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Fastest web hosting: at the speed of light


In this article, I’ll cover 6 providers fastest web hosting solutions that throughout our testing managed to show great site loading speed and traffic handling abilities.

Speed is critical to your website’s success and it mainly goes down to user experience. A fast website is more likely to attract and retain more visitors than a sluggish one.

But what does it depend on? Mainly your hosting provider. However, many providers will claim that their services are the fastest. And that’s not always true, so, we put those claims to the test by conducting website loading speed and stress tests.

And, after careful observation and rounds of eliminations, I’ve finally whittled down the list to the top 6 providers that offer the fastest web hosting.

6 fastest web hosting providers: ranked

  1. Hostinger – best budget and speed-oriented web hosting
  2. SiteGround – performance-focused web hosting
  3. InMotion Hosting – the fastest web hosting for small businesses
  4. Liquid Web – fast and reliable managed VPS hosting
  5. WP Engine – speedy WordPress-exclusive web hosting
  6. Cloudways – fastest VPS hosting for businesses

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1. Hostinger – best affordable and speed-oriented web hosting overall

Hostinger
Features:Free SSL, CDN, LiteSpeed Web Server
TTFB:207ms
Page speed:936ms
Best for:The cheapest speed-oriented provider
Current deal:🔥Get 80% OFF Hostinger + extra 10% OFF with code BLACKFRIDAY!🔥

Hostinger has taken over the hosting world by storm. The provider seems to offer it all – cheap prices, resource-rich plans, and many optimizations to speed up your website.

Despite its inexpensive prices, Hostinger the host has a surprising number of speed-boosting features.

  • Hostinger makes it very easy to battle latency by offering 7 server locations. To decrease loading time, you can choose a server in Brazil, Indonesia, the UK, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Singapore, or the US.
  • The provider offers multiple Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) versions (from 5.2 to 8). By choosing the latest available version, you can slightly speed up your website.
  • LiteSpeed Web Server. With this technology, Hostinger’s server can handle more visitors with minimum resources. Plus, it’s also better equipped to tackle sudden spikes in traffic.
  • LiteSpeed Cache. It saves copies of your website or your website’s content for quicker delivery for returning visitors. With it, your website should see better page load times.

In terms of performance, it takes just 849ms for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and just 936ms for the fully loaded time. Both times are well below Goggle’s recommended maximum of 2.5s and 3s respectively.

As for the server’s responsiveness (TTFB), Hostinger comes in at 207ms, and it’s just as fast as I wish it to be.

Hostinger page loading speed

But, can Hostinger handle the traffic? To test this, I’ve sent 50 VUs to my test website... and Hostinger handles it like a champ.

Hostinger stress test

As the number of visitors increases (gray line,) the server response time (blue line) remains steady. There are a few spikes, but for the most part, it stays cool and unbothered by the increase in visitors.

Overall, I like Hostinger’s comprehensive speed-boosting features. Even more, I like that it aces all of my tests.

Hostinger Pricing

Hostinger has 3 plans, all of which include a free domain, an SSL, weekly backups, and at least 1 email account.

  • Premium ($2.49/mo) Includes 100 websites, 100GB SSD storage, and bandwidth for 25k monthly visits.
  • Business ($3.99/mo) comes with 200GB SSD storage, bandwidth for 100k monthly visits, free CDN, and daily backups.
  • Cloud Startup ($9.99/mo) It offers 300 websites, 200GB SSD storage space, 2CPUs cores, 3GB RAM, cache manager, free daily backups, and CDN.

Cheap, fast, and packed with performance boosters, Hostinger is truly one of the top options for those looking for the fastest web hosting.

Visit our Hostinger review to learn more about the features.

2. SiteGround – best in-house performance-optimizing tools

SiteGround
Features:Free SSL, CDN, daily backups, Ultrafast PHP
TTFB:90ms
Page speed:1.1s
Best for:Performance-centric provider for small business websites
Current deal:🔥Get SiteGround, now 86% OFF!🔥

SiteGround is a slightly more premium hosting provider. It is a huge name in the hosting industry, mostly known for its performance-centric approach to hosting.

Here are a few of the most noteworthy features:

  • Newest updates. You can choose the latest PHP versions, HTTP/2 and QUIC, TLS 1.3, and OCSP Stapling versions.
  • Ultrafast PHP. This feature decreases the server’s response time (TTFB) and the overall site’s performance.
  • SuperCacher helps to increase the number of hits your site can handle, as well as boost your website loading speed.
  • SiteGround Optimizer plugin helps to improve WordPress website's performance by allowing users to manage their cache settings, as well as includes tools like lazy loading, image and code optimizations.
  • 6 server locations to battle the latency. To increase the site’s loading time for your target audience you can either choose servers in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, or Singapore.
  • Free content delivery network (CDN) via Cloudflare integration. By activating CDN, you get to cache your website onto 23 other servers worldwide. This helps to minimize page loading time by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user.

Now if we’d look at SiteGround’s performance, its LCP took only 872ms, which is well below Google’s recommended limit of 2.5s. The fully loaded time came up only to 1.1s, which is barely a ⅓ of the recommended maximum of 3 seconds.

SiteGround’s server responsiveness (TTFB), is also great – just 90ms.

SiteGround page loading speed of built website

Our second test aims to see how SiteGround performs in a stress test. Therefore, we’ve sent 50 virtual users (VUs) its way.

SiteGround stress test

As the graph shows, the website’s speed (blue line) remains very consistent even with the increased number of VUs (gray line). Yes, there are a few bumps, but that’s pretty normal.

All in all, I’m very impressed with SiteGround’s performance. With its various speed-boosting features that return remarkable results, it’s no wonder that it lands among the fastest web hosting providers.

SiteGround Pricing

SiteGround has 3 shared hosting plans. And while SiteGround isn’t exactly cheap, it does offer excellent value for money. All the plans come with a range of features like free CDN, custom caching, and daily backups.

  • StartUp ($1.99/mo) includes 1 website, 10GB SSD storage, and can support 10 000 monthly visits.
  • GrowBig ($3.99/mo) offers unlimited websites, gives 20GB SSD storage, and up to 100 000 monthly visits. More so, it adds on-demand backups, ultrafast PHP, a collaboration tool, and staging.
  • GoGeek ($5.99/mo) includes unlimited websites, 40GB SSD storage, and 400 000 monthly visits. Additionally, on top of everything that GrowBig offers, this plan adds a white-label panel option and priority support.

All things considered, SiteGround fought hard for its spot among the fastest web hosting providers and won it fair and square. Excellent performance, driven by effective speed-boosting features, this is as good as it gets.

Visit our SiteGround review to learn more about the features.

3. InMotion Hosting – the fastest web hosting for small businesses

InMotion
Features:Free SSL, emails, security features, UltraStack
TTFB:140ms
Page speed:825ms
Best for:Fast and secure website hosting
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A veteran in the industry, InMotion Hosting is a popular choice for many – especially for those with small businesses. While the provider’s pricing is on the premium side, it makes up for it with speed and generous resources.

InMotion Hosting once boasted that it offers the “fastest shared hosting experience possible” and even promised enhanced performance and speed. Its biggest brag is perhaps its proprietary UltraStack system. UltraStack includes NGINX proxy caching, PHP FastCGI Process Manager (PHP-FPM), and Brotli Compression.

Here are a few more tools and measures the provider takes to guarantee speedy hosting:

  • N+2 or N+1 power systems,
  • BGP4 network to prevent downtime,
  • Linux-based SSD hosting,
  • N+1 on servers with RAID 5.

Now, this all sounds very technical. But, at the end of the day, all of the above software and hardware are meant to speed your website up. So, of course, we ran some tests to find out if InMotion’s brags have any substance to them or just hot air.

And, our testing proved that the host has every right to be confident. Its LCP takes only 663ms, while the fully loaded time took barely 825ms. At the same time, its server responsiveness was also very good – just 140ms.

Testing fully built InMotion Hosting website's loading speed with GTmetrix

Lastly, to really test InMotion’s limits, I ran a stress test, where I’ve sent 50 visitors to my website.

InMotion Hosting stress test

And as a result, InMotion smoothly handles the traffic. There are some weak spots, but even as the number of visitors (gray line) rises, the site’s response time (blue line) remains largely unaffected.

Overall, InMotion has impressed with its speed and ability to handle some heavy traffic. Fast and reliable, I have absolutely no complaints.

InMotion Hosting Pricing

InMotion has 4 shared hosting plans and all offer generous resources and features that include a free SSL certificate, free email accounts, free migration, and unlimited bandwidth.

  • Core ($2.29/mo) includes 2 websites, 100 GB SSD storage, and 10 email accounts.
  • Launch ($4.99/mo) allows connecting unlimited websites and gives unlimited NVMe SSD storage and email accounts.
  • Power ($4.99/mo) everything from the Launch plan, plus advanced caching.
  • Pro ($12.99/mo) everything from the Power plan, plus a SLA uptime guarantee of 99.99% and dedicated IP.

In brief, InMotion Hosting’s pricing is rather high unless you only need a small personal website. But, that said, the provider is very generous with its server resources, which makes it a good investment – especially for small businesses.

Visit our InMotion Hosting review to learn more about the features.

4. Liquid Web – fast and reliable managed VPS hosting

LiquidWeb
Features:Managed VPS, Cloudflare CDN, powerful bare servers
TTFB:186ms
Page speed:1.2s
Best for:Performance-oriented provider for mission-critical projects
Current deal:🔥Get up to 73% OFF Liquid Web VPS!🔥

Liquid Web is a premium managed VPS provider that is known for its good performance and powerful servers that can handle mission-critical projects.

Here are a few of its features that are worth mentioning:

  • Liquid Web is known for powerful servers. Even its bare VPS servers are very fast and responsive. And with additional speed-optimizing features, they will be even faster.
  • For a faster website’s loading time, Liquid Web includes a free Cloudflare CDN. This will make your site load faster for all your audiences all over the world.
  • To battle latency, Liquid Web offers 4 data center options (3 in the US and 1 in Europe) to choose from.
  • The host’s performance is also very reliable, as it comes with a 100% uptime guarantee backed by SLA. This means that you can expect your site to be up and live at all times.

As for our testing, Liquid Web’s LCP took 1.s, which is not even a half of 2.5s – Google’s recommended limit. Its fully loaded time also took just 1.2s (a recommended maximum for this is 3s).

Now in terms of Liquid Web’s server responsiveness (TTFB), it’s also good – just 186ms (anything below 200ms is considered very speedy).

Liquid-Web-page-load-speed

Our second test is meant to see how many simultaneous users on the website the provider can handle. Therefore, we’ve started the test by sending 50 virtual users (VUs) its way.

Liquideweb  stress test

And Liquid Web handled full 50 VUs without breaking a sweat. The website’s speed (blue line) experienced only a few jumps and there was no failed request.

As a whole, Liquid Web’s performance is speedy and reliable. The provider’s servers are also cluster-free and even without many speed-optimizing features it is very well suited for larger projects or sites.

Liquid Web Pricing

Liquid Web has 4 managed VPS plans with prices ranging from $25/mo to $105/mo. More so, by paying some extra, you can get Bundle & Save! packages with additional features.

Regardless, all plans come with a control panel of your choice (either InterWorx, cPanel, or Plesk), SSL certificates, Cloudflare CDN, automated backups, and strong server-level security.

  • 2GB RAM ($25.00/mo) includes 2 GB RAM, 2 CPUs, and 40GB SSD disk space.
  • 4GB RAM ($35.00/mo) comes with 4 GB RAM, 4CPUs, and 100GB SSD disk space.
  • 8GB RAM ($45.00/mo) offers 8 GB RAM, 8 CPUs, and 150GB SSD disk space.
  • 16GB RAM ($105.00/mo) includes 16 GB RAM, 8 CPUs, and 200GB SSD disk space.

In sum, Liquid Web is on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, that being said, the provider is very speed-oriented and offers good server resources, which makes it a good option for online businesses.

Visit our Liquid Web review to learn more about the features.

5. WP Engine – speedy WordPress-exclusive web hosting

WP Engine
Features:Free SSL, CDN, managed WordPress, Google Cloud, and AWS servers
TTFB:140ms
Page speed:1.1s
Best for:Premium and fast managed WordPress hosting
Current deal:🔥Get up to 25% OFF WP Engine + 3 months free!🔥

If you’re looking for the fastest managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine should be at the top of your list. Despite its premium pricing, the WordPress-exclusive provider has no trouble charming plenty of users with its exceptional speed and nifty features.

Here are some of WP Engine’s most notable features:

  • WP Engine uses Google Cloud and AWS servers, which means that you’re getting only the newest and fastest hardware for your site.
  • To battle latency, the provider offers 20 data center options all over the world to choose from.
  • To enhance your site’s performance, WP Engine includes a free CDN. This way, you are sure that your content is spread out all over the world for quick and easy access.
  • Since the provider specializes in managed WordPress hosting, it offers various customizations and automatic updates for your WordPress site to guarantee the fastest web hosting possible.

As for testing, WP Engine’s LCP only took 938ms, which lands you in Google’s good books since the search engine considers anything up to 2.5s to be good.

Meanwhile, my WP Engine test site’s TTFB and fully loaded time come in at 140ms and 1.1s, respectively.

WP Engine's fully build website loading speed test

However, WP Engine’s cheapest plan isn’t powerful enough to tackle 50 VUs. To be fair, the provider clearly stated that the plan is only supposed to support up to 25,000 visitors.

The test itself proved that WP Engine is capable of handling 30 VUs (around 30,000 monthly visits) perfectly fine.

WP Engine stress test

Here, the blue line (speed) remains flat and consistent – which is what we want – as the gray line (number of visitors) goes up. Plus, the red line (failures) is exactly where it should be: rock bottom.

Ultimately, WP Engine ticks all the right boxes when it comes to performance. Fast and capable of handling traffic, this is one for the win column.

WP Engine Pricing

WP Engine has 4 pre-packaged plans. It also has a custom plan where the price will depend on the customizations.

Although WP Engine prices are considerably higher than its peers, that’s the price that you have to pay for premium features like Evercache, dev/stage/prod environments, daily backups, and GeoTarget.

  • Startup ($22.50/mo) includes 1 site, and comes with 10GB storage, 50GB bandwidth, and supports up to 25,000 visits per month.
  • Professional ($44.25/mo) offers 3 sites, 15GB storage, 200GB bandwidth, and 75,000 visits per month.
  • Growth ($86.25/mo) comes with 20GB storage, 200GB bandwidth and can host 10 websites with up to 100,000 monthly visits.
  • Scale ($217.50/mo) includes 50GB storage, 500GB bandwidth, 30 websites, and supports 400,000 monthly visits.

All things considered, WP Engine, with its outstanding performance, is a gem for those who are willing to spend on fast web hosting.

Visit our WP Engine review to learn more about the features.

6. Cloudways – fastest VPS hosting for businesses

Cloudways
Features:Free SSL, many server and location choices, built-in cache
TTFB:155ms
Page speed:914ms
Best for:Fast VPS hosting for bigger projects
Current deal:🔥Get up to 25% OFF Cloudways!🔥

Cloudways isn’t a mainstream name, but it has been steadily gaining popularity. A rather unique provider, it sets up and manages servers from top VPS hosting providers.

Cloudways is no slacker when it comes to performance-accelerating features:

  • All servers have dedicated resources,
  • SSD drives and PHP-FPM to reduce page load times,
  • Built-in caches where you can choose from options like Memcached, NGINX, Redis, or Varnish to speed things up.
  • You can choose from a wide variety of data center locations. Choices depend on the server provider you choose. The choice goes from 8 to 20.

And, my tests reveal that these features are working hard and aren’t just there for decoration.

For LCP, our test site took 759ms. Not the best on this list but still in the top 3, which is quite a feat considering the caliber of the providers on the list.

Plus, I’m also happy that the TTFB is well below 200ms – only 155m, while the fully loaded time is a speedy 914ms.

Cloudways fully built website loading speed test with GTmetrix

Cloudways’ final hurdle is a stress test to see how well it handles increased traffic of 50VUs.

Cloudways stress test

The blue line (representing speed) remains almost entirely straight even as the gray line (visitors) goes up. There are just a few minor swings but this is perfectly normal. Regardless, it’s one of the most flawless stress tests I have ever seen.

Overall, Cloudways’ performance is textbook. Fast, stable, and exceptional handling of traffic – I’d give the provider an A+.

Cloudways Pricing

Cloudways has dozens of plans. The cheapest one costs $7.50/mo, and the price can go up to as high as $5000/mo. Here are the cheapest plans of each server provider:

  • DigitalOcean ($7.50/mo) 1 Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD, and 8 server locations.
  • Vultr ($9.00/mo) 1 Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 25GB SS, and 17 server locations.
  • Linode ($8.25/mo) 1 Core Processor, 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD, and 11 server locations.
  • AWS ($27.38/mo) 1vCPU Processor, 2GB RAM, 20GB SSD, and 20 server locations.
  • Google Cloud ($24.88/mo) 1vCPU Processor, 1.7GB RAM, 20GB SSD, and 18 server locations.

While the price point is a little steep, remember that you’re paying for convenience. You spend a little more for Cloudways to tackle things like setup, deployment, and management of servers on your behalf. Considering the complexity of this all, that’s not a bad price to pay.

All in all, Cloudways brings a lot to the table – especially its swift and stable performance. If you’re willing to pay, it’s one of the best options for the fastest web hosting.

Visit our Cloudways review to learn more about the features.

Why web hosting speed matter?

Now, there’s a reason why so many providers are so quick to claim that they’re the fastest in the market. This is because they’re well aware that speed has far-reaching effects when it comes to the success of a website. Among the most affected ones are search engine ranking and user experience.

Search engine ranking

Search engines have long made it clear the importance of speed. In fact, in mid-June 2021, Google started using page experience as part of its ranking systems. And, speed plays an important role in page experience.

Additionally, even back in 2010, Google said that it considers website load speed when ranking a website. Plus, in 2018, the search engine launched its speed update, which makes page speed a ranking factor for mobile searches, too.

Here’s what you can take away: you might have a killer website with killer content, but there’s a huge possibility it isn’t going to get any eyeballs if it’s slow.

User experience

User experience (UX) is basically how a user interacts with and experiences your website. It takes into consideration several elements, including speed.

To put it simply, a website with good UX will provide visitors with what they’re looking for quickly. As for the definition of “quickly,” well, it’s quite literally in the blink of an eye. Anything longer, and your site will see a high bounce rate.

This is the percentage of visitors that left (or bounced) without taking any action. Obviously, this is no good as you want your visitors to click on a link, fill out a contact form, view other pages, and more.

100msRetail customer engagement increased by 5.2% when load time was decreased by 100ms.
Walmart’s revenue is up 1% for every 100ms improvement in speed.
400msYahoo’s traffic increased by 9% when it reduced its page load time by 400ms.
1s1s delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%.
The BBC loses an additional 10% of users for every extra second it takes to load.
Amazon would lose $1.6 billion/year if its site speed slowed down by 1s.
2s 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2s or less.
3s53% of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than 2s to load.
5sThe first 5s of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates.

Now that it’s crystal clear why speed matters, let’s talk about what to look out for when it comes to speed and what exactly is considered fast.

Which factors indicate your website’s speed?

When you’re searching for the fastest website hosting provider, there are a few things you want to keep your eyes peeled for. Among the most important ones are Large Contentful Paint (LCP), time to first byte (TTFB), and fully loaded time.

Let’s dive a little deeper and take a closer look at each of them.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a measure of how long it takes to load and display the largest chunk of content to visitors. The largest chunk is usually text blocks or images, such as a hero image or even a video.

Earlier, I mentioned that Google is using page experience as part of its ranking system. Well, LCP is one of the 3 Core Web Vitals that affects page experience.

Core web vitals

So, naturally, LCP has a hand in deciding your search engine optimization (SEO) performance.

What’s a good LCP score, you may ask? According to Google:

  • Everything up to 2.5s is a good result. This is what you should strive for.
  • Anything between 2.5s and 4s could do with improvement.
  • Anything above 4s is poor.

Simply put, if you’ll keep your files on the light end, you should have no problems with large LCP.

Largest Contentful Paint recommended times

Time to first byte (TTFB)

TTFB measures the provider’s server’s responsiveness. In simple words, fast TTFB means that the user’s request to open a website has been delivered and recognized by the server in a speedy manner.

There are a few things that could impact this measure:

  • If the server is on the older side, it is very likely that its performance (a.k.a. responsiveness) will be slower.
  • At the same time, large TTFB could also mean that the visitors are far away from the server, where the website is stored. This means that the data has to travel a long distance to and back from the server. And that takes time.

Ideally, you want your TTFB to be below 200ms. Anything between that and 600ms is still solid. But, if you’re looking at close to 1s, you’ll need some improvement fast.

Ideally, you want your TTFB to be below 200ms. Anything between that and 600ms is still solid. But, if you’re looking at close to 1s, you’ll need some improvement fast.

Fully Loaded Time (FLT)

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, this is how long it takes for your site to fully load. It’s really as simple as it sounds. Once the little circle at the top of the search engine stops spinning, that’s it. Your whole content is ready to be consumed.

Anything that fits within 3 seconds is considered a very good result. Google has stated that websites that load faster than in 3s have better chances of ranking higher on its search engine’s result page. This makes it easier for newcomers to discover your content if they’re not searching for your website specifically.

All in all, even if you have a great website full of entertaining animations and amazing content, if it fails to load fast, visitors will bounce. So make sure that you keep your content light and as close to your target audience, and you should be just fine.

Fastest web hosting: final recommendations

While every provider out there will shout from the rooftop how fast and how powerful they are, only a few will actually carry through with that. However, after long and in-depth testing of many, 6 held up against the challenge and proved to be just as speedy as they claim.

So, here is a quick recap of each provider’s pros:

  • Hostinger is the cheapest shared hosting provider with many performance-oriented features.
  • SiteGround is a WordPress-centric provider offering a bunch of performance-enhancing tools.
  • InMotion Hosting is the fastest shared hosting provider for small businesses.
  • Liquid Web is a premium fully managed VPS provider for mission-critical projects.
  • WP Engine is the best WordPress-focused provider for the fastest web hosting.
  • Cloudways is a VPS-focused provider that offers speed, flexibility, and stability.

Fastest web hosting FAQs

Comments

Linda
Linda
prefix 1 year ago
hello! My shop have clients from Asia, is web hosting gonna be fast if based in america or europe?
Miglė Šeikytė
Miglė Šeikytė
prefix 1 year ago
Hello Linda!

That's a very good question. Due to the fact that information has to travel to the origin server (where your website is hosted) and back to the user, loading time may be short or long. It all depends on the distance the information has to travel. If your site is hosted in America, local visitors will experience faster website loading than the ones from Asia.

If your main audience resides close by to your origin server, but you still have a significant portion of users in Asia, I suggest you use CDN (content delivery network). This will save copies of your website on a global network of servers. At the same time, if your main audience resides in Asia, you'll be better of opting for a provider like Hostinger or SiteGround that have servers in Singapore.

Hope this helps :)
Kay
Kay
prefix 1 year ago
hey! thanks for fast web hosting suggestions, so helpful! x
Vicky Hartman
Vicky Hartman
prefix 1 year ago
I really liked your intro! It's true, every hosting service will say they are the best and have the best speeds. It's really hard to know which is actually the best. I have an online shop with quite a lot of traffic now and looking to move, the question is where: Cloudways or Hostinger
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