Looking for the fastest WordPress hosting? I was too, so I decided to put all of the best WordPress hosting services to the ultimate test!
Finding the fastest WordPress hosting providers isn't easy, but after much painstaking analysis, the results are in, and the numbers don't lie.
This isn't just a lousy list of crappy hosts with high affiliate commissions. I performance-tested each WordPress host with the most advanced website benchmarking tools. Not only that, but I performed extensive research on hundreds of hosts and hand-picked only the most popular providers.
I signed up for and performance-tested 19 different managed WordPress hosting services, and at this point, I'm confident that I've found the best WordPress hosting provider, and I've got the benchmarks to back it up.
Expand Upfront Bottom Line
After much rigorous testing, I've concluded that the fastest WordPress hosting service under $30/month is Cloudways Vultr High Frequency.
What exactly does that mean? It means that out of all of the most popular managed hosting services under $30/month, Cloudways outperformed all of them, including Kinsta and WP Engine.
Cloudways topped the charts in every test using all of the most advanced benchmarking analysis tools, including GTmetrix, Pingdom, Sematext, Loader, and more.
Ultimately, I decided to switch to Cloudways, leaving behind months of pre-paid Siteground hosting on the table, and I haven't looked back.
Scroll down to check out the cool results below, or dig into the complete testing data here.
Table of Contents
- Why Site Speed Matters
- My Motive for Testing
- Setting Up Each Test Website
- How I Ranked Each Web Host
- Good Managed WordPress Hosting Criteria
- Final WordPress Hosting Candidates
- Performance Testing
- The Final Results
- #1 Fastest WordPress Hosting Provider
- Final Hosting Speed Verdicts
- Top 9 Fastest WordPress Hosts Compared
- Why Only Managed WordPress?
- Questions and Answers
Why Site Speed Matters
Have you ever been to a website that took forever to load? You probably got frustrated and left, right? For this reason alone, website speed should not be ignored, but there are other reasons too.
Professional User Experience
Website speed plays a decisive role in how audiences perceive a brand on the web. Visitors and customers expect websites to load quickly (within 3 seconds) when opened for the first time.
People generally consider a faster website to be more reliable and professional (well, don't you?). The opposite is true for slow websites, which are really frustrating for users. Slow websites are generally perceived as spammy.
It can be very challenging to turn around a negative impression, so ensuring your site speed is optimal is imperative to your success.
Improved SEO (Page Ranking)
Google's Core Web Vitals include metrics like Speed Index, Time to Interactive, and Largest Contentful Paint, contributing to user experience impact.
These site speed-related metrics ARE factors that influence your Google page ranking, confirmed by Google themselves. And as we all know, a higher ranking leads to more organic traffic, which is crucial for success.
Better Conversion Rates
It is common for users to bounce off a website immediately, preferring to visit another, faster website instead. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less; damn!
So, it goes without saying that you can't convert anyone if users are leaving your website before it even loads the first paragraph.
My Motive for Testing
As I was looking to migrate from SiteGround because of how slow they've gotten over the years, I desperately searched for the fastest WordPress hosting providers I could find. I wanted something FAST.
After all, I didn't want to be in the same shoes again later down the road. I was searching for something more permanent. And having been burned by poor hosts in the past, I was careful not to be hasty this time around.
I was having trouble deciding, so I decided to do something a little crazy. I signed up and performance-tested 19 different managed WordPress hosting plans to find out which one was the right host for me.
And because I was tired of having a slow WordPress website, I was specifically looking for the fastest managed WordPress hosting I could find without breaking the bank.
To find out, I signed up for 19 different hosting plans, installed WordPress with Astra's Mountain template on each host, and enabled ALL of their caching options to simulate a real user experience.
What I discovered next is shocking! I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger on Kinsta, to say the least. What a mistake that would have been.
Setting Up Each Test Website
If the host was on a LiteSpeed server, I installed LS Cache. If it wasn't, I used W3 Total Cache unless the host had their own proprietary plugin.
If the host disabled the use of caching plugins because they use their own server-side caching, I didn't install anything (as per their instructions). Not a single CDN (Content Delivery Network) was used whatsoever.
I then ran each website through multiple tests using tools such as Sematext, Pingdom, GTmetrix, Loader.io, LoadFocus, WebPageTest, and the WP Benchmarking Tool plugin for WordPress.
I collected thousands of results and compiled them into easily understandable excel spreadsheets and charts. I was EAGER to discover the fastest WordPress hosting solution so that I can finally rid my life of SiteGround.
Expand Upfront Bottom Line
How I Ranked Each Web Host
The performance testing comprises seven rounds using seven benchmarking tools: Sematext, Pingdom, GTmetrix, Loader, LoadFocus, WebPageTest, and WP Benchmarking tool.
I ranked and awarded each host a maximum of 19 points depending on their performance in each round. The top-performing web host earned 19 points, the next web host earned 18, and so on. The lowest-performing web host earned 1 point.
After seven rounds, the web host with the most points will be declared the fastest WordPress hosting provider for a managed WordPress hosting plan under $30/month.
Good Managed WordPress Hosting Criteria
My criteria for good managed WordPress hosting:
- They must be managed as I don't have time for unmanaged hosting.
- They must have U.S based servers (for my target audience).
- The price must be under $30 U.S dollars per month.
- They must have good/decent reviews.
For reference, the below table lists all of the hosts and plans I chose. According to my WordPress hosting research, these WordPress hosts were chosen because they had the highest user sentiment and matched the criteria above.
Plus, my mission here is to lead newbies away from crap like that so they can get started on the right foot! I don't want anyone to end up feeling screwed over.
Final WordPress Hosting Candidates
So without further ado, after countless sleepless nights, I've come up with a list of what I think are North America's best hosting companies. These are the final candidates.
The price shown below is the FULL price without discounts. Many of them are cheaper if you purchase longer terms.
Round 1 – Sematext
The following results display the average of ~720 tests split between Sematexts' Virginia and California test locations. The average server response time, according to Sematext, is the time each server takes to run its script.
The lower, the better.
SEMATEXT WINNER: PRESSABLE
Round 2 – Pingdom
The following results display the average of ~336 tests split between Pingdom's western and eastern test locations. According to Pingdom, the Page Load Time “shows the time it took for the page to be fully loaded, including external resources such as images and scripts. In technical terms, it's the window.onload event.”
The lower, the better.
PINGDOM WINNER: WPMUDEV
Round 3 – GTmetrix
The following results display the average of 280 tests split between GTmetrix's Chicago, Dallas, San Fransisco, and Wyoming test locations. The average shown in the chart below is the average score (across all metrics) from all test locations (70 each).
The lower, the better.
GTMETRIX WINNER: CLOUDWAYS
Round 4 – Loader.io
I load tested each host with a “clients per second” test and a “maintain client load” test.
The clients per second were measured at 750 over 30 seconds, and the maintained client load averages 100 clients over 1 minute. This is a demanding test considering the price point of these hosting plans.
For reference, 150,000 visits per month with a 10-minute visit duration will have somewhere around 69 concurrent users.
The lower, the better.
LOADER.IO WINNER: TEMPL
Round 5 – LoadFocus
I wasn't totally satisfied with the above results, so I also load-tested each host with LoadFocus. Each host was tested with 75 virtual users over the course of 2 minutes (1-minute ramp-up time).
Please note that the P99 metric indicates that 99% of the requests made were faster than the shown metric. It is a very strict metric and was chosen for said reason.
The lower, the better.
LOADFOCUS WINNER: CLOUDWAYS
View Hosting LoadFocus Reports
Round 6 – WebPageTest
For this benchmark test, I used WebPageTest's new visual comparison tool. This is an interesting test to see which page visually loads the fastest.
The lower, the better.
WEBPAGETEST WINNER: PRESSABLE
Watch the videos!
Visually Complete – 4G
Visually Complete – 3G
Fully Loaded – 4G
Fully Loaded – 3G
Round 7 – WP Benchmark Tool
For this round, I installed and ran the WP Benchmarking Tool plugin on each hosted website.
The lower, the better.
WP BENCHMARKING TOOL WINNER: CLOUDWAYS
The Final Results
The results are in! I awarded each host a maximum of 19 points per test, depending on their performance. First place earned 19 points, 18 for 2nd, 17 for 3rd, and so forth.
The higher, the better.
#1 Fastest WordPress Hosting Provider
As you can see in the table above, Cloudways (Vultr High Frequency) was the ultimate winner, followed by Pressable and HostArmada, both of which are great WordPress hosts with amazing customer support.
While Cloudways was the fastest managed WordPress host, it doesn't necessarily mean they are the “best” or even right for you. There are many reasons for choosing a host, and I'm not here to judge.
In fact, if you're looking for fast WordPress hosting and Cloudways isn't for you, I would suggest any of the top 10 from the final scores above. They are all great, and each of them has something unique to offer their clients.
Final Hosting Speed Verdicts
This isn't just a lousy list of the top fastest WordPress hosting providers with meaningless information; it's a complete hosting speed analysis. Based on all of my performance tests, here are the final thoughts on each web hosting service I analyzed.
Final Verdict: According to all of the performance tests, Cloudways is the fastest WordPress hosting, starting at $10/month.
Final Verdict: Second place! Great customer support and extremely affordable. Fastest non-VPS host.
Final Verdict: Third place! Great performance and security with free one-click CDN.
Final Verdict: Solid performance with minor stability issues. An excellent cPanel choice for anyone.
Final Verdict: Great performance and one of my favorite hosts, to be honest. Like a breath of fresh air. Definitely one of the easiest WordPress hosting options for beginners.
Final Verdict: Performed well. Not quite as fast as Cloudways, but has a native file manager. EDIT: ScalaHosting has since doubled the number of resources provided for the same price!
Final Verdict: A solid cPanel host with unlimited bandwidth and cloud SSD technology, all for under $10/month.
Final Verdict: Solid performance across the board, but poor value considering the high price.
Final Verdict: Their performance was surprisingly good, and each WordPress plan comes with their suite of premium WordPress plugins.
Final Verdict: Mediocre performance with good customer support, but okay for the price.
Final Verdict: Mediocre performance but has the best one-click CDN compared to others.
Final Verdict: Very solid performance with great DDoS protection. Better than Kinsta, but still not great for the price.
Final Verdict: Bottom-tier performance, but okay for a shared host. Nothing special.
Final Verdict: Had higher hopes here. Not great, and quite poor for the price. The CDN was very underwhelming.
Final Verdict: Bottom tier performance. Nothing special considering the price. There are many other better options to choose from.
Final Verdict: North American data centers were poor. Decent value, but probably better suited for European clients.
Final Verdict: Bottom-tier performance. Very underwhelming especially considering the price.
Top 9 Fastest WordPress Hosts Compared
Click through different tabs to compare features offered by each hosting provider.
|Cloudways||Yes (Paid add-ons) (Rackspace, Elastic)|
|Pressable||Yes (Free) (New!)|
|ScalaHosting (VPS)||Yes (Free)|
|Cloudways||Live Chat & Ticketing & PAID Phone|
|HostArmada||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|Pressable||Live Chat & Ticketing|
|FastComet||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|Templ||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|ScalaHosting (VPS)||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|MDDHosting||Ticketing & Phone|
|WPMUDEV||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|A2Hosting||Live Chat & Ticketing & Phone|
|Cloudways||Hourly backups with on-demand backups|
|HostArmada||Daily with on-demand backups|
|Pressable||Daily with on-demand backups|
|FastComet||Daily with on-demand backups|
|Templ||Daily with on-demand backups|
|ScalaHosting (VPS)||Daily with on-demand backups|
|MDDHosting||Daily with on-demand backups|
|WPMUDEV||Daily with on-demand backups|
|A2Hosting||Daily with on-demand backups|
|Cloudways||No domain services available|
|HostArmada||Free domain name + Registrar|
|Pressable||No domain services available|
|FastComet||Free domain name + Registrar|
|Templ||No domain services available|
|ScalaHosting (VPS)||Free domain name + Registrar|
|MDDHosting||Free domain name + Registrar|
|WPMUDEV||No domain services available|
|A2Hosting||Free domain name + Registrar|
|Cloudways||Bandwidth uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model|
|HostArmada||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
|Pressable||Limited by plan (Pay for overages)|
|FastComet||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
|Templ||Limited by plan (Pay for overages)|
|ScalaHosting (VPS)||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
|MDDHosting||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
|WPMUDEV||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
|A2Hosting||Unlimited (Acceptable Usage*)|
Why Only Managed WordPress?
There is a common misconception that managed WordPress hosting is a term used by hosting companies to mark up their cheap shared hosting services as more premium than they are; however, this is not entirely true.
A managed WordPress hosting service provides performance optimizations, more resources, and additional features for content management systems, such as WordPress.
Managed hosting generally offers more dedicated resources and a smoother experience. This environment simplifies the management of your WordPress server and saves you a lot of time and headaches.
Conversely, a shared hosting plan is considered entry-level hosting companies use to attract new clients and upsell additional services. Servers on shared hosting plans tend to be small, constrained, and quickly outgrown.
Be wary, however, of companies simply selling their shared hosting as managed hosting! Managed WordPress hosting should be a completely different service offered by the web host.
Companies sell you cheap shared hosting plans and then try to lock you into expensive VPS plans when you outgrow them (and you will). IF you don't opt for their overpriced plans at that point, you'll have to migrate your WordPress site to a new host.
Additionally, since managed WordPress hosting isn't much more expensive than shared hosting, it's a great starting place for most people.
Managed WordPress hosting offers more performance than shared hosting and is less complicated than most VPSs (Virtual Private Servers).
I would recommend avoiding shared hosting unless you are on a very tight budget; that being said, if you have no other choice, by all means, go for it.
I've seen tons of blogs claim that so-and-so is the fastest WordPress hosting, but when you read the article, it's just a list of the most popular hosts with the highest affiliate commissions.
As someone who once trusted these silly articles and wasted a lot of time and money with a crappy host, it bothers me to know that others are also falling for them.
This frustration is the reason I founded Blog Champs. My mission is to provide you with unbiased, detailed, and accurate information to prevent you from making a regrettable mistake, not to make a quick buck.
You'll notice how I purposely omitted hosts such as Bluehost and HostGator from my tests because I can't stand behind them. They're simply awful.
And choosing a WordPress host isn't all about site speed and price! There are so many factors to consider that a one-size-fits-all hosting service doesn't exist. But if you're looking for the fastest WordPress hosting service, Cloudways may be for you.
Sure, they're technically a VPS, but their custom control panel is done in a way that most people won't even be able to tell. It's just as easy to set up a website with Cloudways as with any other managed host, and the value is incredible.
Don't believe me? Well, I wouldn't have switched from SiteGround myself if I had thought otherwise. Give them a try and see for yourself! I guarantee your satisfaction. In all my years of doing this, Cloudways is the best WordPress hosting I've had, hands down.
If you have any questions or concerns, please drop me a line, or leave a comment below.
Questions and Answers
Who Has the Fastest Website Hosting?
According to my extensive testing, Cloudways Vultr High Frequency is the Fastest WordPress hosting in 2022.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways offers platform-as-a-service and lets you host your WordPress site on a cloud server from Vultr, DigitalOcean, Amazon, Linode, Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform.