8 Steps to Fix Your Slow Loading WordPress Site

Supercharging your WordPress site begins with a crucial understanding: slow loading times not only frustrate your visitors but can also significantly impede your SEO efforts, reducing your site’s visibility. In the digital age, where seconds feel like minutes, every moment your page hesitates to load chips away at your audience’s patience and engagement. This realisation is the first step towards transforming your site from a sluggish entity into a swift, seamless experience for your users.

Step One: Choosing the Right WordPress Hosting for Speed

The foundation of a lightning-fast WordPress site lies in its hosting. Opting for a hosting provider that specialises in WordPress and offers dedicated resources can dramatically enhance your site’s speed. Managed WordPress hosting, though slightly pricier, is a game-changer, as it not only boosts performance but also handles updates, security, and backups, letting you focus on content creation. Remember, investing in high-quality hosting is investing in your site’s speed and reliability.

Step Two: Installing a Light-weight WordPress Theme for Agility

Gone are the days of bulky, feature-heavy themes that bog down your site’s speed. Today, agility wins the race. Selecting a lightweight WordPress theme doesn’t mean compromising on aesthetics or functionality; it’s about choosing efficiency over excess. Themes optimised for speed, with minimal and clean code, ensure that your site loads swiftly, providing your visitors with a smooth browsing experience right from the start.

Time for Step Three: Optimising Your Images for Quick Loading

Images, while vital for engagement, can be the Achilles’ heel of your site’s load time. Step three involves wielding the power of image optimisation techniques and tools, such as compression and proper format selection (JPEG for photos, PNG for graphics) to make your images web-friendly. By reducing the file size without sacrificing quality, you can significantly cut down on load times, making your site more agile and user-friendly.

Step Four: WordPress Caching Plugins

Caching is akin to having a photographic memory for your website, allowing it to recall and serve pages faster to returning visitors. By installing a robust WordPress caching plugin, you’re essentially reducing the amount of work your server has to do to display your website, thereby improving load times. Whether it’s page caching, object caching, or a full-page cache, the right plugin can make your site markedly quicker and more efficient.

Step Five: Minimising HTTP Requests for a Speedy Site

Each element of your site (images, scripts, CSS files) creates an HTTP request, and more requests mean slower load times. Step five involves streamlining your site by reducing these requests. Techniques such as CSS sprite sheets, combining CSS and JavaScript files, and utilising fewer, more efficient plugins can drastically reduce HTTP requests, leading to a notably quicker site.

Step Six: The Magic of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Imagine your site’s data being stored in a network of servers all around the globe, making it readily accessible to users from anywhere with lightning speed. This is the magic of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). By caching your site on a global network of servers, CDNs ensure that your content is delivered swiftly to users, regardless of their geographical location. This not only speeds up your site but also reduces the load on your primary server.

Step Seven: Sprucing Up Your WordPress Database for Efficiency

Over time, your WordPress database can become cluttered with unnecessary data, such as post revisions, unused tags, and outdated entries, which can slow down your site. Regularly cleaning and optimising your database can significantly improve your site’s performance. Tools and plugins designed for database optimization can help streamline this process, ensuring your site remains fast and efficient.

Final Step: Limiting Render-Blocking Javascript for a Zippy Site

Render-blocking JavaScript refers to scripts that prevent the page from loading until they are fully executed. These scripts can significantly delay your site’s loading time. By minimizing and deferring the loading of such scripts until after the main content has loaded, you can improve your site’s load time. This involves techniques like asynchronous loading and combining files where possible, ensuring that nothing stands in the way of a swift, responsive site.


Lewis Sweeney

Freelance Web Developer in Manchester, UK

I’m a freelance web developer based in Manchester, England and I build and fix websites all day, every day. I specialise in WordPress, WooCommerce and Shopify sites so whether you’re looking for a brand new site build or have bugs on your existing one get in touch…