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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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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