WordPress hosting comparison 2020 with over 250 speed test results. We also have tips on WordPress performance, security and support in store and show you what WordPress hosting should really be about!
For the comparison we have taken a closer look at the following providers:
- STRATO (Parent company United Internet)
- 1&1 (Parent company United Internet)
- DomainFactory (Parent company GoDaddy)
- host Europe (Parent company GoDaddy)
and smaller suppliers such as:
If one looks at various hosting comparisons, the following criteria are often used for comparison:
- Number of databases
- Number of e-mail accounts
- Number of GB storage space
- PHP Memory Limit
These criteria can be wonderfully compared and displayed in a table. The providers have reacted to this and are not letting themselves be taken in by initial lure offers and setup fees for automated processes to reduce the monthly basic fees. Offers with 100 GB and 1,000 e-mail mailboxes and databases are not uncommon.
The big masses end up with two corporations
Sadly, the large mass of small and medium-sized customers (SMEs) fall for this type of comparison, which is why the beginning of a WordPress hosting at STRATO and 1&1 is starting. These two brands of the United Internet group therefore host 60 percent of all WordPress-websites.
The next big American company is GoDaddy with the brands Host Europe and DomainFactory with an estimated 30 percent market share. The rest of the market is divided among smaller suppliers.
Don't worry about storage space and databases
To WordPress 50 MB are required for installation. Very often 2 GB are needed for a WordPress installation is quite sufficient. Even larger blogs with sometimes 1,500 articles only come to 1.5 GB. Only three percent of our customers need storage space that is more than 5 GB.
WordPress itself has exactly one database! Only in exceptional cases can it happen that an additional database is required for another application independent of WordPress is needed. And the same applies to the e-mail inboxes: As a rule, a person in the company has no more than two e-mail inboxes.
For all the offers we have looked at, the number of databases, e-mail mailboxes and storage space is absolutely sufficient. You can therefore remove these criteria from your comparison.
RAM and PHP memory limit as a useful criterion
Apart from the price, the only sensible criterion in my above enumeration is actually the PHP memory limit. In any case, 128 MB PHP memory limit is required. For WooCommerce installations it should be 256 MB. The PHP memory limit describes the maximum usable memory per request to the server. The more plugins and the more memory they use, the higher the PHP memory limit needs to be adjusted upwards. But be careful: Simply increasing the value is not a guarantee for a stable site !
Useful criteria for a comparison
From our point of view, a WordPress hosting comparison should be conducted according to the following aspects:
- Time saving
Admittedly, these criteria are sometimes difficult to grasp. This is especially true for laypersons who "only" WordPress-users and not technicians. This is exactly why the WordPress hoster comparisons at best give a subjective assessment of performance. Concrete performance measurements are unfortunately a rarity.
This is how hosting -Prices are created
Of course, price should play a role in the selection of a provider. However, in the hosting market, word has only got around among the WordPress professionals how the price is determined.
The following example hosting illustrates the universal principle. For this it only needs the costs for a server, its CPU cores and the number of web pages.
Low cost = Low performance
hosting Example 1 - Low cost
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Web pages on the server = 500
- Cost per website: €350 / 500 websites = 70 cents per website
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 500 websites = 4.8% of a CPU core
Result: The hosting price is favourable. A margin of 10% is targeted in the hosting market. The net price for this hosting would therefore be €7. To bring it to €3.50 one would upload 500 more websites to the server.
hosting Example 2 - Double performance
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Only half the web pages on the server = 250
- Cost per website: €350 / 250 websites = €1.40 per website
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 250 websites = 9.6% of a CPU core
Result: The performance per site has doubled, but so have the costs. Conversely, costs can be halved very easily. But at the same time the performance is halved!
Hosting Example 3 - Unlimited sites
What would our example look like if every site operator could upload unlimited websites to his hosting? We assume that each operator runs on average "only" two sites on one hosting package.
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Twice as many websites on the server = 1,000
- Cost per package: €350 / 1000 websites = 35 cents per package
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 1,000 websites = 2.4% of a CPU core
Result: Each website has only half the CPU power, which was already low.
hosting Example 4 - Maximum performance
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Web pages on the server = 72
- Cost per package: €350 / 72 websites = €4.90 per package
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 72 websites = 33% of a CPU core
Result: Each web page has almost seven times as much processor power available compared to the inexpensive example 1!
"In the end, the performance of a dynamic site depends on how much CPU and RAM it has available."
Only very few WordPress hosting suppliers are transparent
This universal principle is also the reason why RAIDBOXES is still significantly faster than 1&1, although certain software elements, such as NGINX server instead of Apache server, have already been copied.
You RAIDBOXES can't buy a ticket from (STARTER plan or higher) the guaranteed resources of a CPU core, as well as 2 GB RAM memory. This is one of the reasons why WordPress -professionals come to the conclusion that the offer is favourable. Laymen often do not realize this, because they cannot estimate the offered performance.
Praise for ALL-INKL
According to our research, there is only one provider in Germany who communicates this transparently: ALL-INKL.com. Here you start in the smallest package with 99 other customers on one server and in the largest package with 29 other customers on one server.
Since each customer can run up to 100 sites on the package, the exact relation between server capacity and websites is still unclear. Nevertheless, other providers can take an example.
Otherwise the relationship is not mentioned with any other provider. Not infrequently even the main memory is completely concealed.
What is the right price for my WordPress hosting?
In principle, this question cannot be answered in a general way. In America, for example, the average price for WordPress hosting at $30 (net) per month. Especially the Spanish are rather price sensitive here.
Exactly for this reason, the general provider motto is: "Better many websites on one server and a lower price for it". Prices therefore generally start at 3 Euro (net).
€300 for a WordPress website - How can that be?
So how can it be that many companies also pay €300 (net) for a single WordPress website? Logically this is related to the business value of a website. A large WooCommerce Shop with 100 orders per hour wants the maximum power, because ten orders less per hour also means a good €300 less net turnover per hour(!).
Conversely, friends of the private travel blog will forgive it if the photos load for almost 10 seconds when they are accessed. Here, performance plays a rather subordinate role, as it is not associated with economic loss.
What is the most important marketing channel worth to a company?
Small and medium-sized companies should be particularly aware that their website is the most important marketing channel of today. Just one inquiry less per year due to long loading time can mean a loss of several hundred Euros for you as an entrepreneur.
Even saving 20 euros per month is sometimes negligent, especially if you have previously site invested at least 2,000 euros in the development or redesign of the product.
Our recommended price
In our opinion you should therefore pay the following net prices for hosting your WordPress site estimate:
- €5 - €10 for private sites depending on own quality requirements
- €15 - €30 for a standard company website or blog
- €15 - €50 for a small to medium-sized WooCommerce Shop
- From €50 for a larger website, blog or WooCommerce Shop
- From €50 for a large multi-site website, blog, WooCommerce Shop
This price recommendation is not only based on the processor power, but also on the support, which I will show later.
With most providers, an "optimized" WordPress offer ends at 20 euros at the latest. If you want more performance, you will then have to resort to a vServer Cloud offer or dedicated servers.
As mentioned above, reasons for fast loading times are easily identified. You will most likely lose sales if your website is too slow. Not only does it make a bad first impression on your business, it is also one of the ranking factors for Google.
Two seconds loading time instead of Google PageSpeed score
Don't let the Google PageSpeed Score crazy. Better concentrate on the actual charging time for your user in seconds. Basically, a loading time of two seconds should be aimed at, better is of course less.
TTFB as criterion for a performance comparison
For the performance evaluation of the hosting, the so-called Time To First Byte (TTFB) one of the best evaluation criteria. Here the time in milliseconds is measured from the first request of the user to the first answer of the server. Other important factors, such as the programming of the Themes, are left out for the time being.
Important: The number, quality and size of yours plugins can also drive the TTFB up. Therefore, if you run the same website on two servers, the TTFB is meaningful for the server.
The user is interested in the total loading time
Although the TTFB is meaningful for the server, your website visitor is not interested in it. He is interested in when he can interact with the website or when he sees something from the website. In the best case, the web page perceived by him is displayed completely in less than a second.
There are two values that are important:
- Loading time - First View: This loading time shows you the loading time of a visitor who visits yours site for the first time.
- Loading time - Second View: This loading time shows you the loading time of a visitor who visits yours site the second time.
The values differ significantly, because browser, server or plugins your website can cache. The website is then loaded directly from the cache and not at all from the server itself.
How to test the performance properly
For example, would you like to know if RAIDBOXES your site faster, the following procedure is correct:
- Leave your WordPress website free migrate. Alternatively, you can do the migration directly with our Plugin yourself. Afterwards you can test us completely free of charge. The moved site one is then a "one-to-one" copy of your current website on a subdomain of RAIDBOXES , e.g: "xyz.myraidbox.com".
- Now you add your current website address webpagetest.org in one and the same second browser window the RAIDBOXES subdomain. In this example, the "xyz.myraidbox.de" mentioned above.
- Compare the values TTFB, First View, Repeat View with each other, preferably relative. The traffic light colours at the top right show you potential for improvement. Should you be satisfied, simply link your domain with this hosting and you're done moving.
For those who want it simple:
You can simply enter the following in our relocation form: "Please compare performance". Then we will do the steps 2-3 for you and give you a evaluation after the migration .
For step 1 you need five minutes and your WordPress login data.
Alternative procedure for performance tests
You can theoretically do the same thing with any other WordPress hosting provider. Unfortunately, this is much more complicated overall:
- website itself with one Pluginor manually migrate . Here we recommend migrate guru. There you can upload your website with SFTP to any hoster migrate .
- Measure current web page and note values
- migrate Leave website complete with domain, probably with a little longer downtime
- Testing a new website
- Reverse everything, if not satisfactory and demand money back. Fortunately, every provider offers a money-back guarantee.
Because this process is so difficult, no masseshosterare afraid to loudly call their hosting fast and secure. We believe that performance should not be based on claims, but only on real values. Unfortunately, you can only get this by correct measuring and comparingwhich is quite time consuming depending on the number of tested providers.
"The best performance comparison is to try the new provider yourself."
We would be dealing with RAIDBOXES would not have been able to confidently call ourselves the fastest WordPress hoster in Europe, if we had not measured it ourselves!
WordPress hosting performance comparison - Procedure
Last year we made a before and after comparison of more than 250 migrations, exactly as described above. For the comparison we used the document complete time of the first view.
The results will show you what you can expect from a Migration specialized WordPress hoster.
They are a cross-section of the following elements:
- Different packages
- Different websites
- Different number of migrations per provider
Another approach would be to install different page types on all provider sites, in different price packages and to measure these at several times, which would be very costly. Unfortunately I do not know of any publicly available test of this kind.
WordPress hosting performance comparison - Website Speed Test results
|Tested webhosters with WordPress -offer||Number of performance measurements||Average performance improvement||Highest performance improvement||Lowest performance improvement|
The results can be interpreted as follows:
100% performance improvement = halving the charging time at RAIDBOXES !
For a website that loads 10 seconds before and migration 5 seconds after that, the speed improvement is 100%. The results of the larger hosters are the most meaningful, as the number of hosts is the largest migrations in comparison.
In addition, minimum and maximum values are shown in the diagram. What the values here make clear is that an improvement in performance always has something to do with itsite . Changing the server is helpful for certain sites cases, but there may also be cases where the performance improvement is rather small.
Often the TTFB is then three times as good. However, the better server does not have such a strong effect on the overall speed. In such a case, the only thing that helps is to take care of the website optimization. That it is due to a slow server was at least excluded. Therefore the statement remains:
"The best performance comparison is to try the new provider yourself."
WordPress hosting performance comparison - A few customer examples
Fortunately, in times of social media, there are more and more providers who can keep their promises. So here are a few examples of customers who have made and published a performance comparison after their migration. Many of them have also become supporters and participate in our Affiliate program to receive commissions for their recommendations.
- STRATO vs. RAIDBOXES : 4 seconds faster and page speed of 100
- ALL-INKL vs. RAIDBOXES : Twice as fast
- WP Engine vs. RAIDBOXES : Same speed at half price
- united-domains vs. RAIDBOXES : Twice as fast, despite already optimized site
- RAIDBOXES under 500 milliseconds: 500 ms for complex landing page content
The following providers have also seen performance improvements with at least a doubling of the loading time in recent times: host Europe, DomainFactory, Siteground, 1&1 and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
How the WP Engine example shows that the performance of WordPress specialists is very similar in comparison. Like Michelle from HootProof describes it beautifully, you can focus on other comparison features here.
WordPress hosting Performance comparison - Ongoing optimization
The Internet is extremely fast moving. New technologies are constantly being developed, some of which make the Internet dramatically faster. In the last two years alone, technological advances such as PHP 7 (meanwhile PHP 7.4.), HTTP2, Brotli , GZIP compression, OPCache or newer processors extend the possibilities for performance optimization.
In some cases, these technologies are accompanied by a doubling of CPU performance, but often with a 10 to 30 percent improvement!
There are 1.5 year technology differences between suppliers
Here it is important to have a provider who evaluates all technologies and integrates them into its systems in order to benefit from technological developments in the long term. Basically, at some point these technological innovations will prevail in the entire market. The question is only whether the provider is proactive here or a latecomer. This then often makes up a time difference of 1.5 years.
In our comparison of the various providers, it is striking that 1&1, Timme hosting and Host Europe are the only providers who rely on the faster NGINX server. Brotli compression in particular has not yet been explicitly adopted by any provider.
"World first!" - SSD hard disks
The best example of this is SSD hard drives. These should be standard and have been developed by RAIDBOXES since the beginning three years ago. There are still numerous suppliers today who advertise this as a novelty and innovative.
This criterion is also not listed in any hosting comparison. Strictly speaking, it is even more difficult to measure than the performance criterion. The situation is quite simple:
One hour of time saving in the administration of the website means for
- 1 hour more free time, e.g. with the children
- gained 1 hour to take care of the actual business
Less busy companies:
- 1 hour of time corresponds to at least €30 direct labour costs, which are saved
Well utilised service companies:
- 1 hour time usually corresponds to at least €60 hourly wage, which cannot be accounted for
At RAIDBOXES we have customers who have hosted 150+ sites with us and save a system administrator for €5,000 per month.
Time is very often neglected in these considerations and is only included once a year of "time expenditure" has passed. This expenditure of time becomes particularly clear if you work as a web designer or web developer with a root server and also have to carry out system updates here.
Hosting comparison – features that save you time
Here are a few features that will save you site time when managing your time. The time estimate depends on the level of experience of each user. An inexperienced user, depending on the use case, will need to try three plugins, test for a while and then replace them until the solution is truly one hundred percent reliable and efficient.
web pages-migration : 0,75 - 6 hours
If a change of hosters is pending, this is the initial time you have. For web designers and agencies, copying and importing into a development environment often comes as standard.
Estimated time saving: Only very few providers carry this time expenditure. Depending on the type of move, it site can only take three-quarters of an hour for known moves. But it is also not uncommon for technical problems to take migration six hours.
Backups: 0.5 - 4 hours per site
This feature may as well be under security, as it is one of the most important features here. One thing is clear: no WordPress website should be hosted without backups. This can be done via the hosting provider or via a Plugin. The advantages of a backup system at the hosting company are here is shown.
Important: A backup should not only back up the database, but the entire website! At the same time, it is important that backups can be restored via the user interface itself.
While three quarters of the providers state that they make backups, it is unclear how long they are kept and how they can be restored. At Mittwald, for example, this is subject to a charge of €50.
Estimated time savings: Depends on whether users know and can set up backup systems and whether problems occur over time.
Integrated caching: 0.5 - 4 hours per site
This feature is essential when it comes to optimizing the loading speed of your site files. If you don't use caching, you may not want to halve the loading time. Here there are a variety of plugins that can be used here. However, these must plugin be purchased and then maintained.
WordPress experts have therefore already integrated caching. There is no plugins longer any need to install and configure it. All parameters are already set to WordPress or WooCommerce and are continuously maintained and reconfigured.
Estimated time savings: Depends on whether users know and can set up caching systems and whether problems occur over time.
Managed WordPress security updates: 1 - 4 hours per site and year
WordPress releases security updates at very regular intervals. A distinction is made between so-called minor updates and major updates.
Minor updates are "small updates", but they are still very important because they often close security holes or fix small bugs. This means, for example, a version jump from 5.3.1 to 5.3.2.
The major updates may cause more problems under certain circumstances. Plugin manufacturers must plugins adapt their own and at least test them with the new version. This means e.g. a version jump from 5.3. to 5.4.
For this reason, it is recommended to wait a little for the major updates. Often, shortly after a major version jump, the next minor update, e.g. 5.4.1, is released, which already contains the fix for a security hole that occurred with the major release.
Estimated time saving: Performing security updates is a must. While minor releases can be completed quickly, possibly four times a year, major releases require more attention and time. These occur approximately once or twice a year.
Managed Pluginupdates: 2 - 8 hours per site year
One of the last security holes of WordPress are not updated plugins. On a WordPress site can 5 - 120 plugins must be installed. An estimated average of thousands of sites is 25 plugins. What is required for the security updates from WordPress itself, is also valid for the plugins relevant. plugin Manufacturers also close frequently occurring security gaps or improve their product.
Not every plugin update closes a security hole. In general, however: plugins should be kept up-to-date. Preferably with the following process:
- Plugins check for updates
- Create Backup
- Plugins Update
- site check
- Import backup in case of problems
In our Fully Managed Plan this happens fully automatically for all 55,000 plugins provided a licence code is deposited. Basically an integrated plugin administration saves money, where with two clicks all plugins can be updated, a lot of time. Especially if backups have already been made automatically every night.
Estimated time saving: If you want to take the risk of malware, update your plugins and does not require any time. For all others it depends on the type of plugins and the number of plugins off.
Staging for Plugin- and Themechanges: 0.5 - 3 hours per action
If you seriously use your website for your marketing purposes or business activities, you will often make changes to the website. This can be the new landing page tool, a new event plugins or the exchange of a slider plugins. In order not to endanger the live-site and not to present a faulty slider to your website visitors, changes should first be tested in a development environment.
To do this, you copy the website to another hosting, make your changes and then try to transfer the changes to the main page without complications. Since this is a quite complex process, there is no getting around the use of special plugins ones. WordPress-specialists offer in this context a staging.
Estimated time saving: This depends on how intensively you work with your website yourself. The time saved can be a good three hours with a much lower risk of destroying something during livesite operation.
SSL setup: 0.4 - 3 hours per site
To say it in advance: Domain validated SSL certificates should cost nothing today! With the Let's Encrypt Initiative global players like Google have rightly proclaimed the age of the encrypted Internet.
Meanwhile, Google Chrome not only marks web pages with SSL as green with "secure", but now takes the next step to mark web pages that do not use SSL as "not secure
SSL should therefore not only included free of charge in hosting the but can also be set up quickly. Not only SSL has WordPress to be installed on the server, but also the internal forwarding and a search and replace on the website has to be done in order to set up SSL completely.
With RAIDBOXES this you can with one click completely fully automated.
Estimated time savings: Professionals can set up SSL in 20 minutes because they know the process inside and out. If you do it for the first time, it can take up to three hours until it is finally implemented on the website.
Of course, every provider propagates to be safe. But especially with WordPress -Security is not just about rolling out the latest system updates for the server. This should be a matter of course in this day and age. It is about knowing the software itself inside and out, and being able to WordPress to prevent malware from entering the system itself. Some security features are presented below:
Safety for 1-click installations
WordPress itself meanwhile pays attention to the fact that users assign strong passwords. This is also absolutely necessary. Too simple passwords are a very negligent security hole. Even if the password area is protected by IP-blocking, attackers can penetrate the website if the passwords are too simple.
You should pay attention to these two things with the 1-click installations of the providers:
- Is the latest WordPress version always installed automatically?
- Is a secure password enforced?
Point 2 significantly reduced our malware rate when we noticed that users were using too simple passwords from us.
Security of the login area
The login area of WordPress is basically sensitive. Attackers know that they can try to log in via "your-domain.de/wp-admin". This is then not done manually, but via so-called Brute Force attackswhich automatically try out different passwords.
Therefore it is important that the login area is secured by default. At RAIDBOXES the plugin "Limit Login Attempts" is preinstalled, which automatically blocks the IP address for 20 minutes after three failed login attempts. This prevents attackers from trying hundreds of passwords in the first place. In combination with a strong password, this leads to almost one hundred percent security of the login area.
Security of the XML-RPC interface
The XML-RPC is an interface that allows you to create your WordPress site remote control. It is therefore often used by hackers and bots as a gateway used.
By default, this interface is now blocked by us. However, it can also be unlocked again if required. In any case, protecting the interface prevents intrusion via this route.
Protected WP-Config. file
If a hacker does gain access to your website, he can cause the most damage to the WP-Config. file. This is the basic configuration of yourssite . By default, it is therefore read-only. Additional entries or changing the table prefix can be done via the dashboard itself.
So it is impossible for an attacker to completely destroy yourssite .
Fast or automated plugin updating
Another vulnerability is not current plugins. Ideally, the hosting provider updates the Plugins automatically or at least (as described in the point Time Saving) provides a way to easily update them all plugins within two minutes.
The Backup system is absolutely central to any security effort. The first step with malware is to make a backup. Here it is important to have backups that not only cover the last three days, but also, at best, 30 days in the past.
Help with malware
Important to know: If all the above measures are used, there is a probability of almost 100% certainty. If malware is site still caught, it is important that it is removed professionally. Even established tools such as Sucuri or SiteLock sometimes reach their limits here. Ideally, the hoster itself offers a service to remove the malware without leaving any residue.
Last but not least, let's take a look at the WordPress hosting support. Again, we realize that unfortunately it is difficult to evaluate this in advance. In fact, support is not the decisive factor at the beginning of a customer relationship. At RAIDBOXES only 5 percent of customers come to us for support.
Response times under 10 minutes & high availability
But our support is the reason why we are so often recommended. Internally we have set a maximum response time of 10 minutes for a support request. This is our standard, which we have held since the beginning, which we constantly evaluate through our support tool and which we will hold for all eternity. Alone when we hear the word support-ticket, the hairs on the back of our neck stand up.
"In our opinion, support should always be accessible, direct and personal. This kind of support allows us to learn first-hand where we need to start with our product in order to make it better.
Technical expertise in support
In at least 80 percent of the cases, if one site is not reachable, it is not due to the server, but to a problem with the Plugin. Here it is fatal, if the support staff has no idea aboutWordPress , cannot use the appropriate tools (such as the WP debug mode) and in the worst case a defective Plugin cannot deactivate it at all. The result would be that the site server would be unavailable for several days, even though it is running all the time.
At WordPress -specialists, you can be sure that WordPress -experience is available and a website is also available at the level of WordPress -code can be viewed.
Support has its price
Even if a company only pays its support staff the minimum wage, which is not necessarily unlikely, the total cost, including all social security contributions, is at least 15 euros per hour. A web developer with WordPress experience costs the company at least 35 euros per hour.
With a 3 Euro WordPress plan and an annual price of 36 euros, the cheapest support staff may therefore only deal with the customer for a maximum of two hours, the most expensive support staff for a maximum of one hour per year. However, then the customer's entire annual profit would be lost and the customer would be unprofitable.
Here it is absolutely logical that any customer inquiry is reduced to a minimum. This is one of the reasons why we arrive at our recommended retail price of €9 (net) per web page. This automatically means that support quality and product quality suffer.
We hope you have gained valuable insight from our detailed WordPress hosting comparison and feel like you are in a better position than before to competently evaluate different hosting offers.
ALL-INKL when it comes to price
If you really want to go for the price and do a lot of things yourself, we recommend ALL-INKL You are the only provider who shows transparency on an important performance criterion instead of making big claims. This, in combination with good telephone support, should be rewarded.
Specializedhosting , when quality and time are important
I hope we were able to show you that specialized WordPress hoster, such as RAIDBOXESThis means that we can offer clear advantages when it comes to optimizing performance, time and security. Of course they are more expensive than the standard providers. You will also save a lot of time to be able to concentrate on your core areas!
Disclaimer: The settlement takes our RAIDBOXES WordPress hosting as a standard of comparison.