Choosing your Hosting for your Blog is one of the most important decisions, if not the most important, that you can make. Blogging is cut-throat, it’s crucial to get any advantage you can over your competition!
The overwhelming majority of bloggers Do Not make page-speed load times a priority.
But you’re different! The very fact that you’re reading this article separates you from the “sloggers” (slow site bloggers). You’ve already heard about the importance of making your website load fast. It makes your visitors & Google happier, it helps with SEO…it’s just all-around the best thing you can do for your blog.
While there are other WordPress Site-Speed Optimization steps you can implement to make your site load faster, your site’s hosting is always going to be a primary factor in how quickly your site loads (especially if you’ve already optimized the other stuff).
Your webhosting speed determines how fast it can process code, and how many visitors it can handle. Compare your website to a car. To make a car go faster, you either get a stronger engine and/or lighten the weight. For websites, the web-server is the “engine” and the code is the “weight”.
The goal is to improve our web-server “engine” while decreasing code “weight”.
Changing your webhosting is one of the easiest ways to improve speed. Those of you on cheap $5/month shared webhosting will benefit the most from moving to a more robust hosting service. The difference will be night and day without any site changes.
To help you find the fastest WordPress host that also matches your budget, we performed hands-on real speed tests with popular WordPress hosts among the blogging community. The end goal of this article is to help you find a host that can offer you the performance you need at the price you can afford.
Fastest Blog Host: Data Results
If you just want the absolute fastest WordPress host based on our testing, here are our three recommendations based on their speed, price, and features (full data and more info below):
Below the results table, we’ll explain each metric, as well as how we set up our identical test sites at each host.
To find the fastest WordPress hosting for bloggers, we set up an identical test site with each one of the 7 hosts tested. Then, we ran our test sites through WebPageTest, 3 times each taking the average metrics from the Dallas region (it’s centrally located):
[[ ]] = performed in the top 2 in that category
Hosting Companies to AVOID at all costs!
Bluehost, HostGator, NameCheap, Site5, and all EIG owned Hosting companies. EIG is a publicly traded company who buys out hosting companies and runs them into the ground. The above hosts I mentioned are the worst of the worst. You’ll never achieve the speed you want or get the customer service you deserve.
Performance Metrics Explained
With just the following 2 page-speed metrics alone, you can evaluate the quality of a Web Hosting service and whether they will be apart of your blog’s foundations, or an obstacle that’s holding you back and must be overcome.
LCP (Perceived Load Time): Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is an important metric for measuring perceived load speed because it marks the point in the page load timeline when the page’s main content has likely loaded—this is when the page visitor has seen the majority of the content that makes the page useful. This is a Google Core Web Vital that is factored into your Search Engine rankings!
The most common causes of a poor LCP are:
- Slow server response times
- Slow resource load times
TTFB (Time to First Byte): – this is how long it takes for the first bit of information to arrive from your server to the viewer on your website. The faster this time is, the more responsive a host’s server is.
The single most common reason for a high TTFB is low-quality web hosting. If your web server is poorly configured or not powerful enough to deliver a speedy response to the visitor, then your TTFB will be high.
When it comes to web hosting, you really do get what you pay for. A cheap web hosting provider may be holding your site back and preventing it from reaching its full potential.
How Our Test Sites Were Set Up
To simulate a real site and create a consistent test case, we used the lightweight Astra theme and one of its importable Gutenberg demo sites. Then we added bare minimum plugins for functionality.
Our “full” test site includes:
Fastest WordPress Hosting Details
- Plan Tested: 155CC
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 0.839 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.504 s
- Price/mo: $10.95
BigScoots has been around for a while—8 years, in fact—and during that time seems to have done quite well for itself – making a name for itself amongst the blogging community as a competent and fast host for a fair price.
It offers only managed solutions, definitely catering to those that want a hands-off their tech experience, while having peace of mind it’ll just work. Fair Pricing – Highest Value – Our #3 Budget Pick!
- Plan Tested: Basic
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 3.154 s
- Time to First Byte: 1.259 s
- Price/mo: $8.99
Do not listen to bloggers and YouTubers promoting Bluehost.
Bluehost is terrible! But they pay out the largest affiliate commissions to those creating “how to start a blog” content and writing untruthful Bluehost reviews. In every Blogger Facebook group, it’s widely known that Bluehost is ridiculously slow, and has bad customer support and frequent downtimes. You get what you pay for with Bluehost.
- Plan Tested: DreamPress
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 1.932 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.498 s
- Price/mo: $19.95
DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosts out there, founded all the way back in 1996. DreamPress, the hosting plan we tested, is DreamHost’s managed WordPress offering. DreamHost performed better than Bluehost, but not by much, coming in at second to last. You could definitely get more bang for your buck.
- Plan Tested: Tiny
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 1.918 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.929 s
- Price/mo: $11.99
Lyrical Host is based in the UK and has one US server too. They very heavily market themselves as the premier hosting choice for Bloggers. Granted, they do give you lots of freebie blogging templates, but their performance in the area that matters the most – speed – they are severely lacking. With the money you’ll make from a faster more capable host, you can buy all the content templates you want!
- Plan Tested: Plus Cloud
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 0.647 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.222 s
- Price/mo: $14.95 (1 yr must be purchased upfront)
NameHero uses LiteSpeed web server which provides an increased performance of up to nine times faster than other servers. As a result, it improves page load time and reduces the TTFB time to first byte (which is a factor for Google PageSpeed). Customer service is available 24/7 through phone, live chat, & email support tickets
Our #1 Fastest WordPress Hosting Pick!
- Plan Tested: GrowBig
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 1.297 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.408 s
- Price/mo: $24.99
SiteGround is a popular WordPress host amongst bloggers that manages to combine better than average page load times, some managed WordPress features, and great support.
Honorary #4 Fastest WordPress Hosting Pick. Could be faster, but has amazing support!
- Plan Tested: Business
- LCP (Perceived Load Time): 0.820 s
- Time to First Byte: 0.283 s
- Price/mo: $24.99
WPX Hosting is managed WordPress hosting, meaning you don’t get as much backend control over your server and sites which could hamper your site-speed optimization and security efforts. Even their entry-level plan lets you host multiple websites (up to five), though if you want a staging site, that’ll eat up 1 of the five ‘sites’.
Our #2 Fastest WordPress Hosting Pick, but it’s very obvious downfall is it’s also the most expensive!