Even faster WordPress sites with our SG Optimizer plugin

During the past few years, the SG Optimizer plugin has become an essential part of the SiteGround WordPress hosting product. We’re constantly adding new features and improving existing functionality to make your WordPress sites faster. Now, we would like to tell you more about the most exciting changes we have introduced with the latest versions of our plugin. Read below to find out about the most recent front end and media optimizations in the plugin and how to test your site speed easily through your site backend using our cool integration of the Google PageSpeed test.  

Stop render-blocking JavaScripts from slowing down your site

Very often JavaScripts in the site header do not allow the rendering of the rest of your web page until they are fully loaded. With our new feature you can defer render-blocking JS and load the rest of the page without waiting. Thus, your visitors will see a fully loaded page faster. We are aware that some scripts should always remain render-blocking. For example, like in the case of the jQuery script, there might be other scripts that rely on them. To accommodate such scripts, we’ve created an easy-to-use functionality to exclude specific scripts from being deferred. You can find and manage this new option in the Front End tab of the SG Optimizer plugin.

Stop render-blocking JavaScripts from slowing down your site

Avoid unnecessary video loading with our new lazy load options

Lazy load of images has been available in the SG Optimizer for quite some time. When enabled, it stops images from loading until they are scrolled to in the browser. Thus the first visible part of your page is loaded faster without waiting for images, that may never be reached by the visitor, to load at the background. Now you can use lazy load for iframes (YouTube, Vimeo & other embeds) and directly imported videos too. Another new feature allows you to select whether you want to lazy load your site on mobile devices or not.

Avoid unnecessary video loading with our new lazy load options

Use the latest and fastest web image format – WebP

WebP is the newest, extremely exciting image format that has a great potential to optimize loading speed of all images on the web. This format may decrease the size of your images between 25% and 35%. The SG Optimizer now allows you to create webP versions of all the images from your WordPress site with a click. Once you do that, we will load these smaller and faster images for browsers that support this format.

Use the latest and fastest web image format - WebP

IMPORTANT: WebP support is available for websites using our Site Tools. cPanel based accounts do not support this technology. 

Load Google Fonts without slowing down your website

Using multiple fonts, weights and languages from an outside source like Google can easily add up a lot to the number of site requests and slow it down if those requests are done in a render-blocking way. To tackle this, we’ve developed a mechanism to catch loaded fonts, parse them and load them in-line asynchronously. This method proved to be the fastest way to handle Google fonts, the most commonly used font sets online. Once they get cached by your browser, the effect they have on your page speed is reduced to zero.

Load Google Fonts without slowing down your website

Test your site speed with Google Pagespeed 

Another great functionality we’ve added to the plugin is the ability to test your site speed using the Google Pagespeed test right from the SG Optimizer interface. Not only that, but we’ve linked each performance recommendation to a specific functionality in the plugin to guide you how to better optimize your site and achieve top performance!

Test your site speed with Google Pagespeed

Although we believe that the plugin now is the best optimization solution for every WordPress site on a SiteGround server, there are still things that we want to implement and will introduce with upcoming updates. Our roadmap is full of awesome new ideas that will soon become available to you. So keep an eye on our blog and the SG Optimizer change log!

Hristo Pandjarov

WordPress Initiatives Manager

Enthusiastic about all Open Source applications you can think of, but mostly about WordPress. Add a pinch of love for web design, new technologies, search engine optimisation and you are pretty much there!

Comments ( 60 )

Dale Reardon

Feb 26, 2020

Hi, I am a Siteground customer using your cloud hosting and the SG Optimizer plugin. However I am having difficulties because I am blind and use a screen reader to use the internet - Jaws for windows it is called. In the plugin controls and setting options you have used non standard HTML elements, specifically your own versions of radio buttons, checkboxes, form fields, drop down combo boxes etc. I am guessing you have used JavaScript to create these controls. These non standard controls are completely inaccessible and unusable by me as a keyboard and screen reader user. Could you please put me in touch with your dev team for this plugin to get these problems fixed? WPMUDEV had done a similar thing with their plugins but fixed it very quickly once the issue was raised. Several other plugins I use (asset cleanup Pro and PerfMatters have put in a settings toggle to choose whether to use standard HTML elements or your fancy ones to fix the problem for me. Hope this can be addressed quickly. My site with you is https://travelforall.guide Thanks, Dale.

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Feb 26, 2020

Hello Dale, We’re in the final stage of testing screen reader support for our new Client Area and Site Tools, as well as the SG Optimizer plugin. JAWS is on our list of screen reader software, being tested and we’re currently fixing issues before we can release the screen reader support and keyboard handling. That said, we’ll be happy to get your feedback to our developers for further improvements. You are welcome to send us your comments at reviews@siteground.com.

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James

Mar 16, 2020

Can this webp plugin be used with non wordpress websites?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 16, 2020

I am afraid it works only on WordPress sites.

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Siddhesh Jain

Feb 26, 2020

Hi I’m a site ground customer but I’m seeing cPanel in case I wish to use webP images can I do so using other plugins? Or how do I get to use SiteGround tools?

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Feb 26, 2020

As you are still using cPanel, at the moment you can use external plugins for webP such as this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/webp-express/. You may browse the wordpress.org plugins directory for more information.

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Siddhesh Jain

Feb 28, 2020

It doesn’t work either it shows server not configured or permission required, how do I sort that.

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Mar 02, 2020

Hi, it's best if you post a ticket so the techs can investigate, but it sounds like either a plugin conflict or .htaccess issue.

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Matt

Feb 26, 2020

Awesome work. Does the plugin work with custom wp installations, eg roots bedrock, or will it only work with standard wp installations?

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Feb 26, 2020

HI Matt, Yes, it's designed to work with bedrock. Glad you like it :)

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John

Feb 26, 2020

Hello, the plugin works great. I have a question regarding media optimization and I currently use Imagify which creates webp images and also stores a backup of the original image. If I wish to move away from Imagify and use SG Optimizer for my Existing Image Optimization will it use the backup image or the webp image?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Feb 27, 2020

If your images are already optimized, you don't need to do the bulk optimizations, just keep the option for optimizing new images on. As for the WebP optimization - we make copies of existing images, so you need to generate those copies. This is generally safer - we don't touch the original image but create a webp copy of it.

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Jim

Feb 26, 2020

Once the WebP images have been generated is there something else to be done to ensure they are served? I can see the generated WebPs in the file manager but they are not being served. I have made sure to purge the SG cache.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Feb 27, 2020

No, we will detect if the browser declares webp support and serve them instead of the original ones. You can check a Chrome browser -> Inspect element and the Networking tab, then select a jpg resource for example and you will see that its type is actually webp :)

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Jonathan

Mar 04, 2020

I'm glad you explained how to tell if your images are actually webp, I was having the same issue of thinking they were not being served. However, in my case it's not working for all of my images. Some are webp, but many are still jpg or png. I've cleared the SG Optimizer cache as well as my local browser cache. How can I get webp to work fully?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 05, 2020

We convert images present in the media library. Those that are not generated are most probably coming directly hard coded with the theme or through plugins that don't register them properly in the WP Media library.

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Daniel

Mar 26, 2020

Is there a way to convert theme images through siteground tools or that would need to be done manually?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 27, 2020

Yes, the SG Optimizer does that for you :)

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Reona

Feb 28, 2020

Awesome features! Happy made the switch to SG :) Also, I have a few feature request; 1. Please allow backend exclusions for javascript, there are files I'd like to exclude since they cause issue when some minification is on, but there's currently no option for it. 2. Please support option for leverage browser caching

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Feb 28, 2020

Both are already available :) Check out the Frontend optimizations tab and the Environment optimization tab of the plugin :)

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Reona

Feb 28, 2020

Hi Histro, thanks for reply! Didn't know that, thought browser specific cacheing was a different thing. I turned that on, and it actually slowed down my website. Is it usually not recommend to enable it? Also, I'm using ThriveTheme and want to exclude editor.min.js but it doesn't show up as option in js exclusion. How can I add it?

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Mar 02, 2020

Regarding the exclusions, you can use these filters: sgo_js_minify_exclude sgo_js_async_exclude There is a more detailed explanation how to use them here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/sg-cachepress/ You may want to contact support and see what causes the slow down and if the issue is really the browser caching or else.

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Reona

Feb 28, 2020

I used new SG's webp generation, but I noticed some pictures got heavily degraded in terms of quality, especially PNG images. As much as I'd like to use Webp, as it indeed made my speed faster. I think some exclusion feature for page level or media level would be very helpful!

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Mar 02, 2020

The exclusion functionality is on the roadmap, though I cannot give any ETA right now :)

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Lexi

Mar 09, 2020

Absolutely the same issue here - was quite shocked. This didn't just affect WebP for me, but the other optimisation as well - now I'm having to replace a ton of images as originals have been overwritten. Maybe have an option to keep the originals in case it goes wrong?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 09, 2020

Originals are NOT overwritten by the WebP file generation. Probably you have the other option for originals optimization enabled. If that's the case, keep that one off and use only the WebP functionality.

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Sean

Feb 28, 2020

It's been almost 6 months since I first heard about the migration to Site Tools, yet I am still on cPanel. There is a reminder about it every time I log into my cPanel account, taunting me. I can only hold my breath for so long ;-) I'm really looking forward to it so I can make use of functions such as Webp, without any more plugins. How many GoGeek servers do you have left to migrate in Eemshaven?

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Mar 02, 2020

Hello Sean, unfortunately, we are behind schedule with the migrations to Site Tools. We had to change plans and focus a lot of our efforts on the migrations to the new infrastructure so the new interfaces are falling behind. I wish I could give you a more specific date for migration or at least a forecast, but that will be a speculation right now. We are very sorry for not being able to turn this around faster as we had hoped to do.

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Ben

Mar 01, 2020

Cool I especially like to lazy loading of (YT) videos! Youtube embeds have a terrible effect on page speed. THE ONLY THING I am missing in SG Optimizer is the feature to "combine all javascripts" and the option to exclude specific ones, like Autopotimize is doing. Will SG Optimizer ever offer this feature and if » when? THANK YOU

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Reneta Tsankova Siteground Team

Mar 02, 2020

Hi Ben, yes, this feature is in the roadmap for the year, but can't give you an exact ETA right now.

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Don

Mar 04, 2020

Can you help me find the SG Optimizer plugin for Joomla? I see it listed in the documentation, but have been unable to locate it.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 05, 2020

Here's a tutorial about it: https://www.siteground.com/tutorials/joomla/improve-speed/

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Summer Lee

Mar 04, 2020

I have generated a set of WebP images via SGOptimizer on two websites 3 weeks ago. However, many of them, and sometimes all the images are not showing up on Safari browsers. I can only see a question mark in the placeholders. I have read that it is a known issue on Safari. I have tried adding some codes to counter the problem and force the Safari browser to load from jpg image, but there would be still one or two images not loading well on Safari from time to time. Eventually, I had to remove all the WebP images because of this issue. Can the team come up with any solution to counter this problem so that the WebP images load completely on Safari browser? Thank you.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 05, 2020

Before we serve webp images, we check if the browser making the request supports it. The problem you're describing is with the CloudFlare CDN and their image caching. We've raised the problem to them and still waiting for a resolution. Meanwhile, you can disable your CloudFlare cache for images and rely on our caching for proper webp serving.

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vincent

Mar 05, 2020

After i installed this, do i still need to install W3 total cache?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 05, 2020

No, don't use multiple plugins for the same fuctionality. Check out the SG Optimizer options and enable them for best results :)

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craig mullins

Mar 05, 2020

Do we have a list of best practices with using Wp rocket & SG Optimizer together? What settings should we use in SG optimizer and what should we use in WP rocket? For whatever reason Memcached keeps getting shut off in the plugin. Saves it and it's on, load a page and gets shut off.

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Raul

Mar 08, 2020

I’m costumer if SG with WooCommerce store... SG Optimizer works too with WC? I need high skills for setup?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 09, 2020

Yes, the SG Optimizer plugin works perfectly well with WooCommerce. We've made all our interfaces to be simple and intuitive so you don't need to be a dev to make it work. Just take the time to enable all the optimizations one by one and check after each how your site works after that :)

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Adrian Chambers

Mar 09, 2020

I am a recent (and happy) SiteGround customer, but am an admitted IT dummy! I am interested in improving my newly redeveloped site wherever I can. Will SG Optimizer work with my site? And do I need any special skills. Thank you, Adrian.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 09, 2020

Totally, it can even handle the SSL and forcing HTTPS for you!

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Nat Belza

Mar 09, 2020

I'm liking SG Optimizer so far! It's an all-in-one optimization plugin but without the complication of the likes of W3TC. Are you guys planning to include critical CSS soon? I've been watching since November 2019 about it getting included in the near future.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 09, 2020

Yes, it is on our roadmap but I can't give you an ETA when it will be ready at the moment.

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Shane

Mar 10, 2020

Compared with WP Fatest Cache plugin, which one performs better?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 10, 2020

On SiteGround servers the SG Optimizer will provide you with the best possible performance results.

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Fabio

Mar 10, 2020

Hello unfortunately I cant use WebP WebP support will be available once we migrate your account to Site Tools. I'm waiting for the migration but it seems Siteground doesn't take care of old loyal custumers. Just see how we are treated for the renewal of services: 3 years Grow Big New Customers - 299.08 Eur, Renew for old custumers - 568.87 Eur

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 12, 2020

Fabio, we had to pause migrations from cPanel to Site Tools in order to complete the upgrade migration to Google Cloud Platform first. It is almost over so we will shortly proceed with it. It is exactly because we value our customers why we're migrating those servers slow - we make mupltiple checks both automated and manual to make sure nothing breaks on your end. I understand that you're eager to get on the new system - I would too, it's faster with much, much better interfaces, improved security and speed and extra tools. However, it's easy to spin new accounts and really tough to migrate existing ones without breaking something. As for our pricing - those are our regular prices, you've just received a promotional one upon your first sign up. Note that we have discounts if you renew for longer period!

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Dorys

Mar 10, 2020

Will you be adding Defer parsing of JavaScript? That is the only issue I have on one of my sites based on GTMetrix scoring

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 11, 2020

We've already added it, it is in the Frontend Optimizations tab :)

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Howard

Mar 10, 2020

Can the optimizer be used in conjunction with another cache or speed applications. My site always scores 97-100 on page speed except for: Leverage the font-display CSS feature to ensure text is user-visible while webfonts are loading. Potential savings 120ms AND: Avoid chaining critical requests 3 chains found Thanks Howard

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Asit Aithal

Mar 10, 2020

Plugins like WP Rocket are recommended for site optimization. If this plugin covers most of the features offered by it, I'd rather use this one. Can I, or do I have to use both of them?

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James

Mar 10, 2020

Instead, stop moving us to inferior servers and cheaper servers and calling them ?better?"

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 11, 2020

The new infrastructure is faster and better than the previous one. I am sorry if you have experienced slowdowns - they are temporary while our system is synching backups, services and everything else running. In few days after the migration everything should normalize and your sites will load faster than ever.

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Norman

Mar 11, 2020

Hello I'm currently using Hummingbird. Should I deactivate it before switching on SGO features?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 11, 2020

Yes, don't use more than one optimization plugin because that will lead to worse results caused by duplicate functionality.

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Sudhan

Mar 11, 2020

Use The Latest And Fastest Web Image Format – WebP is not working.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 12, 2020

It is available only on our Site Tools accounts. We will soon proceed with migrating the rest of cPanel accounts to Site Tools and it will work just fine :)

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Collins Mbaka

Mar 12, 2020

I have generated the webP from the media optimization but when I go to media or even check the image formats via chrome dev tools it is still jpg. Also i have w3 Total cache and Smush, should i deactivate all this other plugins?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 13, 2020

Open the page with Chrome and go to inspect element -> network tab. Then, click on a jpg file and you will see that the file type is webp :) You can use the curl command I gave few comments above to check it too.

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Collins Mbaka

Mar 15, 2020

Thanks, it works well now Please do I need to have other performance tools like w3 Total cache?

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