Why is WordPress slow on Bluehost?

Getting the most out of WordPress should be the goal of every website owner, but for those of us who host with Bluehost there’s an added benefit. The more CPU you use the slower your site runs. Unlike some other hosting companies, Bluehost throttles your account so that you don’t go over the allotted cycles for your account.

Why is WordPress slow?

First off, let me say that there is a reason WordPress is slow . . . it’s a dog. I mean that in an affectionate way, but it’s the truth. WordPress is a great application but it’s a huge application. There are 150,000 lines of code in WordPress and that’s not including any plugins that you’ve installed.

In comparison, the King James Bible has just shy of 80,000 lines of text and Hamlet has only 4,000, which seem like a lot during most high school performances.

My point is, WordPress has a lot of code and because of that, it has a lot to do everything it’s loaded. The solution to making it load faster is to do one of two things;

  1. Have it load less often.
  2. Have it load things more effectively.

Really, I could stumble around in the dark for a while trying to come up with a better way of telling you that, but that’s the truth.

Making WordPress Load Less Often

The first thing to do on any host, but especially Bluehost, is to simply make WordPress load less often. Say, for example, you have 100 pages or posts on your site and you have 1,000 visitors a day. That means that WordPress is loading 100 * 1,000 times or 100,000 times a day. That’s simply insane, it would be like rewriting a letter to each kid in a classroom instead of photocopying the message.

Let’s make WordPress faster by caching the pages. Page caching works exactly like a photocopying. Instead of loading WP every time a page is loaded, it loads the page once and then writes that page to a temporary file to be loaded every time the site is loaded. That way, WordPress only needs to load once per page, or 100 times a day instead of 100,000 times a day.

Offload Some of the Heavy Processing

For popular WordPress sites, the RSS feed can be loaded far more often than the site itself. On my site, I have 20 times the traffic to my RSS feed than I do my site. That means that for 200,000 page loads almost 180,000 of them are to the http://thisismyurl.com/feed/ page, but it doesn’t cache. Worse, it doesn’t simply load one page it loops through the most recent 20 and displays the content for users. That’s a lot of page loading so let’s get rid of those CPU cycles by letting Google do the heavy lifting for us.

These two tips, while not exhaustive, should allow your Bluehost powered WordPress website to handle 50,000 visitors per month with relative ease. Not bad for $8 a month.

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