SiteGround Optimizer Plugin – Complete Guide

SiteGround’s SG Optimizer plugin is a nice addition to the SiteGround platform. It is, however, a limited plugin. This guide will go into all of its features. Furthermore, this guide will tell you why it shouldn’t be your only optimization plugin.

Here is a video for those of you who don’t want to read (I don’t blame you, if you don’t).

Supercacher Settings

SiteGround’s Supercacher is a collection of server-side caching technologies that improve the performance of your website. To get the full benefit of those features, you need to download the plugin and have the following options enabled.

Dynamic Caching: Allows the server to cache your pages in memory. This is faster than a traditional caching plugin, but less reliable, as you will run into cache misses more frequently. This should be enabled on your website unless you have a known compatibility issue.

Manual Cache Purge: Clear the dynamic cache from the server.

Automatic Cache Purge: This option will automatically clear the cache based on a variety of parameters (new post being published, updates, etc). I recommend enabling this option to avoid strange issues, like users not getting the latest posts.

Excluding URLs: You can disable URLs from the cache here. Common URLs from WooCommerce, for instance, are automatically excluded.

Test URLs for Cache Status: This is a debugging tool if your pages aren’t being cached.This can help you diagnose the issue.

Memcached: This is an object caching tool that will cache database queries in memory. If you’re using dynamic content such as WooCommerce, bbPress, or BuddyPress this can help you dramatically. If your plan includes this make sure this option is enabled.

Environment Optimization

The environment optimization tab includes many features that can both improve the performance of your site but also resolve SSL issues.

Enable HTTPS: If you have installed an SSL through let’s encrypt or CloudFlare on your website then this will redirect the site to the SSL version. I highly recommend if you’re using a plugin such as Really Simple SSL you switch it for this option.

Fix Insecure Content: This will help resolve mixed content errors on the website I recommend this option is enabled.

Set your PHP Version: This option simply sets the PHP version of your WordPress install. I recommend your version is no less than 7.0 but it should really be set to something more modern like 7.2.

GZIP Compression: This option will enable GZIP compression for your site almost all caching plugins take care of this. Therefore, if you have a caching plugin already you shouldn’t check this option.

Browser Caching: This sets the headers to allow the browser to cache static resources on the site including images, CSS, and js.

Frontend Optimization

Frontend optimization improves the performance of your website’s front-end. However, the settings are largely incomplete, and not as effective as many other performance plugins.

Minify HTML Output: This simply removes HTML comments and whitespace from the frontend. It does not minify CSS/JS that is inline, which is fairly annoying. If it did optimize these inline assets, it would actually be better than some of the competition.

Minify JavaScript Files: This simply compresses all files that are not appended with .min.js. It will remove comments, and whitespace to reduce file size but it won’t do optimizations similar to closure compiler.

Load Render-Blocking JavaScript Files Asynchronously: This will add async to the JavaScript files that are render-blocking but it can lead to issues.

Minify CSS Files: This option will compress CSS files just like the above options did for JS files (Excluding files that include .min.js).

Combine CSS Files: This option will combine all the CSS files of your site into a single file. I do wish that there was an option for JS files as well but sadly there is not.

Remove Query Strings From Static Resources: This will remove the ?ver= query string added to your CSS and javascript files. This allows them to be cached easily by browsers and proxies.

Disable Emojis: This option simply removes calls to emoji JS and other code that WordPress adds by default.

Image Optimization

This section includes lazy loading for images and image compression. The lossless image compression functionality is much better than WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer.

New Image Optimization: This feature will compress all newly uploaded images losslessly. Part of the advantage of using SiteGround’s image compression is it shouldn’t count against your CPU cycles.

Existing Images Optimization: This will go through and bulk optimize all existing images but it requires that your site has WP Cron enabled. If you have disabled it for any reason, this feature will not work.

Lazy Load Images: This option will lazy load images and this option is worse than many of the competitors. I highly recommend you use an alternative plugin that can also lazy load iframes.

To Summarize

SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is an efficient plugin that has some good functionality. I recommend you make use of their caching system, as well as the image compression functionality. However, many of the functionalities in the plugin are lacking including lazy load and the on-page optimization feature.

scott hartley

About the author

Scott is a web performance geek, lover of all things coffee, and avid video game player. His WordPress work delves into web performance, web security, and SEO.

3 thoughts on “SiteGround Optimizer Plugin – Complete Guide”

  1. Nice tutorial
    I have read AND AM USING your other tutorials on PERFMATTERS, AND FAST VELOCITY MINIFY,
    What, if any, conflicts must be observed with these 3 plugins activated??


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