We've got more than 300,000 hosting service providers globally. That massive quantity of choice means picking a host for your web project isn't a walk in the park. And if you're thinking of relying on marketing, many have it all figured out; if you're going to consider expert reviews, the web treats you to myriads of them; and if your best bet is user feedback, sorry to burst your bubble, many are fake.
Aware of this problem, Element.How chose to do things differently. Instead of piecing together random content to come up with a review, we purchased hosting packages from different service providers, ran hundreds of tests, and used the test results to put together this review.
Although this review will prove helpful to anyone seeking to host any kind of web application, it zeros in on the best host for Elementor websites.
According to W3Techs, Elementor powers 13.2% of all websites built using WordPress CMS, which, considering WordPress' 43.1% global websites market share, puts Elementor at a remarkable 9.0% on the global spectrum.
Markentiefe on the other hand states that Elementor commands 20.5% of market share among the most popular WordPress page builders, followed at a distant second by WPBakery with 12.5%, Beaver Builder - 1.1%, and Oxygen - 0.3%.
The rise in the use of WordPress and the corresponding growth in Elementor page builder's market share has compelled many hosting companies to optimize their services for WordPress and Elementor. Much as every host is trying to finetune their services to outperform competitors, many are still lagging behind, meaning you cannot randomly pick one for your website.
On that backdrop, we considered a few hosts and ran tests on them using a demo Elementor website, the findings of which form the backbone of this review.
How to Choose Hosting
Want to choose the best hosting for your Elementor website? There are things to consider, and these will go a long way in ensuring that you've got the performance and peace of mind you desire. Knowing what to consider is one thing, establishing how every host on your shortlist performs in each category is another.
But before we look into how this review is going to help you in your decision making, let's first look at a few of the things to consider and why.
- Load Time - Load time refers to the time it takes for a webpage to load. While the time is determined by several factors, a slow server automatically results in longer load time. You must, therefore, choose a fast server, aware that low load time helps increase conversion rate, resulting in increased revenue. In fact, some studies have indicated that a whopping 40% of website visitors leave web pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Server Uptime - This refers to the continuous time a web server remains fully operational and available to website visitors. Uptime is very important since it determines whether your website will be available for your visitors at all times.
- Customer Support - While many people overlook customer support when buying hosting, good customer support is essential if you want to leverage the full potential of your host. It'll help you attain a very cost effective and optimal use of your server resources.
- Website Security - Website security need no explanation. The security of your website is as important as the website itself. If you're going to purchase hosting for your Elementor website, one of the things you'll have to consider is the level of security measures your host has put in place, including malware protection.
- Backups and Stagings - These are also some two factors you cannot overlook when purchasing hosting for your Elementor website. Backups play a precautionary role. We are all aware of how sometimes things go wrong, resulting in damage to or loss of your live website. If that happens and your host doesn't have backups, you'd have to build your website afresh. Stagings, on the other hand, allows you to make changes and push the changes to go live without much sweat. With a properly set up staging environment, the development process becomes easier and more efficient.
There are several other things to consider, including storage space, disk technology, PHP workers, CDN, and migrations. Nevertheless, the ones listed above are among the most critical, so critical that if any of them isn't working properly, you'll face serious challenges.
Tests We Ran to Establish the Best Hosting for Elementor
When we considered writing a comprehensive review about the best hosting for Elementor, we understood what we were putting ourselves into. We knew it'd involve purchasing hosting services from different service providers and running hundreds of tests on each of them.
You know what, we didn't shy a way from that feat? We purchased hosting from 10 well-known, very established hosts, namely;
- WPX (WPX.net)
- NameHero (NameHero.com)
- Cloudways (Cloudways.com)
- SiteGround (SiteGround.com)
- BlueHost (BlueHost.com)
- GoDaddy (GoDaddy.com)
- Kinsta (Kinsta.com)
- Rocket.net (Rocket.net)
- WP Engine (WP Engine)
- Elementor Hosting (Elementor.com)
After running the tests, we used the results to create different graphs that give a comparative view of the performance of each host under different categories. We are confident that the graphs and our narrative analysis will help you make the right hosting choice for your Elementor website.
With that said, let's now see how these hosts performed.
Heavy Landing Page Test
Our first test was of a heavy landing page built using Elementor. We ran the page through GTMetrix four times, but only used the last three results. We did this for seven different locations, namely, Vancouver, Canada, São Paulo, Brazil, Sydney, Australia, San Antonio, TX, USA, Mumbai, India, London, UK, and Hong Kong, China. We then did an average of the test results separately for each of the hosts and below is the graphic we created.
The above graphic shows the results from an Elementor website's landing page that has a hero slider and several images. The page is typical of what many simple eCommerce websites look like. As you can see, WPX came on top, with a load speed of 1.47 seconds. Coming in at position 2 is Rocket.net at 1.65 seconds, and Kinsta following at position 3 with 2.22 seconds.
WP Performance Plugin Test
Another test that we couldn't leave out was the WP Performance Tester Plugin, which seeks to establish how many $wpdb queries the server can run per second. In addition to the queries, the plugin also runs several other PHP & MySQL stress tests, including math, string manipulation, loops, conditionals, MySQL functions and AES_ENCRYPT() iterations.
How did the hosts perform? Let's have a look.
From the above graphic, you can see that WPX once again led the pack in the server performance benchmarks total time, posting the least time. The test covered 3 different categories. And, interestingly, WPX managed to beat all the hosts in this test in all the categories.
On the second spot was Kinsta.
Coming in at position 3 is SiteGround, which, interestingly, beat Kinsta in the WordPress performance benchmark queries per second test.
What Real Users Think
If you're going to talk about a product that has been in the market and has been used by many, you cannot ignore user feedback. At the end of the day, even if experts say a product is good, if user feedback says otherwise, it's most likely not as good.
We, therefore, took time to reach out to real users of these hosts for feedback. The response was overwhelming, considering that they came in over a short period. We asked users about the hosting they're using for their websites, and, over a short time, we'd already received 835 responses. Out of this number, 413 came from users whose websites are hosted in 9 of the 10 hostings we reviewed, with only WPX not receiving any feedback.
In our quest for reviews, we asked the users to tell us their experience in 7 different categories, namely, overall experience, customer support, pricing, staging, backups, site migration from the host, and malware cleanup. As you can see, these are some very fundamental things for a host.
What are users saying? Let's have a look at the graphic below.
In the above graphic, we sorted the list using the overall user experience. On top of the list is Rocket.net, which received an overwhelming 9.57 rating out of 10. Rocket.net also led in the customer support category, scoring 9.71 out of 10. The same host led in pricing, came second in staging, and led in the remaining 3 categories - backups, site migration from the host, and malware cleanup. Looking at Rocket.net's user feedback, there is no doubt that the users are very happy with the company's services. To decisively lead the pack in 6 out of 7 categories isn't something to take lightly.
In the second position is Kinsta, which has performed quite well in our previous tests, coming in at position 3 in our heavy landing page test and position 2 in our WP Performance tester. With these performances, and coming in at position 2 in overall user experience is a clear indication that many users love Kinsta. The host also performed exemplarily well in all the categories, scoring 9.53 out of 10 in customer support, 9.37 in backups, 9.09 in site migration from the host, and 9.29 in malware cleanup.
Cloudways came in at position 3 in overall user experience with 8.69 out of 10. Although WP Engine came in at position 4 with 8.62 in overall user experience, it beat Cloudways in 5 categories, namely, customer support, staging, backups, site migration from the host, and malware cleanup.
Generally, the top performers under overall user experience also performed pretty well under each of the categories.
In most of our articles in which we review specific products or services, we love to give our verdict at the tail end. While we understand that you can go through our test results and come up with an informed decision, there are those who look forward to our recommendations.
So, if you've gone through our test results but would still love to know what we think overall, just hang on a little.
There is no denying that WPX posted stellar performance in both our heavy landing page test and WordPress Performance Tester plugin. In these two, WPX unequivocally carried the day, posting the lowest global average load time in our GTMetrix test and flooring the rest in the WP Performance Tester. And since we ran both tests using an Elementor website, WPX is clearly a great pick.
The host has a remarkable 99.95% uptime guarantee, one-click staging and one-click staging to go live, a tried and tested backups system with a 28-day retention period, malware protection, and Enterprise Cloudflare configuration option. Their staging is quite reliable, and their customer support has receive accolades from many users if what we read on Trustpilot is anything to go by.
In the first test, Rocket.net came in second, but performed dismally in the WP Performance Tester, taking the 6th position. Although it came in lower than expected in WP Performance Tester's server performance benchmarks total time, the host managed to perform reasonably well under WordPress Performance Benchmark Execution Time and WordPress Performance Benchmark queries per second, coming in at position 3 in both segments.
Rocket.net was the best overall when it comes to what real users say, beating all the rest in 6 of the 7 categories. Rocket.net also boasts of 99.9% uptime guarantee, solid security backed up with their integrated Cloudflare CDN plus Enterprise Edge WAF and malware protection, as well as tried and tested backups and staging system.
The other great performer in our tests is Kinsta, coming in at position 3 in our heavy landing page test and taking the 2nd position in our WP Performance Tester under server performance benchmarks total time, and WordPress performance benchmark execution time. Kinsta also offers 99.9% uptime guarantee, uses Google Cloud infrastructure, limited free migrations, daily backups, good malware protection and removal system, as well as a reliable one-click stating that takes just about 2 minutes to setup for a first timer.
Making the Choice
To wrap it all up, if you're looking for a host for your Elementor website, a host that delivers in load time, customer support, website security, backups and stagings, widespread global server distribution, and great user feedback, we recommend the three hosts above in the following order;
If you're looking for something that's slightly more affordable and gives you more WordPress installs, WPX is a great choice. Despite the fact that we didn't receive any user feedback for WPX, that's not reason enough to dismiss it. The host already has excellent reviews on Trustpilot, and G2, among other reputable review websites.