If you are new to the WordPress blogging platform, you may initially find your options for choosing the right hosting company confusing 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 :
- Knowledge, Speed, and Reliability of Support
- Pricing and the overall product offering.
Choosing the best WordPress hosting for your needs can improve your SEO and increase sales. There are various different types of WordPress hosting options available such as Free, Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting.
The Performance Testing
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 I’d 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 Impact fires up an Amazon server that you choose and begins to send traffic to the site, increasing slowly over a certain amount of time.
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 don’t 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.A2 Hosting makes some pretty bold claims on their website, claiming 300% faster load times with WordPress. Many of the hosts listed here which don’t 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.
Testing Server Location: Tokyo, JP
A2 Server Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Max Response Time: 1.41s
Average Response Time: 454.27ms
Minimum Response Time: 378.33ms
Bluehost’s 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.
Testing Server Location: Portland, US
Bluehost Server Location: Provo, UT
Max Response Time: 1.66s
Average Response Time: 870.98ms
Minimum Response Time: 443.24ms
GoDaddy surprised me in more ways than one. It 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.
Testing Server Location: Mumbai, IN
GoDaddy Server Location: Phoenix, AZ
Max Response Time: 2.73s
Average Response Time: 1.09s
Minimum Response Time: 506.36ms
HostGator’s server performance looked a lot like a pattern you’d see from a healthy EKG until it completely flatlined. The only problem is that for web performance, we don’t want to see a line with 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, it’s 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.
Testing Server Location: Columbus, US
HostGator Server Location: Charlotte, NC
Max Response Time: 1.09m
Average Response Time: 7.34s
Minimum Response Time: 782.1ms
Inmotion Hosting’s 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 700ms for the entire test, which is really impressive. The graph looks to have more hills and valleys than most, but that’s 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: Ashburn, US
InMotion Hosting Server Location: Washington DC
Max Response Time: 3.03s
Average Response Time: 582.31ms
Minimum Response Time: 453.3ms
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.
Testing Server Location: Sydney, AU
SiteGround Server Location: Chicago, US
Max Response Time: 8.42s
Average Response Time: 2.91s
Minimum Response Time: 2.47s
Which Is the Best WordPress Hosting
Without further ado, here’s 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.
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 you’re interested in the data-driven reasoning behind our opinion, keep reading while I’ll break it down and explain how we ran our tests.
- InMotion Hosting
- A2 Hosting