SG Optimizer 5.6 - Heartbeat control, Automatic Database Optimization and More for Even Faster Websites!

We have just launched the latest major update of the SG Optimizer plugin. The new version greatly enhances what’s already the best performance solution for your website if you are hosted with SiteGround! If you follow the plugin’s changelog you will notice that for the last few years we’ve constantly improved and added more and more functionalities turning the plugin from a simple connector to our server caching systems to an overall performance solution for your WordPress site. Now I am excited to guide you through the most recent features that will help you make your site run even faster:

WordPress Heartbeat Control

The Heartbeat API allows your browser to communicate with the WordPress application when you’re logged into your admin panel. This functionality makes it possible to handle things like scheduled tasks, post and page revisions, locking of a post when someone else is editing it, and more. 

Although it’s a great piece of functionality it may cause excessive CPU usage when left unsupervised. For example, if you just leave a couple of tabs open in your browser on the post edit page, that will execute a script saving your content as a draft for each tab every 15 seconds. That alone results in 480 executions per hour and 11520 per day.

Most people don’t need to save that often. For example, if you’re writing a blog post, having a save every 3 minutes is perfectly fine. With the new settings in the SG Optimizer, you can either completely disable the Heartbeat API if you don’t have any functionality requiring it, or you can set it to work at far bigger intervals. By default, we disable it on your admin and frontend pages and leave it only on post edit to run every 180 seconds.

WordPress Heartbeat Optimization

Automatic Database Maintenance

This optimization is really important for WordPress websites but often neglected by webmasters. That’s why we’ve added it to the plugin and set it to run every week. Having that feature enabled will automatically clean your spam comments and trashed posts and pages, and will perform a table optimization and clear all the expired transients from your database. Basically, you will be sure that your database is in a top condition without having to perform the same tasks manually on a regular basis.

WordPress Database Optimization

DNS Pre-fetch 

With this option, you can easily add all external domains that your site uses to serve external resources so your site can tell browsers to pre-fetch them and save time from resolving these domains each time they are used by a resource.

By default, browsers are pretty smart when it comes to domain resolution and pre-fetching all commonly used external domains. They manage to avoid resolving the same domain multiple times. But, their automatic pre-fetch doesn’t work at all times. For example, if you have external resources in your CSS and JS they won’t be automatically pre-fetched by the browser. That is why we added an option in the SG Optimizer where you can list all external domains and thus make sure that the browsers will have those domains’ IP addresses ready for use. That feature helps reduce page loading times. 

Improved Memcached Integration

Memcached is a great optimization feature, but due to compulsory Memcached limits it works only for objects smaller than 1MB. That’s more than enough in 99% of the cases, but as more and more plugins and themes are dropping huge chunks of data into the options table, we have started to notice more attempts for using Memcached for bigger objects. That is why we have come up with a smart way to use Memcached in such cases too. We have added a self-learning mechanism that excludes the options with the biggest values from the object that needs to be cached, so it stays under 1MB. This way we manage to provide Memcached at least for a part of the initial big object. 

Deprecation of the PHP Switcher

In this version, we’ve decided to completely remove the functionality to switch the PHP version of a website. We took that decision for two main reasons – we wanted to avoid duplication of the functionality as that version control already exists in cPanel and Site Tools, where it logically belongs; and to alleviate the plugin so it takes less disk space and inodes.

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!

WordPress

Comments ( 40 )

David Wickstead

Jul 28, 2020

Do you have a version for Joomla?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 28, 2020

I am afraid not.

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Alain

Jul 29, 2020

Sad that you don't support Joomla anymore.

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Colinz

Jul 28, 2020

Another great upgrade to an already impressive plugin. Thanks SG

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Sam

Jul 28, 2020

Hi HRISTO Can you please send me a link of an article to set the plugin completely with more details about the functionalities. If you have a video, it would be fantastic.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

We are working on something like that and I hope it will be ready soon. Meanwhile, you can check the information under each optimization in the plugin interface and see how each one affects your site.

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Abel

Jul 29, 2020

I appreciate the hard work please make a detail video tutorial in that case I'll decide to only use to SG Optimizer Thanks again

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Chris

Jul 28, 2020

Any plans for service worker generation? Mainly for local caching?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

Service workers work great but it is someting that would be really difficult to implement on a massive scale without causing a lot of prolems with themes and plugin not following standards. At this point it is not in our roadmap but I will consider it for future new functionality.

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Kim Jackson

Jul 28, 2020

This Siteground Optimizer has been really good for my website.

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Jetxpert

Jul 28, 2020

Please clarify: You stated above that the database is automatically cleaned or maintained "every week." Your statement does not agree with what the plugin actual states ("every 48 hours"). Click here: http://prntscr.com/tq26z6 Which one is correct?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

It is performed weekly, sorry for that, we will fix the text in the plugin asap.

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Evolv

Jul 28, 2020

Can you use this plugin on other WordPress sites that are not hosted with Siteground or is it specifically for Siteground sites only?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

You can use it only ot SiteGround servers since it relies on our speciffic server configuration to operate properly.

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Tyrrell

Jul 29, 2020

Are there any plans to speed up or optimize the Joomla platform by SiteGround?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

At this point we don't have plans to port the SG Optimizer functionality to support Joomla.

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Josh

Jul 29, 2020

Great update! With all these features, can it replace WP Rocket?

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DJG

Jul 29, 2020

The upgrade seems to have crashed my site. I use Avada and it now shows a blank page.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

The plugin works great with Avada, please post a thread in the plugin forum and provide your site URL and we will see what went wrong.

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Samuel

Jul 29, 2020

Love it, Keep up the good Work

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Fabio

Jul 29, 2020

Great plugin. I noticed a small bug though. The lazy loading of pictures causes a layout shift. I had to disable that option and use a specific plugin instead.

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

That must be some incompatibility with your theme. Please, post a ticket in the plugin thread at WordPress dot org and we will look into it.

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Alan

Jul 29, 2020

That is great information and I will start to use the plugin.

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Stephen Vaughan

Jul 29, 2020

Hi Hristo, On the Let's Cycle Ireland site I built recently we have map embeds from Ride with GPS embedded on the itineraries. I notice how these extra load to the pages. Will DNS Pre-fetch for External Domains help with this?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

I would say add those external domains and see how that affects those loading times. Generally, it should help :)

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jules

Jul 29, 2020

Can we use the "Reduce DNS lookups" section in GTMetrix to find out which domains should be prefetched? Would need to run it for a few different pages that have different things on them to cover them all, or is there a better way to find the domains?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

That depends on your particular website. You can use the info from GTMetrix too as it is a convenient way to get them all.

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SL

Jul 29, 2020

I installed the heartbeat plugin on the advice of your support team some time ago. Does this mean I can now delete it with this new update to the optimiser plugin?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

Yes :)

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Paul

Jul 29, 2020

On the DNS Pre-Fetch is it automatically used for external sites or must we specify? Do you have any documentation on this as in your image you have it saying //platform.twitter.com and in the instructions you say exclude http://

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 29, 2020

No, you need to include domains that you want to be pre-fetched. It is a smart field and we clear the protocol converting it properly to //.

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JoAnn's Food Bites

Jul 29, 2020

Thank you for the email. I installed the SG Optimizer today!

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Clif Graves

Jul 29, 2020

What optimizer and ClassicPress? Is the current version backward compatible to Wordpress 4.x

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 30, 2020

We do not support ClassicPress. As for the backwards compatibility the plugin should work just fine but we do not test with such old versions of WordPress and some issues may occur.

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Tod

Jul 29, 2020

Any conflicts with WP-Rocket plugin?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 30, 2020

I don't recommend using WP Rocket together with our plugin. SG Optimizer proides full performance solution and you simply don't need it. Having two plugins working on your site speed can cause only conflicts and issues.

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Ed

Jul 30, 2020

When will Joomla be supported?

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 30, 2020

We don't have plans to port the SG Optimizer functionality to Joomla at this point.

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Yaron

Jul 31, 2020

the plug-in does have issues with recaptcha v3 , it has to be deferred from render blocking. I would check if that's something that needs to be built in,, or maybe something else could be done oo…. and another thing I just remembered. it causes the front and editor of WPBakery Page Builder to not work. There should be some way to disable optimization for all the backend/logged in administrators I noticed many other things but those are two that comes to mind

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Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jul 31, 2020

It is normal that some scripts must be excluded from certain optimizations. That's why we've made an intuitive interface to do so without having to deal with filters and code. As to your other question, we've added a patch for WPBakery and similar plugins that tend to "lie" WordPress that backend requests are actually front end ones months ago. So if you keep experiencing such problems, please post a thread in the plugin forum and we will look into it.

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