How fast is a WordPress website?

By 16th February 2019Blog, WordPress Speed Optimisation

I created three WordPress website speed test websites to find out how fast a standard or non optimised WordPress website load speed is. I tested the three WordPress websites, on the same domain and under the same testing conditions. I monitored the website page load speed using three website speed test tools to obtain an aggregate speed result:

  • GTMetrix
  • Pingdom
  • Google PageSpeed Insights

The Speed Test Conditions

I only changed a few elements on each of the 3 websites for each speed test to maintain a “fair” testing process. Each of the speed tests had the following in common:

  • Hosted on the same reputable shared hosting server in the UK
  • The same domain was tested
  • The same WordPress install was tested
  • No SSL certificate
  • Around 500 WordPress of copy (no other page assets e.g. Video or Images)
  • No special security, caching or speed enhancing features in place

The Three Speed Test Websites

WordPress speed test #1 – Basic:#

A vanilla WordPress website page load speed test.

  • Twenty Nineteen theme active
  • WordPress 5.0.3
  • No plugins installed

Speed Result #1

WordPress Speed Test#1 = 456ms Recorded By Pingdom Website Speed Test Tool

Pingdom Speed: 456ms

Recorded speeds:

  1. Pingdom – WordPress Speed: 0.456 seconds (456ms)
  2. GTMetrix -WordPress Page Speed: 0.6 seconds (600ms)
  3. Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile Score: 98/100
  4. Google PageSpeed Insights – Desktop Score: 100/100

WordPress speed test #2 – Intermediate:

A popular premium theme WordPress website without a child theme installed running theme required WordPress plugins:

Speed Result #2

WordPress Speed Test #2 - 2,240ms Recorded By Pingdom Website Speed Test Tool

Pingdom Speed: 2,240ms

Recorded speeds:

  1. Pingdom – WordPress Speed: 2.24 seconds (2240ms)
  2. GTMetrix -WordPress Page Speed: 2.8 seconds (2800ms)
  3. Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile Score: 0/100
  4. Google PageSpeed Insights – Desktop Score: 23/100

WordPress speed test #3 – Advanced:

A popular premium theme WordPress website with a child theme running theme required WordPress plugins:

Speed Result #3

WordPress Speed Test #3 - 2,700ms Recorded By Pingdom Website Speed Test Tool

Pingdom Speed: 2,700ms

  1. Pingdom – WordPress Speed: 2.7 seconds (2,700 ms)
  2. GTMetrix -WordPress Page Speed: 3.5 seconds (3,500 ms)
  3. Google PageSpeed Insights – Mobile Score: 0/100
  4. Google PageSpeed Insights – Desktop Score: 23/100

WordPress speed test results

Test Website Pingdom GTMetrix PageSpeed Insights Mobile PageSpeed Insights Desktop
Basic 456 ms 600 ms 98/100 100/100
Intermediate 2,240 ms 2,800 ms 0/100 23/100
Advanced 2,700 ms 3,500 ms 0/100 23/100

Why did you do this?

I used the fastest result to discuss WP speed improvement techniques on my WordPress speed optimisation article.

Conclusion

The WordPress speed test #1 – Basic WordPress website had the least amount of plugins and least amount of theme files (assets) and it loaded the quickest. Website visitor experience is linked to website speed and I found the basic site more pleasurable to load pages without any speed lag. I left the basic WordPress website active on www.wpstandardspeedtest.com so that I had a “fair” or non optimised comparison for my WordPress speed optimisation guide.

A basic WordPress website homepage load speed is 0.456 seconds (456ms). An advanced WordPress website homepage loads in 2.7 seconds (2,700ms).

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Ben

Author Ben

Senior WordPress developer (London) and founder of SlibDesign.com. I've been using WordPress for over 12 years. Feel free to get in touch with me if you need WordPress help or tips.

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