WordPress Going Slow? Read This Before You Upgrade Your Hosting Account!

wordpress-logoFrom time to time we all experience slow downs on our websites.  Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, these can happen occasionally and can be quite frustrating – particularly when we think we’ve put in lots of time to make our site run like a well oiled machine.  Wordpress Hosting accounts used to be pretty niche – but they are becoming increasingly common now.

Essentially, WordPress Hosting accounts are just a branded version of the commonly known shared hosting.  Wordpress Hosting accounts usually (but not always) have less disk space and bandwidth available then a regular shared hosting account – and they normally come in a bit cheaper.  Maybe just a couple of pounds per month.

You’ve landed here, you’re WordPress blog is going slow and you don’t know why.  You think you need to upgrade your hosting account – but before you do that, you might just need to a couple of things to get your blog back up and running at normal speed.


Let’s check whether there’s any obvious reasons for the WordPress slowdown:

  • Is your site experiencing an increase – or a surge – in traffic numbers – maybe you’re site has just tipped over a certain point where the numbers of visitors are placing a strong demand on your hosting account and you really do need to upgrade.  Or, maybe you’ve got a sudden surge in numbers – these are usually temporary but might occur when you make a post that is particularly popular – whether this be because it’s an article on the latest fad or more than a touch controversial.  In these cases, the surge will usually die down and things are back to normal.
  • Is your site under attack?  DDoS attacks are affecting more and more sites these days.  Have you put in some controversial criticism of a group or organisation recently?  Maybe they just want to get there own back a little.  Check your hosting accounts logs to see if this is an issue – if you’re struggling with this or you’re not sure, contact your hosting provider for assistance.
  • Is it just certain pages that are slow?  Maybe it’s not your whole site, maybe just a page or two.  Are these particularly large, feature rich or image heavy?  These can all be reasons for causing a slow down.

One of the Main Culprits…

However, one of the main culprits on WordPress blogs, particularly as they got older, are…..


Yes, that’s right, plugins add cool features but also can slow things down.  If you’re on a limited shared account, you probably want to try and keep plugins in single figures.  Even with the largest hosting accounts on the markets, you have to be careful about having a bazillion plugins.  The more plugins you have, the slower your site is likely to be.  Furthermore, every additional plugin that you add to your WordPress blog increases site maintenance and increases the risk of cross-compatibility issues (plugins have to play nicely together or they can mess up your blog).

This May Surprise You!

Inactive plugins – they’re inactive, so what harm can they do?  Right?

Wrong!  When I first started using WordPress I thought a similar thing.  If a plugin sits there inactive, it’s OK.  It’s inactive – can’t do any harm other than take up a little disk space, right?

Wrong again.  Inactive plugins are a major cause or massive slowdowns – particularly affecting older blogs, that tend to increase the number of inactive plugins are their sites grow.

If a plugins been inactive for a while, it’s time to throw it into the digital bin.  Banish it from your blog and reap the speed benefits.  Your frustrations will decrease, your blog maintenance workload will decrease and you’ll have happier readers.

How Do I Get Rid of Them?

From your WordPress Administration panel, look at the menu on your left hand side and select the ‘Plugins’ option:


Click on the ‘Inactive’ option just below the Plugins title near the top of the page:


Check the first checkbox on the right of the plugins list to select all the inactive plugins:


Click the Bulk Actions dropdown:


The select the ‘Delete’ option:


And hey presto – all your inactive plugins are gone.  Have a quick click around on your blog.  You should find that it’s faster than it was.  The more inactive plugins you had, the greater the increase in speed that you should notice.

Are you a WordPress blogger?  Have you got any tips to share with us how to supercharge the speed of your blog?  Let us know in the comments below!

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