Finding The Fastest WordPress Host

Apr 17, 2020Web Hosting0 comments

Did you know that your hosting solution has a direct impact on site speed?

When a user browses through your site, they’re accessing files from your host’s web server. The faster your host’s server is, then the faster your website will load. That’s why choosing a fast WordPress hosting solution is critical to the success of your site.

But here’s the thing.

How do you know which solution is the best option when every hosting company claims to be the fastest one in the market?

To help you out, I put the 12 Fastest WordPress Hosting Providers under 5 different tests to assess their speed and support capabilities. Below, I’ll show you which hosts live up to their claims.

Let’s go!

5 WordPress Hosting Tests 

Before we jump into the tests, let me share with you my setup. 

Here, I built a test blog that contained:

I then cloned the site across the 12 hosts so each had an identical version of the site. If you want to carry out these tests, I recommend you have a similar setup. This way, you can make sure everything remains constant, to make the test as fair as possible.

Here are the 5 WordPress Hosting Tests:

  1. GTMetrix Website Speed

I ran each website 3 times through GTMetrix from 7 global locations and averaged the results.

  1. Pingdom Tools Website Speed

I ran a similar site speed experiment with Pingdom Tools. I followed the same order process (running each site through Pingdom 3 times from 7 global locations and averaged the results.)

  1. Load Impact Stress Test

Here, I wanted to see how each host would perform under stress. That’s why I used Load Impact to see how each host would handle 500 simultaneous visitors. I created a new page on each website containing 1,000 words per piece.

  1. WP Performance Tester

All the tests above served up results from cached results. That’s why, for the fourth test, I wanted to see how the server performed if it had to serve up results from the actual server. 

I used Kevin Ohashi’s WordPress Performance Tester plugin which stress tests server resources by running:

  • 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.
  1. Support Quality

Finally, for the last test, I wanted to test the speed and quality of each WordPress provider’s support team. I sent them 3 common issues.

  1. Would they deal with website transfers?
  2. Would the remove malware on my test site (I infected each website with a false flag triggering virus)
  3. Would they stop other sites hotlinking my images?

I sent each issue on a ticket to each individual support team so I could see the kind of responses they gave.

These were the results.

Which WordPress Hosts Lived Up To Their Claims 

  1. GTMetrix Website Speed

The hosts had fairly close website speeds, however, there were two sites that had page loading times under the 1-second mark. 

Finding The Fastest WordPress Host 1

In first place was WPX Hosting with a loading time of 0.8 seconds, while Pantheon followed in second with 0.81 seconds. Kinsta landed third place, with a page load time of 1.60 seconds.

  1. Pingdom Tools Website Speed

It was interesting to see that the top 4 contenders in the GTMetrix test were unchanged and had the exact same order in the Pingdom Tools speed test.

Best WordPress Hosting Pingdom

Here, WPX Hosting had a page load time of 357 ms, while Pantheon followed with 359 ms. Kinsta landed in third place, trailing behind with a load time of 835 ms.

  1. Load Impact Stress Test

The difficulty with the Load Impact Stress is that WordPress web hosting providers tend to block it because they think it’s a DDOS attack. Since I performed all these tests anonymously, I wasn’t able to gain data on the hosts that failed the test.

So for the hosts that didn’t automatically block my test, here are the results-

Finding The Fastest WordPress Host 2

The hosts that performed extremely well were Pantheon, WP Engine, WP Engine C2, Kinsta, and WPX Hosting. But in saying that, Pantheon did an exceptional job here, taking the top spot!

  1. WP Performance Tester

With this test, I measured 2 distinct metrics to assess performance:

  • Execution Time: How long it took to complete these tests (lower is better)
  • Queries Per Second: How many queries per second processed (higher is better

    This is how it went down.

Finding The Fastest WordPress Host 3

Here, these results show the difference between a site that has a server that renders a cached page well and one that actually has to think about how to do things.

Pantheon really struggled, coming in last and having the highest execution time at 3.82 seconds and lowest queries per second.

Kinsta came out on top with 0.538 seconds execution time. WPX Hosting came in second with a time of 0.696 seconds, while Green Geeks followed with 0.81 seconds. 

  1. Support Quality

When it came to support, the only host that could tick all the boxes, was WPX Hosting. 

Best WordPress Hosting Support Comparison

The other hosts were unable to resolve the issue, or required additional payments to carry through these tasks. 

The Fastest WordPress Host 

Best WordPress Hosting

Out of the 5 tests, here are the fastest 3 contenders:

  1. WPX Hosting: 

WPX Hosting has the fastest WordPress hosting based on these tests. They landed the top spot for loading speed tests, support tests, and had a solid performance for the WordPress performance benchmarker test. 

Here I tested their Business Plan which costs $24.99/month for 5 websites. The only downside is their lack of phone support and the control panel could be a bit more user friendly.

  1. Kinsta:

Kinsta performed well throughout all the tests from speed, performance, load, and customer support. 

I tested Kinsta’s Starter C2 Plan which costs $30/month for one website. Kinsta is, however, fairly expensive per site, they don’t offer phone support, and have a list of banned plugins.

  1. Pantheon:

Pantheon did extremely well during the WordPress speed tests and load impact test but fell behind the pack in the final tests.

I tested Pantheon’s Basic Plan which costs $50/month for 5 websites. I found it disappointing that Pantheon didn’t offer any free site migrations, malware removal, and had seriously limited support help.

Wrapping It Up

I hope this article helped you separate the fast from the slow WordPress hosting providers. 

Remember, a faster WordPress website can result in:

  • Happier Visitors
  • Lower Bounce Rates
  • Higher Page View Numbers
  • Higher Search Engine Ranking
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Higher Profits

If you want more information on each of these tests, you can find more data on my Case Study: Testing The 12 Fastest WordPress Hosting Providers.


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