Have a slow WordPress site on GoDaddy?
To speed up a slow GoDaddy website, upgrade to PHP 7.4 in GoDaddy’s dashboard and move your DNS/CDN from GoDaddy to Cloudflare. Install WordPress speed plugins like WP Rocket and Autoptimize, then optimize your fonts, images, and database. Finally, try to pass core web vitals by fixing specific recommendations in tools like PageSpeed Insights + Chrome Dev Tools.
But, GoDaddy is infamously slow.
iThemes called them out for overcrowding servers and they’re slow to release new PHP versions. Forbes even wrote an article titled “5 Reasons You Should Leave GoDaddy.” So if you follow this tutorial and your website/TTFB are still slow, consider moving away from GoDaddy.
I recommend either Cloudways Vultr HF (I use them and you can see my GTmetrix report) or NameHero (easy cPanel) who uses faster LiteSpeed servers. Both are highly recommended in Facebook Groups and your load times, TTFB and admin panel should all be significantly faster.
How to fix a slow GoDaddy site
- Check For A Slow TTFB
- Upgrade To PHP 7.4
- Use Cloudflare’s DNS And CDN
- Configure A Top-Rated Cache Plugin
- Optimize For Core Web Vitals
- Optimize Fonts
- Optimize Images
- Optimize Elementor + Divi
- Avoid Slow Plugins
- Remove Bloat
- Speed Up Your Mobile Site
- Remove Junk From Your Database
- Serve Static Assets With An Efficient Cache Policy
- Lazy Load Videos
- Leave GoDaddy (For Cloudways or NameHero)
Quick Tips To Fix A Slow Website On GoDaddy
- Upgrade to PHP 7.4 in GoDaddy.
- Use Cloudflare for your DNS/CDN (not GoDaddy).
- Configure plugins like WP Rocket and Autoptimize.
- Clean your database using the WP-Optimize plugin.
- If using Elementor/Divi, use their built-in speed settings.
- Optimize fonts by hosting them locally and limiting how many you use.
- Reduce/optimize third-party code like Google Fonts, Analytics, and videos.
- Focus on core web vitals by optimizing your LCP element and reducing CLS.
1. Check For A Slow TTFB
Indicators GoDaddy’s Hosting Is Slow
- High TTFB over 600ms (should ideally be under 200ms)
- 503 service unavailable errors when the server is being overloaded
- You’re on shared hosting with “unlimited bandwidth” but contract says otherwise
2. Upgrade To PHP 7.4
Upgrading PHP versions can be done in your GoDaddy hosting account and can make your WordPress site faster (especially if you’re currently using a lower, outdated PHP version). GoDaddy isn’t great at releasing new PHP versions but when they do, make sure you upgrade.
Upgrade PHP Version On GoDaddy
- Login to your GoDaddy account
- Go to your Products Page → Manage → Settings
- Upgrade to the latest stable PHP version (currently PHP 7.4)
- Check your site for errors which are usually due to incompatible plugins
3. Use Cloudflare’s DNS And CDN
Cloudflare’s DNS and CDN are faster than GoDaddy’s.
Moving your DNS to Cloudflare should result in much lower DNS latency. Even if you don’t use Cloudflare for anything else, it’s free and you can at least use them for the DNS. They have an article on changing nameservers from GoDaddy to Cloudflare, or follow the instructions below.
1. Sign up for Cloudflare’s free plan, add your website, and run the scan. Cloudflare will walk you through a set of pages until you reach a page where Cloudflare assigns you 2 nameservers.
2. Login to your GoDaddy account and in your product list go to Domain → Manage DNS → Nameservers → Change. Click “custom nameservers” and add the ones Cloudflare gave you:
3. In your Cloudflare DNS settings, change your website from DNS Only to Proxied. This activates Cloudflare’s CDN. If for some reason you don’t get great results, try BunnyCDN, a paid CDN I use and is highly recommended in Facebook groups. The setup instructions are easy.
5. Make other tweaks in your Cloudflare dashboard (I recommend enabling Brotli (faster than Gzip), HTTP/3, bot fight mode to block spammy bots, and hotlink protection to prevent people from copying/pasting your images on their website which reduces your CPU usage in GoDaddy.
6. In Cloudflare, go to your caching settings → Purge Everything.
After setting up Cloudflare, you can monitor bandwidth savings in their dashboard. Since Cloudflare helps offload resources to their 250+ data centers, this should lighten the load on your server and help reduce CPU consumption and load times. TLDR; it’s good for your website.
4. Configure A Top-Rated Cache Plugin
LiteSpeed Cache (free) is another great cache plugin but you need to use a LiteSpeed host like NameHero to use it. The main benefit is LiteSpeed uses server-level caching which is faster than file-based caching by most cache plugins. If you don’t want to pay, at least use Autoptimize. WP Fastest Cache and W3 Total Cache are alright, but they’re not fully updated for core web vitals.
5. Optimize For Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals will soon be a ranking factor. There are 3 parts of core web vitals:
Largest Contentful Paint – PageSpeed Insights shows you your “LCP element” which is usually a background image that appears throughout your site, but sometimes it can be a video or block element too. Optimize the images as best you can (resize it to proper dimensions, compress and preload it, convert it to WebP, and exclude it from lazy load since it would be counterintuitive.
To take it a step further, prefetch all third-party code. You can do this with WP Rocket, Perfmatters, or Pre* Party Resource Hints. Copy the external hostnames from your report (here’s a list of common domains to prefetch) then prefetch them with a plugin, or manually.
Cumulative Layout Shift – means elements on your website are shifting while the page is loading. Use Google’s Layout Shift Debugger to see a GIF of your website’s layout shifts. These can be caused by fonts, animations, CSS, ads, or images/iframes without specified dimensions.
- Fonts – same thing as ensure text remains visible during webfont load in PSI. To fix this, make sure fonts are hosted locally (not pulling from Google Fonts), edit your stylesheet, then simply replace font-display:auto with font-display:swap. Elementor, WP Rocket, LiteSpeed Cache, and many themes/page builders have an option for font-display: swap.
- CSS – most cache plugins have an asynchronous CSS option (Optimize CSS Delivery in WP Rocket). Try turning it off or set a fallback critical CSS using a critical CSS generator.
- Images/iframes – specify dimensions (WP Rocket + LiteSpeed have a setting to add missing image dimensions) Or manually view your image’s HTML and add a width/height.
- Animations – if using animations, use the CSS Transform + Translate properties to use animations without causing layout shifts, but I wouldn’t recommend using animations.
- Ads + Dynamic Content – reserve space for ads and other dynamic content using div wrappers (learn more here). Otherwise, they will move around without reserved space.
6. Optimize Fonts
Open your GTmetrix Waterfall report and view the fonts tab. It tells you how many fonts are loading on your site and their load times. There are quite a few ways to make fonts to load fast.
- Load fonts from your theme, not plugins.
- Host fonts locally using OMGF or use Transfonter.
- Be minimal with font families, weights, characters, icons.
- Use WOFF2 which is the most reliable and compressed format.
- Preload fonts files (Google tells you this under “preload key requests”).
- Add font-display:swap to ensure text remains visible during webfont load.
7. Optimize Images
Similar to fonts, there are many ways to optimize images.
- Properly size images – resize large images to the correct dimensions.
- Specify image dimensions – specify a width/height in the image’s HTML or CSS.
- Compress images – losslessly compress images (I use TinyPNG but ShortPixel is good).
- Disable hotlinking – prevents other websites from embedding your images on their site which sucks up your bandwidth (done in WP Rocket or use Cloudflare hotlink protection).
- Lazy Load Images – delays loading images until users actually see them (use WP Rocket or Optimole is good). Do not lazy load images that appear above the fold (exclude them).
- Use WebP – fixes the serve images in next-gen format item in Lighthouse (use a plugin).
- Use Adaptive Images – serve smaller images to mobile (use an adaptive images plugin).
Most of these are found in PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix, but they only show errors for the single page you test, so make sure you test your most important pages when optimizing images.
8. Optimize Elementor + Divi
Elementor’s Experiments can optimize DOM output, remove unused CSS/JS, and load files inline to prevent render-blocking resources. Divi has similar options. I would enable everything.
But, Elementor and Divi aren’t good for speed.
9. Avoid Slow Plugins
Some plugins are also notorious for loading slow, usually those related to page builders, statistics, chat, comment, social sharing plugins, and others. Many of these are already in GoDaddy’s list of blacklisted plugins since they usually consume a lot of server resources.
|Plugin||Category||Memory Impact||PageSpeed Impact|
|All In One SEO||SEO||X||X|
|Broken Link Checker||SEO||X||✓|
|Divi Builder||Page Builder||X||X|
|Elementor Premium Addons||Page Builder||✓||X|
|Elementor Pro||Page Builder||X||X|
|Elementor Ultimate Addons||Page Builder||✓||X|
|Site Kit by Google||Analytics||X||✓|
|Social Media Share Buttons||Social Sharing||✓||X|
Lightweight Plugin Alternatives
- SEO – Rank Math.
- Backups – UpdraftPlus.
- Comments – native comments.
- Sliders – Soliloquy or MetaSlider.
- Social Sharing – Grow By Mediavine.
- Gallery – Gutenberg Gallery or Meow Gallery.
- Page Builder – GeneratePress, Oxygen Builder, Gutenberg, Genesis.
- Analytics – Google Analytics and Google Search Console (ideally no plugins).
Query Monitor is the best way to find your slowest loading plugins. Install the plugin, view a page on your website, then click the Queries tab in the admin menu → Queries By Components.
Some plugins let you disable features you’re not using. And since some modules cause a ton of database bloat (which you can check in WP-Optimize), always disable the ones you don’t need.
10. Remove Bloat
Tips On Configuring Perfmatters
- Disable the heartbeat API.
- Disable pingbacks and trackbacks.
- Increase the autosave interval (I set mine to 5 minutes).
- Disable jQuery Migrate if your plugins/themes don’t use it.
- Change the login URL to improve security and block spam bots.
- Disable WooCommerce script/styles on non-eCommerce pages.
- Set post revisions to 3-5 so you have backups, but you don’t need hundreds.
- Disable options in WordPress core which you don’t need (usually all of them).
- Host Google Analytics tracking code locally (found in the Google Analytics tab).
11. Speed Up Your Mobile Site
Since Google uses mobile-first indexing, mobile speed should always come first.
Login to Search Console and check your mobile core web vitals report. Even though most desktop optimizations carry over to mobile, there are a few mobile-specific things you can do.
- Enable mobile caching in your cache plugin.
- Fix mobile layout shifts in Google’s CLS Debugger.
- Use your mobile editor to remove unseeded elements.
- Install an adaptive images plugin to serve smaller images on mobile.
- Use a “load more comments” button if your blog has lots of comments.
- Code your header/footer/sidebar in CSS instead of using page builders.
- Use mobile responsive design (do testing even if your theme is responsive).
12. Remove Junk From Your Database
Many cache plugins have database cleanup options, but I recommend WP-Optimize. This deletes your trash, spam, post revisions, trackbacks, and garbage files. Since these are constantly accumulating, make sure you schedule a cleanup every week or so (I run it weekly).
To go a step further in WP-Optimize, view your database tables and look for old plugins that were once installed, but are no longer used (labeled as not installed). When you delete plugins, they often leave behind tables with pre-configured settings and other data. If you don’t plan on using the plugin again, delete the table. Some plugin features can also cause a lot of database bloat. You can use WP-Optimize to see which plugins (or certain plugin features) cause bloat.
13. Serve Static Assets With An Efficient Cache Policy
If you see this item in PageSpeed Insights, it means you need to change your cache expiration to 180 days (or 6 months) which is the recommended time period by Google. Typically, PageSpeed Insights will flag fonts, images, and possibly other resources if they have a low cache expiration.
- If using WP Rocket, edit your .htaccess file (you can use Htaccess File Editor) and change the cache expiration to 180 days for the files that are being flagged (image shown below).
- If using Cloudflare, set browser cache TTL for 6 months.
- If using another CDN, set browser cache expiration for 6 months.
- Some hosts also have a cache expiration such as NGINX and Apache.
14. Lazy Load Videos
A single video usually adds 2-3 seconds to your page load time. The WP YouTube Lyte plugin makes it so videos are only loaded once readers scroll down the page and click the play button. WP Rocket and nearly all cache plugins also have the option to lazy load both videos + iframes.
15. Leave GoDaddy (For Cloudways Or NameHero)
GoDaddy is bottom of the barrel and gives you a slow TTFB.
Most hosting recommendations are garbage and I suggest joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group (run by Gijo Varghese) to get unbiased feedback on hosting + site speed.
Stay clear of SiteGround, Hostinger, GoDaddy, Bluehost, and EIG. They’re mainly promoted by affiliates but have a slow TTFB, CPU limits, and expensive renewals. SiteGround’s community manager and affiliates are also admins for several Facebook Groups and use this to promote their company and remove negative posts. Hostinger writes fake reviews and was banned from Groups. I’m an affiliate, but I don’t recommend slow, shared, unethical hosting for commissions.
TLDR; Cloudways Vultr High Frequency and NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan (or their managed cloud instances) are much faster than SiteGround or cheap shared hosting. I’m not saying they’re the “end all be all” but are popular choices in Facebook Groups.
I use Cloudways Vultr HF which is a popular choice in Facebook Groups. You can check my GTmetrix report, TTFB, or click through my site and see yourself. I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways in 2019 which cut load times in half and fixed CPU issues (it’s also monthly pricing with no high renewals). They use Object Cache Pro/Redis with NVMe and 44 data centers. The main cons are no file manager or email hosting and their Breeze plugin + CloudwaysCDN aren’t great. I suggest using WP Rocket, Cloudflare or BunnyCDN, and Google Workspace. They do 3-day trials, free migration, and have a promo code for 30% off 3 months. Some people say they’re techie since it requires an extra step to launch a server + connect your domain, but it’s not hard.
Spend 5 minutes looking at recent Facebook polls on “the best hosting,” migration results of people who switched, and unbiased feedback in Facebook groups (click thumbnails to enlarge).
NameHero is a nice alternative if you’re not comfortable with launching servers, setting up separate email hosting, or buying a premium cache plugin like on Cloudways. They use cPanel with LiteSpeed servers which means you can use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud (a fast setup which is free on when you use LiteSpeed). I would use them over similar LiteSpeed hosts like A2 since they have better speed, support, uptimes, and security. The biggest con is higher renewals and their data centers are only in US/Netherlands. NameHero has excellent feedback in Facebook Groups and provides free migrations with a 30-day refund policy. Their CEO (Ryan) is also a genuinely helpful guy and knows his stuff if you watch his YouTube videos.
I generally recommend their Turbo Cloud plan which comes with more CPU/RAM, inodes, NVMEe, free domain, and can host multiple sites. Smaller sites can use Starter Cloud (just $54 for the first year) and large/WooCommerce websites should use their managed cloud instances.
Affiliate Disclaimer: I use affiliate links to Cloudways/NameHero and appreciate your support.
Get Help From My WordPress Speed Optimizer
Pronaya is a WordPress developer I found on freelancer.com who lives in Bangladesh and specializes in WordPress speed (yes, he’s better than me). I have worked with him since 2012 and he’s optimized my website including multiple client sites to load up to 500% faster. He’s $40/hour with a perfect 5 star review on his freelancer profile. I have worked with over 20 overseas freelancers and he’s the one I always turn to for WordPress speed and development.
How to hire Pronaya – sign up for a Freelancer account and search for user BDkamol. Make sure the “online users” option is turned off. Serious inquiries only, and please do not expect 100% scores when you’re using slow hosting, bloated WordPress themes, and tons of plugins. Please also make sure you’re on good hosting and minimize plugins at the least (thank you!!!).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is GoDaddy slow?
GoDaddy is slow because they overcrowd their servers and enforce CPU limits on shared hosting. If you exceed these limits, GoDaddy will throttle your bandwidth which results in a slower website. GoDaddy is also slow to release new PHP versions and speed technology.
Why is my TTFB slow on GoDaddy?
A slow TTFB is common on shared hosting and happens when the server isn't powerful enough to accommodate your website, theme, and plugins. You can reduce TTFB by upgrading to PHP 7.4 in your GoDaddy account, offloading resources to CDNs, or upgrading to a powerful server.
How do I reduce CPU on GoDaddy?
Reduce CPU on GoDaddy by removing high CPU plugins found in Query Monitor, removing bloat, and offloading resources to a CDN. Slow page builders like Divi/Elementor can also increase CPU usage.
How do I speed up a slow website on GoDaddy?
Upgrade to PHP 7.4 in your GoDaddy account, use Cloudflare as your DNS and CDN (instead of GoDaddy), setup WP Rocket and Autoptimize, clean your database, avoid slow plugins, and use an image optimization like ShortPixel.
Is GoDaddy fast?
No, GoDaddy is not fast and their overcrowded servers are constantly complained about in Facebook Groups.
Why is my WordPress admin slow on GoDaddy?
Your WordPress admin is likely slow because it lacks server resources. You can try removing admin bloat using Perfmatters, Disable WooCommerce Bloat. or the Widget Disable plugin.
Is GoDaddy's DNS slow?
Yes, GoDaddy's DNS is generally very slow and you should avoid using it for your website(s). Cloudflare's DNS is free and is a much faster alternative than GoDaddy.
So…. did it work?
Let me know your new Pingdom/GTmetrix scores in the comments! Or if you need help fixing GoDaddy’s slow WordPress hosting, leave a comment and I’ll be glad to help with whatever I can. If it’s related to a plugin/tool I mentioned, keep in mind they also have their own support :)
See Also: My Ultimate WordPress Speed Guide
Please share if you liked this tutorial – I’d appreciate it!