Let’s kick this off by saying that WordPress is (as I am sure you agree) great! WordPress is a gift out of the box, your site is structured in a search engine friendly way, you have loads of nice template designs to get you up and moving fast, and there are endless ways of customizing your installation.
We have plenty of customers that run WordPress and almost immediately the first remark is “why is my site so slow?”. This usually reveals the #1 flaw of WordPress – the overwhelming presence of third-party add-ons and plug-ins.
WordPress Plug-ins Are Not A Bad Thing
The problem we see is just like hoarding apps on your smart phone, you just can’t help but install them. Plug-ins for WordPress are super simple to install and vary in performance. A common occurrence I will see personally is a simple website which has upwards of 15 plug-ins all active and not in use. A good rule of thumb, if you are not using a plugin remove it.
WordPress On Steroids
No such thing – as said before, WordPress is a great platform as is. There are many (some decent) “All-In-One” super website optimizers and performance enhancers out there. Truth be told, most users that use these all-in-one plugins do so because they sound awesome and they think that their site would be better with than without. I never recommend these plugins as they certainly play a role in performance which most of the time is not beneficial.
My rule of thumb when it comes to slower WordPress based website speed is to keep your installation clean, efficient, and specific to your exact needs.