On the hunt for the fastest WordPress hosting to serve up your WordPress site?
You’ve probably heard about the importance of making your website load fast. It makes your visitors happier, it helps with SEO…it’s just generally really important.
And while yeah, there are all kinds of WordPress performance tips you can implement to make your site load faster, your site’s hosting is always going to play one of the biggest roles in how quickly your site loads (especially if you’ve already optimized the other stuff).
To help you find the fastest WordPress host that also matches your budget, we went hands-on with seven popular WordPress hosts and ran real speed tests using three different testing tools. The end goal of this post is to help you find a host that can offer you the performance you want, at the price you want.
You’re probably here for the hard data, so we’ll start by sharing all the data in an easy-to-compare table format.
Then, we’ll dig into each host in more detail and also share some tips for finding the fastest WordPress hosting for your specific needs.
The Fastest WordPress Hosting: What the Data Says
If you just want the absolute fastest WordPress hosts based on our testing, here are our three recommendations based on their speed, price, and features (full data and more info below):
|Host||Best for…||Monthly starting price|
|DreamPress (DreamHost)||Solid performance on a budget||$16.95|
|Rocket.net||Fast load times on every continent||$30|
|WPX Hosting||Hosting multiple websites||$25|
Now let’s dig in!
To find the fastest WordPress hosting, we set up a real test site at every single one of the hosts on this list. Then, we ran our test sites through three separate speed testing tools:
- WebPageTest – this lets us run detailed tests from a single physical location near our test sites’ data centers.
- DotCom Tools – this lets us check global performance by running tests from three different continents: North America, Europe, and Asia.
- LoadFocus – this lets us simulate a more high-traffic scenario by hitting our site with 20 visitors at the same time.
Below the comparison tables, we’ll explain what each metric actually means, as well as how we set up our test site.
But first, here are the detailed performance results for each test:
WebPageTest: DreamHost’s DreamPress Had the Fastest LCP
Here are the results from WebPageTest, ordered by each host’s Largest Contentful Paint time (part of Google’s Core Web Vitals).
|DreamHost||0.51 s||0.469 s||0.823 s|
|WPX Hosting||0.05 s||0.479 s||0.952 s|
|SiteGround||0.079 s||0.512 s||1.263 s|
|WP Engine||0.136 s||0.528 s||0.933 s|
|Rocket.net||0.083 s||0.571 s||1.126 s|
|Cloudways||0.117 s||0.582 s||0.918 s|
|Kinsta||0.113 s||0.649 s||1.084 s|
All the hosts performed pretty well in this test, which is why they all made our fast WordPress hosting list.
However, DreamHost was the surprise winner given its low cost, with WPX Hosting just a tenth of a second behind.
However, it’s important to note that the differences between 1st and 7th really aren’t that large and all of these hosts performed quite well when compared to an “average” WordPress host.
DotCom Tools: Rocket.net Had the Fastest Global Average
Here are the results from DotCom Tools, ordered by the mean average of all three test locations.
|Rocket.net||1.69 s||1.22 s||3.41 s||2.11 s|
|SiteGround||2.97 s||0.73 s||3.34 s||2.34 s|
|Kinsta||1.77 s||1.88 s||3.54 s||2.4 s|
|Cloudways||1.37 s||1.91 s||4.1 s||2.46 s|
|DreamHost||1.32 s||1.67 s||4.91 s||2.63 s|
|WP Engine||1.35 s||2 s||4.72 s||2.69 s|
|WPX Hosting||1.48 s||3.57 s||4.88 s||3.31 s|
In this global test, Rocket.net was the clear winner. This makes sense given the unique way Rocket.net caches your entire site to the global Cloudflare Enterprise network — more on that later!
Most of the other hosts weren’t far behind, though WPX Hosting was a notable outlier, dragged down by poor load times in Europe and Asia.
LoadFocus: WPX Hosting Didn’t Blink Under Scale
Here are the results from LoadFocus, ordered by the average response time over the entire test.
|Host||Avg. response time||90% response time|
|WPX Hosting||46.2 ms||60 ms|
|SiteGround||67.6 ms||80 ms|
|WP Engine||104 ms||139 ms|
|Rocket.net||142 ms||183 ms|
|DreamHost||148.66 ms||186 ms|
|Cloudways||169.69 ms||197 ms|
|Kinsta||171.14 ms||218 ms|
In the load test, WPX Hosting was back at the top of things, suggesting that it’s a very strong contender when it comes to traffic in a single geographic area.
How We Configured and Ran Our Tests
You can use the toggles below to see our explanation for the various performance testing tools and metrics, along with how our test site was configured.
Fastest WordPress Hosting: Compared in More Detail
Now that you have a good idea of how each host performs in objective speed tests, let’s take a deeper look at their features and pricing information.
Rocket.net is a newer managed WordPress hosting company that was founded in April 2020.
However, Rocket.net has quickly grown in popularity thanks to the unique way in which they use the Cloudflare Enterprise network.
When you host your site with Rocket.net, it will automatically fully cache your pages to Cloudflare’s global network whenever possible. This means that Cloudflare can serve up the entire page from the nearest edge location, rather than just static assets such as images.
The upshot is that your site will have near equally fast load times whether a visitor is browsing from the USA, Europe, Australia, or anywhere else.
Rocket.net also offers some other unique speed optimization features, such as automatic image optimization and code minification via Cloudflare, which eliminates the need to use separate performance plugins for those important features.
Beyond that, you still get access to all of the “normal” features that you’d expect from managed WordPress hosting, including the following:
- User-friendly custom hosting dashboard
- Automatic daily backups
- Staging sites
- Security rules (powered by Cloudflare)
It also has some nice unique features such as an in-dashboard WP-CLI console, which I’ve never seen at any other WordPress hosts.
Another advantage of Rocket.net is that it has much higher visit limits than your average managed WordPress host — about 10x what you’d get from Kinsta or WP Engine.
Plans start at $30 per month for the following:
- One WordPress website
- 250,000 visits per month
- 10 GB storage
There are also special plans for agencies and enterprise customers.
Kinsta is a popular cloud-managed WordPress host that uses the Google Cloud Platform to help you host your WordPress site. Kinsta also layers on its own optimized tech stack with Nginx, server-level caching via Fast_CGI, and other enhancements.
In recent times, Kinsta has also moved a lot of its infrastructure to Cloudflare Enterprise, including using Cloudflare as a CDN.
You can now cache full pages on Cloudflare’s network, which leads to fast global load times.
In addition to offering stellar performance, Kinsta has one of the best-looking hosting dashboards out there, as well as lots of convenient features such as:
- Automatic daily backups
- Easy staging sites
- Free SSL certificate and one-click install
- Firewalls/malware scans
- A free hack-fix guarantee if something gets through
Kinsta’s plans start at $35 per month for the following:
- One website
- 25,000 visits per month
- 10 GB storage
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.
While these plans are a bit more expensive than DreamHost’s shared offerings, the upside is that you get much better performance than those shared plans.
It comes with daily automatic backups, unmetered bandwidth, and 24/7 support. On higher-tier plans, you’ll also get a built-in CDN, as well as access to the (normally paid) Jetpack Professional plan at no extra cost.
With plans starting at just $16.95, DreamPress is a good value option. However, you’ll need at least the $24.95 DreamPress Plus plan if you want Jetpack Professional and the included CDN.
Cloudways is not a host itself. Instead, it’s a managed hosting service that lets you choose your own cloud VPS (Virtual Private Server) provider from a list of options, including:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
No matter which cloud provider you choose, you’ll get an optimized performance stack, a built-in CDN, and useful features such as:
- One-click staging sites
- Easy/free SSL certificates
- One-click WordPress installs
- Automatic backups
The one downside is that Cloudways is a little bit more complicated than your average WordPress host. However, it’s certainly still something that a non-developer can handle — I just wouldn’t recommend it if this is your first time launching a WordPress site.
The big upside is that Cloudways is able to offer exceptional performance for a lower price than all of the other top-performing hosts on this list.
The price that you pay at Cloudways will depend on which cloud provider and server you choose. Plans generally start around $10 per month and go up from there.
You’re also never locked into long-term contracts. You can cancel whenever you want. The plans are technically billed hourly, so you’re only billed for your exact usage.
For reference, our test site is using the cheapest Vultr High Frequency droplet, which costs just $13 per month. Your exact speeds may vary depending on the cloud provider that you choose. However, in general, all of the cloud providers offer excellent performance. Personally, I recommend the Vultr High Frequency plans, which is why I chose to test that one.
One neat thing is that Cloudways offers a 3-day free trial. So if you’re interested, spin up a test site and see how it works for you.
5. WP Engine
WP Engine is one of the most popular managed WordPress hosts out there. It offers a number of performance-optimized WordPress hosting plans.
All of the WP Engine plans come with the following:
- Staging sites (multiple environments — Staging and Development)
- Automatic updates, including an option for AI-powered plugin updates with visual regression testing to automatically roll back your site if there’s a problem
- Daily backups
- Integrated CDN
WP Engine also recently launched dedicated WooCommerce hosting plans. In addition to other WooCommerce-specific features, these plans include built-in Elasticsearch, which can speed up your store by off-loading product search functionality to a separate server.
Another neat thing is that WP Engine recently acquired the Genesis Framework and all of StudioPress’ Genesis child themes. These themes are now included at no extra cost as part of every WP Engine plan.
WP Engine’s basic managed WordPress hosting plans start at $30 per month for the following:
- One site
- 25,000 visits per month
- 10 GB storage
- 50 GB bandwidth
6. WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting is a very interesting option if you need to host multiple WordPress sites. It’s managed WordPress hosting but, unlike most managed WordPress hosts, even the entry-level plan lets you host multiple websites (up to five). It does this for a slightly lower price than competing hosts such as Kinsta and WP Engine.
As the data shows, though, it doesn’t skimp on performance — WPX Hosting ranked second in our tests and wasn’t far behind Kinsta.
All of WPX Hosting’s plans come with:
- Free/one-click SSL certificates
- A built-in CDN at no extra cost
- Automatic daily backups
- Malware scans and free malware removal if anything shows up
- Staging sites
- Your choice of three data centers — USA, UK, or Australia
In terms of prices, WPX Hosting starts at $25 per month for up to five websites. Two things to note about WPX Hosting’s pricing:
- They don’t bill you by visitors like many other managed WordPress hosts — you’ll only pay based on your bandwidth and storage.
- Staging sites count as full websites for billing purposes. So one production site + one staging site = two websites in terms of your plan limits.
SiteGround is a popular WordPress host that manages to combine pretty fast page load times, some managed WordPress features, and solid support into one surprisingly low-priced package.
If you’re on a budget and want the best bang for your buck, SiteGround is still one of your better options (though I’d still rank it behind Cloudways).
While the prices are comparatively low, you still get access to:
- The latest technologies, including PHP 8.0+
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Staging sites (excluding the entry-level plan)
- A custom hosting dashboard
- Free plugins to improve performance (SiteGround Optimizer) and security (SiteGround Security)
SiteGround’s plans start for as little as $3.49 per month with promotional pricing, though we tested the $5.99 per month GrowBig plan which offers the following:
- Unlimited websites
- 20 GB storage
- ~100,000 monthly visits (this is not a hard limit — it’s just an estimate based on your plan’s resources)
However, make sure to pay attention to the differences between promotional prices and regular prices, as the difference can be large. For example, after the first year, the GrowBig plan jumps from $5.99 to $24.99.
It’s still cheaper than many other options (especially when factoring in support for unlimited websites), but it’s a big price change.
Tips to Choose the Fastest WordPress Hosting for Your Site
When you’re trying to choose the best hosting for your specific needs, here are some things to consider:
- Data center locations – while a CDN can mitigate this issue, you still want to find a host that offers data centers near your target audience.
- Think about your traffic – if your site is relatively low traffic, you might be fine with one of the budget options. However, for high-traffic sites, you want to make sure your chosen host did great in the load impact test. You’ll see that the higher-priced hosts usually differentiate themselves when performing under scale.
- Price – finding the fastest WordPress hosting company isn’t just about the overall winner. It’s about finding the best option that fits your budget. Paying an extra $30 per month just to save a couple fractions of a second might not be worth it for you, especially if your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic.
Which Host Should You Choose?
Again, there’s no single winner here — it really depends on your needs:
- What is your budget?
- Where is your audience located?
- How much traffic does your site get?
If you’re looking for cheap fast WordPress hosting, two of the best options from our testing were the DreamPress plans from DreamHost and WPX Hosting.
If you have multiple websites, WPX Hosting and SiteGround are probably the best places to start because of their above-average site limits (unlimited in the case of SiteGround).
For more DIY types, Cloudways can also be a great choice when it comes to the price-to-performance ratio. Again, I recommend the Vultr High Frequency plans, even though they’re a little more expensive than the entry-level DigitalOcean plans.
If you have a global audience, Rocket.net is a great option because of the native way in which it fully caches your site to Cloudflare’s enterprise network. Rocket.net also offers above-average visit limits, which can make it cheaper for high-traffic sites. Kinsta now also uses this approach, though it’s a bit more expensive because of Kinsta’s comparatively low visit limits.
If you want the best all-around managed WordPress experience, I’d consider the big names such as Kinsta or WP Engine. Both offer not just good performance, but also top-notch features, dashboards, support, and more.
Have any questions about choosing the fastest WordPress hosting for your situation? Ask away in the comments!