✅ Fastest wordpress hosting ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The web host you choose to power your WordPress site plays a key role in its speed and performance. However, with so many claiming to offer the fastest WordPress hosting out there, how do you decide which company to use?

In addition to performance, it’s also important to consider the costs and features included with each plan. Trying to research and compare them all can be tedious, so we’ve done a lot of the hard work upfront to make your job easier.

In a previous article we’ve analysed some of the best WordPress hosting companies, but in this post, we’ll look at seven of the fastest WordPress hosting providers, based on real performance tests that we ran. We’ll review the plans offered by each one, including their features and pricing, to help narrow your decision. Let’s get started!

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A summary of the fastest WordPress hosting companies

Before we get into our list, let’s take a quick look at the seven fastest WordPress hosting companies we’ll be comparing. All of the performance data comes from our own speed tests, while the overall rating comes from our survey of hundreds WordPress hosting users.

HostUptimeSpeed USSpeed EUSpeed Asia
WP Engine99.99%0.4s1.02s1.66s
InMotion Hosting100%0.45s0.73s1.75s

The fastest WordPress hosting companies compared (in full)

1. Kinsta

Kinsta is a WordPress-specific hosting provider that offers a variety of fully-managed plans. Its cloud WordPress hosting is powered exclusively by Google Cloud, which is optimized for speed and performance.

Kinsta’s features include:

  • Server-level caching with Nginx Fast_CGI cache
  • Free CDN powered by KeyCDN
  • A custom MyKinsta dashboard
  • Automated daily backups
  • Free SSL certificates
  • One-click staging environments
  • Free migrations
  • SSH access

All of these features are included with every Kinsta hosting plan. Kinsta doesn’t have tiered support levels, but offers premium 24/7 support to every customer.

Pricing and plan details

Pricing for Kinsta hosting plans starts at $25.00 per month and includes two months free with annual billing. The Starter Plan provides support for:

  • One WordPress install
  • 10 GB of disk space
  • 25,000 monthly visits
  • Free CDN with a 50 GB limit

There are also Pro ($60 per month), Business (starting at $100 per month), and Enterprise (starting at $600 per month) plans. However, there are plenty of tiers in between and above that.

Performance tests

When researching the fastest hosting providers for WordPress, it’s critical to consider performance and benchmark testing. In our performance testing of Kinsta for CodeInWP, we found:

We also performed Load Impact tests. The minimum response time was 0.12 seconds, while the maximum response time was just 0.13 seconds.

2. Flywheel

Flywheel is another popular, WordPress-specific web host that offers plans and features suitable for everyone, from freelancers to agencies. Aside from being one of the fastest WordPress hosting companies, Flywheel shares a lot of similarities with Kinsta.

It’s powered by Google Cloud, and includes a free CDN and custom dashboard built for WordPress site management. It also uses a custom caching engine, provides nightly backups, and has multiple data centers located across the globe.

Note: In 2019, Flywheel was acquired by WP Engine (the next host on our list). Both are still run separately, though.

Pricing and plan details

Flywheel offers an accessible Tiny plan for just $13.00 per month, though it only allows for 5,000 visits per month for a single website.

To raise that, you can move to the $25 per month Starter plan. This plan supports one website, 25,000 monthly visits, and 10 GB of disk space.

Flywheel offers two free months if you sign up for an annual plan. There are also Freelance ($96 per month) and Agency ($242 per month) plans.

Performance tests

To measure Flywheel’s performance as one of the fastest WordPress hosting providers, we used Pingdom to conduct page speed tests for three server locations. Here are the results:

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Load time from the US: 0.33s
  • Load time from Europe: 0.5s
  • Load time from Asia: 0.41s

We also used Load Impact to test its response under stress. The minimum response time was 0.15 seconds, while the maximum was 1.19 seconds.

3. WP Engine

WP Engine is a WordPress-specific host that offers a variety of fully-managed plans, each powered by a reliable architecture built for speed and scalability.

Its managed WordPress plans offer:

  • Built-in caching with Varnish and Memcached
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Built-in CDN
  • Quick site installation
  • Easy staging (two separate staging environments)
  • Performance tracking and diagnostic options
  • 24/7 support

Pricing and plan details

WP Engine’s Startup Plan is $20.00 per month. It supports one WordPress site, 25,000 monthly visits, and 10 GB of local storage.

There are also Professional ($63 per month), Growth ($115 per month), and Scale ($290 per month) plans. All plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

You’ll get two months free if you pay for an annual plan.

Performance tests

We conducted page speed and Load Impact tests to assess how this provider measures up against some of the other fastest WordPress hosting providers.

Using Pingdom to perform the page speed tests, we found that WP Engine consistently stayed below the recommend two-second mark:

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Load time from the US: 0.4s
  • Load time from Europe: 1.02s
  • Load time from Asia: 1.66s

More impressive was its ability to maintain quick response times even during spikes of traffic. On the Load Impact test, WP Engine had a minimum response time of 0.51 seconds and maximum of 0.59 seconds.

4. SiteGround

SiteGround has become an increasingly popular WordPress host. In addition to offering multiple managed WordPress plans that are ideal for those on a budget, SiteGround is one of the few hosts that are officially recommended by WordPress.org.

This provider offers a healthy amount of WordPress-specific features. This includes free WordPress site transfers, one-click installations, and automatic updates.

SiteGround also provides a WordPress SuperCacher. This is a SiteGround-specific feature that implements caching for your WordPress site on multiple levels, in order to promote faster loading times.

Pricing and plan details

SiteGround’s StartUp Plan starts at just $3.99 per month. It’s suitable for up to 10,000 monthly visitors and includes 10 GB of disk space for one WordPress site. You can also sign up for the GrowBig Plan ($6.69 per month) or the GoGeek Plan ($10.69 per month).

Keep in mind that those are promotional prices, so they only apply to your first billing cycle. Try to lock them in for three years if you can afford it.

Performance tests

In our SiteGround review, we conducted page speed and Load Impact testing. The results were as follows:

  • Uptime: 99.98%
  • Load time from the US: 1.3s
  • Load time from Europe: 0.58s
  • Load time from Asia: 1.82s

For the Load Impact test, SiteGround had a minimum response time of 0.74 seconds and a maximum response time of 1.48 seconds. These results confirmed that, regardless of where your site is located, speed shouldn’t be an issue with this provider.

5. DreamHost

DreamHost is a reliable hosting provider that offers budget-friendly shared, VPS, and managed WordPress hosting plans. Plus, there are some notable features that make DreamHost a solid option, aside from it being one of the most affordable yet fastest WordPress hosting companies.

For example, in addition to coming with WordPress pre-installed, DreamHost’s managed WordPress plans include a free subscription to Jetpack premium. You’ll also benefit from enhanced security thanks to dual WordPress-optimized web application firewalls (WAF).

Pricing and plan details

The Basic Plan for DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting, referred to as DreamPress, starts at $16.95 per month. This includes one site, up to 100,000 monthly visitors, and 30 GB of disk space. It also offers a Plus plan ($24.95 per month) and a Pro Plan ($71.95 per month).

DreamHost also offers affordable shared plans, though you’ll miss out on the performance of the WordPress-optimized DreamPress plans.

Performance tests

As part of our DreamHost review, we performed page speed and Load Impact testing that generated satisfying results:

  • Uptime: 99.99%
  • Load time from the US: 2.04s
  • Load time from Europe: 2.96s
  • Load time from Asia: 2.28s

With a minimum response time of 0.26 seconds and a maximum of 1.26 seconds, the Load Impact tests further emphasized DreamHost’s ability to perform well under pressure without sacrificing speed.

6. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting. Its operational infrastructure includes a WordPress-optimized Stack and free CDN in order to deliver exceptional loading times.

Aside from being one of the most affordable yet fastest WordPress hosting providers, InMotion comes with a plethora of WordPress-specific tools and features. This includes pre-installed WordPress, a drag-and-drop WordPress page builder (BoldGrid), and automatic WordPress plugin and theme updates.

Pricing and plan details

InMotion managed WordPress plans start at just $2.29 per month. This entry-level plan includes one website, 50 GB of disk space, and up to 20,000 monthly visitors. The provider also offers Small Business ($7.99 per month) and Developer ($15.99 per month) plans.

Performance tests

As we detailed in our InMotion Hosting review, while this provider did better in some locations, overall it performed well during our Pingdom page speed tests:

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Load time from the US: 0.45s
  • Load time from Europe: 0.73s
  • Load time from Asia: 1.75s

It also had a good showing on the Load Impact tests. The minimum response time was 0.27 seconds, and the maximum was 0.84 seconds.

7. Bluehost

Bluehost is a popular and reliable WordPress hosting provider that offers affordable plans. In addition to being optimized for speed and performance, Bluehost’s plans come with a one-click WordPress installation.

Bluehost offers relatively speedy customer service via chat, which is available 24/7. It also leverages robust hardware and makes scaling plans quick and easy.

Other key features include:

  • Advanced security features (including malware scans)
  • Free CDN and SSL certificates
  • VPS WordPress-specific packages
  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor virtualization technology

Bluehost also offers a custom control panel that can make site management a breeze. This was designed with WordPress users in mind.

Pricing and plan details

Bluehost WordPress hosting plans start at just $2.75 / month. The Basic plan includes one WordPress installation and 50 GB of storage.

A Plus plan is also available ($5.45 per month) as well as a Pro plan ($13.95 per month). All plans include a free domain for one year, an SSL certificate, and a CDN.

It’s worth noting that Bluehost does not offer monthly plans. Each plan requires at least a 12-month commitment.

Performance tests

In a previous performance test of Bluehost, the WordPress host demonstrated relatively fast loading times across the globe:

  • Uptime: 100%
  • Load time from the US: 1.69s
  • Load time from Europe: 3.42s
  • Load time from Asia: 1.43s

The minimum response time was very good, and the maximum was not much above 2 seconds. The web host also showed a consistent and impressive uptime.

Pagely (www.pagely.com)

A bit more pricey than the other solutions on this list, but it does give you a lot in return for your investment (it’s a managed hosting plan).

The basic package is $199 per month and gives you a number of perks. Just to name a few: you get WordPress pre-installed, auto-updates for your WordPress and plugins, auto backups, free CDN, and 24/7 US+UK-based support (important!).

Pagely has been known for their WordPress-optimized hosting plans and basically giving you the fastest WordPress hosting possible, so if you’re looking for something that gives you a hassle-free experience, this might be the provider for you. Plus, you also get to launch up to 5 websites on a single plan, and you get 25GB of bandwidth.

WPXHosting (www.wpxhosting.com)

This is what you call fast WordPress hosting, with great support and good page loading times. They offer power and speed as the two most important keys of their company. WPXHosting provides a one-click WordPress installation, free CDN, enhanced security, and good customer support.

The prices start at $24.99 a month. The offer lets you build five websites, get 100GB of bandwidth and a 10GB storage limit (all disks are SSD, which is huge for site speed).

Site5 (www.site5.com)

A shared WordPress hosting which is very good for the beginners who want to launch their very first site.

Site5 provides one-click installation, plans begin at $9.17 a month, and they even offer free site migration at that price point (if you’ve had your site hosted with a different company).

It’s worth noting that the cheapest plan is good for up to 10,000 visitors a month, which should be enough to get you started. Site5 also gives you a user-friendly control panel.

HostGator (www.hostgator.com)

Another shared WordPress hosting, which is one of the biggest online hosting companies out there.

It offers some of the lowest prices you’ll find, starting at $2.75 a month (on a 36-month contract). You can install your site in just one click. Fits best people who want to start their first business site.

If you need more, HostGator offers shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated server packages for both beginners and professionals at different price points.

HostGator loading times

East Coast, USA: 0.87sWest Coast, USA: 0.37s
London: 1.27sParis: 1.31s
Mumbai, India: 2.21sSeoul: 1.37s

A2Hosting (www.a2hosting.com)

A2 Hosting offers a ton of different budget-friendly hosting services. Their managed WordPress hosting packages include some pretty cool features that keep up with the other premium hosting services on the market.

Such as:

  • Free staging area
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Malware protection
  • DDoS protection
  • Daily backups
  • Cloudflare included

And they are available 24/7 to assist with any questions or problems you may have.

Pricing And Plan Information

A2 Hosting provide a lot of hosting services but as we are focusing on WordPress hosting then I will run through their managed WordPress hosting plans-

  • 1-Site costs $11.99 and gives you 10GB of storage
  • 3-Sites cost $18.99 and gives you 20GB of storage
  • Unlimited sites cost $36.98 and gives you 40GB of storage

And all plans use A2 Hostings Turbo servers, which boast of being up to 20x faster.

They also have a pretty impressive ANYTIME money-back guarantee.

Cloudways (www.cloudways.com)

Cloudways is a cloud-based hosting platform that teams up with a selected provider to offer a good balance between functionality and affordability.

Cloudways plans offer-

  • 24/7/365 Customer Support
  • Free SSL
  • CDN
  • Free migration
  • Dedicated Firewalls
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Automated backups
  • Staging environment

…as well as a bunch of other helpful features.

They have been featured on some pretty notable websites like Forbes and PC Magazine.

Pricing And Plan Information

Cloudways offers hosting with different infrastructure providers, for this article we have tested using Digital Ocean so I will run through those available pricing options-

  • $10/month gets you 1GB of RAM, 25GB of storage and 1TB of bandwidth
  • $22/month gets you 2GB of RAM, 50GB of storage and 1TB of bandwidth
  • $42/month gets you 4GB of RAM, 80GB of storage and 4TB of bandwidth
  • $80/month gets you 8GB of RAM, 160GB of storage and 5TB of bandwidth

And they have a ‘No Lock In’ policy meaning you don’t get tied up in contracts.

GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com)

GoDaddy is a well-known domain registrar but they are also a pretty popular web host too and has customers all across the globe.

Their WordPress hosting plans include-

  • 99.9% uptime promise
  • CDN boost for fast load times
  • Free business email for the first year
  • Access to free themes & plugins
  • Free 24/7 customer support
  • One-click migration tool

The higher-tier plans also offer regular malware scans and removal as well as a free SSL certificate.

Pricing And Plan Information

Here are the current pricing plans but ensure to double-check the renewal prices before you purchase-

  • Basic – $6.99 and you get 1 website with 30GB of storage and is recommended for up to 25,000 visitors a month
  • Deluxe – $9.99 and you get 1 website with 75GB of storage and is recommended for up to 100,000 visitors a month
  • Ultimate – $12.99 and you get 1 website with unlimited storage and is an unlimited number of visitors a month
  • Ecommerce – $15.99 and you get 1 website with unlimited storage and is an unlimited number of visitors a month but this has a bunch more features to warrant the higher price.

Not a bad set of plans to choose from.

GreenGeeks (www.greengeeks.com)

GreenGeeks is a hosting platform who pride themselves on providing an eco-friendly but fast and secure hosting service.

Their plans boast-

  • Unlimited space
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • Nightly backup
  • Free CDN
  • Unlimited email accounts

And if the name wasn’t a giveaway… GreenGeeks focuses on giving back to the environment by having a 300% green energy commitment on all plans.

Pricing And Plan Information

GreenGeeks currently have a special price on plans so be sure to check on their website for any pricing updates-

  • Lite – $2.95 (normally $9.95) which covers 1 site and unlimited web space
  • Pro – $5.95 (normally $14.95) which covers unlimited sites, unlimited web space and 2x performance.
  • Premium – $11.95 (normally $24.95) which covers unlimited sites, unlimited web space and 4x performance and a free dedicated IP

And they offer the standard 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try them out with peace of mind.

LiquidWeb (www.liquidweb.com)

LiquidWeb is another old-timer in the web hosting industry, they were first founded in 1997 and they pride themselves on their 99.999% uptime.

Nexcess has joined LiquidWeb and now take care of their managed WordPress hosting plans through their high-performance cloud which includes features like-

  • No traffic limits
  • Daily backups
  • A staging site
  • Automatic SSL
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Their own data centres

And they back all this up with 24 hour support.

Pricing And Plan Information

LiquidWeb offers a wide range of plans, here’s a quick look-

  • Spark – $19/month. With this you get 1 website, 15 GB storage and 2 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Maker – $79/month. With this you get 5 websites, 40 GB storage and 3 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Designer – $109/month. With this you get 10 websites, 60 GB storage and 4 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Builder – $149/month. With this you get 25 websites, 100 GB storage and 5 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Producer – $299/month. With this you get 50 websites, 300 GB storage and 5 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Executive – $549/month. With this you get 100 websites, 50 GB storage and 10 TB bandwidth allowance
  • Enterprise – $999/month. With this you get 250 websites, 800 GB storage and 10 TB bandwidth allowance

They are so confident in their services that they offer 14 days free hosting without even asking for a credit card!

Pantheon (www.pantheon.io)

Pantheon is a web hosting company that advertises lightning-fast speeds through a combination of hosting and its WebOps platform.

Their plans include some great features like-

  • 24/7/365 support from WordPress experts
  • Automated backups
  • CDN included
  • Maintaining a 99.99% uptime
  • Managed HTTPs

Can they live up to their claims in the tests I am going to put them through! We will see shortly.

Pricing And Plan Information

Pantheon offers two fixed price plans-

  • Basic – $41 per month (or $29 per month if paid annually) this plan covers 25,000 monthly visits and 20GB SSD storage.
  • Performance – This plan has many tiers ranging from $160 per month to $916 per month (or $114 per to $687 per month if paid annually). And ranges between 25,000-300,000 monthly visitor allowance and 30-200 of SSD storage.

And a third plan called ‘Elite’ which you can chat through with a web expert before getting a quote.

Why is speed important?

The fastest WordPress hosting will help you organize and develop your content in an easy way. A slow host not only slows down the page load for the visitors, but can slow the admin panel too. This will make your work harder and more time-consuming.

However, most importantly, a fast hosting will make your visitors feel comfortable when they try to access your site and interact with it in some way (like commenting or trying to click your social media buttons). A website that fails to load fast will cause them to go away.

There’s also one more issue that’s not that apparent at first glance when it comes to the fastest WordPress hosting. Mainly, even if your current web host is perfectly capable of handling your average traffic numbers, what happens if you hit a really popular day? As it turns out, not all hosting plans can handle that.

Visitors are … what’s the word … moody. They just won’t spend their day waiting for a website that barely moves, and what’s more important, many of them won’t come back again if you don’t offer them some basic comfortable browsing experience.

As Dave Artz from AOL concluded in a study, page views drop off as page load times increase. The study says that:

Users in the top decile of page load times view 7.5 pages/visit. It drops to 6 pages/visit in the 3rd decile, and bottoms out at 5 pages/visit for users with the slowest page load times.

According to the same study, increasing speed will reduce the operating costs too. Phil Dixon from Shopzilla shares his experience and shows that:

A year-long performance redesign resulted in a 5 second speed up (from ~7 seconds to ~2 seconds). This resulted in a 25% increase in page views, a 7-12% increase in revenue, and a 50% reduction in hardware. This last point shows the win-win of performance improvements, increasing revenue while driving down operating costs.

Looking for the fastest WordPress hosting – factors to consider

There are a couple of important factors that you need to be aware of when looking for the right host:

The size of your current audience

The size of your audience is the first thing you should look into when searching for the fastest WordPress hosting.

It is important to know how many visitors your host can serve – and whether it’s going to be able to handle your growth.

With the standard hosting packages, every client has a certain space allocated on the server. Even if the host says that the space is “unlimited,” this is not exactly the case, which you will quickly find out if you read the fine print under the user’s agreement.

Inevitably, a huge spike in traffic will slow down your website if it’s run on a shared hosting plan. And if the spike is big enough, at some point, your site will go down completely.

Before choosing a web host, browse some online forums and reach out to the web host’s support as well. Try to look for information regarding the traffic numbers that the host can handle realistically.

The server location

This is something that’s often overlooked. But in general, to make sure that your webhost will be fast for your audience, you should pick a server that’s actually close to your audience’s geographical location.

In other words, don’t host your site on the other side of the globe from your audience just because it’s cheaper.

How to choose the fastest WordPress hosting for you:

Here’s the step-by-step for selecting a hosting package that’s going to be fast for you and your audience:

Select one of the companies
Go through the companies listed above and get familiar with what they provide. Take note of every interesting detail about their offerings. This is where your budget comes into play.
Check their server location to see if it fits yours
After you select a company, you should check their available server locations. That means you have to verify if it’s relatively close to your audience’s location. The closer, the better. This aspect is important, because it gives you better performance for the same investment. Some companies show their server locations during the sign up process, others need to be contacted directly about this.
Choose a plan
After you decide which company is closer and also serves all your needs, you have to choose one of the plans they’re offering. The plan you need is the one that fits best your budget, your audience and your goals.

How The WordPress Hosts Were Tested

I built a test blog to the following specifications-

  • 11 high resolution photos
  • 1,000 words of dummy content
  • Astra theme
  • Elementor plugin

And then cloned that across each of the 12 WordPress hosts so that every web host had an identical install of WordPress.

Then I ran 5 distinct tests across these sites-

  • Test #1 – GTMetrix website speed (from 7 global server locations)
  • Test #2 – Pingdom Tools website speed (from 7 global server locations)
  • Test #3 – Load Impact stress test (500 simultaneous visitors)
  • Test #4 – WP Performance Tester (a plugin that tests raw server management configuration performance)
  • Test #5 – Support quality (I installed a false flag virus on each site)

So without further ado…Let’s find out who offers the fastest WordPress hosting solutions once and for all.

Test 1 – GTMetrix Loading Speed

I ran each of the test blogs through GTMetrix from each of the 7 global locations.

To make sure all caches were primed, I ran 3 passes of GTMetrix for each test site, for each server location (there’s data center locations for all your target audience) and averaged out the results-

Test #1 Conclusion

Unlike last year, the results of this were incredibly close this time around.

Both WPX Hosting (0.8 seconds) and Pantheon (0.81 seconds) are literally neck and neck in 1st and 2nd place.

Interestingly Kinsta in 3rd place need double the time (1.60 seconds) than 1st and 2nd place did to load the site.

But shockingly the new WP Engine C2 environment delivered similar results to the basic hosting plan despite costing hundreds of dollars more per month.

The GTMetrix Test Winner:

It’s hard to declare either WordPress hosting company a winner here but I think WPX Hosting wins purely because they cost $24.99 per month whereas Pantheon costs $50 per month.

Test 2 – Pingdom Loading Speed

Next, I wanted to run a similar site speed experment but this time using Pingdom tools.

I followed the same order process by running 3 passes for each test site, for each server location (there’s a ton of data centers) and then took an average of the results that look like this-

Test #2 Conclusion

Interestingly the top 4 hosts are unchanged in this test and came out in exactly the same order as test #1 above.

Both WPXHosting (357ms) and Pantheon (359ms) were neck and neck yet again with 3rd place Kinsta (835ms) trailing behind.

The Pingdom Test Winner:

So just like in test #1 we can easily declare that both WPX Hosting and Pantheon are more than twice as fast as the rest of the managed WordPress hosting providers.

Test 3 – Load Impact

Isolated site speed testing is one thing, but it doesn’t tell you how hosts perform under stress.

So I wanted to know how each web host would handle 500 simultaneous visitors using Load Impact.

The problem with this test is WordPress web hosting providers often block it because they think it’s a DDOS attack and because all of my testing was done anonymously across each hosting account, I didn’t want to submit a live chat support ticket to the system administrator and disable the protection.

So I created a new page on each of the sites with 1,000 words per piece-

  • WP Engine
  • WPX Hosting
  • Siteground
  • Pantheon
  • A2 Hosting
  • Kinsta
  • Cloudways
  • BlueHost
  • GreenGeeks
  • LiquidWeb
  • Dreamhost
  • GoDaddy

Then I setup Load Impact to test each page with 500 simultaneous visitors.

These are the results for those hosts that didn’t automatically block the test-

Test #3 Conclusion

Pantheon (4ms), WP Engine (17ms), WP Engine C2 (23ms), Kinsta (24ms) and WPX hosting (26ms) were the managed hosting providers that performed exceptionally well.

With that said, each of the hosts performed well under load and each of them demonstrated that they can comfortably handle larger simultaneous high traffic sites.

But Pantheon really stole the show here!

And while I would have loved to be able to get the data on the hosts where the tests failed, I couldn’t have done that without tipping off the support team members that they were being tested.

The Load Impact Test Winner:

Hats off to the Pantheon team for achieving the kind of stability under load, that is a serious achievement. However WP Engine, Kinsta and WPX Hosting all held their own.

Test 4 – WordPress Performance Tester

All of the tests so far have been served up from cached results but this test is designed to test the website performance of the actual server itself for each WordPress site.

To do that I am going to use the WordPress Performance Tester plugin from Kevin Ohashi who invites WordPress hosting companies to pay to take part in his annual testing.

This stress tests server resources by doing a number of things-

  • Math – 100,000 math function tests
  • String Manipulation – 100,000 string manipulation tests
  • Loops – 1,000,000 loop iterations
  • Conditionals – 1,000,000 conditional logic checks
  • MySql – basic mysql functions and 1,000,000 ENCODE() iterations
  • $wpdb – 250 insert, select, software updates and delete operations

Once it has finished crunching all of the data, it outputs 2 distinct metrics to measure performance-

  • Execution Time – how long it took to do all of those tests (lower is better)
  • Queries Per Second – how many queries per second processed (higher is better)

I let the server monitoring plugin loose on each of the test blogs, this is how it went down-

Test #4 Conclusion

What I love about this test is that a lot of hosts hide behind heavy web design caching because there’s a big difference between a server rendering a cached page and actually having to think about things.

As you can see Pantheon (3.82 seconds) really fell behind the pack here despite being top competitors in all of the previous tests.

And for the first time, we can see a clear difference in performance between WP Engines offerings with the new C2 platform showing a significant increase in performance.

WPX Hosting (0.696 seconds), Green Geeks (0.81 seconds) and Siteground (0.965) all put in sub 1-second high performance respectfully.

The WordPress Performance Tester Winner:

It looks like Kinsta (0.538 seconds) have made significant improvements this year with their new C2 platform offering a high performance of 23% faster execution time and a 31% more queries per second over last years testing.

Test 5 – Support Quality

Finding the fast WordPress hosting provider is one thing, but unless that is backed by an incredible customer support team you’re going to face problems.

Each of the tested hosts are managed WordPress hosts and self-proclaimed WordPress site experts (except CloudWays & Pantheon).

So I wanted to put the speed and quality of support of each WP hosting account to the test by asking them to solve 3 common problems that most people have faced-

  • Problem #1 – Would they take care of website transfers?
  • Problem #2 – Would they remove malware on my test site? (I infected each site with a false flag triggering virus)
  • Problem #3 – Would they stop other sites hotlinking my images?

I sent the same questions on a support ticket to the customer support of each host to see how they would react and this is what happened-

Test #5 Conclusion

Although WP Engine wouldn’t offer free site migration, they do offer a free plugin that should help with the process.

But in general, as you can see from the results, the quality of live chat customer service that each managed hosting provider offers really separates the cream from the crop.

The Support Team Winner:

The only host that offer free migrations, free malware cleanup AND took control of the hotlinking problems was WPX Hosting. However they don’t offer phone support and everything is done via 24 7 live chat email & email accounts.

WordPress Hosting Key Features Compared

So after the 5 tests, I can compare the most important features you should be looking for when choosing a WordPress host.

We’ll take a look at these key features:

  • Price per month
  • Sites allowed
  • Speed
  • Customer support
  • Migrations
  • Daily backups
  • SSL certificates
  • Staging Environment
  • Email hosting
  • Trust Pilot rating

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest hosting for WordPress?

I run tests across a range of the fastest WordPress hosts every year. In my latest round of testing, I declared WPX Hosting as the best host, followed by Kinsta in second (who host this blog) and Pantheon in third.

What is the fastest hosting?

The fastest WordPress hosting service for a WordPress site is WPX Hosting (at the moment). I ran speed tests across 12 different hosts and WPX Hosting came out on top with both Kinsta and Pantheon closely behind them. Read the full post for the full case study results.

How much does it cost to host a WordPress website for a year?

If you want to host your site with a premium provider that is fast, includes an excellent set of features and truly expert support – you can expect to pay $249 a year with WPX Hosting and $300 a year with Kinsta.

What are the most important web hosts features?

The most important features to look for are daily backups, on demand data backups, a free CDN & free SSL certificate, email hosting, free malware scanning, free malware clean ups and excellent support.

How do I choose the best WordPress hosting for me?

Price is one factor but shouldn’t be the only one. Your hosting location is really important as well as other features like storage space, free SSL certificate support, backups, CPU and general performance and whether the host provides email hosting.
Essentially you want to avoid choosing a host solely on price because that’s not a good indicator of how appropriate the host is for your business.

What is the difference between Shared, Cloud and Managed hosting?

Shared hosting means you’ll be hosted on a server with other sites, cloud hosting doesn’t particularly mean anything and Managed generally means some level of backup, staging site support and security.
To a large degree these are just marketing terms and you really need to look at the specific features of each plan to determine what’s right for you.

Why shouldn’t I choose the cheapest hosting?

Price is only one factor of many and shouldn’t never be the sole consideration when looking a hosting. Arguably hosting location is probably the most important as you want your site hosted closest to where most of your visitors are located.

What features should I be looking for?

Hosting location, HTTP2 protocol support, HTTPS support and free SSL certificate support, a backup system, storage capability and PHP version support are some of the important factors when deciding which web hosting to choose.
Here’s some factors for you to consider when looking at hosting:
Location – should be as close to the bulk of your visitors as possible
HTTP2 protocol support – this protocol speeds up the download of files from the web server to visitors. It was released in 2015 and many cheap hosting providers still don’t support it.
HTTPS and free SSL certificates – on the modern web you really must run your site in HTTPS encrypted mode for speed, security and website conversion. There are still some hosts who want to charge for SSL certificates. Top tier hosts have free SSL certificates built in
PHP version – PHP is the programming language WordPress runs on and your host should support the latest version. Each version is typically faster than the last one so running the hosting with the highest version the site, theme and plugins can support will be best for speed
Backups – you want *some* sort of backup system albeit we recommend you run your own backups outside of what the hosting platform provides.
Email hosting – do you need email hosting? Many providers don’t provide email hosting as there are a large number of dedicated cloud email hosting providers that do it much better and cheaper, eg Microsoft’s Office 365 suite and Google Gsuite (aka business Gmail)
Staging area – this is becoming a must have for WordPress hosting so changes and updates can be tested before going live
Support – what is your support expectation? 24/7 phone or will business hours live chat support suffice?

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