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Best WordPress Hosting for Speed 2024 (My Top 3 Picks)

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Best WordPress Hosting for Speed
Best WordPress Hosting for Speed

In the fast-paced world of the internet, the need for speed has never been more critical. Users expect websites to load instantly, and search engines reward fast-loading sites with better rankings. šŸ„‡

Achieving a fast WordPress website is not just about optimising the things on your website, e.g. images; it begins with choosing the best WordPress hosting for speed.

TLDR: the #1 best WordPress hosting provider for speed = Rocket.net. Try Rocket.net for $1. šŸ‘ˆ

Top 3 Best WordPress Hosting Providers for Speed

Below are the best WordPress hosting providers for speed and lightning-fast load times.

1. Overall Best Host for Speed
2. Best Managed Host for Speed
3. Best Value Host for Speed
1. Overall Best Host for Speed
5.0
  • Fastest WordPress host! šŸš€
from $30/month
2. Best Managed Host for Speed
4.5
  • Best for support!
from $35/month
3. Best Value Host for Speed
4.0
  • Best for low traffic websites
from $11/month

1. Rocket.net – Best WordPress Host for Speed

Rocket.net is a managed WordPress hosting provider that excels in speed and security.

I have a couple of mission-critical websites hosted on Rocket.net including this one. Pretty fast isn’t it? šŸš€

I also have several clients using Rocket.net. Some of them came to me with malware-infected websites, which Rocket.net completely fixed free of charge as part of their free migration. Other providers like Kinsta charge $100 to remove malware during a migration. And some providers don’t even check for malware!

āœ… Use Rocket.net IF:

  • Use Rocket.net if you have a global audience
  • Use Rocket.net if you want the fastest possible website
  • Use Rocket.net if you want the best value for server resources like CPU cores and RAM.

āŒ DON’T Use Rocket.net IF:

  • You don’t need to use Rocket.net if your website doesn’t get much traffic. Use Cloudways instead.
  • You don’t need to use Rocket.net if your website is not resource-intensive. Use Cloudways instead.

Key features of Rocket.net include:

  • Server = All host nodes use a bare metal server with 32 cores, 128GB RAM, and NVMe storage
  • Caching = Full page caching via CloudFlare Enterprise + Redis Object Cache. Rocket.net also recommends using WP Rocket for page/browser caching as a backup to CloudFlare.
  • PHP Processing = NGINX as a reverse proxy to Apache for server-side handling
  • PHP Workers = Unlimited
  • Limits = Most importantly, there are no CPU or IO limits. The starter plan has a visitor limit of 250,000 per month, disk usage of 10GB, and a bandwidth limit of 50 GB. You pay an overage fee if you exceed these.
  • CDN = CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Uptime = 99.99% guarantee
  • Malware Scanning = Yes, real-time malware scanning and protection using Immunify360
  • Malware Removal = Yes
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • DDOS Mitigation = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Scalability = Yes, higher plans allow more WordPress installs, website visitors, storage, and bandwidth
  • Customer Support = 24/7 live chat + email
  • Pricing = First month is ONLY $1. Then plans start from $30 USD/month.
Fastest WordPress Host
Simple, Fast, & Secure WordPress Hosting - Rocket.net
Try for $1
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2. Kinsta – Best Managed WordPress Host for Speed

Kinsta is known for its performance-focused WordPress hosting, powered by Google Cloud CD virtual machines.

āœ… Use Kinsta IF:

  • Use Kinsta if you have a global audience
  • Use Kinsta if you want higher performance (but don’t need the absolute highest)
  • Use Kinsta if you want the best customer support. Rocket.net support is good, but I think Kinsta’s better.

āŒ DON’T Use Kinsta IF:

  • Don’t use Kinsta if you have a website with lots of traffic
  • Don’t use Kinsta if you have a resource-intensive website (e.g. WooCommerce site). You can, but you’ll need a much higher plan, which significantly increases ongoing costs. You are better off using Rocket.net.

Key features of Kinsta include:

  • Server = Google Cloud compute-optimised C2 machines with 12 cores, 8GB RAM, and SATA storage
  • Caching = Full page caching via CloudFlare Enterprise + page/browser caching via Kinsta Cache.
  • PHP Processing = NGINX
  • PHP Workers = Only 2 for Starter and Pro Plans
  • Limits = The biggest limit is low PHP workers. The starter plan has a visitor limit of 25,000 per month, disk usage of 10GB, and a bandwidth limit of 100 GB per month.
  • CDN = CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Uptime = 99.9% guarantee
  • Malware Scanning = Yes, real-time malware scanning and protection
  • Malware Removal = Free malware removal if your site is already hosted at Kinsta. $100 if migrating.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • DDOS Mitigation = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Scalability = Yes, higher plans allow more WordPress installs, website visitors, storage, and bandwidth. However, the higher plans are much more expensive compared to Rocket.net.
  • Customer Support = 24/7 live chat and email support (phone support is only for sales)
  • Pricing = Plans start from $35 USD/month.
Best Managed WordPress Host
Premium Managed WordPress Hosting - Kinsta
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3. Cloudways – Best Value WordPress Host for Speed

Cloudways offers cloud hosting solutions known for their flexibility and scalability.

I use Cloudways for testing and low-traffic websites. I also have many clients using Cloudways. The Digital Ocean Premium server option is fast, reliable, and relatively cheap compared to Rocket.net and Kinsta.

āœ… Use Cloudways IF:

  • Use Cloudways if you have a website with minimal traffic
  • Use Cloudways if you want to host many WordPress websites on the same server. I have a 1GB Digital Ocean Premium server on Cloudways that currently has 15 WordPress websites on it.

āŒ DON’T Use Cloudways IF:

  • Don’t use Cloudways if you have a website with lots of traffic. If you do have lots of traffic, then you’ll likely need to upgrade to a higher plan. At this point, you are better off using Rocket.net. Better value for money!

Key features of Cloudways include:

  • Server = Multiple server options from Digital Ocean, AWS, and Google Cloud. I recommend using the Digital Ocean Premium server option that comes with 1 Core, and 1 GB RAM on NVME storage. As you can see, your server won’t have anywhere near the power of Rocket.net or Kinsta. However, this doesn’t mean your website won’t be super fast, it just means that your website can only handle traffic up to a point. So, it will be fast, as long as your website doesn’t get a sudden spike in traffic that overloads the server. Note that Cloudways recommends at least 2GB servers for live websites. Not all live websites need this though. I have many clients with low-traffic websites that are perfectly fine on 1GB servers.
  • Caching = Full page caching via CloudFlare Enterprise CDN, server-side page caching via Varnish, object caching via Memcached and Redis, and browser caching via their Breeze plugin. The Breeze caching plugin also extends the server-side caching with a range of optimisation settings.
  • PHP Processing = NGINX as a reverse proxy to Apache for server-side handling
  • PHP Workers = Unlimited
  • Limits = The biggest limit is the 1GB RAM on starter plans using a Digital Ocean server. By comparison, Kinsta allows 8GB RAM for starter plans and Rocket.net allows 128GB RAM. Starter plans using a Digital Ocean server also have a disk usage limit of 25GB and a bandwidth limit of 1000 GB per month.
  • CDN = CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Uptime = 99.99% guarantee
  • Malware Scanning = No
  • Malware Removal = No
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • DDOS Mitigation = Yes, through CloudFlare Enterprise
  • Scalability = Yes, higher plans allow more RAM, storage, and bandwidth.
  • Customer Support = 24/7 live chat, email and phone support (premium add-on)
  • Pricing = Plans start from $11 USD/month
    • I recommend using premium Digital Ocean servers though, which start from $14 USD/month
Best Value WordPress Host
Managed Cloud Hosting Platform Simplified - Cloudways
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Tips for Choosing a WordPress Hosting Provider for Speed

1. Server Location

Choosing a hosting provider with a server location in your target audience’s country (ideally the same city) is very important. This ensures lower latency and faster load times for your target audience.

However, if you have a global audience, using a CDN with full-page HTML edge caching capabilities will ensure low latency and fast load times around the world (more on this below). In this case, choosing a server location is not as important. However, it’s still best practice to choose a server close to your primary audience’s location. This is because your origin server will still load your website if your pages/files are not yet cached by the CDN.

2. CDN Integration

If you have a global audience, you should opt for a host that integrates seamlessly with Content Delivery Networks aka CDNs, which distributes your website’s assets efficiently and reduces the strain on your hosting server. Rocket.net, Kinsta, and Cloudways all offer an integration with CloudFlare Enterprise.

It’s worth noting that not all CDNs are created equal, and not all web hosts configure their CDN integration the same way. e.g. some hosts don’t enable edge caching by default, some hosts make you pay for it, some hosts force you to use their CDN, etc. Anyway, if you have a global audience, you should only use a CDN with full-page HTML edge caching capabilities. If not, the server response time probably won’t improve. Sometimes it’s worse! i.e. the CDN will still need to connect to your original server before loading the rest of your web page.

If you don’t have a global audience, you probably don’t need a CDN. However, if you used CloudFlare, you would still benefit from the Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect your website from security threats.

3. Server Resources and Scalability

Ensure your chosen hosting plan offers adequate resources for your website’s current needs and has the capability to scale as your site grows. Look for hosting providers that offer scalability without causing downtime or negatively impacting performance.

If you have a resource-intensive website, e.g. WooCommerce online store, membership site, multisite, etc, you will need significantly more server resources, e.g. RAM, CPU, etc. If this is you, I recommend using Rocket.net. They don’t limit CPU usage and are much cheaper when comparing cost per amount of RAM and CPU cores.

Advanced server infrastructure, such as solid-state drives (SSDs) with NVME storage, further enhances speed. Rocket.net comes with NVME storage out of the box. Cloudways has the option of NVME storage through their Digital Ocean Premium server option. Kinsta uses SATA storage.

4. Caching and Optimisation Features

Investigate the caching mechanisms offered by the hosting provider. For example, Cloudways has page caching done at the server level by Varnish, object caching done by Memcached and Redis, and full page caching done by Cloudflare Enterprise. Also, Cloudways has its own built-in caching plugin that extends its server caching capabilities with a range of optimisation settings.

Kinsta has a similar setup, except for their object caching. Redis object caching is, unfortunately, a paid addon and a very expensive one at that for an extra $100/month! šŸ˜³ If you have a WooCommerce website, object caching is very important to reduce queries to your database. However, object caching does require significantly more RAM. So, if you have a WooCommerce website, especially one that gets decent traffic, you should try Rocket.net instead. Redis is free and you get 128GB of RAM. šŸ’Ŗ

On the other hand, Rocket.net does not have an inbuilt page caching plugin yet. Instead, they recommend using WP Rocket to enable page caching for the rare page loads that don’t get served from their CloudFlare CDN cache.

You can also utilise the caching plugins to further optimise the way your WordPress website loads. e.g. Minification of CSS and JavaScript files; reducing overall page weight. However, modification can sometimes break things on the front end. So use optimisation features with caution! ā›”ļø

5. Uptime and Reliability

High uptime is crucial to ensure your website is consistently available. Look for a hosting provider that offers a service level agreement (SLA) with a high uptime guarantee. Uptime should be at least 99.9%. Rocket.net offers 99.99%! šŸ™Œ

6. Security

Evaluate the security measures provided by the hosting provider. Features like firewalls, malware scanning and removal are vital for safeguarding your website’s data and integrity.

7. Customer Support

Responsive and knowledgeable customer support can be invaluable, especially when facing technical issues or requiring assistance in optimising your site for speed. Always choose a host with 24/7 live chat so that you can have problems resolved ASAP.

Tips for Optimising WordPress Speed on Any Hosting Provider

While choosing the right hosting provider is essential, there are additional steps you can take to speed up WordPress sites.

1. Choosing a Lightweight Theme and Plugins

Selecting a lightweight and well-coded theme is vital. Bloated themes with excessive design elements can slow down your site. Opt for minimal themes designed for performance. I recommend Generate Press or Kadence. I used Generate Press to build this website and many client websites.

However, I also build websites using Kadence. Kadence is great for beginners because of the additional design options. Both are lightweight themes that use a block-based system inside the WordPress editor, not a heavy page builder like Elementor, Divi, Cornerstone, etc, that is used instead of the WordPress editor.

Likewise, be wise in your selection of plugins. Unnecessary or poorly optimised plugins can bloat your site and impede its speed. Stick to essential plugins and regularly audit them to ensure they don’t hinder performance.

2. Optimising Images and Media Files

Image optimization is a fundamental speed improvement tactic. Ideally, you should compress your images before uploading them to the WordPress media library using a tool like ImageOptim. You’ll have the option of more aggressive compressing this way. This is usually at the expense of quality though. Even though you might have more aggressive compression, you don’t want to compress an image so much that it starts to look blurry!

However, you can easily install a plugin instead like Imagify that automatically compresses and optimises new image uploads. You should also consider using modern image formats like WebP, which offer superior compression and quality for faster loading times. Imagify has the option to automatically create these.

Keep in mind that WebP will only have superior compression if you are using the smart compression setting. If you are using lossless compression, WebP often ends up heavier!

Note that original images are kept on your server in addition to the optimised version when using an optimisation plugin. You can also enable WebP image format, where another image is created and stored on your server. As you can see, using an image optimisation plugin can significantly increase disk usage compared to optimising images before uploading. But again, this isn’t a worry if you have enough disk space.

Imagify also has a smart compression setting that works really well. And if this is too aggressive, you can dial it back to the lossless compression setting that optimises without any loss of quality. I often use Imagify over ImageOptim, especially when server disk usage isn’t a worry. It’s also much easier to let a plugin automatically optimise images for you than manually optimising each image!

3. Enabling Caching & Optimisation Settings

Make sure your hosting provider has all important server-side caching options enabled. Note that object caching is really important for WordPress websites with WooCommerce.

If your server doesn’t do page caching at the server level, you can still enable page caching at the application level through a caching plugin. I recommend using WP Rocket. šŸ‘ˆ

I also recommend delaying nonessential javascript from loading until user interaction. i.e. it won’t load until a visitor starts browsing your website. This is great for third-party scripts, e.g. Google Analytics. But it’s also great for delaying Javascript from your theme and/or plugins. The best optimisation plugin for this is Perfmatters. šŸ‘ˆ

Perfmatters also has many other great optimisation features. e.g. using system fonts or making fonts load from your server instead of from Google (if using Google fonts). Brett and Brian from Perfmatters are also extremely helpful. They are usually happy to configure the plugin for you with optimal settings to suit your particular WordPress website.

4. Utilising a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If your hosting provider doesn’t offer a built-in CDN, consider integrating one. CDNs like Cloudflare, Fastly, StackPath, and KeyCDN can efficiently distribute your content worldwide, reducing latency and load times.

However, the best CDNs are ones that offer full-page HTML edge caching. StackPath and KeyCDN unfortunately don’t offer this. CloudFlare and Fastly do though. If you don’t use Rocket.net or Kinsta, full-page caching can be set up using a free CloudFlare plan + the Automatic Platform Optimisation (APO) add-on for $5/month, or using the Super Page Cache plugin that easily adds a cache all rule. OR, you can use Fastly, which is free if you don’t exceed their 500GB bandwidth limit (very unlikely).

Keep in mind that the free CloudFlare plan is nowhere near as good as CloudFlare Business or Enterprise. If you are considering using the APO add-on for your website or the Super Page Cache plugin, save yourself the hassle and use Rocket.net instead of your current host. You won’t regret it.

If using Fastly, you’ll need to configure it yourself using their WordPress plugin though. Also, if you go over their bandwidth limit, you’ll end up paying $50/month. However, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll use more than 500GB per month. If you are under this, using Fastly can be a great way to save on third-party CDN costs.

5. Regularly Updating WordPress and Plugins

Outdated software can be a security risk and a drag on performance. Regularly update your WordPress core, themes, and plugins to benefit from the latest enhancements and security fixes.

6. Database Optimisation

Regularly clean up your database to remove unnecessary data, such as spam comments, post revisions, and unused plugins. This can help reduce the database’s size and improve website speed.

You can use database optimisation plugins like WP-Optimize to streamline this process. It’s also worth learning how to clean up your wp_options table and autoload data. Learning to do this is important because even deactivated plugins can still load data every time a visitor loads a page. If you’ve never checked autoload data, you’ll probably be shocked at what is getting loaded. šŸ˜¬

Recommendation

The choice of hosting provider is a pivotal decision that profoundly impacts the speed and performance of your WordPress website. Rocket.net, Kinsta, and Cloudways all offer impressive solutions, but the best choice for you depends on your specific requirements, budget, and technical expertise.

Consider the needs of your website, the geographic location of your target audience, and your desired level of control over server resources when making your decision.

However, in my opinion, the overall best WordPress hosting for speed is Rocket.net. šŸ‘ˆ

Further reading: Best Cloud Hosting for WordPress

Need help speeding up your website? Check out my WordPress Speed Optimisation Service.

Max Jacobs - Author - www.maxjacobs.com.au
Author
Max Jacobs

My name is Max Jacobs and Iā€™m a Web Designer, SEO and Marketing Consultant based out of Geelong, Australia. Visit my about page.

Recommendations are based on my experience building, optimising and maintaining WordPress websites over the last 7 years. However, I don't claim to be an expert or pretend that I know everything. The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know. šŸ˜… I'll update these articles as I continue to learn though!

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