I’ve been running a WordPress blog that was doing ok, but never really broke through to the first page of Google for top keywords.  It had plenty of backlinks and great content.  It just needed that little boost.  The problem I discovered was that it was just too slow for Google to rank it any higher.

So how do you easily speed up your WordPress site and improve your Google rankings?  This is what I did and it resulted in my site loading in under 1s and climbing up the rankings a little bit.

Switch to a proper host

Honestly you need to stop using Bluehost or Hostgator.  They are just terrible when it comes to speed. Their servers don’t run the latest software and they seem too crowded.  Sometimes they are fast enough and other times there is just terrible lag.

I decided to switch my money making blogs over to Siteground.   Siteground is consistently rated as one of the top hosts when it comes to speed.   This is why:

  1. They use SSDs – if your host is still using mechanical drives in their machines you are going to have slower page loads no matter how much tweaking you do.
  2. They use the latest PHP versions – Older versions of PHP are seriously slow compared to the newer ones.  There is a massive difference which can be as much as 200% slower.
  3. They have a custom caching plugin – Siteground offers a custom caching plugin that will speed up your WordPress blog by doing various caching.  No need to buy a seperate plugin and this one is built to work in conjunction with Siteground servers.
  4. HTTP/2, OpCache, Memcached and more – If you don’t know what these mean, don’t worry!  Just know that Siteground servers have them and regular shared hosting does not.

So if you switch your WordPress blog to Siteground, you’ll pretty much automatically improve your sites speed. Here is how to get the most out of your Siteground hosting to make sure your blog is super fast:

  1. Sign up to the GrowBig or GoGeek Plan – these plans have access to dynamic caching with the custom Siteground WordPress plugin.  These features will have the biggest impact on your blog.
  2. Install the SG Plugin – this plugin is essential to getting the most out of your Siteground hosting
  3. Install Cloudflare – you get free access to Cloudflare through the Siteground control panel.  Cloudflare is a free CDN that will speed up your website and also secure it too.

Following these steps will speed up your WordPress site by taking advantage of caching and offloading your images and scripts to Cloudflare which will serve them faster.  I recommend this approach them buying a premium plugin like WP-Rocket.  While that plugin does work, if your site is running on a slower host there is only so much optimisation you can do.  You need to make sure your blog is hosted on a server that supports dynamic caching, runs the latest PHP and uses SSDs.  Siteground ticks all of these boxes and is also really reasonably priced.