Support » Fixing WordPress » How to improve slow server response time?

  • Hi, I’ve been using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to try and optimize the page speed on my site –

    Overall, my scores are ok, 52 mobile/69 desktop. However, one of the “should fix” flags that comes up is “Reduce server response time,” which is 2.8 seconds as of today. Google apparently recommends an ideal response time of 200ms, so mine seems to be WAY off. I’m using the business cloud hosting from Bluehost, so it’s not a cheap-o solution. I just contacted them and they gave me a typical response, nothing is wrong with their server and my website just needs to be optimized, which they’ll do for a big fee, of course. They wouldn’t tell me what exactly was “wrong” with my site to increase the response time on their end.

    So are they just giving me the run-around? Or is the problem actually on my end? If so, are there specific things I can do on my site to increase the server response time? The almost 3 second delay is really bothering me.

    I would really appreciate any help!


Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Hi zach4771,

    I recommend using W3 Total Cache, your site will respond much faster with this plugin.

    Hello Zach4771,

    In working server support for a hosting service we often see this issue. Personally, I recommend using They do a pretty good job of reviewing the possibilities for causing your site to be slow. They also provide pretty good explanations.

    I looked at yours with it, and your site got a 90 on the pagespeed tab and a 70 on their Yslow tab. The main issues they note (at the top of the list) are the Javascript and images being pulled. They recommend deferring the scripts (if possible), using gzip compression, and a content distribution network to help speed it up.

    When you talking about speeding up a server response, it’s going to involve the javascript and the content all being loaded from the server. If you’re loading a lot of javascript, it does take some time to run them from the server, especially if you’re running several scripts at once. Try to defer scripts so that they execute later – not at the start loading your site. Look up “how to defer javascript in WordPress sites” and you’ll see a bunch of articles on it.

    Regarding your image content, if they are large images not optimized for the web, then they will take some time to load. You can static content loading time like images by using CDN services. An example of one is Amazon Cloudfront CDN or MaxCDN. They may cost a little of money, but they help in reducing load time if you’re using a cheap hosting service.

    Hope that helps!

    Arnel C.


    ~ installing the P3 Profiler and see how the plugins you have installed are affecting your performance.

    ~ putting the site in maintenance mode, disabling all plugins and enabling a standard WordPress theme (e.g. Twenty-Sixteen). Improvement?

    ~ finding out why the call for wp-content/themes/woopress/custom.css is giving a 404 error. You are losing 1-1.5 sec looking for the file. Replace with a fresh file if it is missing.

    ~ you have a slow call to ?wc-ajax=get_refreshed_fragments which seems to be WooCommerce related. Read more here.

    ~ wp-admin/admin-ajax.php is slow to load. Have a read here for a possible solution.

    Thanks to everyone for responding.

    @barnez – thanks for your specific recommendations

    1. I used the P3 Profiler and removed a few unnecessary plugins.

    2. 404 error on – wp-content/themes/woopress/custom.css – thanks for catching this, I was able to correct it which really helped.

    3. The other two Ajax issues issues you mentioned seem to be effecting me, but might be over my head in terms of addressing.

    However, one major speed issue, and the reason for my original post, was that my server response time is really slow (just used Pingdom and it showed 2.9 seconds of wait time). Is there anything I can do to specifically address this?

    @arncus recommended – after a number of little fixes I made using their recommendations, I’ve now got some really nice scores, a big improvement. However, they’re showing a 2-3 second wait on the server as well whenever I run it.


    Happy to hear that some of the suggestions were useful. If you get the server response sorted it might be worth placing a request at or to resolve those last two slow requests.

    Regarding the server response time, did you try to test the response with a stock WordPress theme and no plugins activated (use If there is no change in that slow server response then I would take this back to your host as evidence that your server response is unsatisfactory for your business cloud plan. On their website it suggests that the response time should be in the region of 0.151 sec. At present it’s 1-2.5 sec.

    If the server load does improve *significantly* with all the plugins disabled and WordPress theme activated then it’s a case of reactivating one by one and seeing which plugin/theme is causing the slow server.

    To be fair, the site itself seems pretty well optimised, so I wouldn’t take up your host’s suggestion to work on that. The main issue is, as you originally stated, the slow server response.

    WordPress is really bad at server response time . I have 2 websites running on wordpress and both are slow. I dont know how to fix them

    I’m experiencing the same exact thing and use Bluehost. My server response is always between 1.1 and 1.2 seconds on the MAIN PAGE of one of my sites.

    I toggled on/off all plugins, used the 2016 default theme from WordPress, optimized everything else possible and it makes no difference.

    The only thing I was able to do to get the server time down to an appropriate level was by testing a page with no images. When I do that, I get a good grade from all the pagespeed sites and server response time is no longer a listed issue.

    I also tested another domain on the same account with absolutely no content aside from a stock WP theme and there is no server delay.

    So my best guess after all that testing is images are the culprit. Still, it seems absurd when you optimize them and still get a terrible lag time.

    Perhaps there’s a way to load images below the fold after other page elements load? Anyone have a solution to this? Thanks.


    BJ-Lazy-Load is great for loading images only when needed



    I’m trying to speed up my site, after a colleague found it too slow to work on, so it’s not just the initial loading of the site it’s something going on “inside” which is way above my head.
    Thanks to everybody, I’ll try your suggestions and see what happens.
    But there’s another thing. I tested on Pingdom and on all my sites – I have four – there seems to be a long delay in connecting to “” and then to “”. Now I understand that Google wants everybody to use “https” instead of “http” as well so will that make it worse?
    Any suggestions about this issue?



    im getting this same error on my website hosted on godaddy i have tried everything and of course godaddy said nothing is wrong with there end….. any help please?

    Thank you 🙂

    Hi there, I am facing the same type of issue for my site which is hosted at Siteground. I tried all the recommended action available here and there. I even installed W3 total cache plugin. Stll my the server response time is .4 sec which is double the Google recommended value (200 mili seconds).
    I am in confuse what to do? Should I change my host or can i do further work on the site to improve the server response time? Thansk in advance for your guidance on the issue.

    This is the ultimate guide to improve server response time for WordPress specifically.
    If your server response time hasn’t improved after implementing the tutorial. Your hosting provider is most probably at fault.

    Am also using this same hosting package from bluehost. My site is Sasibinu My loading time around 60 seconds from us server. So that am gonna move to bigrock. I have also experience in bigrock. It is better than blehost. Read the bluehost vs bigrock review 2017 and choose the best hosting service.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Sasi Kumar.
Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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