On Dreamhost, our WordPress site is very slow

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We use Dreamhost for hosting (kind of a legacy situation). Historically, this hasn’t been an issue, but lately our website (WordPress site using Elementor) has been really slow. Someone in the office described it as having “latency”, but for me, it’s just painfully slow to load. Any help would be appreciated!


The client needs help addressing issues with their WordPress website that may be contributing to slow page load times and unacceptable performance for users.

On Dreamhost, our WordPress site is very slow

WordPress site performance on Dreamhost isn’t great. Yes, we said it. For most plans offered by Dreamhost, at least within the realm of enterprise or global organization-scale, it doesn’t cut it. If your organization’s website is critically important to your mission, you should not be managing the infrastructure in-house, unless your organization is scaling like 2018-Twitter-scaling, it just isn’t feasible.

Two things, then I’ll get to some quick solutions you may want to consider before deciding to make the move elsewhere:

  • One: website properties (i.e. your .org or .com website) and internal communication tools (i.e. Email, cloud hosting, file sharing, data storage, etc.) are not one and the same.
  • Two: Moving your WordPress site around from server-to-server isn’t actually very hard to do, and has no real negative implications.

Related read: Should we host our email and website on the same host or server?

I think both points hinge on moving your WordPress website host as needed, and never feeling attached to a server.

If your organization’s WordPress website is hosted on Dreamhost, most developers agree, it’s not great. You may find that improving performance requires more effort than it’s worth. However, moving your WordPress website host is relatively simple, and there are tons of quality options out there that offer better performance and features for a fraction of the cost.

Addressing Slow Speeds on Dreamhost

For your team, addressing hosting issues with a WordPress site can be a little daunting, but it really is straightforward. Dreamhost offers a managed, optimized WordPress hosting plan called DreamPress that includes additional features like server-level caching, automated backups, and more. It’s a great option for those looking for better performance but still want to stay with Dreamhost as their host.

If you’re already on Dreamhost, and want to avoid a move, then you should look into ways to fix a slow WordPress site and improve your WordPress performance. One of the easiest ways is to make sure your site is optimized and running on the latest version of WordPress. To do this, make sure that all plugins and themes are updated, and that PHP is running the most recent available version.

Other ideas: You can investigate setting PHP opcode caching such as APCu or Redis Cache if available on your plan already, implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve images and other static files, enable web page-level caching such as ‘WP Super Cache’, and even look into implementing a static site generator. Additionally, since you mentioned your site uses Elementor, you may want to look at this guide to optimizing performance for Elementor.

In the end, if you’re truly not seeing any improvement, or if you’re team is really in a hurry, then it could be best to consider moving to another host. There are lots of great WordPress hosting companies on the market that offer better performance and more features for a fraction of the cost, and WordPress migration providers are affordable for most organizations. With many tools to migrate your WordPress site, many organizations may have the technical capacity to DIY a move.

Is Dreamhost good enough for an enterprise WordPress website?

Dreamhost is a decent option for those on a budget, but it is not ideal for large-scale enterprise or global organization-level websites as it does not offer good performance compared to more robust providers such as Digital Ocean or Amazon Web Services (AWS). If website performance is critically important for your organization, you should look into hosting options from these providers instead or migrate your WordPress site elsewhere if needed.

They offer reliable hosting services with high performance and excellent support. DreamHost also provides various features like automatic WordPress updates, unlimited bandwidth, and free SSL certificates that are crucial for running a secure and efficient enterprise website.

Takeaway and next steps for your organization

WordPress sites hosted on Dreamhost can, unfortunately, have performance issues. It may be best to consider making a move to another hosting provider if the current performance is inadequate. Before you decide to make this move, look into optimizing your WordPress website and setting up page-level caching plugins and web acceleration solutions like CDNs. If that doesn’t do the trick, then it may be time to make the move. If you have questions about making the move, or in evaluating whether moving might be the right step for your team, please contact us and tell us a little about your situation, our team is always happy to help.

Additional reading

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