Extremely Slow WordPress Site, Exclusively with DreamHost – VPS Hosted

Hello DreamHost,

I am posting this here as I have had numerous discussion with both the support staff and a number of DreamHost members. I have yet to find any sort of solution to this issue – an issue exclusive to DreamHost. This problem needs to be addressed – now.

I have been using and working with WordPress for about 8 years now. I started on DreamHost’s Shared Hosting platform – a great server for beginners. However, one thing that always frustrated me was how slowly the WordPress platform was able to run on these servers. I always stayed loyal to DreamHost, nonetheless. For all of the client work I did, whether it be building a simple company website or building an eCommerce platform, I always used DreamHost + WordPress.

After about 3 years of dealing with extremely slow load times – essentially setting my work pace at a third of the speed I can regularly work – I decided to switch to DreamHost’s VPS service. I did a few PHP/JavaScript web apps and was delighted to see quicker load times, as well as more overall control of my server.

However, upon installing WordPress, even the freshly installed, blank canvas of a platform – with one theme and zero plugins installed – it was taking 10+ seconds to load. After adding a premium theme and a few plugins that were required for this specific site setup, we’re back to where we started. The WordPress platform was, once again, taking an average of 15-30 seconds to load. After waiting and working, waiting and working, etc., I was finally able to add my normal cache plugins that, at the very least, was able to make the frontend of the site run somewhat quickly. New visitors of the site took around 4-6 seconds to load the homepage, while the admin panel still took 15-30 seconds per page.

I have tried everything:

  • Different themes
  • Different & alternative plugins
  • Maximizing PHP power (phprc and wpconfig)
  • .htaccess modifications
  • Upgrading to PHP 7.0, 7.1 & 7.2
  • Every DreamHost article on WordPress
  • Every. Single. Cache. Plugin.

And I have tried all of these methods, alternating between different solutions, over and over again for the past 6 years of being with you guys.

At this point, I just assumed that WordPress was a crappy platform – capable of doing a lot, but with the lack of lightweight speed. But then, something strange happened. I had moved in with a few new housemates this year, one in Computer Science as well. He was working on a freelancing project, creating a WordPress site using zero cache or speed optimization plugins – and the site was loading at LIGHTENING SPEED.

I asked him how he was doing it, what code he was using (keep in mind, this guy is a coding novice, totally unfamiliar with actual backend stuff). He didn’t do anything. He was just running it on a different host, and he was using their cheapest plan (HostGator’s $2.75/month Shared Hosting plan).

I then decided to whip $3 at the service for a little test run. I migrated my entire WordPress site using a few migration tools. To my surprise, both the frontend and admin panels were loading at lightening speed. I disabled the cache and speed optimization plugins that migrated with the site, and it was still loading at lightening speed. At this point I was thinking to myself, what the heck is going on!?

I am still loyal to DreamHost. I have been with you guys for nearly 7 years now and don’t plan on leaving any time soon. That, and all of my numerous web apps are setup on your servers – it would take a lot of time to migrate them all.

Regardless, I am very disappointed and conflicted with you guys at the moment. This is the first time I have questioned my loyalty to DreamHost. I have seen threads on this forum dating back to 2008, and they continue all the way up to this week. They all say the same thing: “issues with WordPress speed and server response time.” I have been paying $27.50 a month for your VPS hosting, only to find out that another service can do the same job, at 10x the speed, for $2.75/month.

You need to address this problem, and you need to address it now. I have paid $330 USD this past year, which adds up to $437.74 in CAD (where I currently live) – and that’s before taxes. I could have paid $33 this past year for 10x faster WordPress performance. I am very upset and truly disappointed. As a university student, this is not cheap by any means – but I stay for the quality of service you guys have always offered.

As one of your most loyal customers, I demand you address this problem. Enough of this shrugging it off nonsense. Each and every thread that I have gone through, you guys address each problem the same way: you ask about what plugins and themes they’re using, what the server config is, and then recommend a few DreamHost articles that can “help speed up your DreamHost site!”

Enough is enough. It is not us, your client, causing the problem. There is obviously an issue with your server optimization and their compatibility with the WordPress platform. Look into it and fix it. I pay for premium service when I pay for DreamHost and demand nothing less than a service that can at least compete with $2.75/month.


hello, interesting to read your post.
I am on dedicated and wordpress is ok because I have very few plugins.
Have you tried using Dreampress, dreamhost wordpress special hosting ?
They should allow you to test it for free by moving your website there.

I will follow this post and hope that you will find a solution.

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