Who Offers the Fastest WordPress Hosting?
A loaded question which I have simplified with this article to save you days or even weeks of research and testing. Based on decades of experience building websites for national brands all of the world, I reveal who offers the fastest WordPress hosting in my opinion as well as advice to improve your website speed and why speed is so important for the success of your website. I have a wealth of experience in the web industry as I’ve been in it longer than Google.
The Hunt for The Fastest WordPress Hosting
Not every website is built the same. The speed and performance of a WordPress website can be affected by various factors, including the specific hosting plan chosen, the optimization of the website, and the content being served. Keep that in mind and know that simply moving the website from one hosting provider to another is not going to solve all your issues but a good host is a great place to start.
So who are the top players in no particular order?
Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider known for its high-performance hosting infrastructure, which includes the use of Google Cloud Platform. They focus on speed and performance optimization.
WP Engine is another managed WordPress hosting provider that has a reputation for offering fast and reliable hosting services. They have a range of features and optimizations specifically tailored for WordPress.
SiteGround has been well-regarded for its WordPress hosting, particularly its shared hosting plans. They invest in the latest technology and have a strong focus on performance.
Bluehost is one of the officially recommended hosting providers by WordPress.org. They offer various hosting plans, and their WordPress-specific plans are optimized for speed and performance.
Flywheel is a managed WordPress hosting company that’s known for its emphasis on speed, security, and user-friendly features. They have a range of plans suitable for different types of users.
Liquid Web offers managed WordPress hosting that includes features like automatic updates, staging environments, and performance optimizations. They have a strong focus on speed and reliability.
My Two Favorites for The Fastest WordPress Hosting
To save you the hassle, I am narrowing it down to two. These two hosting companies offer what I believe is the fastest WordPress hosting with good, reliable service. Speed is a huge factor but network uptime is just as important. In addition to listing out top hosting providers to consider, I’ve also included several tips to help improve the speed of your website as well as highlighted why speed is so important for websites. Like all technology, it is often a moving target.
Siteground Hosting for WordPress
SiteGround has established itself as a highly reputable hosting provider for WordPress websites, offering a range of features and services that make it a popular choice among website owners. One of its key strengths lies in its specialized hosting plans designed specifically for WordPress. These plans are finely tuned to cater to the unique requirements of WordPress sites, resulting in improved performance and enhanced security.
SiteGround also places a strong emphasis on performance, employing cutting-edge technologies such as SSD drives and custom caching solutions to ensure swift loading times. Moreover, their commitment to security is evident through features like free SSL certificates, regular security scans, and a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that shields websites from common online threats. The company’s customer support is widely praised, with 24/7 availability through various channels like live chat, phone, and ticket-based systems. This robust support system ensures that users have access to assistance whenever they need it.
Additionally, SiteGround offers convenient features like automatic WordPress updates and free daily backups, providing users with peace of mind regarding the safety and integrity of their websites. The inclusion of a staging environment in higher-tier plans allows for risk-free testing of changes before they go live. With a user-friendly cPanel control panel and a complimentary Cloudflare CDN, SiteGround further enhances the hosting experience, making it a compelling choice for the fastest WordPress hosting.
WP Engine Hosting for WordPress
WP Engine is widely regarded as an excellent choice for hosting WordPress websites due to several compelling reasons. Firstly, WP Engine specializes exclusively in WordPress hosting, which means their entire infrastructure and services are optimized specifically for the platform. This specialization leads to exceptional performance, with features like EverCache and a global content delivery network (CDN) ensuring fast loading times for visitors across the globe for the fastest WordPress hosting.
Security is a paramount concern for website owners, and WP Engine excels in this area. They provide robust security measures such as daily malware scans, firewalls, and automatic WordPress updates, helping to protect websites from potential threats and vulnerabilities. Additionally, WP Engine offers a staging environment for testing changes before they go live, ensuring that updates or new features won’t disrupt the live site.
WP Engine’s customer support is another standout feature. They offer 24/7 access to a team of knowledgeable WordPress experts, providing rapid assistance through various channels including live chat, phone, and ticketing system. This high level of support can be invaluable for website owners, especially during critical situations.
Furthermore, WP Engine provides automatic daily backups and one-click restore points, offering a safety net in case of data loss or site issues. This feature is crucial for the peace of mind of website owners, as it ensures that their content is always secure and can be easily restored.
WP Engine also handles many technical aspects of hosting, such as server optimization, caching, and security, allowing users to focus more on creating content and managing their websites rather than dealing with the intricacies of hosting.
How To Make WordPress Faster
Improving the loading speed of your WordPress website is crucial for user experience and SEO. Here are several steps you can take to make your WordPress site load faster:
- Choose a Fast Hosting Provider – Opt for a reputable and high-performance provider for the fastest WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting or specialized hosting optimized for WordPress can significantly improve loading times.
- Location matters, find a datacenter that is close or centralized to your main target audience
- Gzip makes a big impact. GZIP compression reduces the size of files sent from your server, which can significantly speed up loading times. Many hosting providers offer this feature, or you can use plugins like WP Rocket to enable it.
- Dedicated or servers with lower volumes of websites makes a difference, otherwise every website is fighting for resources
- Use a Lightweight Theme – Choose a lightweight and well-coded theme. Avoid using overly complex themes with excessive features and functionalities.
- View the source code, how many lines are there before you get to the body tag?
- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Less is more. Remember, people are more interested in your content.
- Optimize Images – Compress and resize images before uploading them to your site. Use image optimization plugins like WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer to automatically optimize images.
- TinyPNG is a great online tool that is free to compress images before uploading
- Use modern image formats like WebP and AVIF for better compression and reduced file sizes
- Utilize Caching – You can’t have the fastest WordPress hosting without caching. Implement caching to store static versions of your pages, reducing the server load and speeding up loading times for returning visitors. Plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, or WP Rocket can help with this.
- For the best speeds I’ve seen achieved was using a combination of LiteSpeed and CloudFlare
- WP Rocket is a second favorite as personally, I have had issues with W3 Total Cache
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) – A CDN helps distribute your site’s content across multiple servers worldwide, reducing server response times and improving load times for visitors in different geographical locations. Popular CDNs include Cloudflare, MaxCDN (now StackPath), and Akamai.
- Cloudflare is always my go-to for the added security and it is free to use
- Limit the Use of Plugins – Unnecessary plugins can slow down your site. Remove any plugins that are not essential. Additionally, choose well-coded and lightweight plugins.
- For SEO, I recommend Rank Math over Yoast because of the speed and less code bloat
- Optimize Database – Use a plugin like WP-Optimize or WP-Sweep to clean up your database by removing unnecessary data like spam comments, revisions, and trashed items.
- Cap those page and post revisions, when they get out of hand, it will do a number on your resources
- Implement Lazy Loading – Lazy loading allows images to load only when they come into view on the user’s screen. You can use a plugin like Jetpack or Lazy Load by WP Rocket to enable this feature.
- This helps quite a bit with below the fold content but Google will ding you in the core vitals for lazy loading images above the fold
- Optimize Fonts – Use web-safe fonts and minimize the number of different fonts used on your site. Additionally, consider using system fonts or loading fonts asynchronously.
- Graphic design always has a guiding principle of 3 or less when it comes to fonts, the same thing applies here
- Monitor Performance – Regularly test your website’s performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom (used to be free). These tools can provide insights and suggestions for further optimization to achieve the fastest WordPress hosting possible.
- Google Search Console is your friend, check it often
Remember to always back up your website before making significant changes. Additionally, make sure to test your site after each optimization step to ensure that it’s still functioning as expected.
Leverage Speed to Improve Core Web Vitals
Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of specific user-focused metrics that measure the performance and user experience of a website. They are crucial for assessing how well a webpage loads and interacts with the user. The three main metrics include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – This metric gauges how quickly the largest content element on a page, such as an image or a block of text, becomes visible to the user. It indicates the perceived loading speed of a webpage and should ideally occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.
- First Input Delay (FID) – FID evaluates the responsiveness of a webpage by measuring the time it takes for a user to interact with the page, such as clicking a button or a link, after it has initially loaded. It is crucial for providing a smooth and interactive user experience and should be less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – CLS quantifies the visual stability of a webpage by assessing how much content shifts around as the page loads. It accounts for unexpected layout shifts that might occur, such as elements moving out of place, which can be frustrating for users. A good CLS score is less than 0.1.
These Core Web Vitals are important because they directly impact user satisfaction and engagement with a website. Google considers them as part of its ranking algorithm, meaning they influence how well a page ranks in search results. Websites that prioritize and optimize for these metrics tend to provide a smoother, more enjoyable experience for visitors, potentially leading to higher user retention and better search engine rankings.
The guys at Web.dev have a great article on core web vitals which provides a detailed breakdown of how vitals are calculated and the target scores to shoot for. Be sure to review your Google Search Console for additional insights into your website’s performance.
Why is Website Speed Important for Search Engine Optimization?
A fast-loading website provides a better user experience. Visitors are more likely to stay on a site that loads quickly and navigate through its pages smoothly. This reduces bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who leave a site after viewing only one page), indicating to search engines that the content is relevant and engaging. With the release of Google Analytics 4, bounce rates are no longer a metric and have been replaced using a combination of engaged sessions and time on page.
With the increasing use of mobile devices for web browsing, mobile-friendliness is a crucial aspect of SEO. Faster loading times are especially important on mobile devices, where slower connections are common. Google also uses mobile-first indexing, which means it primarily uses the mobile version of a site’s content for ranking and indexing. Most websites today are designed to be responsive so there is no need to specify one over the other. Some websites like news publications see a lot of benefits by leveraging AMP for mobile content.
Search engine bots have limited time allocated to crawl and index a website. A faster website allows these bots to crawl more pages within a given time frame, ensuring that more of your content is discovered and indexed.
While website speed is just one of many factors that influence rankings, it can be a tiebreaker. If two pages have similar content and relevance, the faster-loading page is likely to be favored by search engines.
Speed is a fundamental aspect of SEO that directly impacts how well a site performs in search results. Making it critical to have the fastest WordPress hosting in place to help with your search rankings.
What is the Average Time a Person Waits for a Webpage to Load?
The ideal webpage load time can vary depending on the context and the expectations of the user. However, numerous studies and surveys have suggested that most users expect a webpage to load within 2 to 3 seconds.
- According to Google, a good target for a webpage’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), one of the Core Web Vitals, is 2.5 seconds or faster.
- Additionally, studies have shown that as page load time increases, the likelihood of visitors bouncing (leaving the site without interacting) also increases. For example, according to a study by Akamai, even a 100-millisecond delay in load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions.
- Amazon, one of the largest e-commerce platforms, has reported that for every 100 milliseconds of improvement in load time, they see a 1% increase in revenue.
These statistics emphasize the importance of fast-loading webpages for user engagement, retention, and ultimately, business success. It’s crucial for websites to prioritize optimizing their performance to meet or exceed user expectations. So do yourself a favor and get the fastest WordPress hosting you can.