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.
Update: Since version 7.0.0, SG Optimizer is compatible with most of hosting providers. This means that you can use it regardless of your provider.
SG Optimizer is free to use for all 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.
- Dynamic Caching – Enable
- File-based Caching – Enable
- Memcached – Enable. This option is available in all WordPress hosting plans. You’ll have to enable it in your SiteGround account as well, go to Site Tools > Speed > Caching.
- Automatic Cache Purge – Enable
- Manual Cache Purge – manually clear the dynamic cache for your site
- 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 Caching Status – check if the caching is working for specific URLs
- HTTPS enforce – 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
- Fix insecure content – Disable. Only enable if you have insecure content errors.
- WordPress Heartbeat Optimization – Disable
- Scheduled Database Maintenance – Enable. This option will clean up and optimize your database once a week.
- GZIP Compression – Enabled automatically
- Browser Caching – Enabled automatically
- Minify CSS Files – Enable
- Combine CSS Files – Disable
- Preload Combined CSS – Disable
- Defer Render-blocking JS – Enable
- Minify the HTML Output – Enable
- 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
- 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.
- Image Compression – Enable. Compression level low or medium. Backup all original images – Enable. Compress existing images – Enable
- Use WebP Images – Optional
- Lazy Load Media – Enable
- Maximum Image Width – Optional
5. Speed Test
- Run – here you can analyze your page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights for mobile and desktop devices, without leaving your admin area.
- Your test results – see the results of your previous speed tests.
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.