If you're a SiteGround user like me and experiencing a slow WordPress site, then you are at the right place.
Let's get started.
- 1. SiteGround is slower by default.
- 2. Use SiteGround SuperCacher & SiteGround Optimizer
- 3. Try a Premium Caching Plugin
- 4. Enable Cloudflare CDN
- 5. Get Rid of Unwanted Plugins
- 6. Eliminate Unused CSS & JS
- 7. Use Image Compression
- 9. Prefetch DNS Requests
- 10. Speed Up Site with PerfMatters
- 11. Improve Site Speed with NitroPack
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is SG Optimizer, and how does it impact my SiteGround web hosting speed?
- How does SiteGround's hosting plan on Google Cloud affect my website's initial server response time?
- Why is my WordPress website slow on SiteGround, and how can I improve its speed?
- What does my Google PageSpeed Insights score indicate about my SiteGround-hosted site?
- Can changing my PHP version or hosting plan on SiteGround affect my WordPress website's performance?
- Is SiteGround a reliable hosting provider for my WordPress website?
- How do I address slow queries and loading speed on my SiteGround-hosted WordPress site?
1. SiteGround is slower by default.
Based on our WordPress benchmarks, SiteGround is atleast 100-200 ms slower on WordPress sites. I got this data, after testing SiteGround services for nearly two years of time.
Even a simple shared hosting like GreenGeeks recorded an average TTFB of 311ms and during the same time, SiteGround recorded with an average TTFB of 396ms.
To prove the stats further, I sent 500 simultaneous visitors to the site to record the response time. While GreenGeeks (77ms), A2 Hosting (102ms) handled the load well, SiteGround took 173ms (lower response time is better).
It's no wonder SiteGround performance deteriorated in the last few years after the abrupt changes to their hosting tech stacks.
They push you to buy top-tier plans to get speed like this Ultra-Fast PHP to improve TTFB is only available on Growbig and GoGeek plan. (Trivia: We tested this feature and the TTFB is still slow)
Solution: If you are running critical sites, SiteGround is not the best option. Even upgrading your sites to SiteGround Cloud hosting won't fix your speed issues. I recommend moving your sites to some of the Fastest WordPress Hosting that are priced more or less cheaper than SiteGround.
2. Use SiteGround SuperCacher & SiteGround Optimizer
You can get to the Site Tools and SuperCacher options to get started. You can tweak the settings.
Next up, you can access your WordPress dashboard and check if the SiteGround Optimizer plugin is enabled in the plugin section.
Besides, you can tweak the frontend optimizations for performance and see if there is an improvement in site speed.
3. Try a Premium Caching Plugin
One quick way to optimize your Website performance is by using a Premium Caching Plugin.
SiteGround Optimizer is not the perfect plugin and its pushed over to SiteGround users. The plugin has a great history of conflicting with most plugins in the market.
Paragon Digital Marketing company which hosts over 100 sites on SiteGround states, the plugin is not ready for production and got pushed into users.
When WP Rocket is developed and updated for a decade, this plugin is new to industry and can't compete with WP Rocket for better results.
Try changing your plugin to WP Rocket and check for results.
4. Enable Cloudflare CDN
SiteGround offers an option to integrate Cloudflare for free on all plans. Cloudflare CDN has many advanced speed optimizations comprising reverse-proxy caching, Brotli Compression, and Script minification.
Cloudflare has a vast global network to serve your website content to your target audience from the closest server. Serving the website content to the target audience from the nearest server would significantly enhance the content delivery speed, eventually improving your website's user experience.
5. Get Rid of Unwanted Plugins
It's always wise to check if you have any unwanted plugins or any plugins that can make your SiteGround WordPress site slow.
It's essential since such plugins can unnecessarily make your website heavy and get your website sluggish.
If you are wondering how to find such plugins, it's not very difficult.
First, you can always look at your WordPress plugins section and see if there is any plugin that is not useful yet installed. If you find any such plugin, you can remove it right away.
To find out which plugins are affecting your site performance, you can scan your site with Gtmetrix.
After Gtmetrix scans your site, you can get to the Waterfall tab and find out which files take too long to load.
If you see any plugins among those files, it's undoubtedly a signal for you to get rid of them or find suitable replacements.
After you do the needful, you must scan your website with Gtmetrix once again to see if there is any improvement in site performance.
If your changes go well, you will certainly see improvements in site speed.
6. Eliminate Unused CSS & JS
Another reason behind slow loading in most websites is unused CSS and JS.
In most websites, using table plugins usually leads to this issue—the script loads on all pages when you use Table plugins such as Ninja Tables. The script even loads on the Homepage, which slows down the website.
You can prevent the script from loading on pages you don't want, and this is where a plugin like PerfMatters comes into play.
However, PerfMatters is a paid plugin. WP Asset Clean Up is a good PerfMatters alternative. Both plugins have the option to disable the unused scripts for different pages.
On PerfMatters, you can get to a page and get the option to disable scripts on the Script Manager in the top bar. Disabling scripts from loading on certain pages will improve Core Web Vitals for your website.
7. Use Image Compression
Almost all websites use images. However, images can make your website heavy and impact its performance if you don't optimize the images.
Hence, it's important to compress the images. Compressing the images can improve site loading to a large extent.
There are two ways you can do it. One way to do it is using WordPress image CDN plugins such as WP Compress, which works through Google CDN and BunnyCDN.
Another way to do it is by converting images to WebP format. There are many good free WordPress image optimization plugins to choose from and use to achieve this.
These scripts will load only after the visitors get to the middle of the webpage or hover over certain sections on the webpage.
WP Rocket comes with this feature, and using the feature will improve the Largest Contentful Paint.
9. Prefetch DNS Requests
Using Prefetch DNS Requests is a way to make websites' external files load faster, even on mobile networks. The feature is available in WP Rocket.
10. Speed Up Site with PerfMatters
PerfMatters reduces HTTP requests, disables plugins, strips code, and optimizes databases to give you an idea of how the plugin works. Furthermore, PerfMatters is compatible with other caching plugins.
11. Improve Site Speed with NitroPack
A slightly different performance plugin is NitroPack. Based on Chrome data, NitroPack does better speed optimization to help site's pass Core Web Vitals score. It's even faster than WP Rocket as seen below.
NitroPack is an all-in-one Cloud-based Speed Optimization plugin that combines advanced caching, global CDN, image optimization, and script minification. Using the NitroPack WordPress plugin can largely boost your site speed.
NitroPack is available in free and paid versions. I recommend using this plugin because it can be used for free for new websites that receive around 5000 monthly visits. Big websites can go ahead with NitroPack paid plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SG Optimizer, and how does it impact my SiteGround web hosting speed?
SG Optimizer is the WordPress plugin developed by SiteGround to optimize the WordPress website's performance. It includes features like dynamic cache, ultrafast PHP settings, and the integration of Google PageSpeed Insights. By configuring these settings, SiteGround users can enhance loading speed and website performance.
How does SiteGround's hosting plan on Google Cloud affect my website's initial server response time?
SiteGround's hosting plans on Google Cloud offer robust infrastructure. However, the initial server response time can vary based on the hosting plan chosen, the website's WordPress theme, the content delivery network (CDN) setup, and CPU limits. Upgrading to a managed WordPress or shared hosting plan might help reduce the server response time.
Why is my WordPress website slow on SiteGround, and how can I improve its speed?
A slow WordPress website on SiteGround may result from slow queries, outdated WordPress core, heavy WordPress theme, or old PHP version. Improving website speed may include optimizing images, using a lightweight theme, and implementing a CDN. Using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can guide you with specific recommendations.
What does my Google PageSpeed Insights score indicate about my SiteGround-hosted site?
Your Google PageSpeed Insights score provides an overview of your website's performance, considering aspects like core web vitals. A low score might indicate issues with SiteGround.
Can changing my PHP version or hosting plan on SiteGround affect my WordPress website's performance?
Yes, using an outdated PHP version or inappropriate hosting plan can impact your website's load time. Upgrading to ultrafast PHP or choosing a hosting plan tailored to your needs can significantly enhance your website speed.
Is SiteGround a reliable hosting provider for my WordPress website?
SiteGround has received mixed reviews. Many users praise its managed WordPress features, while some reviews point to concerns with CPU limits, limited customer support and slow page loading speed time.
How do I address slow queries and loading speed on my SiteGround-hosted WordPress site?
Slow queries and loading speed can be addressed by optimizing your WordPress core, using lightweight themes, reducing plugins, and implementing a content delivery network.
I am sure you have found this post helpful, and if you follow these methods well, your site will get exceptionally fast. I tried to address some common reasons behind SiteGround slow loading in this post.
Besides, I have suggested some good WordPress plugins that can help your website get ultrafast. You can give each of them a good try and see the difference in your site's performance.