How To Speed Up A Slow Website On GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting

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.

Slow godaddy

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

Run your website through PageSpeed Insights to check for slow server response times. You can also use GTmetrix or KeyCDN’s Performance Test. Google will flag your TTFB if it’s over 600ms.

Reduce server response time

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

Slow godaddy site


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in your GoDaddy hosting account and can make your WordPress site faster (especially if you’re currently using a lower, outdated PHP version).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

Upgrade php version godaddy


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.

Activate cloudflare cdn

4. Create a page rule to cache everything (this uses full page caching). For eCommerce and dynamic sites, you might need to use the WP Cloudflare Super Page Cache plugin to use this.

Cache everything page rule

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.

Cloudflare bot fight mode

6. In Cloudflare, go to your caching settingsPurge Everything.

Cloudflare purge

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

WP Rocket is the gold standard for cache plugins and isn’t blacklisted by GoDaddy. It’s a premium plugin and is great when optimizing for core web vitals. It also has more speed features than free cache plugins (database cleanup, delaying JavaScript, heartbeat control, preload/prefetch/preconnect, and lazy loading videos are all built-in). Otherwise, you would need to install a bunch of extra plugins to get these. You can get a 10% off coupon by signing up for their email list on WP Rocket’s website, then see my guide on the best WP Rocket settings.

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 PaintPageSpeed 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.

Largest contentful paint wordpress element - image

Total Blocking Timefind elements causing high blocking time in your “avoid long main-thread tasks” and “reduce impact of third-party code” report in PageSpeed Insights. Try deferring JavaScript (in your cache plugin or Autoptimize) and remove unused CSS/JavaScript using WP Rocket, Perfmatters, or Asset CleanUp. Blocking time can also be caused by third-party code (anything that has to load from an external website). Try hosting fonts locally (using OMGF) as well as Analytics and Gravatars. WP Rocket, Perfmatters, and many other speed plugins let you host files locally. And use lightweight social sharing buttons like the Grow By Mediavine plugin.

Main-thread blocking time

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.

Prefetch dns requests

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.

Gtmetrix font files

  • 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.
Elementor local fonts preload
Elementor has options to hosts fonts locally + preload


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.

Gtmetrix image optimizations


8. Optimize Elementor + Divi

If you’re using Elementor or Divi, both have speed features that can improve core web vitals.

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.

Elementor experiments

Divi performance settings

But, Elementor and Divi aren’t good for speed.

They add extra CSS, JavaScript, fonts, and div wrappers which can flag multiple items in PageSpeed Insights (i.e. remove unused CSS/JS). The first thing you should do is code your header, footer, and blog sidebar in CSS so it doesn’t use heavy page builder code. But I recommend staying clear of them  all together. I hired WP Johnny to replace Elementor with Gutenberg and my website is way faster now. GeneratePress and Oxygen Builder are also good.



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.

Slow wordpress plugins list

Lightweight Plugin Alternatives

  • SEO – Rank Math.
  • BackupsUpdraftPlus.
  • Comments – native comments.
  • SlidersSoliloquy or MetaSlider.
  • Social SharingGrow 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.

Query monitor slow plugins

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.

Rank math modules


10. Remove Bloat

Perfmatters removes bloat and unused CSS/JavaScript.

Some things in WordPress you just don’t need. Disabling them can reduce CPU while speeding up your website. Perfmatters can do everything from disabling the WordPress heartbeat API to limiting post revisions, increasing the autosave interval, hosting Google Analytics locally, and removing unused CSS/JavaScript where it doesn’t need to load. I highly recommend this plugin.

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).

Mobile core web vitals


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).

Wp-optimize clean database

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.

Lazy load youtube videos


15. Leave GoDaddy (For Cloudways Or NameHero)

GoDaddy is bottom of the barrel and gives you a slow TTFB.

Godaddy wordpress hosting feedback

Bluehost hostgator godaddy feedback

Most hosting recommendations are garbage and I suggest joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group (run by Gijo Varghese) to get unbiased feedback on site speed + hosting.

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 to see yourself. I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways which cut load times in half and fixed CPU issues (it’s also monthly pricing with no higher renewals). They use Object Cache Pro/Redis with NVMe storage and 44 data centers. Main cons are no file manager/email hosting and their Breeze plugin + CloudwaysCDN aren’t great. I suggest WP Rocket or FlyingPress, Cloudflare or BunnyCDN, and Google Workspace. They do 3-day trials, a free migration, and a promo code for 30% off 3 months. Some people are afraid they’re techie since it requires an extra step to launch a Vultr HF server, but it’s not hard:

Cloudways launch vultr hf server

Godaddy to cloudways

Godaddy to cloudways trustpilot review (2)

Cloudways to godaddy trustpilot review

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).


Moving away from siteground


LiteSpeed hosting on NameHero is another solid choice (if you haven’t heard of LiteSpeed, go read about it). It’s cheaper than Cloudways because it’s shared hosting – but faster than most.

I’m not sure why people use other LiteSpeed hosts like Hostinger/A2 when you get more CPU cores + RAM with NVMe on NameHero. You can use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin with server-side caching,, HTTP/3, and Redis. This is arguably the fastest setup you’ll find on a budget. I don’t know anywhere else you get 3 CPU cores, 3GB RAM, and NVMe on LiteSpeed for $8/mo. WP Johnny and I both have solid guides on configuring LiteSpeed Cache with QUIC. The main con is they only have data centers in US + Netherlands. Otherwise they have higher uptimes with less ‘frequent maintenance’ compared to Hostinger/A2’s uptime status page with US-based support. Ryan (the founder) is a down to earth guy if you watch his YouTube channel.

Namehero plans resources
NameHero has more resources compared to similar LiteSpeed hosts (see specs page)

Web server poll

Web server poll oxygen

Siteground vs cloudways vs namehero

Namehero vs siteground feedback

Siteground to namehero

Cloudways trustpilot review

Namehero trustpilot review

Affiliate Disclaimer: I use affiliate links to Cloudways + NameHero and appreciate your support. But what do I know? I’m just a biased affiliate. Do your own research in FB groups.


Get Help From My WordPress Speed Optimizer

Pronaya is a WordPress developer I found on 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!!!).

Bdkamol freelancer


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!


About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

80 thoughts on “How To Speed Up A Slow Website On GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting

  1. I used to hate Godaddy until I was proven otherwise by Reviewsignal. ReviewSignal has rated Godaddy as one of their top tier WordPress hosting during 2019 and 2020. I host few of my clients at Godaddy.

    Make sure that you are using their WordPress managed hosting(Not basic) and you keep their CDN off and use third party CDNs. I would suggest using bunnyCDN for that matter.

    Since few of my clients rejected the idea of using Cloudflare CDN, I almost always go with Namecheap Premium DNS + Godaddy WordPress Managed hosting/Nestify + bunnyCDN.

    If their website is image heavy, you should be using a third party image optimization service.

    1. Why did you say “…not basic”? I can’t see anything in the plan specs that suggests it runs slower than the higher tier plans. Do you know for certain this is the case because we’re prepared to upgrade from Basic if so. Thanks

  2. I think Godaddy needs to burn their cash to revamp their infrastructure rather than on advertising. They try to entice novice customers by marketing not quality service.
    But what about regular customers?

  3. Really useful insight. I am workin with a customer who has Godaddy and I am already noticing all you pointed out… :/ Also with this managed hosting thing… How do you even set up cloudflare here? I think it is also very restrictive and not very intuitive on settings.

  4. Please help, This website i made received a 87 on google speed test and a 95 on mobile. Yet it still runs extremely slow. Its on the cheapest godaddy plan, Is this the issue?

  5. Tom, I have to thank you. You have saved my life and countless hours of trying to make a client site fast on godaddy. I couldn’t believe her dashboard said her site was 100% perfect on performance when I was getting very terrible scores on several platforms. From now on, I’m going to show this to all my godaddy customers. You have given us all so much free and very useful information that saved alot of us developers so much time. I will be back several times to refernce this and might even create a blog post to link back to you from my site when I can figure out what I want to write about. Damn! I just wrote a post on wp engine too and now I’m thinking of leaving siteground for cloudways. You’re a lifesaver.

    1. Thanks Heather! Really appreciate that and that’s my job. Honestly, the entire hosting world is so deceptive. Hosts say slow TTFBs aren’t their fault, affiliates try to get you to sign up for hosting via aff links (sigh, yes, even me). But that’s why I encourage people to join some Facebook Groups like the WordPress Hosting group. It’s one of the few places to get solid feedback on hosting companies, and I try to borrow that info to show that GoDaddy, SiteGround, WP Engine, and many other hosts are (usually) not great choices especially in terms of speed. Anyway, glad it was helpful and let me know if there’s anything else I can do.

  6. Hi, thanks for the article. I really just use Godaddy because of the emails they provide. Sending mails via the Office servers is great for me. But my Physical Memory Usage and I/O Usage always goes to 100% if I visit 1 webpage. And thenafter my website is too slow to be true. Haven’t seen such a bad host in my entire life. How can such a company exist? Also they don’t give Let’s Encrypt certificates so you need to have a third party for it. Have to renew it every 90 days. With other hosts you do not need to do so… it’s possible to have email at Godaddy right? And for the rest somewhere else?

  7. My GTMetrix results attached…W3 Total Cache and Cloudflare are both in play.
    I did try Autoptimize – the site crashed shortly afterward due to resources on GoDaddy server (Dedicated IP) being maxed out (i.e. CPU, I/O, Physical Memory Usage). I since deactivated Autoptimize but still seeing frequent CPU, I/O, RAM spikes.

    1. Thanks for sharing Aaron, so GoDaddy let you install W3 Total Cache? Thought they blacklisted all cache plugins. GTmetrix report looks pretty good but yeah, with that load time it looks like a server problem.

        1. Anytime, be sure to configure their SG Optimizer plugin and activate Cloudflare in their dashboard. Keep me updated about the results if you don’t mind. Their a little more expensive but also use Google Cloud platform.

          1. successfully migrated to SiteGround and followed your guide to configure SG Optimizer. got the load time down to 2.8s and overall, the site is performing a lot better now.

  8. Thank you for Sharing. The language of the article is very easy and understandable. I was struggling with speed optimization. Now I fix it successfully.

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