I know you are here looking for the fastest WordPress hosting. To keep it simple, this won’t be a long list, I will just include the top 3 fastest WordPress hosting companies. This comparison will be purely based on speed and affordability.
The fastest WordPress hosting companies are:
The above three hostings were picked based on many criteria and also years of my experience testing these web hosts. Kinsta and WP Engine are the fastest hosting companies out there using premium pricing. I didn’t want this list to be too expensive for beginners and medium level blogger, that’s why I have included Siteground as its the fastest WordPress hosting in the lower price category. It easily beats giant hosting companies like Inmotion hosting, Bluehost and HostGator in its price category.
More about this is explained in my Bluehost Vs SiteGround comparison.
SiteGround starts at $3.95/mo compared to $30/mo with Kinsta and Bluehost.
So, this list will be suitable for beginner, medium or advanced level website owners.
But, which among them is the fastest WordPress hosting? We did some tests by hosting a real website with these three hostings.
Here are the details of these websites.
We did several steps to ensure this test is as fair as possible. Such as
- We used the starter plan of Kinsta and WP Engine which costs $30/mo. The same technology is used for the higher plan of Kinsta and WP Engine compared to lower plans, the only major difference is storage and the number of website files allowed. Since we won’t be using much of storage, that’s why we choose the lower plan.
- On the other hand, we used SiteGround’s higher tier GoGeek shared plan which costs $11.95/mo. This was important as SiteGround specifically states that a higher plan offers better performance compared to lower plans. And this plan renews at $30/mo after the initial billing cycle of 1,2 or 3 years, whichever you choose while buying initially.
- One of the major factors responsible for the site speed is latency, which is the distance between the origin server and the visitor. So, we hosted all three websites in one of their data centers in the Western USA. This was important to avoid discrepancies in data.
- We hosted the same exact theme into all three test websites. This theme was heavy and has a size of 1.2 MB.
How did we test the fastest web host?
We did three tests in total.
- Tested the individual load time of the test websites for all the three test websites.
- Measured the load time while sending 5000 visitors to those webpage in one minute. This will show how fast these websites will respond when there are 100’s of visitors coming to your site at the same time.
- These three hostings come with CDN. More about CDN can be read through my MAX CDN Vs Cloudflare breakdown review. So we tested the efficiency of the CDN by measuring the load time of this test website from different location around the world
So you know now what we are doing and how we plan to measure the speed. Now let’s get to the main part. Its result time.
Kinsta is the Fastest WordPress Host right now.
Yes, you heard it right. Kinsta is the fastest WordPress hosting, followed by SiteGround and WP Engine. Their speed was 1.5x higher than SiteGround and 2x higher than WP Engine. That’s really a huge win and an excellent benchmark for other hostings. I didn’t think the test would be so one-sided, in the end, Kinsta was an easy choice as you will see from the below test.
This is the test result for the individual speed test for these hostings.
As you can see, the webpage hosted at Kinsta loaded under a second at 962ms. That’s really fast!
On the other hand, SiteGround and WP Engine loaded slightly slower than Kinsta, However, anything under 2S is still faster than many hosting companies.
We didn’t stop there, we studied another metric called TTFB, which measures the time from the start of your browser request until the time that the browser receives the first byte of the response from the hosting server. This is very important as a better hosting here can save you around 0.3-0.5s.
According to Google,
TTFB < 200 = Great.
TTFB 200-600 = Standard
TTFB >600 = Bad.
In other words, Kinsta is super fast considering their TTFB was just 75ms. In contrast, WP Engine and SiteGround were way behind Kinsta in terms of TTFB, however, they were still in the average category.
Which hosting is faster under high stress?
Now coming to the second test, we wanted to see how they loaded when there were thousands of visitors thrown at them at the same time. Considering that all three hostings are top hostings and are in the premium pricing category, we sent around 5000 visitors in one minute using the Loader.io cloud testing tool.
Here are the results.
As shown above, the website hosted on Kinsta was receiving 87 clients/sec at 65ms. They loaded consistently at this rate through this test. In total, we sent 5000 clients to that test website in a minute.
Why is Kinsta so fast?
The answer is Google Cloud Platform. Kinsta was an average host until 2016 when they finally shifted their infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform. Ever since their growth was unprecedented. They use a premium tier network of Google Cloud Platform, the same network which Google uses for its entities such as Youtube, Gmail, Google Maps, etc,.
In the blog post about Kinsta, Google proclaimed Kinsta as the fastest growing WordPress host in the USA and Europe. Google hardly makes any statement about any web host.
On the other hand, WP Engine also uses Google Cloud Platform in addition to AWS. However, they are not as transparent as Kinsta when it comes to disclosing if they use Standard tier or the premium tier. But I believed that WP Engine uses the standard tier network of GCP seeing the difference in speed of Kinsta and WP Engine.
As you can see below, the Premium tier network is around 1.5x faster than the standard tier network.
Standard tier delivers traffic from GCP servers to the internet over transit (ISP) networks instead of Google’s network. The premium tier delivers traffic over Google’s well-provisioned and reliable global network. That’s why we see this difference in the speed of Kinsta and WP Engine.
SiteGround is the fastest host for beginner to medium level blogger
As you can see from the above results, SiteGround loaded quite slower than Kinsta and slightly faster than WP Engine.
Does this mean SiteGround is not fast?
No. SiteGround caters to a different audience. Their pricing starts at $3.95/mo and the website which we used for testing costs just $9.95/mo compared to Kinsta’s $30/mo. Moreover, SiteGround plans give more storage, bandwidth, and websites compared to Kinsta and WP Engine.
What do you get with SiteGround’s $9.95/mo plan?
- 30 GB storage.
- Unlimited websites.
- Unlimited Email accounts.
- 100,000 visitors/mo.
What do you get with Kinsta’s $30/mo plan?
- 5GB storage.
- 1 website
- No email accounts
- 20,000 visits.
What do you get with WP Engine’s $30/mo plan?
- 10 GB storage.
- 1 website
- No email accounts.
- 25,000 visits.
I hope you can clearly see the difference in plan offering by SiteGround, Kinsta and WP Engine.
That said, when you compare SiteGround with other hosting similar to its price, they are 2x faster than all of them. I have compared SiteGround’s speed with two other popular provider Bluehost and HostGator on the following posts.
What about WP Engine’s speed compared to Kinsta and SiteGround?
As I have said earlier, WP Engine falls into the premium category and is priced similar to Kinsta. They are not faster than SiteGround. Considering the hefty price compared to SiteGround, they don’t offer that extra performance we were looking for.
WP Engine uses Google Cloud Platform and AWS for hosting their clients. However, users don’t get to choose the provider, it’s assigned automatically. WP Engine claim they have 22 data center locations, but only 3-4 data centers are available for lower-level plans, which are the USA, UK, and Belgium. Other data center cost addon fee which can add cost up to $100/mo.
Moreover, as said earlier, we believe that they use Google’s standard tier network and not the premier one.
Which Host is fast around the world?
In all the above tests, we measured the load time from the USA. However, we thought the need to test these hosting companies from around the world as many of you might be getting visitors all over the world instead of just the US.
We used a tool called UPTREND to measure the load time of these test websites from all over the world. Here are the results.
|Location||SiteGround Load time||Kinsta Load time||WP Engine Load time|
Kinsta and WP Engine were neck to neck when it comes to website speed from all over the world. This is due to them offering a free premium CDN with every web hosting package. CDN stores your website files in different servers across the world for faster delivery of content to the visitor’s browser.
In contrast, SiteGround offers only the basic version of Cloudflare CDN. That is why their speed is not that great all over the world when compared to Kinsta and WP Engine.
A final word on the winner
We have analyzed these three web hosting companies’ speed from all the angles that are possible. As you can clearly see, Kinsta is easily the fastest web hosting available in the market by a large margin thanks to its utilization of Google’s premium tier network. As a result, I am in the process of shifting my host from SiteGround to Kinsta due to their excellent speed.
While WP Engine is fast, it could have done much better considering that both Kinsta and WP Engine fall into the same price category. In some tests, SiteGround was able to outperform WP Engine even though WP Engine was 3X expensive than SiteGround.
On the other hand, SiteGround surprised us with its excellent speed. They are the fastest web host in their price category.
To sum it up, I would say Kinsta is the fastest web host overall, whereas SiteGround is the fastest web host in the shared hosting category. Your choice should ultimately depend on your budget and website requirements.