10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests

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Table of Contents

Introduction

A new, well-researched, tested, comprehensive review that compares some of the most popular hosts for WordPress websites.

This isn’t your typical randomly picked and concocted data from blogs.

We couldn’t give you that! We recognize that real value is in research and rigorous tests. Consequently, this review is a graphical and in-depth presentation anchored on stringent, latest, practical tests. It’s based on a professional examination of 10 hosts using a WooCommerce and Elementor website. (It needed to be able to stress test the hosts!).

All the hosting packages used were set up out of the box, with no extra tweaks that’d give one an undue advantage over the other.

And for a more in-depth understanding, we ran each of the WordPress hosting solutions through diligent tests and strains to establish the best performers.

Why was this important in the first place?

You can build a great website and optimize all your pages and resources, but if your web hosting server is slow, your website will be slow, period!

And what’s the result of that?

Loss of thousands of dollars that’d otherwise be generated from organic traffic, return users, and referrals. And that’s because search engines aren’t happy with slow websites.

Sometimes this might not sound like a red flag, especially if you’ve got the impression that your website isn’t that slow. But that’s only until you get to see the potential revenue impact of speed; how much extra you’d earn by speeding up your website even one second faster.

Thankfully, some amazing champs from Google created this Potential Revenue Impact Calculator to give you that very picture. It's a web archive link as unfortunately Google shut that whole division, taking the related pages down with it.

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In the example above, we sought to know what impact a 0.5 seconds improvement would mean to elementor.how. And, as you can see, it’d result in more than double the current revenue.

(Note that these figures are for demonstration only, and not an accurate representation of element.how's income. I wish it was!)

You can clearly see that it’s worth every effort and penny to improve your site's speed. What if all you've got to do is switch to a different host to reduce your website's load speed time? Wouldn't that be something to do without a second thought?

Besides the higher conversion rates due to reduced bounce rates, Google also takes a peek into your website speed to determine your website’s position in its ranking.

Google algorithms are such that slow websites are ranked lower. That’s, of course, besides other metrics. Regardless, slower might mean poorer online visibility. And why risk that "might"?

In addition to search engine ranking, here are four other reasons you MUST flee from slow web hosting.

- Frustrated website visitors

- Lower conversion due to higher bounce rates

- Fewer backlinks

- Lower subscription for notifications

The mention of lower conversion rates isn’t some mere speculation.

Most people have fast internet nowadays, meaning they’ll easily tell if it’s your website that’s slowing things. A sizable number wouldn’t have the patience to wait for your website to load.

Importantly, never ignore your website’s mobile performance.

According to a Tiago Bianchi article posted on Statista.com, mobile accounts for 58.33% of total web traffic globally, excluding tablets.

Today, everyone is busy in some way. No one wants to waste a second; two-three seconds+ is too much a sacrifice.

Research shows that one second delay in feeding a web page may result in a terrible 20% drop in conversion, a clear indication that no one wants to spend more than a few seconds waiting for your website to load.

Take advantage of the very many tools that help you check your site load speed. Luckily, most of these tools provide insight on the steps to take to improve your website’s performance, with some providing such tips for both desktop and mobile.

Here are a few you could check out;

At this point, you definitely understand why choosing the right host for your WordPress & Elementor website is a must. Even if you were the guru of Elementor website speed optimization, your strategy will fall flat on its face if your host is slow.

Therefore, choose a good host for your Elementor website. That’s what this review is meant to help you do without much hassle, yes, without breaking the bank.

Now, let’s get to the real business.

Hosts Reviewed and The Purchased Packages

In this review, and for a good reason, we tested 10 hosts. These sit among the most popular WordPress web hosting providers in the market today, and they’ve got some considerably good online presence, insightful reviews, and demonstrable growth in customer base.

They’re also among some of the leading choices for WordPress websites.

Does that mean you can just pick any of them for your website hosting? Not at all! You definitely want to go for the best, at least in terms of speed, customer support, security, reliability, pricing, and more.

Stay tight…this review has you covered, giving you all the relevant information to help you make the right choice.

We took each of the hosts through stress tests, checked their performance, customer support, and user reviews. We then spent hours in days analyzing the technical bits of the results to come up with graphics, comments and recommendations with the aim of making choosing a web host for your WordPress website a breeze.

Here are the 10 hosts we tested;

  1. WPX
  2. NameHero
  3. Cloudways
  4. SiteGround
  5. BlueHost
  6. GoDaddy
  7. Kinsta
  8. Rocket.net
  9. WP Engine
  10. Elementor

How we set the ground for the tests

For unbiased results, we purchased premium packages from each of the hosts, bought all the domains from NameSilo, set up a test Elementor website and cloned it across all the hosts.

The nature of the setup was such that every host received the exact same copy of the website i Actually, in the case of Elementor Hosting, we could not clone the original site (because they are blocking all migration plugins). So instead, we carefully duplicated everything, making certain the pages tested were the exact same (which we could validate by checking the amount of requests, and page size). It also ran on the same Elementor version. , containing the same HTTP requests.

The website is a demo shop built using the Elementor Pro page builder and WooCommerce.

The other WordPress plugins used in the website are;

  • WP Rocket*
  • Wordfence Security
  • JetSmartFilters
  • Code Snippets

*Usually these kind of reviews don't include any optimization plugin. I thought I would include WP Rocket, with only the default settings enabled. I found that would be fair, as nearly every website has an optimization plugin or other active. So the test is closer to a real world situation.

The website was built in a different server and then imported to the 10 hosts, each having a clean install of WordPress.

We used each of the host packages out of the box, not applying any professional level tweaks, just so that we could put all the hosts on the same pedestal. The approach ensured that we ran our tests using the settings that every average user is likely to apply.

This also allowed us to test the actual hosting performance, rather than how well optimized and tweaked our setup was. The goal was to compare the exact same site, across all the host, to see which ones delivered it faster.

Now, let’s have a look at each of the hosts, the plans we opted for and why. After that we’ll get into the juice of this whole review - the tests.

1. WPX (wpx.net)

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Immediately you land on the WPX.net website, you realize a different level of marketing. The company flaunts some of its feats, including winning Kevin Ohashi's 2022 WP Host Speed Tests, among other recognitions by independent reviewers.

For the very purpose of this review, we purchased WPX’s Professional Plan that offers;

  • 30GB SSD storage
  • 400GB bandwidth
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2CPU cores, and a host of other features.

The package comes ready with several other tools and optional tweaks. However, we chose to use the package ‘out of the box’ for a level playground with the rest of the hosts, all of which we didn't tweak in any way.

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What's the web saying about WPX? Looking at Trustpilot, you see 2,908 reviews, with an amazing 97% 5-star score, averaging at 4.9. A majority of the positive reviews speak about the host’s excellent customer support. Compared to other hosts, WPX boasts of quite a stellar performance on the review platform. For example, it's ranked 2 out of 86 best web hosting companies on Trustpilot.

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From the Trustpilot reviews, you can tell that customers are very happy with the company’s customer support service, including the support from the host’s technical team.

We quickly went to HostAdvice to see the host's expert review. There, we caught up with Hosting Expert Bruno Mirchevski. Seems like Bruno fell in love with the host as soon as he tried it. Besides many positive things he said about WPX, he was also very particular about the host’s performance, terming it ‘lightning-fast.’

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We will see more about WPX’s performance later in this review, where we will also get to put Bruno’s words on a weighing scale against our findings.

2. NameHero (namehero.com)

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If you know how long ago NameHero was founded, you’re probably asking yourself how it made it to our list. We’ve got to admit, however, that NameHero is a fast growing host that's already serving more than 40,000 customers, hosts close to 1 million websites, and boasts of excellent user reviews on both HostAdvice and Trustpilot.

On Trustpilot, for example, NameHero has a 4.6 star rating from 1,175 reviews, out of which 88% are 5-star.

On HostAdvice, Hosting Expert Delight Johnson had some nice things to say about NameHero, breaking down his review into different categories, namely, price, features, performance, user friendliness, and support. He gave the host a 9.5 out of 10 in performance, which is quite an optimistic one coming from an expert. You can only give that if you're very confident about the host.

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For our test, we went for NameHero's most popular hosting package - Turbo Cloud.

The package offers;

  • 50,000 monthly visits
  • NVMe Unlimited storage space
  • 3GB RAM
  • Free SSL
  • Dedicated IP Address and more.

We chose the package because it provides all we needed for our test, and it’s a package that’d provide fair benchmarks to pitch against the others.

3. Cloudways (cloudways.com)

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Cloudways sells its services on three key pillars - fast, simple, and reliable. They offer managed cloud hosting, which, as they say, sports extended enterprise-grade security. Cloudways partners with Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, AWS, Malcare, Cloudflare, and Object Cache Pro to up their hosting game.

What are users saying about Cloudways?

Cloudways has attained a 4.6 star rating review on Hostadvice, with excellent reviews on features, reliability, and support. On Trustpilot, Cloudways boasts of 86% in 5-star reviews, with an average 4.5 star performance out of 1,600 reviews. The host has more than 86,000 customers, hosting more than 570,000 websites. Having been in the business for more than a decade, and considering its evident growth, it made every sense to include it on our list.

For our review tests, we purchased their Recommended package - DO4GB, a package that offers;

  • 4GB RAM
  • 2 Core processor
  • 4TB bandwidth
  • 80GB of storage

These features were more than enough for us to run successful tests and come up with dependable results. Moreover, the package doesn’t have any advanced features that’d give it an unwarranted advantage over the rest.

4. SiteGround (siteground.com)

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SiteGround has grown to become a household name. The company already hosts more than 2.8 million domains. It became of particular interest to us because it’s got a very huge customer base, yet it has managed to maintain quite a stellar user reviews score across different platforms.

SiteGround has a 4.6-star average rating out of the more than 12,000 reviews it has on Trustpilot, out of which 92% are 5-star. No one can ignore such facts. On HostAdvice, SiteGround has earned a 4.8-star score out of 2,447 reviews, and is ranked 28 out of 6,223 web hosts.

On that backdrop, and the fact that it markets itself as an Ultrafast WordPress Hosting service provider, with quite impressive reviews across its products, we couldn’t resist enlisting it for our tests.

For our test, we took their GoGeek package that provides;

  • 40 GB Web Space (Using The Premium Google cloud infrastructure)
  • ~ 400,000 Monthly Visits
  • Unmetered Traffic
  • Free SSL
  • Free CDNGet a free CDN service
  • Enhanced Security
  • Managed WordPress

The package has all we needed to run our tests and conduct a fair comparison with the rest of the hosts.

5. BlueHost (bluehost.com)

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Bluehost is a name everyone who's ever done the most basic web hosting research has come across. With more than 2 million websites and over 500,000 domains registered, you can’t ignore Bluehost. It boasts of quite a remarkable market share.

Regardless, we can’t ignore what users are saying.

Well, on Trustpilot, Bluehost has 3.7 star rating out of 5,600 reviews, with a dampening 33% 1-star rating. On Hostadvice, Bluehost has 2.8 rating out of 373 reviews, only hitting 3-star rating on pricing, but not on the other metrics, namely, user friendliness, support, features, and reliability.

You’re justified to ask why Bluehost made it to our list, considering the user reviews.

We’ve got a justification.

Here’s why.

Bluehost is very popular and does extensive marketing. It's very likely someone reading this will be using BlueHost themselves. They need to be made aware of just how inferior (more on that later) of an option it is, compared to the rest of this list.

For the purposes of our tests, we purchased their Online Store package, which offers;

  • 100GB SSD Storage
  • Free CDN
  • Free SSL
  • Unlimited Products

These features, among others not listed here, were overly sufficient for us to run our tests and fairly compare Bluehost’s performance against that of other hosts.

6. GoDaddy (godaddy.com)

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GoDaddy has been in business for more than two decades, and it has stamped its authority as one of the most trusted hosting service providers. GoDaddy is among the largest web hosting companies, with more than 20 million customers.

But what are customers saying about GoDaddy?

On Trustpilot, GoDaddy has garnered a whopping 72,313 reviews. Out of that massive number, an amazing 82% are 5-star, and it has an average 4.7-star rating. On HostAdvice, GoDaddy has a 4.0 rating for features, 4.6 for reliability and support, and 4.3 for Ease of Use.

Considering these stats, GoDaddy couldn’t miss on our list. Although as you will find out, its popularity and good reviews might not be the whole story. As you will see, it is also a vastly inferior option, when it comes to performance, and our own user reviews poll.

We purchased their $20.99/month Managed WordPress Ecommerce website, renewing at $29.99. The package comes with;

  • 80GB of SSD storage
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Unlimited Products, and more.

These were more than sufficient for our tests.

7. Kinsta (kinsta.com)

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Kinsta Host is about a decade old, yet it has positioned itself among the most trusted hosting service providers for WordPress websites. Claiming the role of the challenger of the status quo in the web hosting sphere, Kinsta has made some demonstrable progress in service delivery and customer base.

Kinsta has some very nice things to say about themselves, but as every service provider would say, “don’t take our word for it.” And true to that, we didn’t take their word for it and consequently took to the web to see what experts and customers say about them.

On Trustpilot, for example, Kinsta has received an average of 4.2-star from 545 reviews, out of which 88% are 5-star. On HostAdvice, Kinsta has a 4.9 star rating out of 69 reviews and is ranked 186 out of 6223 web hosts, which is quite a notable achievement for a fairly young company. Expert reviewers have also tossed in their voices, saying Kinsta is a force to reckon with, and, therefore, we couldn’t leave it out of our list.

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For the purposes of this test, we purchased their $35/month Starter package, which allows for:

  • 1 WordPress install
  • 25,000 monthly visits
  • 10GB storage
  • 100GB CDN, and more.

The package, of course, has several limitations, but it was more than we needed for our tests.

8. Rocket.net (rocket.net)

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See what Rocket.net calls itself?

Claiming to be ‘The World’s Fastest WordPress Hosting’ should be backed by some real performance. And the image below shows what they say on their About Us page. Some bold statements, right?

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The talk is within their rights, and we accept it, yet even as they talk, ours is to put their word to the test.

But before that, let’s first have a quick overview of Rocket.net so that we can get a grasp of the justification behind our enlisting of this johnny-come-lately.

The host has only been around since 2020, yet it has attracted so much attention, particular in WordPress hosting. Although it’s neither as old as GoDaddy or BlueHost nor as loudly advertised as SiteGround and Cloudways, Rocket.net’s entrance into the world of WordPress hosting has sent serious shockwaves across the industry because of the many positive reviews it’s been receiving from users and experts alike.

At the time of writing this review, Rocket.net had already earned for itself a 4.9 star rating out of 132 reviews on Trustpilot. All the Rocket.net reviews are 5-star. The average star rating is 4.9 because Trustpilot's Trustscore isn't just a simple average of all the ratings. Instead, it employs some metrics to come up with a (presumably) more useful average rating for users.

On HostAdvice, Rocket.net has only managed 7 reviews, yet all are 5-star.

And (spoiler alert) it also won our very own User Review Poll (more on this near the end of this article).

The host’s impeccable feedback from experts and users compelled us to overlook its young age and rope it in. Whatever the case, the battle is about whether it could deliver and put up a strong case against the big names.

For the sake of our tests, we picked Rocket.net's most popular plan, which goes for $60/month and caps at;

  • 1M monthly visits
  • 20GB of storage
  • 100GB monthly bandwidth
  • Unlimited PHP workers

We’ll go into the finer details later, but it suffices to note that the package was good enough to provide all we needed for a successful and fair showcase against the others.

9. WP Engine (wpengine.com)

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WP Engine is more than a decade old now, and it has cut its niche as a go-to solution for WordPress hosting services. The host works hand-in-hand with enterprises to provide top-notch WordPress hosting solutions, selling its products on a number of pillars, including performance, flexibility, security, ease-to-use tools, and scalability. The company prides itself as a host with advanced technical expertise that offers 24/7 support with excellent customer satisfaction of 96%.

WP Engine is the Gold 2019 Stevie Winner for sales & customer service; USA 2019 Best Workplaces for Women, Best Workplaces in Texas, Digiday Technology Awards, and 2019 Best Workplaces in Ireland.

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Such feats, and the fact that it features in many expert lists of the best hosting service providers, convinced us that it’d be a disservice not to include it in this review. They may not have a big name overall, but when it comes to WordPress hosting, WP Engine isn’t ignorable.

How about users, what are they saying about the host?

At the time of putting together this review, WP Engine had a 4.6 star rating out of 584 reviews on Trustpilot. 80% of the reviewers gave the host 5-star.

A pro-review on TechRadar says…

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A user had the following to say about WP Engine…

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A few more words from users…

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Now you’ve got an idea of why we couldn’t resist adding it to our list. Appearing on a list of only 10 in an industry that already has hundreds of thousands of hosts is no mean feat.

For the purpose of this review, we chose the eCommerce WordPress Startup package, which offers;

  • 25,000 visitors
  • 10GB local storage
  • 50GB bandwidth
  • Free SSL & SSH
  • Managed WP & PHP
  • SOC2 Type II report, among several other features.

For all the packages, WP Engine also provides DDoS protection, Annual SOC 2 audits and ISO 27001 Certification, and EverCache for speed boost (except on their most basic package).

These features were more than enough for our tests, and we used everything out of the box.

10. Elementor (elementor.com)

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Elementor hosting, christened Elementor Cloud Website, is a fairly new entrant in the web hosting market, having been launched on February 22, 2022. The whole idea was for the company, which owns the popular Elementor WordPress page builder, to create a hosting package that comes preinstalled with WordPress and Elementor Pro Builder.

The host sells on specific pillars, namely;

  • Superfast performance
  • Extra built-in security
  • High Speed CDN
  • Cloudflare, among others

Beautiful it sounds, but what are customers saying?

The Elementor Hosting doesn’t have so many reviews on Trustpilot. At the time of writing this review, the host had a 4.2 star rating out of 45 reviews, 74% of which were 5-star.

Interestingly, as we’d already mentioned, the demo website we set up for this review was built using their page builder.

For a famous page builder like Elementor, we found it important to make their Hosting part of this test.

For this review, we purchased their GROW package, which goes for $22.99/month and offers;

  • 25GB SSD storage
  • 75,000 monthly visits
  • 75GB monthly bandwidth
  • CDN by Cloudflare

The GROW package was more than sufficient for our tests.

Hosting Plans Overview

Below is a table showing the tested hosts, plans, price per month, storage, and whether they offer Free SSL.

 

HOST PLAN PRICE/MONTH FREE SSL SPACE SERVER LOCATION
WPX Professional $41.58 Yes 30GB Chicago, USA
NameHero Turbo Cloud $6.98 (promo) Yes Unlimited Missouri, USA
Cloudways DO4GB Premium $54.00 Yes 80GB New York, USA
SiteGround GoGeek $10.69 (promo) Yes 40GB Iowa, USA
BlueHost Online Store $9.95 (promo) Yes 100GB Utah, USA
GoDaddy Managed WordPress eCommerce $20.99 Yes Unlimited North America*
Kinsta Starter $35.00 Yes 10GB Los Angeles, USA
Rocket.net Pro 60/Month $60.00 Yes 20GB Virginia, USA
WP Engine eComm Startup $28.80 Yes 10GB South Carolina, USA
Elementor GROW $22.99 Yes 25GB Belgium**

*GoDaddy literally would not tell us more precisely where the server is located, "for security reasons".

**Elementor's only available location. I wanted all hosts to have a roughly similar location, for a more accurate comparison, but in Elementor's case, I didn't have any choice.

Our Host Tests

Now this is where the rubber meets the road…

However much we caramelize things, we know you’re waiting for the ultimate arbiter - the test results.

Once again, just to clear the air, we purchased and used each of the packages out of the box. We set up the same demo website on the hosts, ensured we had the same WordPress, Elementor, and plugin versions, as well as the same HTTP requests.

We ran 8 different tests.

  1. Elementor Pro heavy landing page with many images
  2. Elementor Pro light landing page with fewer images
  3. WooCommerce + Elementor + JetSmartfilters Product Archive page with 100 products
  4. Page with query parameter
  5. Cart and Checkout page loading time with a product in the cart
  6. WordPress Performance Tester
  7. One-click Staging
  8. Speed of Customer Support

Each of these tests was essential. We acknowledge that most people have different types of websites. The whole idea was to give you an all-rounded picture of the best WordPress hosting for an Elementor Pro website, but also to share with you the individual test results we used to reach our final verdict.

Let’s right away cut to the chase that you may see what we found out.

1. Elementor Pro Heavy Landing Page with Many Images

The first test we ran was on an Elementor Pro heavy landing page with many images.

Consequently, this first test helps you know how fast your Elementor website page, containing many images, would load on each of the hosts.

What tests did we run and how?

For this test, we made use of two very famous and powerful tools - GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights - using the methodology explained below under each category.

GTMetrix Test

GTMetrix is one of the first stops for everyone seeking to test their website’s performance. Not only does it provide information about your website’s load speed, but also feeds you with a bunch of other useful tips to help you improve your website’s performance.

For example, they'd advise you to avoid enormous network payloads, use CDN, eliminate render-blocking resources, and more, depending on your website.

The other interesting thing about GTMetrix is that it’s configured to feed results independent of your location and internet speed.

It's now time to savor the juice of this review.

First off, let’s see how we tested the hosts using GTMetrix.

Thankfully, GTMetrix is pretty straightforward. All we did was paste a link and click the ‘Test your site’ button and the GTMetrix engine did the rest.

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In our case, we ran the page through the GTMetrix website tester with the basic settings, namely, the location, browser (Chrome Desktop), and Unthrottled Connection. You’re free to change the settings, depending on the nature of tests you want.

Our GTMetrix Methodology

We ran each tested page through GTMetrix 4 times, for each of the 7 locations listed below, discarded the first test, and averaged the subsequent three results.

We discarded the first test so that any possible cache (from the host, WP Rocket, etc) was primed, replicating m ore closely a real world visitor.

For example, we took the URL of the Elementor Pro heavy landing page with many images hosted on WPX server, ran it four times using the Vancouver, Canada, location setting, discarded the first test, and then averaged the sum of the Onload Time metric of the three subsequent test results.

We used the Onload metric instead of the Fully Loaded metric, as it is a more stable and reliable measurement. Onload is equivalent to the window 'load' event, that we can see in the browser's devtools network tab. Fully loaded is akin to the 'finish' metric, and is less reliable, for a few technical reasons I won't go into here.

Keep in mind you can access much more data by checking our data google sheet directly, which has more metrics, and all the PDFs of the test ran.

We did this for all the 10 hosts and for the 7 locations below.

  1. Vancouver, Canada
  2. São Paulo, Brazil
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. San Antonio, TX, USA
  5. Mumbai, India
  6. London, UK
  7. Hong Kong, China

The following graphic is a Global Average of the Onload Time of all our GTMetrix tests for the 7 locations. To calculate the global average, we first averaged the last 3 results of our 4 tests for each of the 7 locations, then averaged the sum total of the average of each of the locations, doing the same for each of the 10 hosts.

Each of the displayed bars is, therefore, a result of 7 location averages.

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After putting all the figures together, WPX came on top with a load time of 1.47 seconds, followed closely by Rocket.net with 1.65 seconds. At the third spot was Kinsta, with a slightly wider gap, settling at 2.22 seconds.

At position 10, basically the worst performer in this test, was Elementor Hosting. The host managed 5.39 seconds, leaving a very wide gap between it and Bluehost, which took position 9, with 3.30 seconds.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Talking tech, Google sits among the most trusted companies globally. They’ve got a wide array of products, with Google Search being their most successful. Because every business venture is yearning for online visibility, appearing top on Google search results is something everyone wants for their web application.

You’d, therefore, not be wrong to say that whatever product Google releases to the market would attract global attention. That’s just about any product.

How about a product that gives you insight on how to improve your ranking on their search engine? Wouldn’t that be something every business seeks to understand and leverage in their search engine optimization? Well, that explains Google PageSpeed Insights’ popularity.

Not only does it show you details about your website’s performance on both desktop and mobile, it also provides quite some invaluable tips to improve the performance.

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We took our heavy landing page through a series of Google PageSpeed Insights tests, and below are the results.

The Google PageSpeed Insights Methodology

We ran the heavy landing page through the test 4 times, discarded the first test, and averaged the subsequent 3 Performance test results. If you’re interested in understanding what the Performance result means, here are the metrics Google PageSpeed Insights uses to calculate the performance score.

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Cloudways and WP Engine tied on the first spot in terms of mobile performance. Cloudways only had a slight advantage on desktop, scoring 98 against WP Engine’s 97.33.

The top 3 best performers on mobile - Cloudways, WP Engine, and NameHero - were also the best performers on desktop in the same order.

2. Elementor Pro Light Landing Page with Fewer Images

Most websites have more than one page, and search engines treat each page differently when calculating performance. Therefore, it makes sense to test every page separately.

And that’s exactly what we did…

Next up was a lighter landing page with only a few images.

Let’s see how the hosts performed on GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.

GTMetrix Test

For this particular test, just like the previous one, we created the graphic using the average of the averages of the three last tests we ran for our 7 target locations and subsequently for each of the 10 hosts.

The graphic below, therefore, shows the Global Average of the tests for all the locations.

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Like in our heavy landing page global average graphic, WPX carried the day, coming in with a load time of 0.96 seconds. Interestingly, the order for the first, second, and third positions remained the same, with Rocket.net coming in at 1.19 seconds, and Kinsta coming third at 1.30 seconds.

Again, Elementor host had the worst performance, coming in at 3.95 seconds, slightly lower than its 5.39 seconds performance in our heavy landing page test. That’s understandable since this was also a slightly lighter page.

Let’s see what we got when we tested the same page on Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights

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Rocket.net came top with 69.33 in performance, followed by WPX with 68.67. NameHero came in at position 3 with 67.67. Interestingly, out of the three top performers in this test, only NameHero secured a spot among the top three in our previous Google PageSpeed Insights test.

Surprisingly, the same page performed quite differently on the desktop. Elementor came top with 93.67, followed by Rocket.net at 93.00. Cloudways and Kinsta tied on the third spot with 92.33.

The order was a bit weird, considering that Elementor’s mobile performance put it at position 6. You can also see that WPX, which was number 2 on desktop, didn’t appear among the top 3 on mobile.

3. WooCommerce + Elementor + JetSmartfilters Product Archive Page with 100 Products

Out to build an eCommerce website, with many products on the same page? Then this test is for you. We created a page using the famous WooCommerce, Elementor, and JetSmartfilters plugins and queried up to 100 products on it.

Because of the high number of products, the page was a bit longer than your average web page.

Curious to know how the hosts performed? Check out the following graphics.

GTMetrix Test

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 28

Quite interesting that this is the third GTMetrix test in which WPX comes on top, this time at 1.17 seconds, fractions of a second lower than its heavy landing page load time. And like in the above GTMetrix tests, Rocket.net remains the second best, with Kinsta coming in third.

Elementor has for the third time in a row trailed all the rest in GTMetrix load time tests, this time with 4.53 seconds.

Let’s see how the hosts performed on Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google PageSpeed Insights

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 29

The best performer here is NameHero, which managed a 66.67 score on mobile. It's also the best performer on desktop with 91.67. Coming in second is Rocket.net, which was at position one in the light landing page speed test. Rocket.net ties on the second spot with WP Engine, although Rocket.net performs better on desktop.

In the third spot is Cloudways, with a mobile performance score of 65.67. It came third on desktop with 89.67.

It's important to mention that WPX, which has so far topped all the GTMetrix load time tests, only managed position five with a mobile performance score of 65.00.

4. Page with Query Parameter

Your website is likely going to have some pages that also contain query parameters, and that’s why we chose to include such a page in our tests. We followed the same methodology as the rest of the tests above for our GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights, respectively.

How did the hosts perform? Let’s have a look.

GTMetrix Test

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 30

For the first time in our GTMetrix tests, WPX has lost the number one spot, losing it to Rocket.net, which has maintained position 2 in all our previous GTMetrix tests. Rocket.net led the pack with a load time of 0.73 seconds. WPX came in second with a load time of 0.83 seconds. At position three is GoDaddy, with a load time of 1.01 seconds, its best so far.

And just like in all the GTMetrix tests above, Elementor posted the longest load time, this time with 3.77 seconds. As usual, the gap between it and NameHero, which came in at position 9 with a load time of 1.90 seconds, was evidently too wide.

Google PageSpeed Insights

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Like in our very first Google PageSpeed Insights test, Cloudways has made it to the top of the pack on mobile performance, but this time with a score of 67.33, tying with WP Engine. Cloudways, however, was the better in desktop performance score.

Coming in at position two is Rocket.net, which has remained among the top 3 in all our Google PageSpeed Insights tests so far.

Interestingly, Elementor, which has trailed in all our GTMetrix tests, hasn’t posted the worst performance in any of our Google PageSpeed Insights tests.

GTMetrix Results by Location

We mentioned at the beginning of our highlight of the GTMetrix test results that we conducted tests for the following 7 server locations.

  1. Vancouver, Canada
  2. São Paulo, Brazil
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. San Antonio, TX, USA
  5. Mumbai, India
  6. London, UK
  7. Hong Kong, China

We understand that many people choose hosting based on their target location, which in many cases is influenced by server locations. Therefore, we deemed it fit to share with you our test results by location.

Keep in mind however that the original server location for all of the hosts was in North America, except for Elementor Hosting*.

Therefore, all the location specific tests below would likely be quite different if you went with the same hosts, but a different server location.

You would likely get even better results, if your server location was closer to your target region.

We still added these results here for the following reasons:

  1. We found it was very interesting data
  2. We believe it is still very relevant, as all the tested sites (except Elementor's*) had their server located in North America. Therefore we are still testing server performance compared to each other, and none have an inherent step up here.

*Elementor Hosting server location is Belgium. You might think it would have helped it for some of these tests... but as you will see, it wasn't really the case.

No CDNs were setup by ourselves. Some hosts however do seem to have heavily benefited from some built in CDN here.

1. Vancouver, Canada

For Vancouver, Canada, just like we did for the rest of the locations, we ran tests for all our four demo pages, namely, heavy landing page, normal landing page, Woo products archive, and prefiltered Woo archive. We then computed an average for each of the four pages and then an average of those averages to come up with a global average for each of the 10 hosts.

For the above graphic, we sorted the hosts from the smallest to the biggest using the global average and, as has already been mentioned on the graphic, lower is better.

The GTMetrix tests gave different metrics such as performance, structure, LCP and more, which are shared in a PDF document containing the results. For purposes of the above graphic and the rest of the locations, we went with the onload time.

For Vancouver, Canada, Rocket.net carried the day, averaging at 0.66 seconds, followed by WPX, which posted a one second load time. GoDaddy also performed very well, coming at position 3, with 1.07 seconds.

2. São Paulo, Brazil

The second location was São Paulo, Brazil, and we ran tests for all the 10 hosts just as we did for Vancouver, Canada, and we used that very methodology to come up with the graphic below.

Looking at the graphic, you can see that WPX had the best overall performance at 1.25 seconds in load time, with Rocket.net, which topped the results in Vancouver, Canada, coming in second with 1.54 seconds.

Coming in third place is Kinsta, which managed a 1.93 seconds in load speed, a one step move from its position in the last test.

3. Sydney, Australia

The third location on our list, Sydney, Australia, also came with some very interesting results as you can see below.

On top of the pack, once again, is WPX, followed by Rocket.net and Kinsta, the same order in the São Paulo, Brazil, test results. Even though WPX came on top with an average of 1.28 seconds, we’ve got to admit that Rocket.net did very well, outperforming WPX in two of the four tests.

4. San Antonio, TX, USA

The following graphic shows the results for our tests targeting San Antonio, TX, USA.

Rocket.net has once again taken the top spot, posting an average load time of 0.91 seconds.

Coming in second is WPX, which posted 1.21 seconds, and trailing Rocket.net in all the tests for heavy landing page, normal landing page, Woo products archive, and prefiltered Woo archive page tests.

On the third spot was Cloudways, with 1.22 seconds, the first time it has hit the top 3 on the best performance for the locations we’ve looked into so far.

5. Mumbai, India

One thing we noticed is that most hosts didn’t perform very well in our Mumbai, India, tests. Whatever the case, let’s have a look at the following graphic to see how the different hosts performed.

WPX has once again topped the list, with a load time of 1.68 seconds, and, like in all the previous tests, it’s been switching the top two positions with Rocket.net, which came in second here with 2.54 seconds, way more than the time posted by WPX.

On the third spot was Kinsta, with 2.75 seconds, the third time it’s sitting within the top 3 bracket.

6. London, UK

We ran all the tests for the four different pages and calculated the average, just like we did with the other locations.

So, how did the different hosts perform?

And again, it’s WPX on top of the list, and this time with a performance of 1.14 seconds, following at the second spot and not far behind was Cloudways with 1.35 seconds, marking the first time the host is taking the second spot. WP Engine, GoDaddy and Rocket.net all came third in a three way tie, based on the average of all tests.

Interestingly, most hosts performed quite well here.

7. Hong Kong, China

The last on our locations list was Hong Kong, China. Let’s see how the different hosts performed.

WPX has once again taken the first spot in load time, posting 0.95 seconds, followed at a distant second by Rocket.net that posted 1.68 seconds. On the third spot, not far from Rocket.net’s performance, is GoDaddy, with 1.88 seconds. And this marked the first time GoDaddy has appeared on the top 3 list.

GTMetrix Test By Location Results Overview

We’ve got it all together now!

This is the moment to review and downright give a shout out to the winner.

By just looking at the above graphics, we couldn’t help but kick off our analysis by looking at the performance of WPX, which clearly scooped the first spot an impressive 5 times out of the 7 locations. It even came in at position two in the two tests it didn't win(!).

Without an iota of doubt, WPX is deservedly the overall winner of our performance tests, having also performed exemplarity in our test of the four webpages.

In the two locations in which WPX didn’t grab the top spot, Rocket.net was the winner, also taking the second position in four location tests. In our analysis of the load speed test results, Rocket.net was the second best performer.

We’re giving Kinsta the third spot for scooping the number three spot thrice, number four spot twice, and maintaining a good performance in the rest of the locations.

Overall GTMetrix Top 3 Performers
  1. WPX
  2. Rocket.net
  3. Kinsta

The other three worthy mentions from our tests are GoDaddy, Cloudways, and Siteground. These also performed generally well, only that they registered dismal performance in some of the locations.

For example, GoDaddy was at the top 5 throughout except in our San Antonio, TX, USA, test in which it came at position 9.

Cloudways also didn't perform very well in our Vancouver, Canada, test, coming second from the bottom. It also didn't do well in our Hong Kong, China, test, in which it settled at position 8.

Siteground on the other hand managed an average performance in all the locations, maintaining position 6 in all the tests except in our San Antonio, TX, USA, test in which it came at position 4 and London, UK, in which it came at position 7.

The overall worst performer, according to our GTMetrix tests by location, is Elementor, which took the last position in all our GTMetrix tests for all the 7 locations. Even more worrying is the constant wide gap between Elementor’s performance and that of the respective hosts that took the number 9 position in each of the tests.

Conclusion for The GTMetrix & Google PageSpeed Insights Test Results

Out of all the packages we purchased, Rocket.net is the most expensive at $60.00 per month. It's, therefore, refreshing to see that it registered a solid performance in both the GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights.

WPX, which led in three of the four categories of our GTMetrix tests and came in at position two in the test it lost to Rocket.net, costs $41.58 per month and offers 10GB more than the Rocket.net package.

The fact that WPX was top in 5 of the 7 locations and position 2 in the remaining two is a clear indication that it’s a top performer.

Taking into account the results from GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights tests, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that WPX excelled in terms of load speed and performance, with Rocket.net following closely behind.

5. Cart and Checkout Page Loading Time with a Product in The Cart

The Cart and Checkout pages tests are, admittedly, much more anecdotal. I ran the tests from my own browser tools, on my home internet; not through GT Metrix (as we can't load a cart and checkout page with a product there).

Still, the relative-to-each-other performance of the cloned sites was tested, and these tests are still quite interesting. So we included them.

You will quickly see that despite being more anecdotal, the tests results did follow a pattern you are starting to get used to...

You remember when we mentioned the price you’d have to pay for a slow website? Well, that means it’s important to optimize the performance of all your web pages. Some of the most important pages in an eCommerce website are the Cart and Checkout pages.

With that understanding, we decided to run a test on the demo website’s cart and checkout pages, using the Google Chrome browser's Incognito mode DevTools, with cache disabled. We ensured that each of the pages had products in the cart.

For this particular test, we focused on the DOM content load time and the page’s fully loaded time.

Curious to know your top performers? Check out the graphic below.

Cart Page With Products

The above graphic shows the performance of the hosts for a page with a product in the cart. We shared the DOM load time and the page’s fully loaded time to give a clearer picture of the gap between the two metrics.

As you can see, WPX came on top, followed closely by Namehero. Kinsta and Rocket.net tied at position three, posting the same performance for both the DOM content load time and fully loaded time.

It’s worth mentioning that Elementor, which was the overall worst performer in our GTMetrix tests, managed position 7 in this particular test, leaving the worst performer tag to Cloudways. The gap between Cloudways and Bluehost, which took position 9, was conspicuously wider compared to the rest.

Checkout Page With Products

It’s essential that the checkout process of any website be fast and smooth. To establish which of the hosts would deliver the best such experience, we ran a test on our demo website’s checkout page while it’s loaded with products. The graphic below shows the results.

Rocket.net, which came in at position three in the Cart with Products page test, emerged the best performer in our Checkout Page with Products page, posting a 1.08 seconds DOM content load time and 1.57 seconds in fully loaded time.

WPX, which was the best in our Cart Page with Products test, came in second with 1.31 seconds in DOM content load time. Coming in closely in position three is Kinsta, which posted 1.45 seconds in DOM content load time.

There was an interesting twist in the results as Cloudways, which was at the last position in the previous test with 2.19 seconds in DOM load time, emerged at position 5 at 1.72 seconds.

In both tests (Cart Page with Products and Checkout Page with Products), WPX emerged the best, coming in at position one in the first test and position two in the second one. Rocket.net and Kinsta took position two and three, respectively, confirming the GTMetrix test results by location that put the three hosts in the same order.

6. WordPress Performance Tester

According to a w3techs, WordPress powers more than 43% of all websites globally and boasts of more than 63% of the global CMS market share, attaining that through a constant year-over-year rise in popularity.

With powerful WordPress plugins like Elementor and WooCommerce advancing day-by-day, you can be sure that the CMS’ popularity will continue on an uninterrupted upward trajectory. It doesn’t end with plugins. Look at the top hosts.… they all have hosting packages tailored for WordPress directly!

So, here is what we did, we say it again: We cloned a WordPress site running WooCommerce and Elementor on 10 web hosts, and ran WordPress performance tests on each of them.

What was the nature of the tests?

Here we used the WPPerformance Tester Plugin by Kevin Ohashi, which tests a server's performance by stressing PHP & MySQL and running numerous $wpdb queries. The test establishes the performance of the actual server itself.

Let’s have a look at how the 10 hosts performed.

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 32

  •  As you can see in the graphic, WPX won the battle at 7.52 seconds, also posting the best performance in the WordPress performance benchmark, with 1814 queries per second and 0.41 seconds in WordPress performance benchmark execution time.
  • Coming in second was Kinsta at 7.84 seconds in server performance, 1126 queries per second, and 0.6 seconds in WordPress performance benchmark execution time.
  • At position three was SiteGround, posting 9.08 seconds in server performance, 1323 queries per second, and 0.6 seconds in WordPress performance benchmark execution time.

GoDaddy, which has had a fairly average performance in our other tests, came out last, managing 16.12 seconds in server performance, a meager 168 queries per second, and 5.95 seconds in WordPress performance benchmark execution time.

On the other hand, Rocket.net, which has performed exemplarily well in all our previous tests, came in at position 7 in server performance. However, it managed to scoop the 4th position in WordPress performance benchmark execution time, with 0.89 seconds, and position 3 in the number of queries per second with 1126 queries, a tie with Kinsta, and coming after WPX and SiteGround, which scored 1814 and 1323 queries per second respectively.

7. One Click Staging

For efficient website development and deployment, a staging environment comes in handy. It makes it easier to work on a website and test all functionalities in a development environment before going live.

Today, almost every web developer considers one click staging a necessity.

As part of our review of the 10 hosts, we checked whether they’ve got one-click staging and how long it’d take to set up the staging environment.

We timed ourselves and recorded how long it took us to set up the staging environment all the way to the point at which we logged into the WordPress dashboard of the staging website.

It was such a refreshing test, and it’s our hope that the results will help you in your decision making.

Let’s first have a look at the results in a graphical format.

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 33

None of the hosts posted a significantly poor performance. Any setup you can run through to the last step within 10 minutes isn’t really appalling, right? That said, we’re alive to the fact that no one would opt for a slow host when a faster one is within their reach, more so if the host’s other features also have a competitive advantage.

Looking at the above graphic, you can see that SiteGround and BlueHost, which aren’t among our top 3 performers in the load speed tests, led the pack with a beautiful time of 1 minute. Coming next were Kinsta and Rocket.net, each taking 2 minutes to set up. WPX and Cloudways followed at position 3, with a time of 4 minutes.

At position 4 was GoDaddy even as WP Engine and Elementor tied at position 5.

Apart from the time it took to set up, let’s have a look at each individually, considering other things such as ease of setup, how many staging environments are provided, whether the respective host also has one-click staging to go live, and more.

SiteGround

SiteGround has really put in work to create their staging environment. They've got a really nice staging management UI and they allow multiple one click staging out of the box, all of which come with one click push changes to go live. The fact that it took just 1 minute to get everything up and running gives it the top spot.

BlueHost

At first we couldn’t tell whether Bluehost offers one click staging since there is no mention of the feature within the user’s admin dashboard.

We then inquired with their support only to be told that the feature is only accessible through the cPanel. We realized that setting up a staging environment is nice and easy.

One setback, however, is that BlueHost doesn’t provide an option to push the staging site live. So, in a way, they don't really have "staging" sites. Rather, they have a "cloning" feature.

Staging being an important feature, we consider BlueHost’s one click staging half baked. And BlueHost is definitely aware of this downside, and that’s why, at your request, they offer to push your changes live for free.

Nevertheless, that process is still tedious, especially for developers who love making minor tweaks and pushing them live regularly. If BlueHost is serious enough, they must be working on automating the entire process.

And if you’re considering having multiple one click staging (or "cloning"), BlueHost has you covered, offering the option at no extra cost.

NameHero

You may have noticed that we didn’t mention NameHero while we were talking about one click staging. Well, that’s because they don't have the feature. Instead, they’ve provided a YouTube video to help users set up what mimics a staging environment, a subdomain to be precise.

In the video, they explain how to work back and forth between the subdomain, meant for the staging of the website, and the live version of your website. It works, yes, but it’s not what every developer would love to use. At this point, you might as well use a plugin to migrate a clone or your site back and forth.

Kinsta

It's great that Kinsta, which is one of the hosts that came top in our WordPress performance tests, offers one click staging. Even so, they don't provide multiple one click staging for free. You can create up to 5 staging sites if you're willing to part with an additional $20 a month for every extra staging.

WP Engine

Setting up the one click staging in WP Engine took 8 minutes, which is the longest out of all the 10 hosts we compared. If the 8 minutes doesn’t bother you, their one click staging would be something to consider.

They offer multiple one click staging equipped with one click push changes to go live.

The multiple staging isn’t unlimited, though. They limit you to 2 stagings, namely, staging and dev.

WPX, Cloudways, GoDaddy, Rocket.net & Elementor

We already talked about how long it took us to set up one click staging for these 5 hosts.

That said, we bundled these hosts together because they offer similar one click staging features i.e. one click staging, one click push changes to go live, and no multiple one click staging. i Cloudways being the exception, and allowing for multiple one click staging.

However, you should take note that they’ve got different UI’s, and some might be better. We liked Rocket.net UI the most, although the others were fine.

One Click Staging Conclusion

From the above graphic, you can see that SiteGround and BlueHost’s one click staging took the least time to set up. However, the top position, considering all features, goes to SiteGround, which boasts of a very nice UI and provides both multiple one click staging and one-click push changes to go live, all working out of the box.

We could’ve given the second spot to BlueHost, but their package isn’t really a complete one-click staging feature because they don't have the following;

  • Straightforward UI option for one click staging setup.
  • One click staging push changes to go live.

Even though they can help with pushing changes to go live, the fact that you’ve got to make a request every time makes the whole setup quite limited.

We, therefore, give the position 2 slot to Kinsta, which has one click push changes to go live, but also makes it possible for you to have multiple staging, albeit at a fee of $20 per month for every extra staging site.

On the third spot is Cloudways, which, like WPX, took just 4 minutes to set up. We gave Cloudways this position because it’s fairly simple to set up and allows for unlimited one click staging sites without reducing the number of websites you can host with your hosting plan.

On the other hand, WPX limits the number of one click staging sites to the number of websites allowed in your package. For example, if you purchase WPX’s Professional package, you’re limited to 15 websites, meaning if you’ve got 1 website, you can only create up to 14 staging sites.

While we’ve used this as a metric, someone who’s basically looking at creating one or two websites would easily go for WPX instead of Cloudways. However, for someone looking for as many staging sites as possible, Cloudways carries the day.

To make it easier for you, here is the list of the winners in the one click staging category.

  1. SiteGround
  2. Kinsta
  3. Cloudways

However, like we mentioned earlier, you’ve got to look into the other tests and features for a more informed decision when choosing a host.

8. Speed Of Customer Support

This test was also quite anecdotal. It represents the time for the Custom Support to respond, on a Saturday afternoon, EST.

It is anecdotal because we ran this test only a single time. Therefore YMMV here. You will rather want to look at the satisfaction with Customer Support from our Web Hosts User Reviews to pick a winner here.

We included this test regardless, as it is an interesting, if anecdotal, data point.

Most, if not all, customers reach out to the customer support team at one point in time, with a majority of the support requests coming at the setup stage. At that early stage, there is usually some sense of urgency, meaning the faster the customer support team issues a satisfactory response the better.

We sought to establish which of the 10 hosts has the quickest response time. We did this by asking the customer support of each of the hosts the following two questions.

  • Where is the geographical location of my server?
  • What other locations do you offer?

Those are very straightforward questions. We deliberately did that because all we wanted to ascertain is how long it’d take each of them to respond.

We sent out the questions in the afternoon of Saturday, April 08, 2023, EST.

Now let's have a look at how things played out.

The following graphic gives a visual representation of how long it took each of the hosts to respond to our questions.

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 34

In under a minute, WPX had responded with answers to our questions. They didn't take us through some bot screening before linking us to a customer service person, making the process smooth and fast.

Cloudways and BlueHost came in second, answering our questions in about a minute. We were very pleased with these two because, despite taking us through a bot before linking us to a customer support person, they responded to our questions in about a minute.

Coming in at position 3 is Rocket.net, which responded in about 4 minutes through their chat system that doesn’t take you through a bot.

Coming closely after Rocket.net is GoDaddy, which responded after about 5 minutes. GoDaddy, as you'd expect due to their large clientele, takes users through a bot chat before being connected to a customer support person.

WP Engine answered our questions after 11 minutes, but that’s after taking us through a bot.

Next was Kinsta, responding after 1 hour 30 minutes. We believe the response took long because it was categorized under "my plan" and not “technical,” which could’ve most likely been given a higher priority. Still, we didn't test their response time using a technical issue because we wanted to use the same questions for all the hosts. Despite taking longer than average to get back to us, they satisfactorily answered our questions.

Three of the hosts - NameHero, SiteGround, Elementor - didn't have a chat answer. NameHero's response came through a support ticket some 46 minutes later, with the two questions answered satisfactorily. Elementor on the other hand responded through email after 2 hours 45 minutes. SiteGround's answer came through a support ticket a disappointing 18 hours later. Having to wait for 18 hours to get a response doesn't sound good, does it? It wouldn't be a good experience, particularly if you had something broken and, therefore, needed their support urgently. However, I need to reiterate the anecdotal nature of this test, and say I had earlier experiences with SiteGround support that were quite satisfactory. Maybe they just slack on the weekends? See what real users are saying in the SiteGround User Reviews.

Important General Host Highlights

Like we mentioned earlier, choosing a hosting service provider takes more than knowing about their server speed. We’ve outlined some of the most important features to look out for whenever you’re choosing a host for your web application.

However, we believe that’s not the end of the road.

We’ve, therefore, put together this section to share with you some important general highlights about the hosts as a way to bring to your attention some of the features you may also want to consider when choosing a host.

Click the toggles below to learn more about their respective subjects.

What Real Users Think

Most people believe that if something is good, those who’ve used it and are happy with it should say as such. That’s why it never comes as a surprise seeing someone digging through testimonials before making a decision about a product or service.

It’s understandable.

Everyone wants to exercise some level of caution to avoid wasting money on things that won’t be of value to them. If a product is excellent, they’d reason, at least there should be some people who’re excited enough about it to willingly spare a minute or two to tell the world about their experiences. You get that through user feedback.

Therefore, to ensure that this review is complete, we reached out to web hosting customers and asked them about their experiences with their respective hosts.

We appreciate that out of the more than a thousand requests we sent out, we received 835 responses, with each broken down into 7 categories, namely, overall experience, customer support, pricing, staging, backups, and site migration from the host.

Of the 835 responses, 413 were about 9 of the 10 hosts we've covered in this review. None of the respondents said they used WPX.

The graphic below gives a picture of the responses. Under it, we’ve shared the number of responses we received for each, followed by a general analysis of the graphic. After the brief analysis, we share with you a few testimonials for each host.

The table below shows how many entries each of the hosts received.

Host Feedback Entries
Rocket.net 9
Kinsta 20
Cloudways 30
WP Engine 53
SiteGround 178
NameHero 10
Elementor Hosting 13
BlueHost 48
GoDaddy 52

As you can see, Rocket.net came out on top with an average score of 9.57 out of 10 for the overall user experience. Kinsta secured the second position with a score of 9.30 out of 20 responses. Cloudways took the third spot with a score of 8.69 out of 30 responses.

Out of the total responses we received for the nine hosts, SiteGround received the most reviews at 178, while WP Engine came in a distant second with 53 reviews out of 413. Although Rocket.net dominated in terms of overall experience, it only garnered nine responses. However, this is understandable, considering that they've only been in the market since 2020.

In terms of user feedback, Rocket.net dominated in six of the seven categories, namely: overall customer experience, customer support, pricing, backups, site migration, and malware cleanup. It lost the staging category to WP Engine, which scored 9.02, and, interestingly, it’s Rocket.net that came in second with 8.67.

GoDaddy was the worst performer, trailing in five of the seven categories, only managing to beat BlueHost in the backups and malware cleanup categories.

Data, Credits and Disclaimer

Results Raw Data

I have chosen to make all of the data for the GTmetrix tests, as well as the PageSpeed Insight tests, publicly available.

This contains a lot more data points than what was included in this article. Namely, it contains all of them.

We saved the PDFs that GTmetrix generates when running a test, and we made screenshots of the results page for PageSpeed Insights.

Checkout the complete GTmetrix test data here.

Checkout the complete PageSpeed Insights test data here.

If you find something interesting in the data that we didn't cover in the article, please do share it in the comments below!

Credits

Credits to the amazing flourish.studio for helping greatly in the creation of the pretty charts. I recommend it heartily for anything data visualization.

Affiliate disclaimer

Element.How is an affiliate for most of the hosts presented in this review. If we wanted, we could be an affiliate for all of them, as they all have affiliate programs. However, I purposely chose to exclude the two hosts I actively recommend against: BlueHost and GoDaddy. For the time being, I would caution against Elementor Hosting as well.

My affiliate status didn't affect or influence the results presented here; whichever host you end up clicking through and purchasing (or not), we get a commission. I believe that it levels the playing field and removes incentives for me to push one more than another. Yes, some pay a better commission, but they are the more expensive hosts, so the conversion rate is lower.

It's all roughly equivalent, and my goal here wasn't to somehow try to maximize profit but rather to provide genuine value in helping you choose a host!

To this effect, I will ask you this: If you found value in this article, or anywhere else on Element.How, please when and if you will try a new WordPress host, do come to this article first, and click through our links. Affiliates are how the free content on Element.How is supported!

Conclusion

We’ve looked at the main features everyone is looking for in a hosting service. And after considering everything, including speed, performance, security, customer support, ease of use, Cloudflare integration, real world user reviews, and more…

Rocket.net carried the day,
becoming our top pick,
our number one best host.

Below are our top 3 picks in the order in which we’ve rated them.

  1. Rocket.net
  2. WPX
  3. SiteGround

Let’s take a look at these hosts in a little more detail.

1. Rocket.net

In our GTMetrix site speed test, Rocket.net was only second to WPX, although it managed to perform better than WPX in the Google PageSpeed Insights tests. In the first Google PageSpeed Insights test, it came in at position 4, scooped position 1 in the second test, and managed position 2 in the third test, winning over WPX and Kinsta in all the tests.

Considering its speed, great performance, and amazing technology, Rocket.net’s pricing is quite fair, although definitely premium. It will cost you $30/month for 1 website, $60/month for 3 websites or $100/month for 10 websites.

Here is why Rocket.net is a gem.

Unlike most of the hosts that require you to set up Cloudflare on your own, Rocket.net has a working partnership with Cloudflare, putting Cloudflare Enterprise at the heart of their infrastructure, and that means high speed performance and security.

Besides their handy tools and reliable features, Rocket.net also boasts of reliable customer support, with quick response time; and it's backed up with a 99.99% uptime guarantee.

Of all the hosts we reviewed, it’s only Rocket.net that, at the time of writing this review, had all the reviewers on TrustPilot give it 5-star.

Here is one of the reviews from TrustPilot.

10 Best WordPress Hosting: Fastest From 1000+ GTmetrix Tests 56

Rocket.net is our recommendation of choice for demanding websites with heavy traffic.

2. WPX

WPX outperformed all the rest in our GTMetrix tests. However, in the Google PageSpeed Insights test, WPX didn’t stand out as much.

In our look into the features, WPX performed generally well, sporting some of the best features anyone would look for in a host, offering free website transfer, fast and reliable one click staging, Cloudflare, and free malware removal.

In terms of pricing and the rest of the basic features such as free SSL, WPX got you covered.

WPX is really the greatest option if you are looking for a cheaper solution than Rocket.net.

Their 25$/month plan offers up to 5 website (5$/month/site) and their 99$ plan allows for 35 websites (<3$/month/site). Save even more by paying yearly.

WPX is our recommendation of choice for economical yet super performant hosting.

3. SiteGround

SiteGround takes third place in our review, despite not shining particularly bright in the GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights tests.

We simply can't ignore the quantity and quality of real user reviews SiteGround received from our web host questionnaire. 178 genuine SiteGround users have spoken and given it an overall rating of 8.49/10.

Considering the price/reviews-rating ratio, we could even say it ranks first, by a large margin, in our real user reviews poll.

In other words, no other host that offers such low prices has received these kinds of great reviews.

Because of this, SiteGround is our recommendation for lowest-cost hosting.

I hope you have enjoyed this review.

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4 Responses

  1. Amazing that you did all this! However, I am puzzled by the difference in the results between GTMetrix and Google.

    1. Hey Ace!

      To be frank, I'm not certain exactly what explains the discrepancy. It could be some of the following:

      1. GTmetrix tests from specific locations, whereas (AFAIK) nobody knows where PageSpeed insights tests from (or if they test from a / many specific locations at all, or have some other dynamic setup).

      2. PageSpeed Insight score is relying heavily on the Core Web Vitals, and the metric we focused on for GTmetrix was the Load time, which isn't part of the CWV.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers!

  2. Glad I found this. I was looking for a explanation like this regarding hosting services. But I couldn't. This is incredible.

    BTW, this question is not related to this. Im sorry for asking it here. Do you have a yearly or monthly subcription instead of a lifetime subcription.

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