Latest posts by Rhys (see all)
- Best WordPress Hosting For Bloggers (+ Page Load Times) - November 28, 2017
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As your blog grows and you upload more posts you’ll notice your website starts to slow down. That super cheap free web host you had when you first started has sold thousands of other accounts on the same server, causing your page load times to go through the roof.
In the last few years WordPress hosting has really taken off with a wide variety of web hosting providers offering such services. While many simply reword shared hosting as WordPress hosting, there are a few companies that do actually provide the infrastructure for improving your WordPress blog.
On one of my money sites I was using A Small Orange (Yes I know, Amateur move) and my page load times were over 10 seconds. You can use this pingdom tool to see what you’re page load times are. Anything over 2 seconds is a cause for concern.
I then decided to try and find the best WordPress hosting and here are my results. Many bloggers will simply recommend the provider that offers the biggest affiliate commissions but if you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I don’t do that.
Best WordPress Hosting For Bloggers
|Provider||Lowest Price||Disk/Visitors||Standout Feature||Visit Site|
|Lightning Base||$9.95/mo||10GB/10,000||Powerful Yet Simple||Visit Site|
|A2 Hosting||$16.99/mo||Unlimited||20x Turbo Server||Visit Site|
|Siteground||$9.95/mo||10GB/10,000||WP Super Cacher||Visit Site|
|Media Temple||$20/mo||50GB/250,000||Site Staging||Visit Site|
|InMotion Hosting||$6.99/mo||40GB/20,000||Cheapest WP Hosting||Visit Site|
|WP Engine||$29/mo||10GB/25,000||Most Well Known||Visit Site|
Until recently I’d never heard of this company until I saw one of the biggest hosting blogs using them so i had to give them a try. They offer an entry level plan which includes one website, 10GB of disk space and enough bandwidth for 10,000 visitors per month.
The website is simple yet sophisticated, unlike EIG hosting companies you won’t find flashy sales pages, black friday deals or sneaky deals to tie you in for 3 years. They also don’t oversell their servers, something shared providers don’t care for.
If you have a larger website then you can upgrade to their other plans however if you want to move all your websites across they offer a 50% discount on additional accounts.
I’ve been using Lightning Base for 2 months now and I’ve yet to experience an outage on my websites. I’m currently hosting four websites which range from simple WordPress blogs to a rather demanding money site.
On the rare occasion I have had to contact their support service (My cPanel was timing out) I’ve used the online ticket portal and had a response within 30 minutes. Another time I contacted billing and my query was answered within 5 minutes.
My websites load quickly, less than 600ms which is far better than I was getting with A Small Orange.
Lightning Base offers:
- Servers built with SSD based storage and modern Xeon processors
- Setup with Varnish, a fast web server stack
- A truly global CDN setup.
#1 Best Wordpress Hosting Provider
- Service Level
- Customer Service
- Caching Features
- Global CDN Network
The reason why no one promotes Lightning Base is because they don't offer an affiliate program. If you're wanting powerful Wordpress hosting, a truly global CDN network, varnish (fast web stack), free website transfer and a low monthly fee of only $9.95 (+4.95 per extra site) then you should sign up and move your site to Lightning Base today.
I was unsure whether I should include A2 Hosting as they don’t offer a specific WordPress hosting package, it’s just their shared hosting package rebranded however this shared hosting package is powerful and offers fast page load times.
To get the best package you need to skip their entry level packages and take advantage of their $16.99/mo Turbo package. This offers you an account on some of their fastest servers which are limited in data load capacity.
You also get their A2 Site Accelerator which can help to load your website much quicker. This is a form of pre-configured site caching which includes APC/OPcache, Memcached and Turbo Cache. If you’re not technical this probably doesn’t mean a lot but it’s a set of powerful features for helping WordPress load quicker.
If you do decide to signup you’ll get an all inclusive control panel where you can setup your site and manage your billing. On the rare occasion I’ve had to contact their support team I had a response within 60 minutes using the ticket logging portal.
Unlike Lightning Base A2 Hosting offer phone based support so you can talk to a real person. Given the faster responses on ticketing systems I’m not a huge fan of phone support however it’s there should you need it.
Page load time on a brand new blog was 1.2ms which is reasonable.
Highlights of A2 Hosting include:
- Powerful Turbo Server
- Advanced Caching
- Cloudflare CDN Integration
- Promotional Deals.
Until early this year I was hosting my money sites at Siteground, that’s until I discovered Lightning Base but they still offer a reasonably good WordPress hosting platform. With the ability to choose your own datacenter and enable or disable caching you can speed up your blog quickly and at a fair price.
To get the best WordPress hosting you need to skip over their StartUp and GoBig plans and opt for the GoGeek plan which is $29.95/mo with regular discounts of up to 70%. With the GoGeek plan you get 30GB of disk space and 100,000 visitors.
GoGeek customers are hosted on instances, where fewer users share the server resources. Additionally, this plan is great for average-sized e-commerce Woocommerce stores because it can accommodate a much larger product line and also includes server PCI compliance.
The main feature that helps to speed up WordPress is their SuperCacher which is installed on all Siteground WordPress installs by default. You can however turn this on or off depending on whether you’d like to use it or not. You can install your own caching plugins too.
On the rare occasion I did have to contact their support desk my query was answered within a few minutes. Siteground also offers SSL certificates but as of yet Let’s Encrypt is not available.
The page load of my website fluctuates around 4-6ms which isn’t great. I put this down to the theme and the amount of content on the blog. You can see the result below
- SuperCacher Plugin
- Fewer instances and more server resources
- Affordable pricing (good deals)
- Fast Support.
Another company that isn’t as popular as EIG companies but they offer WordPress hosting from $20/mo. The main reason consumers ultimately sign up with Media Temple is their support levels and if there 5 minute response is anything to go by from a recent site issue I had it’s definitely a good sign.
They offer two WordPress hosting packages depending on the volume of visitors you’ll be receiving. While they don’t offer anything specifically for WordPress in the way of caching or turbo servers like their competitors they do state that there are less accounts per server than you’ll find with other companies.
Page load time is around 2.5ms for an average website with many web pages.
Noteable features of Media Temple
- Affordable pricing (good deals)
- Best Support 24/7/365
- Lots of disk space (50GB).
Another popular web host is InMotion with prices starting at $6.99/mo if you sign up for a decent length plan. If you purchase their WordPress hosting package then WordPress comes preinstalled so you don’t need to do this yourself.
InMotion doesn’t offer anything in the way of a custom caching plugin or a turbo server however they do promise that there are less accounts per server than their shared hosting platform.
Aside from their standard features they offer staging for testing your website in a development environment before applying to the production thus minimizing any issues with your website. They also offer regular backups should you need it.
- Good pricing (regular deals)
- 24/7/365 Support
- Fewer instances of accounts.
WP Engine is a popular WordPress hosting platform as they offer 30% recurring commission to affiliates. That means for every person I refer at $29/mo I’ll make $9.33 every month for as long as you’re a subscriber.
This means most of the reviews online for WP Engine are biased and to tell you the truth most people recommending them have never even signed up for an account.
At $29/mo WP Engine is one of the most expensive providers on my list, offering the same features as LightningBase at 3 times the price. You’ll get 10GB disk space and enough bandwidth for 10,000 visitors. This plan doesn’t include the CDN so you’ll need to spend an extra $19.95 per month on that. You’re looking at $49/mo.
WP Engine does offer website staging for testing changes in a development environment before applying to the production environment. They also offer caching and LargeFS for integrating with your Amazon S3 account. This allows you to store images in S3 without using up your disk/bandwidth from WP Engine, pretty cool feature.
I’ve read many negative reviews online about WP Engine too, those who were promoting them as an affiliate and ultimately stopped then gave them bad feedback. Don’t be put off by these reviews, they are definitely a good managed WordPress hosting provider, just very expensive.
Page load times on my test website were average as you can see below.
Features of WP Engine:
- LargeFS Integration
- Established, popular web host
- Good level of support/service.