How to fix SiteGround’s slow WordPress hosting (no upgrades)

SiteGround PHP 7.4 Announcement

Have a slow WordPress site on SiteGround?

I had this problem too; my GTmetrix scores were near 100% for every blog post I wrote (because I’m obsessed with speed), but my load times could get up to 10+ seconds. I have lots of images and comments on most of my posts, but there was literally nothing else to do in GTmetrix. I finally came to the conclusion that SiteGround’s semi-dedicated GoGeek plan, and even their cloud hosting, wasn’t fast enough (spoiler: I went from SiteGround to Cloudways).

This tutorial covers everything you need to know to achieve better scores + load times in GTmetrix. SiteGround is great for shared hosting, but if you’re running WooCommerce, AdSense, high CPU plugins, or external scripts, I would skip shared hosting all together. Their shared servers often can’t handle the resources it takes, causing a slow WordPress site.

There are better options than SiteGround’s cloud hosting considering Cloudways DO offers the same 2 CPU + 4GB RAM for $42/month (instead of $80/month with SiteGround). My suggestion is to optimize your site as best you can, but keep an eye on server response times which you can measure in Google PageSpeed Insights. If they’re slow, you know the problem.

 

1. Upgrade To PHP 7.4

SiteGround released PHP 7.4 which you can upgrade to in your dashboard.

It’s considerably faster especially if you’re currently running an older PHP version, and it’s one of the easiest ways to speed up your site. It’s a good idea to take a backup, and to make sure your plugins and theme are compatible, though PHP Compatibility Checker is kind of useless.

How To Upgrade To PHP 7.4 On SiteGround

  • Login to your account
  • Click Devs form the left menu
  • Click PHP Manager
  • Click the edit icon
  • Change PHP version and click CONFIRM (screenshot below)

SiteGround Update PHP Version

 

2. Use WP Rocket Instead Of SG Optimizer

Should you use SG Optimizer or WP Rocket? Let’s get this out of the way.

WP Rocket still has more speed optimizations than SG Optimizer (even with SG Optimizer’s big update) which means you will almost definitely see better results with WP Rocket. It lets you do things SG Optimizer doesn’t: host analytics locally, lazy load videos + iframes, replace the iframe with a preview image, clean your database, integration of multiple

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This article was written by Tom Dupuis and originally published on Tom Dupuis.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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