When it comes to choosing the best WordPress Hosting, Im bound and determined to find out which company is providing the most value. There are three major components that make up a great host in my opinion, and those are 1) Performance, 2) Knowledge, Speed, and Reliability of Support, and 3) Pricing and the overall product offering.
For this initial run, I compared several shared WordPress hosting companies. I plan to continue to add to this list and update it in 2016 as well so that people have a go-to resource for choosing the best WordPress hosting company. Here are the hosts Ive tested in no particular order:
Today I want to take a look at how many of the top WordPress hosting companies measure up from purely a performance standpoint.
Now Ill be the first to admit that having the fastest servers doesnt make a host the best WordPress hosting company, but it certainly doesnt hurt. If youre looking for the best WordPress host for your website, the data heres a great place to start your research.
If youre just looking for our opinion, the best WordPress hosting companies for shared hosting on the market today are:
Most of the hosts we evaluated performed pretty well, but those are the ones we consistently recommend to our customers and friends looking for affordable, fast WordPress hosting. If youre interested in the data-driven reasoning behind our opinion, keep reading while Ill break it down and explain how we ran our tests.
Testing speed and performance of servers in remote locations introduces some fun and interesting challenges. When I first set out to run these tests, I thought Id run benchmarks for an hour or two and then be done and would be totally ready to crown the fastest performing WordPress host.
Eliminating as many variables as possible from the test ended up being a lot more work than I anticipated, but the end result is some seriously concrete data.
To run the tests I used a load testing service called Load Impact.Load Impactfires up an Amazon server that you choose, and begins to send traffic to the site, increasing slowly over a certain amount of time.
For this particular test I sent 50 users to a testing site, increasing from one user to 50 concurrent users, over the span of 10 minutes. 50 concurrent users is a nice baseline test for a shared host. Once you hit that benchmark on a fairly consistent basis, its probably time to start exploring VPS and Managed WordPress hosting options. Traffic increases steadily throughout the timeframe until 50 users are visiting the site all at the same time.
Here are some of the precautions I took to keep the tests as fair as possible, even though each of these sites are spread out all over the United States:
Each WordPress site is an identical install of WordPress 3.6 with the TwentyThirteen theme installed and a number of posts and pages (same number of posts and pages on every site).
I used the same domain name for every testing site with a different subdomain. I didnt want the chance of any latency showing up in results because each testing site had a separate domain with a potentially separate registrar.
For all hosting accounts located on servers on the West Coast, I used a testing server located in Ashburn, VA. And for all hosting accounts living on servers on the East Coast, I used a testing server located in Portland, Oregon.
I did everything possible to make the physical distance traveled the same across all tests.
All caching and plugins were disabled on each site
Each test was run 5 times with the best result of each posted here.
Overall I ended up with a really nice set of data that gives some very good insight into which hosts make performance a priority, and which hosts have some work to do.
Without further ado, heres what I found from each host. The green line represents the increase in traffic, and the blue line represents the response time of the site as traffic increases.
Inmotion Hostings scores really took me by surprise. With one of the fastest minimum response times, and by far the fastest max response time, InMotion stayed right around 600ms for the entire test, which is really impressive. The graph looks to have more hills and valleys than most, but thats because it stayed so close to the median response time for the entire test. The variance from highest response time to lowest response time is roughly 388ms, which is the best in the group.
Testing Server Location:Portland, OR
InMotion Hosting Server Location:Washington DC
Click here to see the full Inmotion Hosting report from Load Impact
SiteGround was one of our top performers, and is especially impressive considering the $3.95 price point for their StartUp hosting tier. It does have a limitation of one website at that price point, but considering the average response time was ~700ms all the way to 50 concurrent users with no real hiccups, SiteGround offers a great value.
SiteGround Server Location:Chicago, IL
Minimum Response Time:669.9 milliseconds
Click here to see the full report from Load Impact
A2 Hosting makes some pretty bold claims on their website, claiming 300% faster load times with WordPress. So do the results match the claim? A2 did pretty well overall, but definitely not 300% faster than the competition. Many of the hosts listed here which dont even make claims to be WordPress hosts performed better. Their minimum load time of 455ms is definitely impressive, and it was only slightly higher than that when the test ended. Overall they had a strong showing.
Click here to see the full A2 Hosting report from Load Impact
Bluehosts performance was lackluster. As traffic increased so did response time, almost following the same steep climb. Even at lower user counts the response time jumped around quite a bit, ranging anywhere from 1 to 3.5 seconds with only 10 active users. As Bluehost approached the 20 user mark load times skyrocketed to over 10 seconds. They did come back down, but performance was still highly inconsistent with huge variances from one second to the next.
Minimum Response Time:915.53 milliseconds
Click here to see the full Bluehost report from Load Impact
Eleven2 is likely the smallest hosting company that we tested on this list, although I dont have the date to confirm that. That said, performance-wise they do pretty well as a shared hosting provider. With site load times of just under a second throughout the entire test, Eleven2 isnt a leader, but theyre definitely no slouch. The $8 per month price is only available when you pre-pay for a year.
SiteGround Server Location:Wichita, KS
Minimum Response Time:898.61 milliseconds
Click here to see the full report from Load Impact
As noted above, because of a DNS propagation issue we actually made a mistake with one of our tests so we ran Site5 through the gamut again, and again they did very well. While their minimum response time was higher than initially reported, their max response time was lower than we initially reported. Throughout the majority of the ten minute load testing, Site5s server response time stayed steady at 750ms to 1 second with only a handful of deviations.
Testing Server Location:Portland, OR
Minimum Response Time:704.41 milliseconds
Click here to see the full Site5 report from Load Impact (Updated)
MediaTemple Grid Server is a bit pricier at $20 per month than the other hosts featured in this post, but technically its still considered a shared host which is why we included it. While not boasting the fastest load times, aside from a strange hiccup at the very beginning of the test, MediaTemple was rock solid all the way to scale. Variances were 2-300 milliseconds but load times generally stayed at almost exactly 1 second, regardless of the number of users.
Media Temple Server Location:Los Angeles, CA
Minimum Response Time:934.07 milliseconds
Click here to see the full MediaTemple report from Load Impact
HostGators server performance looked a lot like a pattern youd see from a healthy EKG, until it completely flatlined. The only problem is that for web performance, we dont want to see a line with a a lot of ups and downs, flat lines are great unless they fall off the grid completely a la GoDaddy. While HostGator returned the fastest response time of any host, its a little misleading because the server had essentially quit at that point and then stopped responding completely. Basically it was one last hurrah before it called it a day.
*I was happy to see that my HostGator account was housed outside of the Provo, UT datacenter where Bluehost resides so we could get a more true host to host comparison.
Testing Server Location:Portland, OR
HostGator Server Location:Charlotte, NC
Minimum Response Time:258.07 milliseconds
Click here to see the full HostGator report from Load Impact
Arvixe has been in the hosting business for quite a while servicing other open source communities like Joomla and Drupal, and have just started shifting their efforts to the WordPress space in the last year or so. Their results here are respectable. They arent blow your mind fast, but they do seem solid all the way up to the 50 concurrent user mark. They had one small spike, but it recovered very quickly and the server finished the test in heroic fashion.
Testing Server Location:Palo Alto, CA
Arvixe Server Location:Santa Rosa, CA
Click here to see the full Arvixe report from Load Impact
While at a first Glance DreamHosts results may seem inconsistent, youll notice that there are more bumps in the road because the extremes are much more controlled. So variances in a handful of milliseconds show up as jumps in the graph. Overall DreamHost was solid from beginning to end. It didnt report the lowest lows, but it also kept things in check as traffic increased, without having massive jumps in response times. DreamHost had a strong showing.
DreamHost Server Location:Los Angeles, CA
Minimum Response Time:621.87 milliseconds
Click here to see the full DreamHost report from Load Impact
GreenGeeks didnt do badly at all in the performance testing. After a big initial spike in response time, the server settled down and returned the sub one second response times that we like to see. There was a bit more variance throughout the test than we normally like to see, but nothing that would indicate any type of major issue. For the most part things were pretty solid.
Green Geeks Server Location:Dallas, TX
Click here to see the full Green Geeks report from Load Impact
GoDaddy surprised me in more ways than one. GoDaddy started at a blazing 483 ms response time, but once traffic hit 25 users, it essentially fell off the face of the earth. The report lists times of above 4 minutes, and that may be true, but it almost looks like the server became completely unresponsive or started rejecting connections. The load test reported a number of failed attempts to connect to the server. While GoDaddy shined at lower traffic levels, it fell apart completely as traffic passed the 25 user mark.
Godaddy reached out and asked that I clarify the results of their test. This is what they had to say:We use a software security layer called Sentinel. Because of its conservative settings, the software detected the load test as a DoS attack since all the LoadImpact traffic was coming from one IP, and banned it for 5 minutes.I believe they have thresholds set at a painfully low level if they consider 25 users a DDOS attack. That means one small business sharing an article internally could take down a site.
Minimum Response Time:483.08 milliseconds
Click here to see the full GoDaddy report from Load Impact
Based strictly on the performance data from each webhost, there were three hosts that really stood out in the group. Each of the following hosts had an average page load time of below one second throughout the entire course of the test, all the way to 50 concurrent users. Stay tuned for the next update where we re-evaluate all of these options and add many more.
Id love to hear your thoughts on any of the data you see here. Anything that stands out to you? Anything that surprised you?
Disclaimer: All hosting accounts are owned and paid for by us.
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Are you planning to do an updated version of this post? DreamHost has since released a VPS server which is managed and looks extremely powerful. I would love to know your thoughts!
Nice of Performance of the Best WordPress Hosting Companies Compared
Great comparison! Ive used three of the providers listed here but felt like they had little to no interest about me, my website, or any issues that would come up with it. They all failed to communicate with me on several occasions so I went with a service provider that is local, and have not had a single issue with them. They easily communicate 10x better than when I was with HostGator, Dreamhost, and GoDaddy. I feel like local providers are often underlooked by big names like these but they offer better customer experience/service.
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I am a beginner, which hosting company should i use ? Recommend me
How about the FastComet? I saw some good reviews around but not here. Especially for their same renewal price and lifetime domain.
Well mate Honestly selecting a shared hosting usually cause a lot of trouble in long run no doubt these hosting are really cheap but when it comes to response time, performance and security it can be your worst night mare. Whereas technology is getting better and better day by day IT tech experts are recommending Cloud Hosting due to performance, security and scalability. Platform like: Siteground, Inmotion, A2 Hosting, Cloudways and Kinsta are the leading managed WordPress hosting provider with variety of features on single click.
A2hosting is also fast with regards to their Turbo Plan.
However, you know what sucks with this hosting is their supports.
Their chat support is not a technical supports at all, what they usually do is to create a ticket for you when you have issues with your site. A2Hosting cant help you with urgent needs which is very important especially if you encounter issues with your site that needs immediate help. Their chat supports is also very few and you wait very long to be catered.
I am not sure why A2Hosting can have a very nice features but cant even improve customer service supports which is very vital.
So what Im trying to say here, if youre no good with technicalities and you always depend with technical supports, I advice you not to use A2Hosting, because I promise you, their chat supports cant help you with your urgent needs, you need to wait for your ticket to be taken care of by specialists.
Why you dont include WPEngine in your tests?
PS Im a Siteground user.
Yes, Siteground is the best for WordPress; I think anyone can agree.
They have an average 99% uptime, even for their shared hosting. Pretty nice, huh?
It is fast, as stated in above in the article;
Security Siteground keeps about 30 backup copies of your website. They also offer different types of SSL, depending on the plan youve purchased. All their servers use the latest PHP 7 version, with the latest security fixes. Also, they use ModSecurity and suExec, but youll have to visit their page for detailed info.
The prices are interesting, given the fact that you pay with credit. Actually, that thing is a bit tricky and you have to pay attention. They try to explain the whole process in this page: but I find it hard to understand.
Im using Hawkhost for my site (which is loads pretty fast but page speed scores are 78/80 with a suggestion: Reduce server response time. I only use their $3 shared hosting. Do you think getting a better package or moving into siteground will increase the load time?
BTW Ive heard horror stories about siteground limiting CPU, memory and dataase usage.
I would highly appreciate your input on this.
Getting a better package? I dont know, most surely not, as hosting providers usually have the same load time for all their prices.
Moving to Siteground? That might help. The average load time is 700 ms, which is pretty nice.
I, personally, dont know anything about Siteground slowing down your computer or consuming too much of its resources. Its one of the best.
I have found that InMotion was painfully slow for my still-under-construction website that contained 1 page saying WEBSITE COMING SOON and 2 rows of text and one graphic, which was less than 100 KB.
i am using the siteground last five year, great support and services. thanks for sharing, i will share it to my seo circle.
Hi, thank you for suggestions, we also updated our PHP to the latest version and run fast service let me know please if you have other suggestions.
Also, you can take a look to our loadimpact stats
Thanks. By your recommendation I have move my new domain ( on siteground. Now see what happened in search results.
Just switched my site from Bluehost to Siteground, and the difference in speed is like night and day. Im now a Siteground believer.
Right?!?! Im dumbfounded blue host is so crappy compared to siteground.
I remember Bluehost being much better years ago I didnt start having issues until this past year. But the issues were big enough that Im not messing around then BH anymore. Siteground all the way!
SiteGround is extreme good. Currently, I switched to SiteGround from WP Engine. I suppose I tested in New Zealand and I use their server in Singapore.
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