13 Big WordPress Speed Mistakes Bloggers Make All The Time

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When it comes to WordPress speed. Faster is always better, right?

After all, faster loading times for your blog’s posts and pages can not only lower bounce rates. (How likely your visitors are to view more than 1 page on your blog.)

But also how well those visitors convert to sales, subscribers and more.

Yes, your conversion rates are heavily based on design.

However, every extra little bit of page speed you can squeeze out of your blog. Can count towards boosting your conversions too.

As some studies have shown as much as a 1.11% increase for as little as reducing page load times by 100ms.

With this all in mind, let’s look at the biggest WordPress speed mistakes you might be making with your own blog. Plus solutions on how to fix them.

So you can boost your blog’s speed. That way you can benefit from the increases in page views and conversions.

As well as the SEO (search engine optimization) boost. Because your WordPress speed is used by Google as a ranking factor too!

1. Not Optimizing Images For WordPress Speed

Images are a valuable resource for any blog. As they can improve engagement, conversions and time spent on your pages.

But images can also take a toll on your website speed. As often they take up more data than text, code or other files that make up your WordPress blog.

All of this means that you can gain quick and dramatic increases to your WordPress blog’s speed. Simply by optimizing your images.

One of the best ways to optimize images for a WordPress blog. Is to use a plugin like ShortPixel or TinyPNG.

How To Use Shortpixel In WordPress Using The Image Optimizer Plugin
Before You Hit Publish In WordPress Optimize Your Images With Plugins Like Tinypng

Both of these plugins will automatically compress your images for you. Without it costing you anything. So long as you stick within the free allowances, which are usually 500 credits per month.

However, even if you find that you run out of free credits. ShortPixel can be extremely affordable while offering superior results.

In particular, if you go down the free image compression root. Keep an eye on your compression results for comparison. Because whilst certain plugins might claim to have the best compression. This isn’t always true for the free version.

For example, when I tested the free version of Smush that is often recommended. The results were lackluster at best. Only reducing image sizes by around 11%. Whereas plugins like ShortPixel, EWWW, and TinyPNG. Offered a 56% decrease in image size or more.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Get a high-quality WordPress image optimization plugin. Like ShortPixel, TinyPNG or get yourself free desktop software. Like IrfanView to optimize your images before you upload them.

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13 Big WordPress Speed Mistakes Bloggers Make All The Time

2. Not Being Selective With Plugins

WordPress plugins search bar

With the massive selection of plugins on WordPress.org. It can be easy to get carried away with adding WordPress plugins to your blog.

If you go about adding any WordPress plugin to your blog. Then you may quickly find yourself with a super slow loading WordPress website.

With this in mind. You’ll want to keep an eye on your website speed when adding any new WordPress plugin.

You can do this by running a couple of website speed tests before and after you’ve installed the plugin. This will tell you just how much of an impact certain WordPress plugins can have.

Pingdom website speed test tool

Get into the habit of removing old plugins. Even if they are inactive. As they can still slow down your WordPress blog. So be sure to deactivate and uninstall all plugins you are no longer using.

Another point is to be critical in your plugin selection. Think about whether you really need each plugin. As sometimes you might find that you can do the same task as a plugin manually. Without much work.

For more tips on avoiding common WordPress plugin mistakes check out this guide. As making these types of mistakes can result in more than just speed issues.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Test your blog speed with tools like Pingdom. Before and after installing new plugins. So you can monitor the impact of new plugins early on.

Delete completely any plugins you are not currently using. As well as be critical whether the plugins you still have installed are worth the resources they are using.

3. Using Slow Web Hosting

Battle Against The Clock With WordPress Speed Header Image

If your WordPress blog is loading slow. Have you considered your web hosting?

When you first started a blog. It may have been just an experiment and you went for the cheapest hosting you could find.

Or in some cases, just the first web hosting recommended often by others. Because trying to figure out which is the best can be quite overwhelming.

There appears to always be mixed opinions on which is the fastest WordPress hosting out there. Even when detailed tests and comparisons are done.

But in general, some hosts appear to do well regularly on speed tests compared to others.

I frequently come across SiteGround as being quick despite being shared-hosting. Plus overall having positive reviews when it comes to support.

I’ve personally had good results even on a cheap shared hosting plan like Bluehost. As my page load speeds regularly score under 1.8 seconds. With the average being around 1.5 and my homepage being as low as 1.2 seconds.

WPEngine and Kinsta also seem to rank often as the highest in terms of speed especially. However, they are also on the more expensive side.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Do your research! Look for which web hosts are currently scoring the highest for speed tests. As well as test your current hosting while keeping an eye on your server response time.

4. Themes That Aren’t Fully Optimized For WordPress Speed

The beauty of WordPress is that there are so many different ways to customize your blog. But with there being so many different themes out there it can be difficult to choose one.

Especially when there is also the problem with their vastly ranging quality.

How To Choose A WordPress Theme On The WordPress Org Website Directory

So, what can you do?

Well, I’d look for theme creators who are well known for their quality.

For example, the Genesis Framework was created by StudioPress. Who are known for their high quality and robust code. So their themes are likely to be fast. Rather than bloated and slowing down your blog.

The Astra theme is highlighted as one of the most lightweight and fastest themes out there. It is even possible to get under 1-second page loads with little customization. It’s really that light.

Paperio is another lightweight theme. Making it extremely fast like the Astra theme. So you can easily get 1 second and under page loads.

I myself, use a combination of the Genesis Framework. Paired with the Market child theme by Restored316.

WordPress Genesis Framework with Restored316 Market Theme within the WP Dashboard

My page load speeds average around 1.5 seconds. So this combination can definitely work for getting a fast loading blog. Even on cheap hosting.

And is strong evidence for it being a well-optimized theme.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Look for themes that have proven fast loading speeds. You may even be able to use tools like Pingdom to test the speed of a theme. By using an available link to the live demo.

5. Not Using A Cache Plugin To Speed Up WordPress

WP Rocket 3.4 for superior WordPress speed performance

Setting up caching on your website might sound complicated. But WordPress caching plugins actually can make the process quite easy.

Why are they important for your blog speed?

Because they can reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded. By storing copies locally in the browser.

This makes subsequent visits and additional page views faster at loading. Compared to the first time a visitor loads your WordPress blog.

By not using a WordPress plugin for caching. You are missing out on massive WordPress speed improvements!

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Use one of the popular WordPress caching plugins in 2020 like:

6. Avoiding Updating Your Blog

Bloggers Dark Desk With Laptop Coffee And Blogging Essentials For Business

Updating your blog is a critical WordPress maintenance task. That every blogger should be doing regularly.

You may worry that updating your blog can cause issues. But you are far more likely to have long-term and serious implications for not updating your blog.

Whilst updates are not perfect, so long as you follow the correct procedures. Meaning you have a backup in place for if anything breaks.

Then any issues caused by updating your blog. Should be minimal and easy to resolve.

Compare this to the issues not updating your blog can have. Such as slowing your entire website. That can, in turn, affect things like:

  • SEO
  • Amount of traffic
  • Sales
  • New subscribers
  • Visitors opinion of your blog

But not only can it impact your WordPress speed. It can also significantly increase the chances of your blog being hacked.

As more than 60% of hacked websites are running on an outdated version of WordPress.

So, not only will keeping your blog updated speed up your blog with the latest tweaks. It will also improve your WordPress security too.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Make sure you follow the right steps to keep your blog updated. You can also consider whether automatic updates are suitable. As they can help reduce your workload.

7. Using Old Versions Of PHP

Similar to not keeping up with the latest WordPress updates. Many bloggers make the mistake of using an old version of PHP for their blogs.

Now, you don’t need to understand the ins and outs of what PHP is. Only that it is used by WordPress to run some of its processes. That helps to make everything work together.

But here’s the thing.

Kinsta ran some benchmark tests and found PHP 7.4 to be the fastest to date in 2020.

WordPress 5.3 to 7.4 PHP Speeds
Image Source: Kinsta

Overall, they also found that the older the PHP version your blog is running. The bigger the benefits of upgrading and the faster WordPress speed results you will get.

As, for example, upgrading from PHP 5.6 to 7.4 can improve the processing speed of requests by over 3 times the amount.

That’s a pretty big performance leap wouldn’t you say?

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Install the PHP version plugin for your blog. So you can see what you are currently running on from your dashboard.

Example Of The Display Php Plugin Showing In The At A Glance Section In The WordPress Dashboard

If your version is older than the latest PHP version 7.4. Then you may want to consider updating it.

But before that, you should also install the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin. So you can see if there are any potential issues for upgrading.

For example, older plugins might not be compatible. So you should consider removing or replacing them. Before you upgrade to the latest version of PHP.

Once you’re happy that there are no conflicts. It’s time to backup your blog and then update your PHP version.

Because every web hosting provider has different menus and screens. I suggest you do some research on how to update PHP specifically with your web hosting.

Here are some examples of guides I found:

If you find yourself struggling to do this or it seems a bit daunting. Then you can usually raise a ticket with your web hosting’s support to request them to update it for you.

8. Not Making Use Of A CDN For WordPress Speed

Wordpress Speed Optimization Mistakes Bloggers Make All The Time Header Image

If you don’t know what a CDN is yet. Then you are likely making the mistake of not using one.

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. And it can speed up your WordPress blog by hosting your images on servers all over the world.

Rather than just where you have your web hosting setup.

What this means is that your blog images can be sent to your visitor’s browser dynamically. Based on their physical location.

So that images are sent from the closest server. And this improves how fast resources can load.

Think of it this way. 

If you are based in the US and try to access a website hosted in the UK. The website will load slower for you.

Compared to someone else. Who is based in the UK and accessing the same website.

It’s all to do with your location and a CDN aims to counter this limitation!

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Start with a free CDN using Cloudflare. Or another popular option is Photon that is included in the Jetpack plugin.

9. Letting Your Blog Load Everything At Once

Female Blogger Using Desktop Computer To Grow Her Business

Whenever someone visits your blog. All the images, text and resources are all loaded at once.

This can mean several MB of data being downloaded. That can result in posts and pages loading slower.

But what if you could optimize your pages to only download the content needed. As your visitors scroll to it?

Well, this is where Lazy Load comes in. There are several different ways to implement Lazy Loading on your blog. But the most common is with your images.

This means that each image you have on a particular blog post. Would only be downloaded by your visitor’s browser. Just before they scrolled it into their screen’s view.

This method can cut down page loading times and improve your WordPress speed.

Especially for mobile devices because the portion of the screen viewed at any one point is so small. Not to mention that downloads on mobile devices are much slower compared to desktops.

But not only this. It also can reduce the number of resources used per page overall. Which can save both you and your visitors’ valuable bandwidth.

Particularly if your visitors are using a mobile data plan.

There’s just one major problem.

If you use Pinterest marketing on your blog and add hidden Pinterest images to your blog posts. They can get stuck when used alongside many Lazy Load plugins.

So you may need to come up with a workaround. Such as adding a CSS class to your hidden pin images and then using this to exclude them from your Lazy Load plugin.

It is worth noting that if you use WP Tasty Pins to add hidden pins to your blog posts. They have a guide for how to get these to load with many of the popular Lazy Load plugins.

The simplest workaround is to skip on Lazy load if you are using hidden Pinterest images. But this isn’t the most ideal of solutions.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Use a Lazy Load plugin like:

Then make sure to exclude hidden Pinterest images from Lazy Loading. So that you won’t have problems with your Pinterest button not working.

10. Not Splitting Up Your Blog Post Comments For WordPress Speed

Pink Watch Monitor You WordPress Speed Header Image

Another common blogging mistake. That can increase your WordPress loading times and slow your blog. Is showing all the comments for your blog post.

Since every single comment is another data request. What you should aim for instead is splitting your comments.

So that they are in smaller groups of say 10 comments. Then any additional comments beyond this can go onto further pages.

This means comments are still available to read by your visitors. But their impact on your blog speed will be limited.

This method is great for speeding up WordPress blogs with tons of comments.

But if you don’t get many comments on your blog. Then this tip won’t help you to see much improvement sadly.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

To reduce the effect that comments can have on your WordPress blog’s speed. Split your comments into about 10 comments per page.

You can do this using the Settings > Discussion menu with the WordPress dashboard.

Then under the Other comment settings tick the last option to Break comments into pages. You’ll also need to set the number of top-level comments per page.

How To Enable Comments In WordPress And Split The Amount Of Comments Per Page For Speed

11. Bloated Databases

Wordpress Speed Its Impact On Your Bounce Rate Conversions Sales Analytics

Over time as your WordPress blog is visited and you make changes. The WordPress database gets more information added to it. And in some cases removed.

Like when you delete spam comments, remove plugins or edit your blog posts.

Without regular maintenance the database can become bloated. Because when stuff is added and removed. It is not always removed most efficiently.

This where optimizing your database comes in.

As it can reduce not only the size of your database. But also how quickly the system can find the information it needs.

After all, it is always much easier to find something when you don’t have to deal with clutter, right?

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

The easiest way to deal with optimizing your WordPress database to remove bloat. Is by using a plugin like WP Optimize. Remember to backup beforehand!

12. Having Too Many Post Revisions

Blogger White Desk With Keyboard Mouse And Monitor With Infographic

Did you know? Every time you update or edit a post or page on your WordPress blog a revision is kept in your database.

This means that for every blog post you have. You could have dozens of revisions sitting around. Just taking up space and resources in your database.

There isn’t a cap on these post revisions. So large blogs or ones that have been around for years. Could be sitting on 100’s of post revisions that have zero benefits.

Especially when it comes to blog speed. Since they can also be part of the bloating problem with your database.

So by trimming down your revisions you can save space and speed up your blog at the same time.

That’s a win-win, if you ask me!

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Remove all the extra bloat from your WordPress database. Then limit your post revisions to 2-3 max. You can use a guide like this for step-by-step instructions.

13. Trying To Load Everything Directly From Your Blog

Blogging Laptop Smartphone To Optimize Speed

Every website has its limitations as to how much it can process at once. Making it the ultimate bottleneck for just how fast you can make your WordPress blog.

To free up more resources and speed up your blog. Think about the processes that run on your blog. That could potentially be moved elsewhere.

One option I like to use is for the related posts at the bottom of my blog.

Some plugins that can generate dynamically related posts at the bottom of a post. Can suck up a lot of server resources if you run them on your blog.

Because of this, some web hosting providers ban certain plugins like this from being used.

The related posts module of the Jetpack plugin works around this. By running the processes on their servers instead.

Before You Hit Publish In WordPress Create A Featured Image For Related Posts And Thumbnails

Meaning I can benefit from highly relevant related posts on my blog posts. Whilst also keeping my web host happy and speeding up my blog too.

Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Other ideas could include:

  • Using a third-party comment system.
  • Offloading your media files onto cloud storage. Like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage.
  • Or even loading videos into YouTube and then embedding them into your blog posts. Instead of trying to host the video directly on your blog.

Solution To This WordPress Speed Mistake:

Think about whether there are resources or processes. That could be loaded faster from outside of your blog’s server.

You can then look for a solution to put this in place for you. Like a plugin or an external service.

Recap Of The Big WordPress Speed Mistakes Bloggers Make

Wordpress Speed Mistakes The Importance Of The Time It Takes Your Blog To Load Header Image

As you can see, there are plenty of mistakes that cause a slowdown on your WordPress blog. This post has covered the biggest and most common mistakes.


  • Not optimizing your images
  • Not being selective with your plugins
  • Using slow web hosting
  • Themes that aren’t optimized
  • Not using caching + a CDN
  • Skipping on WordPress updates
  • Using PHP versions olders than 7.4
  • Letting your blog load everything at once
  • Not splitting your blog comments into pages
  • Leaving your database bloated with unnecessary data
  • Not trimming your post revisions
  • Using your blog to process everything instead of outsourcing

These mistakes are easy enough to make. That we all make them at some point. Especially when new to blogging.

Heck, I’ll hold my hand up and admit I’ve made plenty of these mistakes myself!

It’s all just a part of the learning curve.

But now that you are aware of them. It’s time to take action for your own blog and use the solutions to fix any mistakes that you have been making.

You’ll soon find yourself one step closer to a faster WordPress blog!

Which mistakes have you been making on your blog? Are there any mistakes that you know about that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below:

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13 Big WordPress Speed Mistakes Bloggers Make All The Time

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