Reasons for Slow WordPress Blog Speed: Optimization Methods

The reason why the speed of a WordPress website is crucial is to provide the best experience for my blog visitors and to increase the conversion rate for affiliate marketing or related advertising platforms.

In simple terms, if the page loading speed is slow, there’s a likelihood that visitors will hit the back button and possibly visit another blog. This can lead to a high bounce rate, negatively impacting search engine rankings.

Moreover, if AdSense is your primary source of income, a slow speed might delay or slow down the display of ads, affecting your earnings. Generally, the following are common reasons for a WordPress website’s decreased speed:

  1. Using heavy plugins or having too many installed plugins.
  2. Using weighty themes or themes with numerous built-in features.
  3. Poor server performance of the website.
  4. Lack of storage space.
  5. Blogs with an extensive amount of content, or a large number of stored images and video files.
  6. Excessive use of external scripts.

While there are many reasons, focusing on managing the above six can yield a more improved WordPress blog site than before.

WordPress Blog Speed Optimization Methods for 2023

You can utilize the following methods for optimization:

  1. Use Only Essential Plugins : Simply by reducing the number of active plugins, you can significantly improve your blog’s speed. While the recommended number is around five, if custom functionality is necessary, it’s best to implement it through coding.
  2. Utilize CDN Services
  3. Upgrade Hosting Server Specifications
  4. Use a Lightweight Theme
  5. Use Speed Optimization Plugins

Re-evaluation of Plugins for Necessity

It’s crucial to keep your WordPress site as lightweight as possible since this directly impacts site speed. Therefore, it’s essential to reconsider whether each plugin is truly necessary:

  • SEO Plugin Count: Strictly limit to 1.
  • Optimization-related Plugins (caching, file compression, image optimization): Limit strictly to 1.
  • Gutenberg Design Blocks plugin: Limit strictly to 1.

If you’re using many plugins and deem all of them crucial, you might need to consider utilizing CDN services.

CDN Service

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, which, as the name suggests, is a service that fetches and displays content on behalf of the origin.

As illustrated in the image above, we can see a summarized content on how the CDN operates.

  1. The connected CDN server fetches data from my original server.
  2. The CDN server processes the most optimized data from my original server (reducing website size, caching, etc.).
  3. Actual visitors view the data provided by the CDN server (blog posts, features, etc.).

Using a CDN minimizes the strain on the original server, significantly reducing server maintenance costs.

For instance, with platforms like Cafe24, you have to pay for excess traffic. By using a CDN, you can substantially reduce traffic costs.

Moreover, even if the web hosting server specifications are low, using a CDN can cover it to some extent.

Upgrading Hosting Server Performance

If the server performance is low, the website speed can be sluggish. A simple analogy is using an old computer with poor performance; internet connections might be slow, or games might not run well. If you’re playing high-end games, you need an appropriate computer. The same principle applies to hosting servers.

If you have a WordPress site that offers many features or attracts a lot of visitors, you need to set up a server with adequate performance.

If there are many stored images or files, you should select or add an appropriate hard disk capacity to maintain server stability.

Ways to Determine if a Theme is Slow

If a theme offers many features, there’s a high likelihood it’s a slow one. For instance, themes providing real-time front-end design editing capabilities, where you can visually customize the blog interface, or those with many built-in images or integrated within a framework can be slower.

Especially, themes integrated with numerous external plugins are likely to be heavy in over half of the cases. You can verify this by checking how many integrated plugins are provided when downloading the theme.

Speed Optimization Plugins

There are various kinds of speed optimization plugins available. Basically, they offer features to reduce the size of web pages by compressing CSS and JS. Other features include image size reduction, caching, and database optimization.

CSS, JS Compression: As the name suggests, this compresses CSS and JS files or automatically removes unused files, thus improving page speed.

Image Size Reduction: By reducing image file sizes, it increases the page speed. As this also considerably reduces traffic, it’s one of the most effective optimizations.

Caching: By loading files stored in cache, it reduces the traffic burden on visitors, hence improving the page speed.

Database Optimization: Cleaning up unused databases can improve speed.

Considering an Image CDN Service or Expanding with a Dedicated Server

Utilizing an image CDN or setting up a dedicated image server is highly recommended. As you continue to operate a blog over time, the number of image files inevitably increases. This can make the site heavier and potentially reduce its overall speed.

Amazon, major websites, and platform sites typically operate dedicated image servers. Since the images are stored externally, the site’s speed remains unaffected, regardless of the number of posts (or product listings).

There are various image CDN services available, but I recommend using Cloudflare’s image CDN. You simply store your images on Cloudflare’s servers and retrieve the stored image’s URL. Alternatively, you can also use cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Since there are no images or files stored on your hosting server, this approach allows you to maximize available storage space and reduce long-term burdens.

Key Conclusion

The fundamental takeaway is the importance of contemplating how to lighten the load of a specific page that a user visits.

Each blog page displays images, texts, AdSense ads, external scripts, and more. It’s essential to remove any components deemed unnecessary.

Among WordPress speed optimization methods, the most efficient and noticeable is the use of a CDN.

If you’re managing a multilingual site or if server traffic becomes unmanageable, it’s crucial to consider features like load balancing.

In conclusion, we encourage you to explore various strategies to minimize server load as much as possible.

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