One of the most important things to look at when evaluating a hosting company is speed—are they fast or slow? Are their servers quick and snappy, or slow and outdated? Not all hosts are equal in this way—some take great care of their servers, constantly applying updates and tuning them—while others, well, just don’t, making it difficult to figure out who is the fastest web host.
To make things worse, bad hosting companies typically don’t do much to prevent abuse on their servers—so the bad guys can run wild, hogging resources and bandwidth from everyone else. This means that while they’re spinning up the server to spam people, your site is slowed down (if you’re on a shared hosting plan).
So, how the heck do you figure out who has the fastest web hosting? Well, that’s where we come in! Instructify has taken our top 10 hosting companies and tested them for a period of 6 months to determine:
- Who has the fastest average load time?
- Who has the fastest loading website (in WordPress)?
- Who has the best “worst time?” (i.e., whose slowest load time was the best of the bunch)
- Who has the best uptime rating?
To figure all of this out, we set up website monitoring using Dotcom-Monitor, one of the best companies in the business for testing. We pinged the sites every 5 minutes for 6 months straight, gathering thousands of data points just for you!
Something we wanted to quickly mention—if you do buy hosting from any of the providers tested her using our links, we might receive a small kickback commission. But our tests are straightforward and unbiased, so don’t worry—we just like to be up front about everything!
Before we get into the nitty gritty page speed data, let’s answer a few common questions about web hosting and speed…(click here if you want to jump to the data).
Why the Heck Do I Need a Fast Site Anyway?
You might be thinking “who the heck cares whether a hosting company is fast or not, do I really need a site that’s fast anyway?” Yes—yes you do. In fact, even search engines are beginning to demote sites in the search engine result pages when they are slow. There are really 4 main reasons you want to have a fast website:
1) Website Visitors Expect Speed Nowadays
Gone are the old days of 1990’s dial-up Internet, where websites could sit and load for a minute or two and people actually had the patience for that. Nowadays, everyone has a blazing fast smartphone in their pocket with a broadband LTE connection, and they do not have patience for slow-loading websites. If your site doesn’t load in under 3 seconds, you’re not even measuring up to the general Internet.
2) Search Engines Expect Speed
While it’s true that website visitors expect speed nowadays, search engines expect it too! Almost all search engines place a premium on speed now, which means that if your site is slow you may be demoted below faster websites, which means that people may not be able to find your site. So, it’s no longer just about making the user happy—search engines have realized that what’s good for the user is good for everyone, so they actively look to list websites that are fast and demote websites that are slow.
3) A Faster Website = More Conversions
Think about this scenario—you’ve opened up two browser windows trying to buy something and visited two different sites. Site #1 has a shopping cart and it’s running slow, and it’s difficult to check out and enter your information because the site keeps freezing and running slowly. Site #2 is really speedy, and it’s easy to get everything added to your cart and the site is just waiting for you to check out.
Now, which site are you going to buy from? Obviously Site #2 is the winner here—no one would wait and wait for Site #1 to load just to buy the same thing. A faster website = more conversions over time, every time.
4) People Complain About Slow Websites
In this day and age on the Internet, people complain when they aren’t happy and it’s easy to do. Anyone can open up social media websites like Twitter or Facebook and complain about an experience they had with a bad website—and they often do. There are even websites online that are dedicated to complaining about other websites! So, in order to keep people from complaining about your site, it’s imperative that it loads fast. The last thing you want is a slow website that people don’t like, and to search the web for your brand only to find that people have been complaining about how bad and slow your website is all over the Internet.
5) People Bounce From Slow Websites and Don’t Come Back
The thing about slow websites is that people like to leave them—and never come back. There are just too many options nowadays online for blogs, shopping, and pretty much any type of site that you want—so if your website is slow, chances are that your visitors will leave and not come back.
If you’re trying to build an audience for your blog, or a customer base for your ecommerce website, you have to have a fast loading site—it directly impacts whether or not people want to stay on your site, and whether or not they want to come back. In 2020, there’s really no way around this—if you want to have a good website, it needs to be fast.
Fastest Web Hosting – The Raw Data
If you look at the table below, you can see the hosts that we put to the test and the metrics that we used for evaluation. There are four columns for results: average page load time, worst page load time, best page load time, and uptime percentage. All of these results were gathered in 5 minute intervals over the course of 6 months. Each of these websites was a plain WordPress site with the default theme installed. Let’s look a little closer at the metrics…
Average Page Load Time
Exactly like it sounds, we used this metric to measure the average page load time of the home page over the course of 6 months. We used Dotcom-Monitor to check the sites every 5 minutes, and then we averaged these times over six months to come up with a single value.
Worst Page Load Time
This, as it sounds, was the worst page load time that a site incurred during the 6 month testing period. Some of these values may seem quite large, but understand that this was the worst page load time over a long period (6 months). However, some hosts did not have a lengthy page load time.
Best Page Load Time
This was again, as it sounds, the best page load time over the course of 6 months as measured on each site. Some sites had pretty low page load times where others had pretty fast page load times.
This statistic is a figure that calculates the percentage of time the site was found to be online over the course of six months. Some systems, phenomenally, didn’t have an outage and were at 100% uptime, although this is a bit rare as even the best hosts have occasional downtime.
Without further ado, here are the numbers…
|Host||Uptime Percentage||Best Page Load Time||Worst Page Load Time||Average Page Load Time|
So, Who’s the Fastest Web Host?
With an uptime percentage of 99.89%, a fastest page load time of 1.89s, a slowest page load time of 8.92s, and an average page load time of 3.16s, Bluehost wins our vote for the top hosting company in this comparison.
When it comes to our testing and seat of the pants meter, Bluehost is always consistently in our top three, so we’re confident in recommending them. With our exclusive Bluehost coupon, they’re only $2.95/month for some of the best WordPress support and arguably the best value in hosting that you’ll find.
Of all the sites we tested, SiteGround consistently put up some of the fastest numbers. We’re not surprised as they have some great caching features and we’ve never really had trouble with a SiteGround-hosted site being down when we’ve had to work on it. They are consistent, reliable, and have amazing support. For only $3.95/month, it’s really almost impossible to beat SiteGround for the money.
#3 WP Engine
As a premium WordPress host, we’d expect WP Engine to be near the top of any hosting comparison, and that was also the case here. They consistently have excellent performance, numbers, and do a great job with optimizing their servers in order to host some of the best-performing WordPress sites online. We’ve used them for a variety of websites and can seriously recommend them. Yes, they’re a bit more expensive ($35/mo) but they are well worth it if you want one of the best experiences that you can find hosting WordPress.