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      How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress (10 Tips)


      Seeing a 500 internal server error where your website should be is enough to throw anyone into a panic. When your website goes down, you lose out on potential traffic and sales. If it’s offline for a while, it can also negatively impact your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

      Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about fixing this error. Many of these solutions are fairly straightforward, and you don’t need a lot of technical know-how to start troubleshooting.

      In this guide, we’ll cover what the 500 internal server error in WordPress is and discuss some potential causes. Then we’ll give you 10 tips to help you get your website back in working order.

      1. Back up your website.
      2. Try reloading the page.
      3. Clear your browser cache.
      4. Access your error logs.
      5. Check for the “Error Establishing a Database Connection.”
      6. Look for permission errors.
      7. Increase your PHP memory limit.
      8. Check for problems with your .htaccess file.
      9. Look for coding or syntax errors in your CGI/Perl script.
      10. Ask your web host about potential server issues.

      Let’s get started!

      Dealing with the WordPress Internal Server Error?

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      What Is the 500 Internal Server Error?

      The 500 internal server error is frustratingly nonspecific. When the error occurs, you usually don’t get many details about it. In fact, you might not receive any information at all.

      An example of a 500 internal server error screen.

      The 500 error is a generic issue that isn’t specific to WordPress. Chances are you’ve seen it before during your internet explorations. Despite the name, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your server. It could be an issue with your website or browser.

      If you do see this error on your site, you’ll want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. A 500 error can impact your SEO if allowed to linger. If your site is crawled while it’s offline, there’s a chance that Google may interpret the error as an issue with your website.

      This error can also hurt your User Experience (UX) and give visitors the impression that you’re unprofessional. Not only can a poor UX affect the way Google ranks your site, but it can cause you to lose customers as well. After all, you can’t do business if your site isn’t accessible.

      A wide variety of situations can result in the 500 error, making it a bit of a chore to sort out. Potential causes of the 500 internal server error in WordPress include:

      • Plugin compatibility issues
      • Exhausted PHP memory limit
      • Corrupted files
      • Coding or syntax errors

      The fact that the error message itself tends to be vague doesn’t help. Fortunately, you can solve many of these issues on your own with a bit of know-how.

      Variations on the 500 Internal Server Error

      Depending on your operating system, browser, and the cause of the error, there are variations in how it will appear. For example, if a database connection can’t be established, you might see something like this:

      An error establishing a database connection message.

      A plain white screen, sometimes referred to as the White Screen of Death (WSoD), can indicate a 500 internal server error.

      A blank browser window due to a 500 error.

      Also, many site owners have the option to customize their 500 error messages. So you might see this error in many different forms.

      How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress (10 Tips)

      Now that you’ve had an introduction to the 500 internal server error, it’s time to discuss how to resolve it. Let’s take a look at ten tips you can use to fix this issue in WordPress.

      1. Back up your website.

      Before tinkering under the hood, it’s always smart to make a backup of your website. If DreamHost hosts your site, you can take advantage of our one-click backup feature. You can also create a manual backup if you prefer.

      To make a complete backup, you’ll need to save copies of your WordPress files as well as your databases. You can back up your site’s files using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client such as FileZilla.

      Once you’re connected to your server, navigate to the WordPress files you want to save. These files include the WordPress core installation, plugins, themes, images, and more. To save the files, simply right-click on them and select Download.

      How to download WordPress files via SFTP.

      Now you’ll need to back up your database, which you can do by logging into phpMyAdmin. Select the database you want to download from the left-hand panel, and then click on the Export tab.

      You’ll then need to choose between a “Quick” or a “Custom” export. The Quick export will likely work just fine unless you need to manage more advanced options.

      Options for downloading a WordPress database using phpMyAdmin.

      Click on the Go button, and your download should start. Once your website is safely backed up, you can get to work on fixing that 500 error.

      2. Try reloading the page.

      Let’s start with the best-case scenario. Some situations that cause a 500 internal error clear up on their own within a few minutes. For example, if you’ve just made changes to a plugin or theme, or if your host is experiencing unusually heavy traffic, you may see a server error. If this is true in your case, you’re in luck, as a simple page reload should get things back to normal.

      Therefore, the first thing to try is simply waiting a minute or two, during which the error will hopefully resolve itself. Then you can try reloading the page by pressing F5 or (command + R if you’re using a Mac).

      3. Clear your browser cache.

      Another potential server error fix that’s quick and easy is clearing your browser cache. It’s possible the cache became corrupted, which would cause problems when attempting to access websites.

      First, you might check Down For Everyone Or Just Me. This will determine whether there’s a widespread problem or you’re the only one experiencing difficulties.

      Amazon.com’s status on Down for Everyone or Just Me.

      If you’re alone in your 500 error frustration, the problem may be your browser. Try accessing your site from a different browser. If an alternative works, it’s a sign that the issue is with your cache.

      In Google Chrome, you can clear your cache by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete. Alternatively, you can click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner, followed by More tools > Clear browsing data.

      Options for clearing the browser cache in Chrome.

      Be sure to check the Cached images and files box. Then click on the Clear data button.

      In Firefox, you can clear the cache using the Ctrl + Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut. This will open the Clear Recent History window. In the Time range to clear drop-down menu, select Everything. Check the Cache box, and then click on OK.

      Options for clearing browser data in Firefox.

      In Safari, you can navigate to the History menu item and choose Clear History. Keep in mind that this will delete everything, including cookies and visited pages.

      How to clear the browser cache in Safari.

      Once you’ve cleared your browser cache, you can attempt to access your website again. If you’re still seeing the 500 internal server error, it’s time to move on to more involved fixes.

      4. Access your error logs.

      Your site’s error logs may provide insight into what’s causing the 500 error. Depending on your host, these logs may be cycled quite often, so you’ll want to take a look as soon as possible.

      You can check your error logs by accessing your site’s files via SFTP and looking for the /logs directory. Next, select the site that’s experiencing the error. You may see several directories at this point. You’ll want to check the one with the most recent date.

      Error and access log files accessed via FileZilla.

      You can view the log by downloading it and opening it with your preferred text editor. Hopefully, your error logs will provide you with some additional context for the 500 error.

      Another option is to enable the WordPress debug log. You can do this by connecting to your site via SFTP and opening your wp-config.php file. Within it, look for the following line:

      define('WP_DEBUG', false);

      Once you find it, replace it with the following:

      define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
      
      define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
      
      define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

      This will create a debug.log file, which you can find under the /wp-content/ directory. Just be sure to change the WP_DEBUG value back to “false” when you’re done troubleshooting.

      5. Check for the ‘Error Establishing a Database Connection.’

      If there’s been a problem establishing a database connection, not only will your site be offline for visitors, but you won’t be able to access the WordPress admin dashboard either. There are a few possible causes of this:

      • Incorrect database login credentials
      • A corrupted WordPress database
      • A corrupted WordPress installation file

      Let’s start with incorrect login credentials, as this is a common cause of the database connection error. If you’re a DreamHost user, you can find your database credentials in your panel. However, if you use a different host, you’ll likely follow a similar procedure.

      Navigate to MySQL Databases and find the one that corresponds to your website under the Database(s) on this server section. Here, you’ll find your database name under the Database heading. The username is listed under the Users Access column.

      Alt-text: Where to find your MySQL username in DreamPanel.

      To find the password, click on the username. On the next screen, scroll down and click on the Show button next to the password field.

      How to find your database password in DreamPanel.

      Next, you’ll compare these credentials to those in your wp-config.php file. You can access this file in your site’s main directory via SFTP. Once you have the file downloaded, open it and verify that the information under MySQL Settings matches what you found in your panel.

      Checking MySQL settings in the wpconfig.php file.

      Next, if your database is corrupted, you can quickly repair it through phpMyAdmin. Log in and click on your database in the left panel. Select all of the tables in the database, and then choose the Repair table option from the drop-down menu.

      Repairing a database in phpMyAdmin.

      Finally, let’s look at how to handle a corrupted WordPress installation file. Start by downloading a new copy of WordPress and unzipping the file. You’ll need to delete the wp-content folder and the wp-config-sample.php file.

      Deleting files from a new WordPress installation.

      Upload the rest of the files to your site via SFTP, overwriting any existing ones. You now have a brand new, uncorrupted WordPress installation. You’ll also want to clear your browser cache before checking your website again.

      6. Look for permission errors.

      If any of your files have permissions set incorrectly, you may see the 500 internal server error as a result. Again, you can check and change these permissions using SFTP.

      Right-click on any file and select File permissions to open a new dialogue window. In this window, you can check and, if necessary, set new permissions for the file.

      Checking and updating file permissions using FileZilla.

      Typically, you’ll want to set files to “644” and directories and executables to “755”. However, you may want to check with your host if you’re unsure about the correct values.

      7. Increase your PHP memory limit.

      Another reason you might see the 500 internal server error is if you’ve exceeded your server’s PHP memory limit. There are several ways to increase your limit, and they all involve using SFTP.

      Before you try increasing your memory limit, you may want to start by seeing what it’s currently set to. You can do this through the WordPress admin dashboard. Keep in mind that, with some variations of the 500 error, you won’t be able to access the dashboard. If that’s the case, you may have to skip this step.

      From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Tools > Site Health. Click on Info at the top of the screen, and scroll down to the Server section. You should see your PHP memory limit there.

      How to check your WordPress site’s PHP memory limit.

      To increase the PHP memory limit, there are a few files you can edit. One is your .htaccess file, typically located in your site’s root directory. Open the file and add the following code:

      php_value memory_limit xxxM

      You can replace the “xxx” with your desired amount of memory. Usually, 256M is plenty.

      You can also increase your memory limit by editing your php.ini file. You should be able to find this file in your root directory. If not, you can go ahead and create one. Add or update its code to the following:

      memory_limit = xxxM

      Another option is to add in the following code at the top of your wp-config.php file:

      define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', 'xxxM');

      If this resolves the 500 error, your next task will be to figure out what is causing the memory limit exhaustion. It could be a problematic plugin or theme. You might consider reaching out to your host for help on finding the exact server diagnostics.

      8. Check for problems with your .htaccess file.

      Your .htaccess file is one of the core WordPress files. It contains rules for your server, so it could contribute to a 500 internal server error.

      If your .htaccess file has become corrupted, you’ll want to go ahead and create a fresh one. Start by logging into your site via SFTP and finding your .htaccess file. Rename the file to .htaccess_old.

      Renaming a file in FileZilla.

      Now, create a new .htaccess file in your text editor and paste in the following:

      # BEGIN WordPress
      
      RewriteEngine On
      
      RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
      
      RewriteBase /
      
      RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]
      
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      
      RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
      
      # END WordPress

      Go ahead and upload your newly created .htaccess file. Then refresh your site in your browser, and check to see whether the error message is showing.

      9. Look for coding or syntax errors in your CGI/Perl script.

      If you’re running Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts, any coding errors you’ve made could result in a 500 error. To unearth potential issues with your CGI scripts, log into your site using Secure Shell Access (SSH).

      Once you’ve logged in, you can troubleshoot your CGI with this command:

      [server]$ ./cgi_name.cgi

      The terminal should return a general error message and the line number the culprit is located on. From there, you can work your coding magic!

      When working with CGI, there are a few best practices to keep in mind to avoid problems. First, it’s wise to use a plain text editor to ensure that you maintain ASCII format. When you upload scripts, you should also be able to select ASCII mode in your FTP client.

      Changing the transfer type option in FileZilla.

      Finally, if necessary, upload to the cgi-bin directory on your server. Then you can double-check your files’ permissions once you have them uploaded.

      10. Ask your web host about potential server issues.

      If all else fails, there may be a server issue, which only your host can confirm. Unfortunately, if your host’s server is experiencing a problem, you may have to wait out some website downtime.

      If you’re a DreamHost client, you can check the DreamHost Status page. This resource provides you with information on all of our services.

      The DreamHost status page.

      If you run into any problems while trying to repair the 500 internal server error, you can always reach out to our tech support team. They’re ready and waiting to lend you a hand! If you’ve followed the tips in this guide, you’ll have plenty of valuable information for the technician.

      Ready to Dive into Your Error Log?

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      Let’s Get Your WordPress Website Back on Track

      While having to sort out a 500 internal server error isn’t exactly fun, it’s also not as painful as you might imagine. With a little patience and the tips we’ve provided, you should be able to make some progress on getting your website back online.

      You can start small by refreshing your page and clearing your browser cache. Then you might want to move onto more involved fixes, such as increasing your PHP memory limit. If you’re not able to resolve the error on your own, DreamHost’s award-winning tech support is just a click away.

      When you do run into errors, it’s easier to get back up and running when you have a reliable hosting provider. DreamPress is fast, secure WordPress hosting with powerful features to help make your site a success!



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      How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Brute-Force Attack in WordPress on a DigitalOcean Droplet


      Introduction

      While running a WordPress installation through a hosting service can be a convenient way to start a website, it’s not without security vulnerabilities that may sometimes be hard to troubleshoot. Brute-force attacks, cyberattacks that rapidly work to guess and access personal information like logins or passwords, happen when these vulnerabilities are exploited, and can sometimes originate from your website.

      When facing brute-force attacks from your Droplets on DigitalOcean, it’s imperative to remove the threat quickly. While there are a number of ways to identify and remove compromised files vulnerable to attack, this tutorial aims to provide you with some steps to help you detect, resolve, and secure your WordPress installation(s) across DigitalOcean Droplets from vulnerabilities in the future.

      Step 1: Identify the Source of the Brute-Force Attack

      The first step in troubleshooting an issue with a brute-force attack initiated from your Droplet is to identify the malware responsible for the malicious traffic. There are numerous tools and options available, but ClamAV ( http://www.clamav.net/ ) is a good tool to initially attempt to identify and remove the malware.

      Most Linux distributions have ClamAV in their package management system, and typically you’ll need to install ClamAV and then run it.

      • For Ubuntu, Debian, and most Debian-based distributions, you can run:
      • sudo apt-get install clamav clamav-daemon
      • For CentOS 8 you need to enable the EPEL ( https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL ) repo, which is an official repository of packages supported by the Fedora project, and then install ClamAV.

      You can do so with a single command:

      • dnf --enablerepo=epel -y install clamav clamav-update

      Once ClamAV is installed, you can scan your system with:

      • clamscan --infected --recursive /path/to/wordpress/sites

      Replace the highlighted path with the correct path for your WordPress site. The --recursive parameter will make sure that the command is configured to recurse through subdirectories, and the path we used in this example points to the root folder where all WordPress installations are located. This way, with a single command you can scan all your WordPress sites. ClamAV will then return a list of all files it finds suspicious, but will not take any action yet. After investigating which files ClamAV detected as suspicious and confirming they can be safely removed without causing further damage to your system, you might want to re-run the command with the --remove option to remove the infected files.

      Note:
      --remove will delete any files it finds suspicious with no input from you, so it is NOT RECOMMENDED to run with --remove as your first scan until you can confirm the results.

      In cases where ClamAV does not find any malware, you will need to manually investigate and find the malware. While there are several ways to do this, a good starting point is to find and identify any recently uploaded files, based on the file’s timestamp information.

      To do this, use the ‘find’ command:

      • find /path/to/wordpress/site -mtime -DAYS

      To use this command, replace the /path/to/wordpress/site with the file path to your WordPress site, and -DAYS with how many days to go back. For example, if you wanted to look back 1 day, it would be -1; to look back 10 days, it would be -10.

      Take time to investigate any files that were uploaded or modified that you’re unaware of.

      Step 2: Update your WordPress Installation

      After identifying the malware, the next step to preventing malicious attacks from reoccurring is to update your WordPress installation. It’s wise to patch WordPress and any themes or plugins installed, to ensure that, if the compromise was in a plugin or theme’s install directory, you have removed and reinstalled that plugin or theme. You may be able to remove all malicious files, but in most cases, a clean installation of a compromised component is preferred.

      You can perform these updates from within WordPress’ administration UI in most cases, which doesn’t require the use of any additional tools. WordPress also offers an automatic update option that you’re encouraged to enable in order to reduce the time your websites might be vulnerable to newly discovered security issues.

      Another helpful piece of advice in preventing malicious attacks is to update all components, even the ones that are marked as inactive. In some situations, even disabled plugins and themes may be accessible and able to be compromised if not kept updated. If you’re sure you don’t need a theme or plugin, the best course of action would be to remove it in its entirety.

      In some cases, a theme or plugin may be abandoned by the author, and while you have the most recent version installed, the plugin or theme may have an issue that has not been fixed. In this case, you may need to consider other options for substituting the abandoned component that is currently updated, but was still the source of a compromise.

      Step 3: Secure Your WordPress Installation Against Malicious Attacks

      Once you have both removed any malicious files and ensured all components are updated, it’s time to secure your WordPress installation. The next step we recommend is to change all passwords for users that have access to the administration UI, especially those that have full admin rights, or the ability to upload or modify file contents.

      Checking your filesystem permissions if you’re not aware of the current configuration is also an important step in securing your WordPress installation, as the wrong permissions can allow file read and write access you didn’t intend. WordPress provides a good outline of what the settings should be and how to update them here.

      As a step in securing your Droplet’s installation, you can also install a plugin to limit the amount of failed login attempts, which dramatically reduces the risk of brute force attacks. The wp-limit-login-attempts plugin is a popular option to use.

      Finally, consider using a WordPress security plugin like Jetpack or Wordfence. These plugins help actively combat intrusion attempts and provide a final layer of security to ensure that your site is only used for what you intend.

      An alternative to using a server-side plugin like Jetpack or Wordfence would be to investigate if Cloudflare’s caching and Web Application Firewall (WAF) service might be a good fit for your specific use case. To learn more about this option, check out CloudFlare’s documentation.

      Conclusion

      Navigating troubleshooting options when brute-force attacks originate from your Droplets can be cumbersome, but in this tutorial, we shared some steps to help you detect, resolve, and secure your WordPress installation(s) across Droplets. For more security-related information to help manage Droplets, check out our Recommended Security Measures article.



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      12 Reasons Why Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)


      Site speed plays a crucial role in the success of your website. It affects a variety of key metrics, for example, including your site’s visibility and conversion rate. Optimizing your website’s speed is clearly a necessity, but figuring out how to do it can be tricky.

      Fortunately, there are several easily-accessible speed tests you can use to determine how your site’s performance measures up. Although there are several reasons your site may be slow, you can resolve many of them with free WordPress plugins and quality web hosting.

      In this post, we’ll explain why site speed is so vital to your website. Then we’ll share solutions to 12 common issues that can lead to poor website performance. Let’s dive right in!

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      Why Your Website’s Loading Speed Matters

      These days, users expect websites to be fast. When pages take longer than expected to load, it negatively impacts your site’s User Experience (UX). This matters because any time your UX takes a hit, so does your conversion rate.

      You’ll likely see higher page abandonment and bounce rates as well. To be more specific, studies show that an additional two seconds of loading time can increase your site’s bounce rate by 103 percent. Plus, just 100 milliseconds of extra loading time can cause a 7 percent drop in conversion rates.

      Even fractions of a second count, so optimizing your site’s performance as fully as you can is crucial. What’s more, website speed not only influences whether users stay on your site and convert; it also affects whether or not they can find it in the first place.

      Site speed is now a Google ranking factor for both desktop and mobile sites. If you don’t maintain decent website performance, your site’s visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) may decrease, leading to lower traffic levels.

      With your website’s success on the line, speed can’t be ignored. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a smart place to start is by testing to determine where your site stands now. You can run load time tests to see how long your users are waiting and then get to work on decreasing those numbers.

      12 Reasons Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them)

      Once you know the current state of your site’s performance, you can start optimizing key factors that influence site speed. Let’s look at 12 of the most common problems that contribute to slow websites and discuss how to resolve them.

      1. Render-Blocking JavaScript Is Delaying Page Loads

      JavaScript is the code that makes your website functional and interactive for users. Without it, your site would be pretty dull. However, if left unoptimized, JavaScript can delay your pages when they try to load in users’ browsers.

      When a browser tries to display a webpage, it has to stop and fully load any JavaScript files it encounters first. This results in what’s called ‘render-blocking JavaScript’ or JavaScript that prevents the page from loading quickly.

      There are three solutions for dealing with render-blocking JavaScript:

      • Remove external JavaScript files, and use inline JavaScript instead.
      • Use asynchronous loading so JavaScript can load separately from the rest of the page.
      • Defer JavaScript loading until the rest of the page is visible to the user.

      Each method has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, inline JavaScript will only improve page speed when used sparingly. Asynchronous loading can cause issues as files are not loaded in any particular order. Therefore, deferring JavaScript is usually the recommended method.

      2. You’re Not Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

      A Content Delivery Network (CDN) consists of several servers that are placed in strategic geographic locations. You can store copies of your website on them so its pages can be quickly loaded by users who are located far away from your main server.

      There are several CDN options for your WordPress site. Cloudflare is one of the most popular solutions, as is the Jetpack CDN for images and videos. For customers on our DreamPress Plus and Pro plans, you’ll get unlimited CDN usage powered by Jetpack.

      Additionally, if your website uses jQuery, you can load it from a CDN instead of your web server. Since jQuery uses far fewer lines of code than JavaScript to accomplish the same outcomes, it can be especially useful for boosting your site’s speed. Google and Microsoft are the two most popular jQuery CDN options.

      3. There’s Excessive Overhead in Your Database

      ‘Overhead’ refers to extraneous items in your site’s database — things like logs, transients, and other entries from plugins or themes can build up over time. Too much of this ‘overhead’ can cause database queries to take longer than necessary. In some cases, it can even cause your web server to time out while waiting for a response from your database.

      Optimizing your database by removing overhead will help prevent this. Most web hosts allow you to access the database management platform phpMyAdmin via your hosting account. If you aren’t able to optimize your tables in phpMyAdmin, you can use the WordPress Command Line interface (WP-CLI).

      4. Your Site’s CSS Isn’t Optimized

      Like JavaScript, your site’s CSS — the code responsible for styling its pages — can delay loading if left unoptimized. There are a few solutions you can implement to get your CSS into shape:

      • If you have several external CSS files, combine them into one or a few files.
      • Remove external CSS and use inline CSS instead.
      • Use ‘media types’ to specify when certain CSS files should be loaded.

      Like inline JavaScript, inline CSS is only useful for small portions of code. If you have several large CSS files, you shouldn’t try to add all of them to your HTML file. Specifying media types and combining your external CSS files (if you have more than one) should make a more significant impact.

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      5. OPcache Isn’t Enabled

      OPcache is a built-in caching engine for the coding language PHP. If you use PHP on your site, having OPcache enabled can speed up its loading and the loading of your pages as a result.

      If you host your website with one of our Shared WordPress or DreamPress plans, OPcache is enabled by default. If your site is hosted using one of our other plans or with another web host, you’ll likely need to enable it manually.

      6. Caching Issues Are Preventing Optimized Page Loading

      Caching is when browsers store static copies of your website’s files. Then when users access your site, their browsers can display the cached data instead of having to reload it.

      There are several caching solutions available for WordPress users, including using a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache.

      The WP Super Cache plugin.

      Our DreamPress customers have the advantage of built-in caching, which is included with your hosting account.

      DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plans

      This makes third-party caching plugins unnecessary. However, we do recommend using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin to manage your DreamPress cache.

      The Proxy Cache Purge plugin.

      The plugin automatically sends requests to delete cached data for a page or post after you’ve modified it. This can help prevent some caching issues that may result in slower site speeds.

      7. Large Media Files Are Increasing Loading Times

      Media files, such as images and videos, tend to be quite large. Optimizing them through compression can help to decrease their size and, therefore, improve your loading times.

      TinyJPG is a free online tool that compresses images. There are also several plugins you can use to compress media files within WordPress, including Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

      The Smush Image Optimization plugin.

      Compressing videos is a little trickier, so it’s usually better to host them externally on YouTube or another platform instead. You can then easily embed your videos on pages or posts.

      8. Poorly-Written Scripts Are Conflicting With Other Site Elements

      Poorly-written JavaScript can sometimes cause compatibility issues with other parts of your website, resulting in longer loading times. Running a speed test using tools such as Pingdom, Web Page Test, and GTmetrix can often point out scripts that are taking a long time to load.

      You can then investigate these files more closely to determine how you can improve them. It may also be useful to turn potentially problematic scripts off temporarily, to see how your performance scores change without them enabled.

      9. Your Site’s Code Is Too Bulky

      The more code your user’s web browser has to load, the longer it will take for your website to become visible. If your code is too ‘bulky’ or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your site may be slower. In response, you can ‘minify’ that code by removing the elements that aren’t needed.

      There are two popular plugins for carrying out this task. Autoptimize minifies code, in addition to inlining CSS and optimizing JavaScript files. It also integrates well with WP Super Cache.

      The Autoptimize plugin for WordPress.

      Fast Velocity Minify merges CSS and JavaScript files to reduce the number of requests needed for browsers to load your pages. It also minifies your code.

      The Fast Velocity Minify plugin for WordPress.

      Both plugins are solid choices. You might consider trying out each one and seeing which increases your performance test scores more.

      10. Missing Files Are Causing Errors

      In some instances, your WordPress installation may be missing files. If this happens, users will experience longer loading times as additional requests are made in an attempt to find the files. This process will eventually result in a 404 error if the files can’t be found.

      The causes behind this issue are numerous and varied. Instead of trying to track down the source of the problem, the fastest solution is to restore your site from your most recent backup. This should replace the missing files with the versions saved in your backup.

      11. Plugins Are Weighing Your Site Down

      Having too many plugins — or even a few very bulky ones — can weigh your website down and cause poor performance. It’s wise to always completely remove any plugins you’re not using to minimize the chance that this will happen.

      Additionally, some plugins can interfere with the caching of your site’s pages. If you’re using the Proxy Cache Purge plugin we mentioned earlier in this article, you can pinpoint which plugins are causing the problem by navigating to Proxy Cache > Check Caching.

      12. Internet Issues Are Hurting Specific Users’ Performance

      Finally, poor website performance can be due to an issue with a user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), rather than with your site itself. Slow site speeds can result from network congestion, bandwidth throttling and restrictions, data discrimination and filtering, or content filtering.

      If you notice slow speeds when visiting your site, you can run a traceroute between your computer and your website to test the connection. This should give you an idea of whether or not the problem is related to your ISP or is a more significant site-wide concern.

      Lighten Your Website Load

      Your website’s performance and response time are closely tied to its success, so taking every available opportunity to improve it is worth the effort. Figuring out why your website has lagging load times can help boost both its Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and UX, resulting in better visibility and a higher conversion rate.

      We’ve covered twelve common causes of slow site speeds throughout this post. While ideally, you’ll want to optimize your site in all the ways we’ve mentioned, pinpointing specific areas for improvement — such as enabling caching or compressing your media files — can help you tackle the biggest issues first.

      Looking for a hosting service that can keep up with your site’s performance needs? Our Shared Hosting plans are a convenient, low-cost solution that’s optimized for WordPress and ideal for new users. Check them out today!



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