I love SiteGround hosting.

It has been the most reliable of all hosting companies I’ve used over the last 15 years. It hasn’t gone down once. The support desk is fantastic. And it has hands-down the best optimiser plugin for WordPress. SG Optimizer.

GTMetrix is the standard tool we use at work to assess the speed of a site. I hadn’t previously configured the SG Optimizer plugin, so I ran GTMetrix before and after the optimisation process. Here are the results.

Before optimisation: a score of F

After optimisation: a score of A

The GTMetrix assessment does focus on image size in the final score – if you’re focused on getting that magical A or if you really need to prove to a client that you’ve performed magic, then you will need to edit your images.

Even after configuring the plugin, enabling every possible optimisation settings, and running the image optimisation tool against all images, the initial result was still a D until I went in and resized the images down from their original size.

For interest, here are some glimpses at the available settings:

The main lessons are:

  1. Resize your images. Don’t expect to be able to upload an original 2M image and have a fast page, even with image optimisation settings enabled. Inside WordPress, you can reduce the image dimensions to around 800px wide, which will have a major impact.
  2. Enable all of the plugin optimisation settings. Make sure you test your site afterwards before releasing it to the wild.
  3. Enjoy the speed.