Choosing a fast WordPress host can save you thousands of dollars every year.
A fast hosting solution can boost your website’s site speed, helping you improve your SEO rankings and improve the user experience.
This leads to higher-
- Page views
- Conversion rates
That’s why having a fast host is vital and to the success of your online business.
With that in mind, I decided to test 12x WordPress hosting providers. Below I’ll go through who these providers are, how I tested them, and which providers came out on top.
Let’s get started!
Why Is A Good Webhost Critical?
You want to choose a web hosting provider that’s fast and reliable.
That’s because site speed has a major impact on your site’s success. A slow host can slow down site speed significantly. Furthermore, a slow website has lower-
- Search rankings
- Traffic volumes
- Page views
- Conversion rates
Your WordPress website is also bound to run into technical problems. You want to find a provider that has an amazing customer support team that can help you fix any one-off and on-going issues.
Before I reveal my test results, let’s have a look at these 12 different WordPress hosting providers.
12 WordPress Hosts Go Head To Head
A2 Hosting is a web hosting provider that boasts “up to 20x faster web hosting.” They have a 4-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested their 1-Site Turbo Plan which costs $32.59 per month for one website.
BlueHost, the hosting provider that currently powers “over 2 million websites worldwide,” only has a 1.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested the WP Pro Build Plan which costs $27.95 per month and offers unlimited website hosting.
Founded in 2011, Cloudways has an excellent 4.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested the Digital Ocean Plan which costs $22 per month and offers unlimited website hosting.
Dreamhost, one of the popular WordPress hosting solutions in the market, also has a fantastic 4.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested the DreamPress Plus Plan which costs $29.95 per month for one website.
Well-known and affordable brand GoDaddy also has a great 4-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested the Managed WordPress Basic Plan, which only costs $14.99 per month for one website.
GreenGeeks, the industry’s leading eco-friendly web hosting provider, also has a positive 4.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested their Eco site Premium Plan, which costs $24.95 per month for unlimited websites.
Kinsta, one of the WordPress hosting providers I currently use, has an excellent 5-Star Trustpilot Rating. Here, I tested the Starter (C2) Plan, which costs $30 per month for one website.
Founded in 1997, and one of the older hosting providers in the market, LiquidWeb has a 3.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested the Personal Plan which costs $29 per month for one website.
Pantheon, a WordPress hosting provider that powers websites with “10 billion monthly page views,” surprisingly doesn’t have any Trustpilot Rankings. However, they have a 4.5-Star G2 Crowd Rating. I tested the Basic Plan which costs $50 for 5 websites.
SiteGround, trusted by the owners of 2 million domains, has a stellar 5-Star Trustpilot Rating. SiteGround is also the most affordable option on the list. I tested their Startup Plan which costs $11.95 per month for one website.
With WP Engine and WP Engine C2, I tested both the Startup Plan and the New C2 Platform. WP Engine also has a 4-Star Trustpilot Rating. The Startup Plan costs $35 per month while the New C2 Platform option costs $600. You’re also only allowed to host one website for both options.
WPX Hosting, a hosting provider I currently use today and the winner of my previous 7 Fastest WordPress Hosting Test, has a 4.5-Star Trustpilot Rating. I tested their Business Plan which costs $24.99 per month for 5 websites.
Putting The Hosts To The Test
Almost every WordPress host claims to be the fastest provider with a dedicated support team of self-proclaimed WordPress experts.
Here, I put these claims to the test. I compared the 12 fast WordPress hosts against each other in terms of speed and reliability.
For this test, I built a test blog with:
- The Astra Theme
- 11 High-resolution photos
- Dummy content (1000 words)
- The Elementor Plugin
I then cloned these sites for each host.
Then I ran 5 distinct tests:
- GTMetrix Speed Loading Test
- Pingdom Speed Test
- Load Impact Stress Test
- WP Performance Tester
- Support Quality
Let’s see who came out on top!
Test 1 – GTMetrix Loading Speed
I ran each of these test websites through GTMetrix 3 times. Using 7 global locations and the results were very close.
The first place went to WPX Hosting (0.8 seconds), while Pantheon (0.81 seconds), and Kinsta (1.60 seconds) came in second and third place. It’s interesting to see that the first and second results were extremely close, while third place took double the time.
Test 2 – Pingdom Loading Speed
I also ran a similar experiment to the GTMetrix test above. This time, I used Pingdom tools but followed the same processes; running 3 passes for each test site across 7 Global Locations.
The top 4 hosts in the GTMetrix test retained their top 4 positions. Once again, first place went to WPXHosting (357ms), second to Pantheon (359ms), and the third place to Kinsta (835ms).
Test 3 – Load Impact
While GTMetrix and Pingdom tools are great when it comes to site speed testing, it’s also important you test how your hosts perform under stress as well.
For this challenge, I built a new page across each of the websites and set up load impact and tested these pages using 500 visitors.
Here, Pantheon (4ms) performed the best. Pantheon did extremely well, achieving great stability under that load. Other providers like WP Engine, WP Engine C2, Kinsta and WPXHosting also did a great job.
The other providers like GreenGeeks, Cloudways, BlueHost, and GoDaddy failed to complete the test. They must have thought it was a DDOS attack.
Test 4 – WordPress Performance Tester
The three tests above (GTMetrix, Pingdom, and Load Impact) test websites served up from cached results. For this fourth test, I wanted to assess the actual server website performance.
Here, I used the WordPress Performance Tester plugin from Kevin Ohashi.
This plugin tests the server resources by undergoing:
- 100,000 Math Function Tests
- 100,000 String Manipulation Tests
- 1,000,000 Loop Iterations
- 1,000,000 Conditional Logic Checks
- Basic Mysql functions and 1,000,000 ENCODE() iterations
- 250 Insert, Select, Software updates and delete operations
To measure performance, I assessed:
- Execution Time: How long it took to complete these tests
- Queries Per Second: How many queries per second processed
It’s interesting to see that, while Pantheon (3.82) performed well in the last tests, it came last in the WordPress Performance Tester.
For this test, Kinsta (0.538 seconds) came in first place. WPX Hosting (0.696 seconds), Green Geeks (0.81 seconds), and Siteground (0.965 seconds) all performed fairly well, scoring under the 1-second mark.
Test 5 – Support Quality
You’re bound to run into problems that you’ll need your WordPress hosting provider to help troubleshoot.
So I asked each host to solve 3 common problems:
- Can they take care of a website transfer?
- Can they remove malware on my test site (I infected each site with a false flag triggering virus)
- Would they stop other sites from Hotlinking my images?
I then sent the same support ticket to the customer support team to each hosting provider.
WPX Hosting was the clear standout winner. They offered-
- Free site migrations
- Free malware removal/cleanup
- Dealt with the hotlinking issue
But WPX Hosting doesn’t offer support over the phone. They only have 24/7 live chat email and email accounts.
If you want further details and data from each of the tests, click here.
After the 5 tests, I compared all the key features you should evaluate (pricing, speed, sites allowed, etc.) when deciding which WordPress host is best for your business.
WPX Hosting is once again the clear winner based on this test. They topped the loading speed tests as well as the WordPress performance benchmarker testing. They also provided great support and are highly affordable, costing $24.99 per month for 5 sites.
Kinsta provided a solid performance in all areas from speed, performance, load, to customer support.
Pantheon also performed extremely well in the speed tests. They struggled in the WordPress Site Performance benchmark and support tests but took first place in the load impact testing.
If you’re in the process of choosing a hosting provider, I hope I’ve helped you narrow down your search.
Remember, a faster WordPress host can result in-
- Happier visitors
- Lower bounce rates
- Higher page view numbers
- Higher search engine rankings
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher profits
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a slow WordPress host.
If you make a poor decision on hosting now, it can cost you serious time and money in the future.