It’s not uncommon for website owners to struggle finding the reasons why their site runs slowly. There are tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights that will give you suggestions, but it’s up to you to find the reason for your site’s poor performance. Here are a few things you could still be missing and why your site is still running slowly.
Insufficient Hardware or Server Resources
With traditional web hosting, if you don’t pay much each month you probably have shared hosting. With shared hosting, you share server hardware resources with the hundreds of other sites hosted on the same server. This means that a site owner that uses too much resources could create performance issues on your own site.
Using a CDN, you can offload much of the requirements but your origin server still needs enough resources to handle data transfers. Check out your hosting plan and upgrade to either VPS or dedicated servers if your main hosting server is running too slow.
Network Performance Issues
When users connect to your site hosted by a CDN, the CDN edge servers handle the transfer of data and usually this data is cached at the local data center. CDNs are much more reliable than most hosting servers, but you still need to have a fast network connection from your main origin server to the CDN data center. If you have poor network resources, it can cause performance issues when transferring data to the CDN.
Some networking issues can’t be avoided, because it could be an issue on the Internet or with a main provider’s infrastructure. However, check your hosting plan and check for a good bandwidth option to ensure good speed between your server and the CDN.
Third-Party Plugins and Applications
This issue is especially prevalent on WordPress sites. WordPress is fast and efficient out of the box, but as soon as you start adding plugins to the site it can begin to become sluggish. Some plugins connect to an API or use resources on a third-party site. If the other site is slow, then your own local application will load slowly for users.
If you find that your WordPress site is now slow after installing plugins, disable them one-by-one. Each time you disable one plugin, run performance tests on your site to check it’s response time. If the site performance improves after removing one plugin, then you know the culprit. Keep in mind that performance issues can be caused by more than one plugin, so you may need to replace or disable more than one plugin to fix the performance issues.
Poor Caching or Incorrect Caching Configurations
CDNs cache your content, but you have some control over your site’s cached content on the origin server. Caching greatly speeds up your site, because resources such as header, footer and static files are stored in server memory. Each time a CDN requests content from your origin server, cached content will be served faster than if you rely on dynamic processing with every request.
WordPress offers caching plugins, but you can also cache content through your hosting configurations. Some hosts limit options when you have shared hosting, so check with your server controls to see if caching is an option.