WordPress can be a gift out of the box. WordPress provides a pre-structured website set up in a search-engine-friendly way, you have loads of excellent 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, their first remark is, “why is my site so slow?”. Usually, this reveals the #1 flaw of WordPress – the overwhelming presence of third-party add-ons and plugins.
The problem with WordPress plugins.
The problem I see with WordPress plugins is no different than hoarding apps on your smartphone; you can’t help but install them. Plugins for WordPress are super simple to install, are built and maintained by third-party developers, and vary in performance. A common occurrence I will see personally is a simple website with upwards of 15 plugins, all active and not in use.
If you are not using a plugin, remove it. As a result, you will no doubt see an increase in your website speed and performance.
All-in-one WordPress plugins.
As said before, WordPress is a good platform as is when used appropriately. There are many (some decent) all-in-one, super-website optimizers and performance enhancers out there. Most users that install these all-in-one plugins do so because they sound fantastic; in other words, they took the bait. I never recommend these plugin bundles as they run deep into your WordPress installation and certainly play a role in performance, which is not beneficial in contrast to their claims.
When it comes to slower WordPress-based website speed, my rule of thumb is to keep your installation clean, efficient, and specific to your exact needs.
Oversold shared web hosting services.
The overselling of shared web hosting services is when specific hosting resources such as an incredible amount of disk space and bandwidth are allocated for the shared network, not for your website specifically. For example, suppose all of the websites on a particular (oversold) shared hosting server used all of the claimed technical resources simultaneously; the server would crash or drastically slow down in performance.
I have found that big-box web hosting providers such as GoDaddy and Bluehost often oversell across their shared hosting plans. Why do they do this? In all likelihood, your website will not utilize all of these hosting resources; when network traffic becomes high, you will find that your shared web hosting plan does not genuinely provide adequate resources for your website.
In short, cheap hosting plans are acceptable; however, when it becomes time to get serious about your website performance, I recommend exploring a more self-contained environment such as a VPS.