The Best Way to Make WordPress Faster

lightningDid you know that a slow website will actually reduce the number of visitors to your website? And reduced visitors means reduced customers. That’s why it’s so important to make WordPress faster.

Every week, I get 4 or 5 potential clients come to me saying their WordPress websites are loading way too slow and they want to find out how to make WordPress faster.

Luckily, speeding up a WordPress website is something that is easily fixed.

In fact, one of my clients had a website that took 7 to 10 seconds to load.

One change to her website, and it was loading faster than 2 seconds.

In this post, I’m going to show you what makes WordPress websites slow. Then I’ll show you how to make it faster.

But first, let’s discuss why faster WordPress websites are better.

Why Faster WordPress Sites are Better

There are two main reasons you want to make WordPress faster:

  1. Better user experience
  2. Higher search engine rankings (which means more traffic)

User Experience

Websites that take forever to load suck.

The average person doesn’t have the patience to wait for slow websites — they’ll simply leave.

But you may be surprised by what most people consider slow.

Studies have show that if a website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, people will visit it less often.

In essence, slow websites will deter customers.

Sadly, most websites take much longer than 2 seconds to load.

But user experience is just the first part.

Let’s discuss the impact website load speeds have on search engines.

Search Engine Rankings

Google has studied how people interact with websites, and it is well aware people hate slow websites.

Therefore, Google includes a website’s load speed as criteria for search engine rankings.

If a website is too slow (takes longer than 2 seconds to load), Google may lower its rankings.

This makes sense: Google wants to give its users the best experience possible. It doesn’t want to send them to slow websites where they’ll be annoyed.

So this is how a SLOW website load speeds affect user experience and search engine rankings NEGATIVELY.

But the opposite is also true.

When you make a website faster, Google will want to rank you HIGHER.

And remember: the majority of websites out there are very slow.

Having a faster website gives you a competitive advantage in search engines.

Now that you know why having a fast website is important, let’s discuss the main reason most WordPress websites are slow.

The #1 Cause of Slow WordPress Websites

This surprises most people.

A majority of WordPress websites are slow because they are on a slow server from a cheap hosting company.

The reason: when shopping for web hosting, most people choose the cheapest web host available (the ones who offer options at $2 to $7 a month).

As they say: you get what you pay for.

These companies are able to offer hosting so cheap BECAUSE it’s lower quality.

Now, let me clarify: not ALL lower priced hosting is bad.

But a lot of the ones I’ve seen and worked with are.

When discussing websites and web hosting, I like to use the saying:

Your website is only as fast as the server it’s on.

So if you’re on a slow host, no matter what you do to your website, it will always be slow.

If you want to make WordPress faster (and if you run a business, you DEFINITELY want a faster website), you need to get better hosting.

In fact, let me show you what a difference hosting makes using one of my clients as an example.

How Switching Hosting Made a 5-10 Second Website Load in Only 1.5 Seconds

My client, Susan, owns QCI-Online.com.

Before she came to me, she was hosting her website at GoDaddy.

Her website was dreadfully slow.

When I went through her website, it took each page 5-10 seconds to load.

Even worse, the WordPress backend took forever to update. Making a simple edit to a post took forever because Susan had to wait and wait and wait for the site to load.

I had analyzed Susan’s site when it was on GoDaddy and you can see the screenshot below (load speed was between 6 and 7 seconds).

website load speed before wpengine

As you’d imagine, Susan wasn’t happy at all.

She had tried calling GoDaddy to see how to speed up her site.

But their reply disheartened her: “It’s a WordPress issue, and we don’t provide support for WordPress. We can’t make WordPress faster.” (as a side note, many of my clients have received this same reply from GoDaddy).

I had already taken a look at Susan’s site and knew it wasn’t a WordPress problem — it was a hosting problem.

In one day, I moved her entire site from GoDaddy to a new hosting company.

And when we launched, instead of taking 5-10 seconds to load, her site was loading in only 1-2 seconds. I analyzed the site after the transfer and you can see the results below.

make wordpress faster with WP Engine

Nothing else was changed. All we did was change hosting.

Make WordPress Faster: Who Do You Recommend for Better, Faster Hosting?

The fastest, and the best hosting out there for WordPress is WP Engine.

It’s now where I host myWPexpert.com (have you noticed how much faster my site loads?). And it’s where I’ve been moving a lot of my clients to.

If you’d like to find out more about WP Engine, click here.

Their service is amazing.

First of all, they only host WordPress websites. They’ve spent a lot of time optimizing their servers to make WordPress as fast as possible.

But speed isn’t the only thing you get at WP Engine.

Just a few things I love about them:

  • Automatic, daily backups with a fast and easy restore option…so you don’t have to worry about backups anymore
  • Security monitoring and malware removal is included…so your site is as secure as possible
  • Amazing customer service…they go out of their way to help you (and never say they can’t help you with WordPress issues)
  • Almost no down time…my site hasn’t been down once since I moved
  • An easy way to quickly deploy a staging site…so you can test new plugins or changes before making them live

Now, when most people look at WP Engine’s price, they gasp, “That’s way more than I’m paying for hosting now.”

It’s true.

But, when you think about what you get for only $25 more dollars a month, it makes sense.

No more worrying about backups. No more worrying about people hacking your site. No more spending hours on the phone with customer support.

And don’t forget: a faster websites brings you more traffic which equals more business.

For only $25 more a month, I got peace of mind and saved a bunch of time…time which I use to expand my business.

Even as a WordPress expert, I’d rather have someone else handle my hosting problems…and that someone is WP Engine.

When I looked at it this way, it would be a bad decision NOT to use WP Engine.

So again, I highly recommend you switch to WP Engine just like I did.

If it’s not sweet enough, click here to learn about how you can get 2 months free.

And if you need help migrating or just have some questions about WP Engine, send me an email at: [email protected].

Tell Me What You Think

Do you want to make your WordPress site faster? Do you have any hosting horror stories?

Let me know be leaving a comment below.

Thanks!

Lightning Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by j_arred 

Comments

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Ansh

      Yes, that definitely is an important thing to do on a regular basis. And there are some great plugins for doing that like WP-Optimize.

      But I’ve found that if you have a slow host, no matter what you do, it will always be slow.

  1. says

    It’s a greate article Brandon! Quality hosting server is the main cause of slow websites but also reducing the weight of images or your website files can help a lot. I’ve written a short article about improving your site as well – you can read it by clicking on my name :)

  2. says

    Web hosting is indeed the most important aspect to consider while setting the parameters in place for your blog. However, it is the most often ignored aspect too, due to people looking in search of greater profits and having everything at a cheaper cost.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Thanks for the comment Stephen.

      You’re not alone. Most businesses don’t think about hosting as an important part of their site. But it really can make a huge difference.

      Not to mention…it makes managing your site easier.

  3. says

    Agreed! Hosting definitely is very important in speeding up a wordpress blog. I can’t afford WPEngine right now. So, I’m using HostGator. It is also good.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      I agree. HostGator is the company I use for my other sites. But I got to a point with myWPexpert.com where it made sense to get a better host. And it has made a huge difference.

  4. says

    Well, that’s definitely an eye opener, I definitely never thought that wordpress would slow down because of the web host. Another problem I have been getting from time to time is error 404, usually when I get problems with wordpress I would need someone to help me with it, wished I have found your site earlier. Will definitely go through the rest of your articles, thanks for all that you put in.

  5. says

    Fast loading website is the first step in providing user friendly experience to your visitors. So it’s essential to have fast loading website. WordPress website has great ease to manage as you can find number of useful plugins. I am very much satisfied with the useful information you have provide here in the post. I am going to make good use of it to improve the performance of my site.

  6. says

    Well I am also using some caching plugins and a free CDN service by cloudflare so my question is does these services really works?
    Are these reliable? I still have some loading problem, images are not correctly loading because of cloudflare CDN. Any cheap alternative?

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Rishabh

      Cacheing and CDN definitely make a difference. They can speed your site up incredibly. But you’ll always reach a limit to how fast your hosting company is.

      I prefer WP Engine so I don’t need to worry about cacheing or CDN: WP Engine does this for me.

      But Cloudflare is definitely good. And I recommend Super Cache.

        • Brandon Yanofsky says

          Hi Shashank. It’s be better to get WPEngine, but if you cannot afford it, max CDN and Cloudflare will work very well.

  7. says

    Fast loading website is the first step in providing user friendly experience to your visitors. So it’s essential to have fast loading website. WordPress website has great ease to manage as you can find number of useful plugins.

  8. says

    The hosting site is reasonably priced compared to some I’ve seen. I’d almost decided which host I want to switch to but I’ll check out this one first. I need to make up my mind soon. It’s just a scary thought and process since I don’t know anything about switching and what will be involved. I am afraid my site will *poof*. I was #1 on Google under niche “product reviews blog” but my site has been so slow and down so much lately, I’m like halfway down the page and only with my page now which sux :). Yep, it’s time for a new host for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Transferring isn’t as scary as it seems. If you have someone who can guide you along or help you with the transfer, it will be quick and painless.

  9. says

    website loading speed is very important for getting the most out of your website. People often ignore these small things which later affect the performance of the website.

    • Brandon Yanofsky says

      Hi Rico. Thanks for the comment.

      I agree with you. But while CloudFlare is great, it can be just a bandaid to a bigger issue. Before going to CloudFlare, I try and turn my clients to better hosting. But I will certainly be writing a new post soon about CloudFlare.

  10. says

    I have 4 different speed tests coming from a hostgator dedicated linux -> wpengine w/o cdn or cloudflare.

    I’ve been pretty happy and have it all documented pointing to a better experience with wpengine with better speeds, better pricing, and more uptime.

    i will be integrating cloudflare within the month to test out it’s ability to block out bots to reduce the overage costs in WPengine.

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