If you plan to launch a website powered by WordPress (the self hosted version), you’ll need a hosting solution.
SiteGround is a great WordPress hosting provider. I’ve been using it for a few years now and I’m very satisfied with it.
Read more about their plans and why it’s my recommended hosting provider.
Once you host your site with them, you’ll probably want to make sure that it loads fast and offers the best user experience to your visitors.
Site speed is important for SEO, as it’s one of the multiple ranking factors used by Google to rank your site in organic search.
Here is were you’ll need the SG Optimizer plugin for your WordPress site.
SG Optimizer is a plugin developed by SiteGround meant to improve the performance of your site.
Important note: SG Optimizer in only compatible with SiteGround hosting. It won’t work with other hosting providers.
SG Optimize is free to use for all SiteGround users and can be downloaded from WordPress plugin directory. It’s currently installed on more 1 Million websites. Fee free to install and configure it as shown below.
SG Optimizer Optimal Settings
Here is a list of optimal settings for SG Optimizer plugin. You can use it as a reference to configure your site and improve its loading time.
1. SuperCacher Settings
- Manual Cache Purge – manually clear the dynamic cache for your site
- Dynamic Caching – Enable
- Automatic Cache Purge – Enable
- Browser-Specific Caching – Disable
- Exclude Post Types – exclude specific types of pages from being cached
- Excluding URLs – exclude specific URLs or parts of your site from being cached. You can exclude individual URLs or parts of your site by using a wildcard
- Test URLs for Cache Status – check if the caching is working for specific URLs
- Memcached – Enable. This option is only available with GrowBig and GoGeek plans. You’ll have to enable it in your SiteGround account as well, go to Site Tools > Speed > Caching.
2. Environment Optimization
- Enable HTTPS – Enable. Make sure you have installed an SSL certificate in your SiteGround account, go to Site Tools > Security > SSL Manager and install Let’s Encrypt
- WordPress Heartbeat Optimization – Disable
- DNS Pre-fetch for External Domains – Enable. Use this option to pre-fetch the DNS for external domains. Copy the URLs of your external domains and paste them into the required field.
- Scheduled Database Maintenance – Enable. This option will clean up and optimize your database once a week.
- GZIP Compression – Enabled automatically
- Browser Caching – Enabled automatically
3. Frontend Optimization
- Minify the HTML Output – Enable
- Defer Render-blocking JS – Enable
- Minify CSS Files – Enable
- Combine CSS Files – Disable
- Web Fonts Optimization – Enable
- Fonts Preloading – Enable. This is done automatically for Google Fonts. If you use local fonts, then paste the URLs of the fonts in the required field.
- Remove Query Strings From Static Resources – Enable
- Disable Emojis – Enable
4. Media optimization
- New Images Optimization – Enable. It will automatically optimize all new images that you upload to your site.
- Existing Images Optimization – here you can optimize all existing images on your site. This feature will overwrite your original images, so make sure you have a backup.
- Generate WebP Copies of New Images – Optional. If you enable it, choose Lossless optimization type to keep the quality of your images and reduce their file size.
- Manage WebP Copies for Existing Images – here you can generate or delete existing WebP copies of your images.
- Lazy Load Media – Enable
5. Speed Test
- Score Check – here you can analyze your page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights for mobile and desktop devices, without leaving your admin area.
That’s it guys, feel free to use this guide for reference and set up SG Optimizer in the best possible way. You can experiment with these features and configure them to better fit your needs.
P.S. As you can see, I get pretty decent scores by using SiteGround hosting and SG Optimizer plugin.