A Plugin allows us to extend the functionality of Core WordPress software.

  • For example, WordPress doesn’t have e-commerce functionality. So, we must install the Woocommerce plugin to add e-commerce functionality to our site.
  • Similarly, WordPress doesn’t support Forms functionality by default. So, we install the WPForms plugin to add forms to our site.

Can plugins slow down your website? Yes 😫

  • This is because most plugin developers do not care about coding best practices and are not experienced programmers
  • Website owners install too many plugins just because they are easy to install

✨ Plugin usage best practices

  • πŸ‘ˆ Remove unnecessary plugins
  • Install a plugin only if it is absolutely necessary
  • Use lightweight plugins and avoid slow plugins. For example, the Weglot plugin is faster than the WPML plugin.
  • Checking out the reviews before installing a plugin
  • Business is more important than site performance. For example, you can not delete the Woocommerce plugin just because it is slow.

Next, let’s discuss about the role of databases in slowing down your website πŸ‘‡πŸ»

WordPress core software, themes, and plugins store the content and settings of your website inside the database.

That’s how your website content, appearance, and functionality are preserved.

Can the database slow your website?

  • Yes, but not as much as slow plugins or themes
  • The website’s database gets cluttered as the site grows old.
  • If you install a bloated theme, it adds a lot of settings to the database and clutters it
  • Some plugins add tables to the database, but those tables are not deleted when the plugin gets uninstalled. This puts an additional burden on the database
  • Content revisions get piled up with time, too!

✨ Database maintenance best practices

  • Following the best practices of themes and plugin usage will keep the database clean
  • πŸ‘ˆ You can use the “WP Optimize” plugin to clean the cluttered database
  • Clear the revisions of posts and pages regularly
  • Delete the database tables of the plugins that are no longer active on the website

Last but not least, we now need to discuss about the biggest elephant in the room, and that is Web Hosting πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Without Web hosting, people on the internet can not access your website.

  • WordPress is a PHP-based software. So, it must be hosted on a web server like Apache, Ngnix, etc.
  • A web hosting company like WP Engine, Cloudways, Rocket.net, etc., provides the web server for our website.

Can a web host slow down your website? Yes 😫

  • There are two types of web hosting plans. Shared Hosting and High-performance hosting.
  • Shared hosting plans are cheap, but they will force your website to share computer resources with 100s of other sites on the same server.
  • High-performance hosting plans dedicate computer resources just for your website
  • A shared-hosting server is the primary reason behind many slow websites.
  • A shared-hosting server is nothing but a server where your website shares computer resources such as RAM and computing power with hundreds of other websites.
  • So, if one of the other websites is getting good traffic, it uses all the computer power of the shared server, and there won’t be enough computing power left for your website to load faster.

The best practices are…

  • If performance is important to you, move away from cheap hosting services like Bluehost and invest in high-performance hosting services
  • A high-performance server could cost around $30 per month, but it is totally worth it.

The Bottom LineπŸ‘‡πŸ»

If you follow all the best practices mentioned so far, you don’t have to perform speed optimization at all.

Because WordPress Core Software is already efficient, your website will load fast without you having to do anything.