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Fixing SiteGround’s slow WordPress Hosting

Fixing SiteGround's slow WordPress Hosting

If your WordPress site is running slow on SiteGround and you are well under your plan limits, there is a high chance that you need to optimize your site SiteGround recommends the following things in order to speed up WordPress:

  • Change PHP version to 7.4 or later
  • Enable memcached
  • Enable all of the things as needed from the SiteGround Optimizer plugin
  • Enable Cloudflare from the SiteGround control panel

In theory, these things should help speed up your site, but, in reality, it hardly helps. This happens due to inferior TTFB of SiteGround compared to its competitors.

They had the slowest TTFB reported by Backlinko, and there have been many complaints in the WordPress Hosting and WP Speed Matters Facebook Groups about their TTFBs, CPU limits, and declining service. I migrated away from SiteGround to AWS Lightsail and I am getting twice the performance of SiteGround at 1/3rd of the price. I would suggest to go with some great VPS hosts like DigitalOcean or Lightsail. But, if you are stuck with SiteGround for some time, follow this tutorial to get as much performance as possible.

Quick Tips to Increase SiteGround Performance

  • Upgrade to the latest PHP version available
  • Enable NGINX Direct Delivery, Dynamic Caching and Memcached
  • Install SG Optimizer plugin and enable every feature that you require
  • Activate Cloudflare
  • Block bad bots with the Blackhole for Bad Bots plugin
  • Optimize Google Fonts

Now, let’s take a look at how to do all of the above things.

1) Upgrade to PHP 7.4 (or newer)

This is one of the main reason for slow WordPress performance on SiteGround. To do this, Login to Site Tools and then go to Tools > Devs > PHP Manager and then upgrade to PHP 7.4 (or newer). Make sure you test your site after changing your PHP version as plugins can be incompatible between different PHP versions.

Upgrade PHP

Additionally, you can enable Ultrafast PHP if you are on the GoGeek plan.

Ultrafast PHP

2) Enable NGINX Direct Delivery, Dynamic Caching and Memcached

SiteGround has 3 levels of cache to increase the performance of your WordPress site. They are – Nginx Direct Delivery (i.e. serving static assets via Nginx cache), Dynamic caching (i.e. temporarily caching dynamic content in Nginx’s cache so that it can be served quicker) and Memcached (object cache).

To enable this, go to Site Tools > Speed > Caching and enable the three types of caches.

Nginx Direct Delivery
Dynamic Cache
Memcached

After that, enable Memcached in SG Optimizer.

SG Optimizer Memcached

3) Install SG Optimizer plugin and enable every feature that you require

Enable every feature that you need in SG Optimizer plugin

SG Optimizer Caching
SG Optimizer Environment
SG Optimizer Frontend CSS
SG Optimizer Frontend JS
SG Optimizer Frontend General
SG Optimizer Media

4) Activate Cloudflare

You can activate Cloudflare which should help you to reduce the TTFB. You can do this by going to Site Tools > Speed > Cloudflare.

SiteGround Cloudflare

Also, login to Cloudflare and enable everything that is available in your plan (Free or Pro).

5) Block bad bots with the Blackhole for Bad Bots plugin

Bad bots are a bandwidth and resource hog. If you don’t block them, you will be hitting SiteGround’s CPU limits pretty quickly. To block bad bots, I use the Blackhole for Bad Bots plugin.

Blackhole for Bad Bots
Blackhole for Bad Bots Settings

6) Optimize Google Fonts

Web font optimization is extremely important to improve the loading time of your website. You can do this from the SG Optimizer plugin by going to SG Optimizer > Frontend and turn on Web Fonts Optimization

Web Font Optimization

Verdict

These are some of the things that you can try to use to decrease SG’s server response time. But, I would highly recommend to switch over from them to a VPS. They are cheap and are much faster than SiteGround.

If you have any queries or suggestions, let me know in the comments down below.

I am the founder of WPSteam. I am currently doing my B.Tech in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from KIIT University, Bhubaneshwar, India

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