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WPX Hosting Review

WPX Hosting Review, featured image
Editor’s Rating
4.6/5
Ease of Use
4
Functionality
4.5
Value for Money
5
Documentation & Support
5

Considering WPX Hosting for your WordPress website? In our hands-on WPX Hosting review, I’ll run some performance tests, take you through WPX Hosting’s offerings, and help you decide whether it’s right for you.

In general, I think that WPX Hosting offers excellent value for most WordPress users, especially if you want to host multiple websites without sacrificing performance or flexibility. To understand why that is, keep on reading the full WPX Hosting review.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. A basic overview of WPX Hosting’s features.
  2. Hands-on performance test data from our own test site.
  3. Details on WPX Hosting pricing and how it compares to other hosts.
  4. A hands-on look at the WPX Hosting dashboard and how user-friendly it is.
  5. My final thoughts on whether or not WPX Hosting is a good purchase.

WPX Hosting Review: The Feature List

Before getting to the hands-on section of our review, let’s kick things off with a basic rundown of what you get with WPX Hosting. You can learn about all of these features in the marketing copy, so I won’t go too in-depth. But if you’re still not super familiar with what WPX Hosting offers, this should be a good starting point before getting into the more nitty-gritty stuff.

WPX Hosting is a managed WordPress host, which means a few things:

  1. You can only use it for WordPress sites.
  2. The WPX Hosting environment is optimized for WordPress (because that’s all they host).
  3. You get additional concierge features to make your life easier — this is the “managed” part of the equation.

WordPress Performance-Optimized Environment

For our consideration here, there are two parts of the hosting environment:

  1. Performance
  2. Security

For performance, WPX Hosting bundles in a custom content delivery network (CDN) as well as the latest versions of important technologies such as PHP 7.X and HTTPS/2. You’ll also be able to choose from data centers in three locations:

  1. Chicago (USA/North America)
  2. London (UK/Europe)
  3. Sydney (Australia/Pacific)

With the built-in CDN, you’ll also get endpoints in other locations. For example, the CDN has an endpoint in Brazil for your South American visitors.

One thing WPX Hosting does not add, though, is server-level caching. This is a bit unusual for managed WordPress hosts, as every other managed host that I’m familiar with has a built-in server-level caching solution.

This isn’t a huge deal because you can fix this with a caching plugin (WPX Hosting recommends W3 Total Cache and installs/pre-configures it by default). However, caching at the server level with a reverse proxy such as Nginx or Varnish is usually a tad bit better because it lets you completely skip loading the WordPress application.

When it comes to security, WPX Hosting offers:

  • Custom web application firewall (WAF) to proactively block threats.
  • Daily malware scans.
  • Free easy-to-install SSL certificates.
  • Free DDoS protection via Incapsula/Imperva (a service that’s similar to Cloudflare).

And for ultimate security peace of mind, WPX Hosting offers free, unlimited malware removal if malware does manage to find its way through the WAF. Basically, if your site gets infected, WPX Hosting will clean it up at no cost to you.

Convenient Managed WordPress Features

In addition to some of the convenient features from the previous section, such as malware removal, WPX Hosting has also built in some other tools/features to make it easier to manage your WordPress site.

First off, you get daily automatic backups with 28 days of storage, which is more than a lot of WordPress hosts. Many managed WordPress hosts only store backups for 14 days. You can also run manual backups if needed.

WPX Hosting gives you a one-click staging tool, too, which lets you safely test changes in a sandbox rather than your production site. You can easily push and pull your site between your staging and live servers as needed.

Finally, WPX Hosting includes email hosting as part of your subscription. It might seem like a small thing, but this is actually pretty unique, as most managed WordPress hosts do not bundle in email hosting (though most shared hosts do offer email hosting). Personally, I still prefer using a dedicated email hosting service anyway, but I know that a lot of people like being able to get their web hosting and email hosting from one spot.

Overall, it’s a pretty solid feature list — I’ll show you some of these features in more detail later on, but let’s first start with some performance tests.

WPX Hosting Performance

I’m going to start off the hands-on section of our WPX Hosting review with a look at performance. Because, after all, if WPX Hosting can’t load your site quickly, none of the other stuff matters.

To set up a realistic testing environment, I created a real website using the lightweight Airi theme and one of its Elementor demo sites (here’s the exact demo site that I’m testing). Elementor is the most popular WordPress page builder plugin, so this testing environment should be pretty accurate to what a real user might build.

In a lot of hosting reviews, you’ll see people juice the performance tests by using an unrealistically lightweight test site — that’s not what I did. It might give the impression of slightly slower page load speeds, but it should be more accurate to the types of speeds you’ll actually experience if you host your website at WPX Hosting.

I didn’t make any performance changes to the demo site beyond what WPX Hosting does by default, which is to install and configure the W3 Total Cache plugin. I didn’t change a single setting in W3 Total Cache — I left it exactly as it was pre-installed, which WPX Hosting says is the optimal configuration.

To test its performance, I’ll run two types of testing:

  • Single performance tests via WebPageTest – this shows how long the test site takes to load for a single visitor.
  • Load testing via BlazeMeter – this simulates multiple visitors browsing at the same time to see how WPX Hosting performs under scale (a more realistic type of test if you have a high-traffic site).

WebPageTest

In this first test, I used WebPageTest to run nine separate one-off tests. Then, I took the median value of those nine separate tests to eliminate single-test variability.

For reference, both the test site’s server and the WebPageTest server are located in Chicago, Illinois.

WebPageTest gives a lot of data here, but the key takeaway is that the median page load time is around 1.5 seconds (1.463 s to be exact).

WPX Hosting test from WebPageTest

For a full website, that’s an excellent load time that will give your visitors a great user experience. So, for this first test, WPX Hosting definitely gets great marks.

Now, let’s add some heat.

BlazeMeter

As I mentioned above, BlazeMeter works differently than WebPageTest. Rather than a single test of the website’s complete load times, BlazeMeter sends multiple concurrent visitors to see how quickly the server can respond as the number of visitors increase.

It doesn’t measure the full page load times — it just tests the server response time.

In a perfect scenario, you want to see the server response times stay flat even as the number of visitors increases. In human-friendly terms, this means that your site will load just as quickly for the 50th visitor as it does for the first one.

To run these load tests, I set up two scenarios:

  • 20 visitors over 5 minutes. The visitors ramp up in three steps over the 5 minutes — it starts with 7 active visitors, then bumps to 14 active visitors at 1.66 minutes, then bumps to all 20 active visitors at 3.33 minutes.
  • 50 visitors over 5 minutes. The visitors ramp up in ten steps over the 5 minutes — it starts with 5 active visitors, then 10, then 15, then so on.

In the first test, you can see a slight increase in response time around the third step (all 20 visitors). The response times (orange line) were flat at around ~415 ms before jumping up to ~590 ms around the 20 visitor mark.

In human-friendly terms, this first test suggests that if your site has 20 people browsing at the same time, the 20th visitor might have a slightly slower browsing experience. However, the difference is only about 0.17 seconds, so it’s not a huge deal:

BlazeMeter test 1

The second test is a lot more difficult, so I was expecting to see a bigger difference. However, WPX Hosting actually performed much better in the second test, which is great.

Here, the server response times stayed rock steady, around ~400 ms, until the 40 active visitor mark when they jumped up to around ~500 ms:

BlazeMeter test 2

Overall, I would say that WPX Hosting’s performance under load was good, but not the best that I’ve seen. Hosts such as Kinsta and WP Engine have performed a bit better when I’ve run this test. However, for its price, I would still give WPX Hosting good marks here because those other hosts are also more expensive.

Speaking of pricing, let’s cover that next to give you some reference.

WPX Hosting Pricing, Plus a Comparison With Other Hosts

For what you get, I’d say that WPX Hosting is priced very competitively.

It’s not as cheap as shared hosting, but it’s also not really competing with shared hosting but other managed WordPress hosts such as Kinsta, WP Engine, Flywheel, and others.

Against those hosts, WPX Hosting is pretty affordable, especially if you need to host multiple websites. WPX Hosting also offers unlimited free migrations (done by experts, not a plugin), which is another nice benefit.

All of the plans include all of the features that you saw above — the only differences are in the number of sites that you can host and the resources that you get:

BusinessProfessionalElite
Monthly Price$24.99$49.99$99
Yearly Price (/mo.)$20.83$41.58$83.25
Websites51535
Storage10 GB20 GB40 GB
Bandwidth100 GB200 GBUnlimited

There are two big differences that you’ll see when you compare WPX Hosting’s prices to most other managed WordPress hosts:

  1. WPX Hosting’s cheapest tier allows you to host five websites, whereas most managed WordPress hosts start you off with a single site.
  2. WPX Hosting doesn’t put any arbitrary visitor limits on you — you’re only limited by your bandwidth. Most managed WordPress hosts use a “visit” limit rather than a bandwidth limit.

Personally, I think that limiting by bandwidth is a much fairer approach than an arbitrary limit, so I think this is a big benefit of WPX Hosting over other managed WordPress hosts. The one “downside” is that it’s a little bit harder to understand how many visitors a plan can support.

WPX Hosting vs Kinsta, WP Engine, and Flywheel

To give you an idea of how WPX Hosting’s pricing compares to other popular managed WordPress hosts, here’s a quick comparison table of the month-to-month price of each host’s entry-level plan:

WPX HostingKinstaWP EngineFlywheel
Price$24.99$30$30$15
Websites5111
Storage10 GB10 GB10 GB5 GB
Visitor LimitN/A20,00025,0005,000
Bandwidth100 GBN/A50 GB20 GB

As you can see, WPX Hosting is not only cheaper in most situations, but it also gives you more resources. The one exception is Flywheel’s entry-level plan, but that will only work for a very low-traffic site.

WPX Handles Staging Sites Oddly, Though

As I mentioned earlier, WPX Hosting includes staging on all of its plans. However, when you create a staging site, it will count against your total website limit. This is different from how most other managed WordPress hosts do it, where your staging sites don’t count against your total site limit.

For example, if you’re on the entry-level plan, you can create five websites. Let’s say you already have four live websites. If you were to create a staging site for one of those sites, it would take up your last slot so that you would show as having five websites now.

Some more examples:

  • Three live sites + two staging sites = five sites for billing purposes (the max on the cheapest plan).
  • Two live sites + two staging sites = four sites for billing purposes.
  • …you get the idea.

Basically, if you want to use staging sites, pay attention to this difference when you’re picking a plan because it might affect your decision. However, even with this quirk, you’ll still come out ahead against most other managed WordPress hosts.

WPX Hosting User Experience

To finish things out, let’s take a look at the user experience of managing your site(s) at WPX Hosting.

First off, like most other managed WordPress hosts, WPX Hosting uses a custom hosting dashboard to help you manage your sites — there’s no cPanel here.

It’s not the most user-friendly dashboard that I’ve used — I would put the experience behind what Kinsta and Flywheel offer. However, it’s totally functional and offers everything that most people will need.

When you first sign in to the dashboard, you’ll see a summary of all your different services. This is helpful if you’re, say, paying for two different plans. To access the tools, you need to click the Manage service button:

Main WPX Hosting dashboard

There, you’ll see a list of options on the left:

WPX Hosting dashboard options

Managing Websites & Staging

If you go to the Manage Websites area, you’ll be able to:

  • Create new websites with a simple WordPress autoinstaller.
  • Create staging environments by cloning your existing sites.
  • Install SSL certificates.
  • View logs.
  • Configure a few other site-specific settings, such as redirecting www.yoursite.com to yoursite.com (or vice versa).

Website list

For example, if you want to install an SSL certificate, all you do is hover over the SSL option and select Install FREE Certificate:

Installing SSL certificate

Creating a staging site is similarly easy. When you create a staging site, you can choose the site that you want to duplicate. Then, WPX Hosting will do all the work for you to create your site.

You’ll see it marked as Staging and also get an option to Merge to Live:

Creating a staging site

For the merge, WPX Hosting does some custom merging where it will keep any new comments or content on your live site. That is, it isn’t completely overwriting your live site — it’s merging the changes that you made on staging with your live site.

Note how the staging site takes up one website slot, as I mentioned in the pricing section. I was using 2/5 sites before creating the staging site and 3/5 after.

Other Dashboard Management Tools

Beyond the Manage Websites tab, you also get some other useful tools in the sidebar:

  • Databases – create new databases and/or edit existing databases using phpMyAdmin.
  • E-mail Boxes – create and manage custom email addresses (e.g. [email protected]).
  • FTP Users – create and manage FTP accounts for server access.
  • Edit DNS – edit DNS records if you’re using WPX Hosting’s nameservers. There are also presets for setting up MX records for G Suite, Zoho Mail, and Office 365, which is nice.
  • File Manager – you also get an in-browser file manager tool.

For example, here’s what the file manager tool looks like:

WPX Hosting file manager

Backups

Backups get their own section in our WPX Hosting review because they’re so important.

As I mentioned in the features section, WPX Hosting automatically backs up your site every day and stores those backups for 28 days.

In addition to those automatic backups, you can also manually create a personal backup when needed. Personal backups are only stored for 24 hours, but you can download them to your local computer to save them for longer.

WPX Hosting backup tool

And that wraps up most of what you’ll do in the WPX Hosting dashboard!

Final Thoughts on WPX Hosting

Overall, WPX Hosting is a great option if you’re looking for affordable managed WordPress hosting that still offers excellent performance. It’s also especially good value if you’re hosting more than one site because even the entry-level plan lets you host up to five websites (whereas most other managed WordPress hosts only let you host a single site).

While not a huge deal, the one weak spot with WPX Hosting is its dashboard. While functional, I don’t find it to be as user-friendly as other managed WordPress hosts, and it doesn’t offer quite as many tools as other premium managed WordPress hosts.

However, I still think the dashboard is totally functional for most WordPress users and the trade-off is worth it because you still get:

  • Great performance, as evidenced by our hands-on performance tests.
  • Excellent support, along with other support features such as unlimited free malware removals.
  • Great value because WPX Hosting’s entry-level plan is cheaper than most other managed WordPress hosts (especially if you need to host multiple websites).

Overall, I would say that if you’re a WordPress user who wants to host between 2-5 websites (or more!), WPX Hosting is an excellent option for you.

On the other hand, if you only want to host a single site, I’d recommend considering something like Kinsta. For a single site, the prices aren’t that much different, and Kinsta was a top performer in our fastest WordPress hosting test. You can learn more about it in our full Kinsta hosting review.

Do you still have any questions about WPX Hosting? Thoughts on WPX Hosting? Let us know in the comments!

WPX Hosting Review

Pros

  • Cheaper than many competitors.
  • Lets you host up to five websites on the entry-level plan.
  • Had stellar performance in our tests.
  • Has convenient managed WordPress features such as backups and staging sites.

Cons

  • The hosting dashboard isn’t as nice as some competitors.
  • There were some spikes in our load testing with BlazeMeter.
Editor’s Rating
4.6/5

Summary

WPX Hosting offers high-performing managed WordPress hosting at an affordable price, especially for multiple sites. It doesn’t have the nicest dashboard, but it offers excellent value for most WordPress users.

WPX Hosting offers high-performing managed WordPress hosting at an affordable price, especially for multiple sites. It doesn’t have the nicest dashboard, but it offers excellent value for most WordPress users.

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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