My WordPress website is slow - What can I do?

Your Wordpress website loads so slowly that you can get a coffee in between? That' not only annoying, but in the worst case it can also increase the bounce rate of your visitors.
Performance problems can have a number of causes, which can occur individually or all together. Therefore an analysis is necessary to find out where to start.
As soon as the situation is clearer and some possible culprits have been identified, we have a few tips&tricks for you that can help your WordPress back on track.

Measuring the loading time

First of all, it is advisable to measure the effective loading times of your website. This result can then be used to compare whether the individual adjustments have a benefit or not.

With the tool of Pingdom (https://tools.pingdom.com/) you can do this very easily.

Enter your domain in the URL line and start the test.

Look in the analysis of the "File request" for long loading times of elements such as plug-ins, images, scripts etc. and make a note of them.

Optimization

From the previous analysis you should now have an overview of the elements that have a long loading time and slow down your website.

PlugIns

Unnecessary plug-ins are, for example, those with which you can add the Google Analytics code to your website.

Just this example can be done fast and without much effort with the manual of Google Analytics without PlugIn.

 

Generally applies:

  • Avoid using too many plug-ins if you can't do without them, because less is definitely more.
  • Deactivate all plug-ins, then reactivate the plug-ins step by step and measure the speed of your page to find the culprit who is slowing down your website.

gZip and mod_deflate

gZIP is a compression program. Thanks to the compression it is possible to compress text, CSS, PHP or image files, which can contribute to a faster page structure.

mod_deflate works together with gZIP, but in .htaccess it can only be used after gzip (see example below).

gZIP ensures that the files are compressed by your web server before they are transferred to the browser and can therefore be transferred faster.

The two modules gzip and mod deflate can speed up your WordPress website enormously. By using mod_deflate and gzip you can save between 40% and 70% of the transfer volume, because the website is now compressed and can be delivered faster.

The use of the modules is very simple and is activated via the .htaccess file of the website.

You can test whether your website is already compressed with the following link (http://www.gidnetwork.com/tools/gzip-test.php).

Which rules you activate is up to you, an example can look like this:

mod_gzip_on Yes
mod_gzip_dechunk Yes
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^application/x-javascript.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*



AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

 

Further optimizations

The database that Wordpress uses is filled with some unnecessary data during operation.

  • Deleted pages
  • Spam Comments
  • Revisions
  • Deleted PlugIns
  • etc.

The easiest way to optimize the database is to clean it with a plug-in like Autoptimize or wp optimize.

After installing the PlugIn you can optimize CSS, JavaScript and HTML code.
It is also possible to load the images with Lazy Load. This means that data objects are only loaded when they are needed.

Caching

Caching is one of the most important aspects to significantly increase the performance of your website. Caching ensures that WordPress does not have to rebuild every page in the browser, but can access a finished version from the created cache.

Therefore it is important to use the server and browser cache.

The easiest way to configure the cache of your WordPress website is with plug-ins like WP Rocket - Performance Plug-In.

WP Rocket does a lot of work for you, among other things:

  • Delayed loading of JS
  • Minimization / Minify of CSS and JS
  • Database Optimization
  • LazyLoad
  • Browser caching
  • Page caching

A free alternative to WP Rocket would be WP Super Cache.

Recommendation: Wordpress with Nginx

Since the launch of Managed Flex servers, Hostpoint has offered the option of using Nginx as reverse proxy with Apache.

One of the advantages of Nginx as reverse proxy is that you can use the speed of Nginx in combination with Apache, since Nginx takes care of all static requests to the website. Meanwhile, Apache processes the dynamic requests.

This reduces Apache's workload, resulting in a significant increase in performance. In our tests the variation Nginx as Reverse Proxy with Apache could convince, since in contrast to the same installation on a Shared Webhosting, the performance of the web page could be increased by 50%. The two systems complement each other perfectly. Therefore one should work in each case also on WordPress level with a separate Cache-Plugin.

 

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