WordPress Hosting Analyzed: Cost vs. Speed

Websites have become the backbone of any business. Across all industries, consumers go to your website to find out who you are, what you do, and buy your products. It’s no secret that the longer you keep people on your website – with relevant content and clean graphics – the better. Nor is it a secret that more traffic to your site means a growing, healthy business.

However, as your business grows, you need to pay equal attention to the speed of your website. Faster speeds are not only less frustrating for your website visitors, but they are also better for your business. Speed times actually impact your search engine rankings with slower speed translating to lower search engine rankings. A slow website also means higher bounce rates, lower page views, lower conversions, and ultimately lower profits.

But faster speed times do come at a cost. Most web hosting services for your WordPress site charge fees to enhance your website performance and capabilities. Is it worth it? That answer depends on your business’s unique needs and goals. We’ve analyzed the cost versus speed of some of the most popular WordPress web hosting services to help you make informed decisions about how to best manage your website traffic. 

Website Hosting Considerations: Speed, Cost, Income Potential

Yes the a super fast web hosting service is best to have, but it’s also the most expensive. Do you really need THAT much speed? Depending on the level of competition for your site keywords, and the amount of money you have to make (or not) from your site, the answer may be no. Of course extra seconds of load time make a huge difference to site visitors – but do milliseconds? Probably not. Perhaps, at least when your site is new, it makes more sense to get a good quality host with decent speed and save money on hosting. Then later, when your site actually starts to make some money, upgrade your hosting plan.

Recently the best web hosting platforms for WordPress were tested and analyzed. The exact same webpage was hosted on each, then the load times were measured. The chart below shows the results. You’ll see how specific hosting companies compare with each other. Of course the most expensive hosts (mostly) gave the fastest load times. And pages hosted on the cheapest services took the longest time to load. But you want to do is compare the product of the two – after all you ideally want to pay the least amount while having the fastest load times. And the green bars in the graph below represent just that – a “cost time” factor that attempts to capture the best of both worlds for wordpress hosting – low cost and fast load time. And the winner is…HostGator. HostGator was just as fast as WP Engine – yet only 1/8th the cost.

Of course there are other things to consider when choosing a web host – whether or not they provide a CDN, how many datacenters do they have, do they include an SSL certificate, how much storage space do you get, etc. But if you’re two primary considerations are cost and speed – and for many people they are – then HostGator looks like a very good choice.

HostGator

For over 10 years, HostGator has been helping countless people – from technology gurus to website novices – get online with easy-to-use tools, lightening quick speeds and affordable prices. HostGator has grown from a small startup to a multinational business with expert know how and experience fueling their success.

HostGator is designed specifically for WordPress so getting started couldn’t be quicker or simpler. With a simplified control panel, you can easily set up auto-backups, access 1-click restores, and management all your account information.

With several tiered plans, you will find one that fits your needs and your budget. The Starter Plan allows up to 100,000 visitors per month, 1 GB of backups, SSL certificate and a free domain for $2.75 (per month).

In addition to always available customer service representatives (via phone, chat, and Twitter), HostGator also had an impressive library, called the KnowledgeBase which is like a supercharged FAQ page.

HostGator is one of the most comprehensive and quick WordPress hosting sites that gives you excellent bang for your buck. In fact, it’s the very best deal in terms of website speed per cost.

SiteGround

SiteGround is one of the most affordable WordPress web hosting services around but that doesn’t mean it’s any less capable. In fact, SiteGround is one of the most popular and most highly rated WordPress web hosting companies around.

SiteGround will deliver fast speeds for your WordPress site thanks to their unique in-house WordPress optimized servers. SiteGround allows you to choose where your server is located (from five available data centers) to further optimize your speed, making it a great option if you do business overseas.

Along with quick speeds, with SiteGround you’ll get exceptional security, as well as additional features like automatic upgrades, SSL certificates, built in WP caching, CDN, and staging tools. SiteGround is an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, so it is designed to work seamlessly with your WordPress website.

SiteGround is also popular due to its unmatched customer support. Their WordPress knowledge is extensive and impressive, and they are always available via chat, phone, tickets or social media.

The extra speed SiteGround can provide at the reasonable monthly fee make this a great choice for those looking to upgrade their website hosting capabilities. (Starting at $6.99/month, you’ll get support for 10,000 monthly visitors and 10 GB of storage space.)

WP Engine 

As the name might suggest, WP Engine caters specifically to WordPress sites and is often touted as being the best platform for hosting a WordPress site. With three pricing plans, that can be paid monthly or yearly, you will find an option that fits your budget. Even the basic plan supports up to 25,000 visitors therefore, WP Engine is likely best for medium to larger sized companies.

In addition to the thousands of monthly visitors, the basic “StartUp” plan offers 10 GB of storage space for $30/month. (Comparable to Kinstas.) In this StartUp plan you will get plenty of features like automated SSL certificates, 35+ StudioPress themes, Global CDN, as well as development, staging and production environments.

However, if you are looking for the basics and primarily faster speeds, the higher price tag of WP Engine might not be worth it for your small business.

Customer support is quick and extremely well versed in all things WordPress. The 24/7 live chat is well liked by most users.

Kinsta

Kinsta is another premium WordPress hosting provider that promises to deliver fast speeds and excellent security. Kinsta uses a Google cloud platform and has 24 data centers allowing them to provide optimized speeds from virtually anywhere in the world. Kinsta manages all your server-management-related tasks to keep their focus on optimized managed hosting setups.

With the click of a button Kinsta will install WordPress on your hosting account and you’ll be ready to take advantage of their experience and know-how. Kinsta uses a custom panel, instead of the more usual cPanel UI, to provide a more integrated customer experience.

Kinsta offers several packages with various options to best meet your needs and budget. For $30/month you get 10GB of space, bandwidth of 25,000 visits, free host migrations and free CDN service.

With customer service available 24/7 via chat and ticket support, you can be sure your questions will be answered promptly.

Kinsta is a great option for increasing website speeds at a price point that will not drain your budget.

Flywheel

Flywheel is one of the easier to use and navigate website hosting services. It’s great for people who do not want to spend a ton on managed WordPress hosting but do expect good value and increased speeds.

For $15/month, you can get support for up to 5,000 monthly visits, 5GB of disk space, and free site migration. Flywheel also uses a Google Cloud platform to give you competitive speeds and allows its users to scale quickly (almost instantly) and without limit. The quality of service at this price point is hard to beat.

Flywheel is optimally tuned for WordPress, features daily backups, intuitive staging sites, collaborative tools, and a simple dashboard. You don’t need to be a server pro to get maximum benefit from Flywheel.

Customer support is available via live chat or tickets 24/7. Or, because of their extensive library of helpful articles and FAQs, you are likely to find the answer to your question right on their website.

If you are looking for excellent speed with the ability to grow, Flywheel is a great cost for value option.

Bluehost

One of the most cost-effective WordPress hosting services is Bluehost. Bluehost is designed to help your business build and grow making them a good choice for small businesses. They are also one of the oldest and well-loved website hosting companies. Founded in 1996, they have grown to become one of WordPress’s recommended (and popular) hosting providers.

The basic package starts at $2.95/month but it’s worth noting you must sign up for a 12-month commitment (with a money back guarantee policy). This package includes features like 50 GB of storage space, custom themes, SLL certificate, CDN and no traffic limits.

One of the best features of Bluehost is their unlimited video compression. Users can easily and quickly upload videos without having to make sure they are web optimized with no restrictions on how many videos you can stream.

Bluehost’s 24/7 customer service is available via chat or phone and always ready to help. Their experts will not only help with specific questions but can also offer advice on how to effectively build, grow and manage your website.

As one of the most cost-effective options, Bluehost is great for small businesses looking for quick loading speeds with the ability to grow at minimal cost.

Fast WordPress Hosting – That’s Affordable – Is an Option

In the world of website hosting, seconds matter. They can directly impact your bottom line. Consumers do not like to wait and wait for websites to load. They grow easily frustrated waiting for images or videos to play and expect their online experience to be hassle-free and fast.

However, optimizing your WordPress website speeds does come with some costs. A website hosting service can not only dramatically improve speeds, they can also offer features and support to help your business successfully grow. Because there are plenty of quality options available to fit your budget, the payoff is definitely invaluable.

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