from SiteGround. They deliver the best average loading times and the best minimum and maximum response times (as analyzed with LoadImpact and Pingdom).

What plan to choose specifically? You can get started with the cheapest $3.95 / mo. But going one step up is a better idea – $7.95 / mo. It gives you 20GB of disk space, the ability to run multiple websites, and it can handle up to 25,000 visitors a month.

One final thought

 All tools/solutions featured here have their free alternatives (except hosting). However, like with most things, you get what you pay for.

In other words, the tools we’re recommending have their price tags for a reason… they do their jobs well.

That’s the uncomfortable truth about speeding up your WordPress… You need to invest in order to get a true top-performing and fast website.

Here are the recommended solutions again:

  • Optimole – use it to optimize your images.
  • StackPath – use it to deliver your website to your visitors quicker.
  • WP Super Cache – use it to make your website faster through caching.
  • SiteGround – use it to let your website run on a WordPress-optimized and fast server.
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