Are WordPress Websites Slow?

The more simple answer to this is, “Maybe, but it depends a lot on your implementation.”

Without question, a WordPress website will be slower than an identical website running on static HTML (all else equal). A WordPress site is dynamically generated by PHP scripts calling content from a database, while a static website must simply serve HTML pages and their accompanying media files.

But, a WordPress site need not be slow, in an absolute sense. There are many steps you can take to make it faster.

First of all, use a quality website hosting service. For a simple WordPress site, any well-regarded host will probably suffice, but I’m a fan of WP Engine. Their hosting really screams, even with very complex sites.

Next, there are a number of plugins that can help your sites speed.

1) WP-Optimize
As sites get larger and/or older, there tends to be a lot of legacy entries in the database. This plugin cleans up that old data, leaving a smaller, faster database.

2) Smush
This plugin can reduce the file size of a website’s images, leading to much faster loading.

3) Autoptimize
With this plugin, you can improve your website’s speed by optimizing JS, CSS, HTML and more.

There are alternatives to each of these plugins, but I’ve used each to great success.