Recipe For A Slow Website

Recipe for a slow web site:
1) Use wordpress (with)
2) use discount hosting
3) Use wordpress plugins
4) Make sure you don't understand assets being loaded and their sizes
5) Make sure compression is off
6) Be sure to use blocking load requests for css, images, and scripts

Any ONE OR MORE of these will TANK performance.

To make wordpress fast you need professional hosting, likely dedicated which can be costly. So items 1 & 2 really go hand in hand.

Plugins can be a black hole...there are lots LOTS of plugins that are programmed very poorly even though they might provide functionality...can easily destroy performance.

Large assets (images > 1mb) are a problem. over 65% of all traffic is mobile - over a cell connection in many is important to deliver assets at the appropriate size. Some animated gifs can be 20+mb

Compression is another thing - depending on how you set up the first few items, you might be able to enable asset compression, but you don't want to compress on each requests, you want it done once, per change.

Blocking load requests can be a MAJOR issue...css/javascript placement matters...and plugins can get these out of place and then ...kaboom.

To make a site fast, it has to be simple, optimized, and/or served up by the appropriate powered server.

Saving money on hosting is usually a major issue - not just for speed but also security.

If for some reason, you want to improve the performance of your web site - and you don't abandon wordpress then here's a few things to try:

  1. Enable/Disable plugins
  2. Review asset sizes (images/video) and reduce them if possible
  3. Lazy-load large assets if they MUST be loaded on the page 
  4. Get more powerful hosting
  5. Minimize assets (css, javascript, etc)
  6. Load assets from a CDN if possible

If your load times are greater than 5 seconds on a page not laden with images and video, then you might need more horsepower (ditch the discount host)

If the base page ( the / ) is averaging 5s to load and then everything loads after that there's a 5s pause when hitting content pages...thats pretty steep...and this indicates its likely a horsepower issue with the host.

Something to keep in mind as well: Testing in your browser isn't necessarily a true "user experience test". If someone clicks on an Ad in a social app on mobile - this generally uses the embedded browser which may not be optimized for regular web browsing (like Chrome) and can result in non-optimal performance.

If there is a business need to increase speed, and your site is fairly straightforward, then I would try a different host or a different platform (non-wordpress) and see.

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