If you are experiencing slowness with your DreamHost website, you read the right post. I am going to share some practical ways to go about this issue.
After implementing these proven methods, you will see drastic improvements in your DreamHost site speed.
- Fix DreamHost Slow on WordPress
- 1. DreamHost is slower by default.
- 2. Check if Caching is ON
- 3. Remove unused and slow load plugins
- 4. Stop loading unused CSS & JS
- 5. Don't leave a single image unoptimized.
- 6. Integrate your website with a CDN service
- 7. Upgrade to the new PHP Version
- 9. Add Domains to Prefetch DNS Requests
- 10. PerfMatters for a complete performance optimization
- 11. NitroPack: One plugin for all optimizations
Fix DreamHost Slow on WordPress
1. DreamHost is slower by default.
Based on the last 24 months data, we found that DreamHost offers average speed, and many hosting service providers are faster than DreamHost.
If you're new to Hostingstep.com, we find the Fastest WordPress hosting providers by deploying a test site on all popular hosting services and tracking them 24/7/365.
Here is the TTFB Response time comparison of DreamHost with other similar shared hosting companies. Remember, lower the response time, faster your servers.
There are multiple reasons associated with slowness, like DreamHost still rely on Apache Webservers, which was proven to be the slowest compared to other web servers like Nginx and LiteSpeed.
Multiple case studies are demonstrated on the Internet to prove how slower Apache is compared to other web servers. Here is one such case study for your understanding.
Since your sites at DreamHost are powered by Apache, I recommend moving your sites to LiteSpeed-powered hosting services like GreenGeeks.
With any further optimizations, the LiteSpeed hosts can offer a speed boost to your site. If you still rely on hosting with Dreamhost, try implementing the below optimizations techniques.
2. Check if Caching is ON
The first and foremost step to fix a slow WordPress site hosted on DreamHost is to enable caching.
Caching is a must for any WordPress website, and when you enable caching, your website is cached, and a static version of your website is presented to visitors without needing to execute PHP and MySQL. Hence, you can see that it will require fewer resources for the website to load and improve site speed.
There are many excellent WordPress caching plugins available on the market. Some are free, while some are paid.
If you only want a plugin for caching, you may use a free plugin like WP Fastest Cache. However, paid caching plugins like WP Rocket has many advanced performance optimization features which can 2x improve the slow-loading pages.
Using one of these plugins can help you take good care of every aspect of performance optimization. However, even if you use a free caching plugin, it gets you one step ahead and improves your site performance further.
3. Remove unused and slow load plugins
Removing used plugins and replacing slow plugins will undoubtedly improve the overall speed of your site to some extent.
Get to your WordPress plugin section and check for unused plugins. If you find one or more, you must remove them altogether, which will take a little load off your website. After all, what's the point of keeping unused plugins and making the site heavy?
Further, you must also check for slow load plugins. Certain plugins take longer to load, affecting your website's overall load time. I am sure you are wondering how to determine which plugins are loading slowly.
Don't worry, and it isn't complicated. All you have to do is head over to Gtmetrix and scan your site. After scanning, get to the Waterfall section and look closely at the different files and their load time.
If you find any plugin files with longer load times, you must consider replacing them at once. WordPress has a huge plugin library, and finding an alternative to a plugin is not hard.
After finding a suitable replacement, you can scan the site again and see the site speed is improved.
4. Stop loading unused CSS & JS
Unused CSS and JS may not be good from a performance perspective. Some scripts may load on all pages, including your homepage, even though they are unnecessary. For example, in the case of contact form plugins, the script loads even on pages where you didn't intend to use the contact forms.
When scripts like these load, it can largely worsen your site's performance. Hence, the best you can do is prevent such scripts from loading.
You might think that it's not possible unless you get your hands dirty with coding, but the fact is, you hardly have to touch a single line of code, and it can be accomplished by simply using a plugin like PerfMatters.
Perfmatters comes with a Script Manager, and you find it at the top admin menu bar of every page. You can get to the script manager and disable the unused script for that page. That's how easy it is.
However, PerfMatters is a paid plugin, and if you don't want a paid plugin, you can use WP Asset Clean Up. After you make the changes, you will notice an impressive improvement in your slow loading DreamHost WordPress site.
5. Don't leave a single image unoptimized.
No one can rule out the importance of images on a website. However, when you use too many images, you need to understand that it can gradually make your site heavier and makes your Dreamhost site to load slower.
If you don't want your images to improve your site's performance, you will need to optimize your images nicely. There are a few ways to do it. You can do it manually before uploading an image every time through online image optimization websites like TinyPNG.com.
However, the smarter way is to use an automatic image optimization plugins for WordPress. Most WordPress image optimization plugins offers extensive features like image compression, smart croping, etc. Some of the popular plugins to try are Smushit, Imagify, ShortPixel etc. I've been using ShortPixel for this site.
6. Integrate your website with a CDN service
A CDN comes with many advantages in terms of performance optimization. Cloudflare, Google CDN, KeyCDN, and BunnyCDN are some of the best CDN services. However, while most of them are paid, Cloudflare offers a free CDN plan to get started with. Using the free Cloudflare CDN is an excellent place to start.
Cloudflare comes with reverse proxy caching, Brotli compression, script minification, and over 150 global servers. Once you integrate your site with Cloudflare, you can have your content delivered to your target audience way faster than before.
7. Upgrade to the new PHP Version
The best thing you can do is check your site's PHP version. If your site is on an older PHP, you must change it to PHP7 or above. Ideally, a higher PHP version can handle increasing traffic better than older versions. PHP 7.4 is the stable version.
9. Add Domains to Prefetch DNS Requests
Using Prefetch DNS Requests is another excellent way of enhancing site performance. When you enable Prefetch DNS Requests, it gets the external files of a site to load faster. You can implement it using a WordPress plugin.
Besides, you can scan your site URL with prefetch.xyz to find the list of domains you can add to Prefetch DNS Requests. After you do this, the Core Web Vitals of your site will improve in a few days.
10. PerfMatters for a complete performance optimization
So far, we have seen how you can go about the different aspects of performance through various WordPress plugins. However, it's, again, not wise to use too many plugins. It's both inconvenient and, at the same time, bad from the performance perspective since too many plugins will make the website heavy and affect the site loading.
11. NitroPack: One plugin for all optimizations
NitroPack is another all-in-one optimization plugin and is slightly better than PerfMatters since it hardly requires any configuration on the users' end. The plugin comes pre-configured.
As far as the features go, NitroPack comes with advanced caching, image optimization, script optimization, and a CDN. Most importantly, the plugin is pretty lightweight. Furthermore, NitroPack offers a free plan, which is good enough for any new website.
DreamHost sites may get slow sometimes, but with the optimization techniques mentioned in this post, you can get your site blazing fast as long as the issue is not on the server's end. The methods I mentioned in this post shouldn't be difficult for you to implement. I suggest you give them all a good try, and you should surely see some remarkable differences in your DreamHost WordPress website speed.