Testing 16 Popular WordPress Hosts, who is the fastest? (Real speed data)

Home » Testing 16 Popular WordPress Hosts, who is the fastest? (Real speed data)

If you are searching for the fastest WordPress hosting, we already got you covered. We decided to test 16 popular WordPress hosts to measure TtFB, GTmetrix, and many other tools). We signed up in 16 hosting accounts and installed the same Astra Starter Site with the same 6 plugins, SSL, and no cache plugin, nor CDN. Down below you will have some screenshots of the reports, so let’s dive in and find out the winner.

1.Pingdom Load Times

To carry out this test, we add each host to Pingdom tools and we observed for 30 minutes their performance to measure load times. We checked their intervals knowing that Pingdom only shows the average of the last 7 days. Anyway, this 30-minute interval check reveals each individual site performance not less than 336 times.

Pingdom tests wordpress

According to this test, the winner was not as expected (WPX or SiteGround), but it was Cloudways DigitalOcean. Cloudways is one of the most recommended hosts in Facebook Groups and definitively one of the fastest WordPress hosts.  Many of you maybe have never heard of the Cloudways and want to know why other tests do not show it in the top results.

In our opinion, Cloudways is considered too technical for most of the users and that’s why it is not promoted. Most affiliates tend to highly recommend user or beginner-friendly hosts, like BlueHost, SiteGround, WPX, as well as Kinsta, but they are not the fastest.

2.TTFB

The TTFB test took an average of 5 TTFBs; 1 GTmetrix, 1 WebPage Test, and 3 KeyCDNs. As we know, GTmtrix has only 1 testing location in the US (Dallas and Texas), whereas the WebPage Test has multiple locations. That’s why we have to decide the closest testing location to each host’s data center. As for KeyCDN, it has 10 global testing locations in total, but we used only 3 US locations for our test.

Note: It is pointless to test TTFB in other countries since you would probably choose a data center that is located in the same country. That’s why we used only US locations in our TTFB test.

TTFB test wordpress

The ‘winner’ of this test was Cloudways Linode, which turned out to be a slightly faster TTFB. Their data center was located in Texas, close to the GTmetrix and 1 KeyCDN testing location. In the second place was Cloudways DigitalOcean with its databases located in San Francisco, CA. What’s really impressive is that even though the DigitalOcean data center was further away from the GTmerix location, they still had an outstanding performance, better than any other WordPress host.

3.Server Response Times

In contrast with the Pingdom test (30-minute check), server response times were measured during a 1-month period of time. This test was made by using the WP Hosting Performance Check Plugin.

server response time test wordpress

We noticed that WP Engine had the slowest server response time (1753 ms), and as for the other results, they were almost the same as other tests.

4.GTmetrix Load Times

To see their load time performance, we run 10 GTmetrix tests on each host and then took the average. As you might know, TTFB in GTmetrix’s Timing tab is usually stable, whereas load times can vary on each test. However, the best for measuring load times is definitely Pingdom and it is also the most recommended method by WP Rocket. If you looked carefully at the Pingdom test, GTmetrix is used as an indicator for accurate results.

GTMetrix load times test wordpress

In the conclusion, we must say that GTmetrix has 1 testing location in the US (Dallas, Texas), and that explains why Vultr and Linode are at the top since both of their data centers are exactly in the same place, in Texas. Still, Cloudways DigitalOcean outperformed all the other hosts, even with their data centers located too far away (in San Francisco, CA).

5.The results

  • Cloudways Vultr High Frequency – It uses the latest technology; 3.8 GHz Processors & NVMe storage and it can handle more intensive tasks with lower latency. It starts at $13 per month and comes with free migration & SSL certificates, unlimited apps, and automatic backups.
  • Cloudways DigitalOcean – it is highly recommended in Facebook Groups. Starts at $10 per month and comes with free migration. As for the pricing, there are promo codes that can save you 25% your first 2 months.
  • WPX – It is owned and operated by K Media Tech, and provides websites and software services. It starts at $20.83 per month (when paid yearly) and offers 10 GB of storage, 100 GB Bandwidth, 5 websites and comes with a CDN.
  • Cloudways Linode – It is very flexible and transparent pricing. The cheapest plan is $12 per month and it includes 1 GB RAM, 25 GB of storage, and generous bandwidth (1 TB).
  • Cloudways Vultr – Vultr data centers are located in 17 different places (Miami, London, Paris, Dallas, New York, Singapore, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Atlanta, etc.) it starts at $11 per month and includes 1 GB RAM, 25 GB storage, 1 TB Bandwidth, and offers full-time support.
  • Kinsta – It is a managed WordPress hosting provider that has an amazing performance – with ultimate speed and daily backups. Kinsta’s cheapest plan starts at $30 per month and includes 10 GB disk space, as well as free SSL and CDN.
  • Closte – it claims to provide WordPress cloud hosting and to be riched-in features. Their pricing for CPU and memory usage is the same as when you pay for utilities (electricity or water). Eg. For CDN, if you use 37.5 GB you will charge $3. Whereas for the memory (disk space), if you use 2 G you will charge $1.4.
  • A2 Hosting – It is used to host low-traffic websites and has a user-friendly c-Panel. It is cheap, only $2.99 per month, semi-fast, and offers free site migration.
  • Liquid Web – It has by far the best support, but they fail at the speed (wish they were faster). Liquid’s cheapest plan starts at $12.67 per month and includes 15 GB storage, 2 TB bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and monthly backups.
  • Flywheel – Unlike WP Engine, Flywheel is owned by the same company, but we aren’t very happy with their performance. It starts at $15 per month that includes 5 GB storage, 20 GB bandwidth, and 1 WordPress website.
  • WP Engine – It is a managed WordPress hosting, but it doesn’t perform great. It starts at $22 per month and offers 24/7/365 support, free site migrations, SSL, and also daily backups.
  • Hostinger – We notices that it writes fake reviews and votes for itself. Its starter plan costs $9.49 and it includes 1 website, 30 GB storage, 1 email account, and free SSL.
  • BlueHost – It is the most popular site builder, but it is not used by affiliates that mainly promoted it.
  • NameHero – It is highly promoted but it doesn’t perform well in tests. It starts at $8.95 and offers free SSL, site migrations, and LiteSpeed.
  • SiteGround – It offers a multi-skilled support squad and their customer care team is amongst the best. Their cheapest plan starts at €12.99 per month and it includes 1 website, 10 GB of Web Space, unmetered traffic, as well as free email, SSL, CDN, WP installation, and WP migrator.
  • HostGator – Unfortunately, it is the slowest of the slowest and needs help. Starts at $2.75 per month and offers easy WordPress installs, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain for 1 year.

WordPress providers test final results

6.Screenshots of Reports and Hosting Information

Down below you will have screenshots of the reports used in tests, the data centers that have been chosen, and also links to the live tests. You will find also some details about each WordPress host and its features. So, take a look and learn more about their speed, cons, and their pricing. You can clearly see the winner and the fastest host in the industry, and no doubt we are all talking about Cloudways Vultr.

metrics for all providers metrics for all providers metrics for all providers metrics for all providers

Hope this article was helpful! Enjoy and choose the best for you and your website!

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