Site Tools (vs. cPanel) – part 5: Speed

… starting from the point where the story stopped.

Site Tools’ left column acts as a navigation bar which holds all tools, grouped by themes. There were 12 topic-specific sections in cPanel . . . There are now only nine themes in Site Tools: Dashboard, Site, Security, Speed, WordPress, Domain, Email, Statistics, and Devs.


Website speed itself has not been an official ranking factor in Google’s SEO algorithm until now. With the upcoming Core Web Vitals update planned by Google for May 2021, website speed officially becomes a ranking factor. Hristo Pandjarov

There are two tools under the Speed theme: Caching (aka SuperCacher) and Cloudflare. In cPanel, they were in the Site Improvement Tools section. I did not experiment1 with them in cPanel, so I cannot tell how they differ in Site Tools. Accordingly, this post should be a fast one, right (pun intended).


SuperCacher services are developed by our server optimization experts to increase the number of hits a site can handle seamlessly and dramatically boost your website’s loading speed.SiteGround

According to Hristo Pandjarov, SuperCacher is one of the most powerful speed tools [they] have created for [their] clients. It comes with 3 different caching options for maximum optimization of your websites.

NGINX Direct Delivery

In Site Tools, SiteGround replaced the Static Cache (formerly Level 1 of the cPanel version of SuperCacher) with a new NGINX Direct Delivery. In their blog, they explain that this improves browser caching for your site, among other benefits. Equally important, you don’t have to use their SG Optimizer plugin to properly configure browser cache anymore; now this is all set for you and you don’t need to do anything.

When a page is loaded, [NGINX Direct Delivery] makes a copy of your static content – images, CSS, JavaScript, etc. and puts them into the server’s RAM. Next time your visitors load your website, the content is fetched directly from the server’s RAM, which is significantly faster than the server’s hard drive.

As already mentioned, I did not use the SuperCacher tool before1; meaning that I have not even bothered to toggle the Manage domain cache to ON. In Site Tools, NGINX Direct Delivery is enabled by default on all SiteGround plans. Indeed, the Actions toggle in Site Tools > Speed > Caching > NGINX Direct Delivery was already ON for both my website and this blog.

This tool works for all kind of applications without additional customization. Nonetheless, there is a tutorial explaining how to enable or disable it. Of note, the NGINX Direct Delivery cache is automatically flushed every 3 hours, so that if there are changes made during this time they become available to your visitors.

NGINX Direct Delivery optimizes content delivery, speeds up slow sites, and increases the number of hits a site can handle.SiteGround

Dynamic caching

Without caching, a hit on your page is served by the PHP service, which processes all the WordPress, theme, and plugins code, makes a number of queries to the MySQL database server, and then produces the final output. The Dynamic Cache stores the final result of all this work and serves it to the next client directly.

The Dynamic Cache is a full-page caching mechanism for non-static resources. It prevents unnecessary database queries, processing of each page visit, and more. It highly improves your loading speed and the TTFB (time to first byte) of your pages.SiteGround

Until recently1, this option was available only for the GrowBig and higher plans and had to be activated by the users through [their] WordPress SG Optimizer plugin. Now, Dynamic Cache (formerly Level 2: Dynamic Cache) is available on all their plans and activated by default on all servers. Accordingly, you have nothing to do2; WordPress normally works out-of-the-box with our Dynamic Cache. Actually, the only action available (in Site Tools) under the Actions toggle is “Flush Cash”. By default, the cache time is 12 hours, but this can be changed, as explained here.

All WordPress sites hosted on our platform will be cached out of the box.Hristo Pandjarov


Memcached is an object caching mechanism designed to improve the connection between your application and its database. It greatly improves the loading speed of dynamic content that can’t be served by the Dynamic Caching (checkout pages, dashboards and backends, etc).SiteGround

As opposed to the previous two caching options, you have to enable Memcached in order to use it. Next, as explained in this tutorial, you need to configure your web applications to use Memcached. This can be achieved easily by turning Memcached ON in the SG optimizer plugin, or manually. Once enabled (and configured), Memcached will cache the results from the database queries into the server’s RAM, speeding up the website tremendously.

As you may have figured out, I haven’t decided yet whether I will use Memcached and/or the SG optimizer plugin.


Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) is a tool that speeds up your website when you have geographically dispersed traffic across multiple countries and continents. It will cache your website content and will distribute it over multiple data centers around the world. When someone visits your site the content will be delivered from the server closest to the visitor and this will make your website loads faster than ever in every part of the world.

As acknowledged at the beginning of this post, I did not set up Cloudflare CDN back in cPanel and I still do not know if I will do so in Site Tools. In fact, I haven’t really investigate the matter because of one statement in particular: The Cloudflare service is only used when the website is accessed with WWW. You may have noticed that I have a non-www URL (see To www or not to www?).

Have in mind that depending on your site and setup, configuring Cloudflare may require professional expertise. If you’re not sure how to set it up, you may need to contact your developer first.SiteGround
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Intermediate verdict

With the launch of our new Site Tools-based infrastructure we have opened a wide range of opportunities to further improve the loading speed of the websites hosted on our servers.Hristo Pandjarov

After the recent hike in SiteGround prices, I was wondering, Is SiteGround still the best option in terms of shared hosting? Clearly, the speed features – now available in their StartUp plan as well – speak in their favor.

I like… the loading speed improvements introduced with Site Tools (i.e. NGINX Direct Delivery), the fact that you don’t have to do anything to benefit from them (i.e. switched on by default), and that SiteGround did not limit their better caching options (i.e. Dynamic caching and Memcached) to the higher-tier plans anymore. Great job!

I don’t like…

To be continued…

1 Back in the time, most websites were static, which means that each page was individually coded with HTML and then uploaded to the server. With the advent of content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, almost all website are now dynamic. This means that the pages don’t exist as individual files, but are created dynamically when the user wants to view them. Until recently, StartUp plans had only access to the Level 1: Static Cache of SuperCacher. However, on February 25, 2021, SiteGround announced that they made Dynamic Cache and Memcached available at no additional cost on [their] StartUp plans too. ^
2 In fact, there is a note in the tool stating, For WordPress sites the best dynamic cache results are achieved if you also install our SG Optimizer plugin. As explained in this tutorial, with the plugin, you can control whether your website is cached or not, among other settings (e.g. Cache Purge, Exclude Post Types, Exclude URLs, etc.). Neverthless, even if you do not have the SG Optimizer plugin installed, [SiteGround] will still cache your WordPress. ^

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