The Fastest Web Hosting for WordPress – A Major Upgrade and Results

fastest web hostingUpgrading to a better and faster hosting account has been on my mental to-do list for quite some time. I’ve procrastinated in this regard for months and months. I figured, my sites still get traffic and rankings. I’m making more and more money each month. Why bother? I’ve been paying only $9.95 per month for a shared hosting account at Hostgator. All of my money sites and blogs were on this same hosting account. But late last month, I got the kick in the butt that I needed to finally make it a priority to upgrade to a better hosting plan. Not only did I get a better plan – I am now proudly using the best and fastest web hosting company when it comes to WordPress sites. Want to hear more about that kick in the butt? Keep reading.

Getting Called Out on a Very Popular Blog

A couple of months ago, I noticed that I was getting a lot of referral traffic from a popular blog in the UK that is run by Matthew Woodward. Upon further investigation, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was including me in his monthly Income Report Roundup posts. In these reports he ranks me and several others who boldly report their internet income online. So, in last months report, I was sitting at #9. As I scrolled down to leave a comment, I noticed that somebody in the comments made mention of my site. Here is a screenshot showing exactly what they said.

Matthew Woodward Screenshot

 

Ouch!! Called out like that, and apparently Matthew Woodward had commented about it before. People were obviously noticing how slow my site loads. I made it a priority to research my options and speed up my site.

Finding the Fastest Web Hosting for WordPress

I knew I needed to get away from shared hosting. When I checked to see how many other domains were on the same server (free tool here), I found that nearly 200 other sites were pointing to the same IP as mine. Yikes! I immediately started researching and asking around. I read review posts about different hosting companies. I asked some trusted internet marketing acquaintances that I have. I came to the conclusion that the best and fastest web hosting option is with a service called WPEngine (affiliate link).

I am really impressed with WPEngine so far. Their customer support has been second to none. I’ve had to contact them a couple of times only because I am really dumb when it comes to all the technical stuff. I stubbornly decided to migrate my site over to my new hosting account myself. It took me nearly 5 hours to figure out, despite the very clear step-by-step instructions that they provide. I admit, I almost cried and almost gave up. They have a service that will take care of the migration for you (for a fee). But I opted to save a few bucks – plus I kind of wanted to learn the process anyway. Be forewarned – migrating a site from one hosting company to another is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for beginners. After it is all said and done, I wish I would have paid the service to do it for me.

Hostgator to WPEngine – My Results

Page Load Speed for DPI on Shared Hosting at HostGatorPage Load Speed for DPI on WPEngine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These images speak for themselves. I took the screenshot on the left on April 8th, 2014. The day that I decided to start shopping around for hosting. I used a free speed test tool from QuickSprout.com. I took the screenshot on the right on April 18th, only one day after I completed the migration to WPEngine. I made no other changes whatsoever to increase my site speed or load time. Apparently, there are still a few things that I could do to improve these stats. But for now, I am just extremely happy that I switched to the fastest web hosting option for WordPress with WPEngine.

Not only does site speed and load time improve the user experience for visitors to your site, it also vastly improves administrator experience. I am loving how fast my site is now. Even working on the back end within WordPress is much faster. Sure, I’m paying a little bit more per month than I was with my crappy shared hosting account – but it is definitely worth it. I encourage you to look into WPEngine yourself if you’re looking for the best and fastest web hosting option for WordPress.

UPDATE: (04/24/14) – My Experience with WPEngine

Six days later, and I wanted to write up a quick update and let you know about a few things that I didn’t even know about before I signed up for WPEngine.

Automatic Daily Backups

One of my favorite discoveries is that WPEngine backs up my site daily. I know there are plugins and other programs that you can get to achieve this – but the hassle free way that it is handled within WPEngine is really awesome. Also, each time I go to make a major change within WordPress (like install a new plugin) a window pops open and asks me if I would like to backup first. I tried it a few times and it only took a few seconds. This way if I really screw up my site somehow, I can easily restore it within the WPEngine user portal with just one click. Below is a screenshot of what the Backup Points screen looks like within the user portal.

WPEngine Backup Points

Previously, I wasn’t very good at keeping my sites backed up. I didn’t have automatic backups setup anywhere – and I would only backup manually every so often. With WPEngine, I didn’t have to set up anything and they started backing up my site automatically. I didn’t even know it was happening until a few days later!

Autoptimize Plugin to Improve Load Times Even More

Page Load Speed with Autoptimizer PluginI previously did not know about this plugin. It came to me as a suggestion from Jeff who blogs over at Online Side Income. As a result of reading this post, he left a comment below and then also emailed me some specific instructions on a few things I could do to speed up my site even more. Simply installing this plugin was the easiest one, so I did it. Check out the results for yourself. It cut my load time nearly in half!

The Autoptimize plugin is free and very easy to install and setup. It didn’t come without a bit of a headache though. The day I installed it I noticed that my comments (powered by Disqus) were all screwed up. Also, my opt-in box in the sidebar wasn’t sticking to the screen the way I had it set up. I figured out an easy fix. I simply had to uncheck the box in the Autoptimize settings for Optimize Javascript Code…

WPEngine Does Not Handle Email

Another thing I figured out the hard way – if you have an email address attached to your domain (like I do), that doesn’t transfer over when you migrate your site. Not only that, but WPEngine doesn’t have an option to run your email through their hosting platform. It’s just not something they offer. But they do offer some simple suggestions – and I took advantage of one of them and got my email back up and running very easily. In fact, I wish I had known about the Google Apps option before – which I now run my domain name email address through now. It was a lot easier to setup and integrate with my Gmail account than it was to setup email through Hostgator and get integrated.

I think that’s it for this update. Again, I can’t say enough good things about WPEngine. I have no doubt that they are the fastest web hosting option for WordPress. Not only that, but everything else about their service is unbelievable. I highly suggest their hosting platform. Two thumbs up from one very satisfied customer.

Remember that there are several dumb ways to create passive income online, but only one site that is blogging about it! Dumb Passive Income… dot com.

-Matt

Photo Credit: carnagenyc from Flickr

  • http://www.takingactiononline.com/ Nathan Rossow

    Wow the speed difference is night and day! Thanks for the info.

    • http://dumbpassiveincome.com/ Matthew Allen

      You’re welcome Nathan. It’s what I do. ;)

  • http://onlinesideincome.com Jeff

    Great post here matt – the speed difference is really significant and I know that’s a HUGE factor in the google rankings. Some of your other numbers are still shaky – I’ll email you

    • http://dumbpassiveincome.com/ Matthew Allen

      Yeah Jeff – after reading through the results on the QuickSprout tool and others, I know there are still some things I can and should do to improve my sites performance. They are not a priority right now though. Just switching hosting sped up the site so much that I am happy with just that for now.

      • http://onlinesideincome.com Jeff

        Glad things worked out matt!

  • http://www.mymoneydesign.com/ MyMoneyDesign

    First off, congrats on getting a mention on MW. Even if someone did call you out, that’s got to be pretty cool to see your face on the website and get some recognition!

    I’ve been strongly considering dumping my shared plan with iPage as well. MMD is getting pretty big, and that means she just keeps getting slower and slower to update. The backend Admin panel is the worst. I don’t even like replying to comments anymore because it takes forever for them upload. I’ll probably switch sometime this month.

    • http://dumbpassiveincome.com/ Matthew Allen

      Thanks MMD. Yeah, Matthew Woodward’s site is huge and I was getting quite a bit of referral traffic from those mentions.

      I can’t say enough good things about WPEngine. Let me know if you end up going with them when you upgrade. I would love to hear about your results if you do. And let me know if you have any questions.

  • http://berichandrich.com/ Raweewan M.

    Hi Matt, finally you’ve done it and glad you move to a better web hosting. Congrats! :)

  • Mac

    I’m glad it helped ;)

    regards
    Mac

  • http://macgamerhq.com/ Mac Gamer Ric

    Hey Matt, helpful article. I did a similar move on December, moving from shared hosting to Web Synthesis wordpress hosting (the guys from Copyblogger). Can’t say if that helped my rankings but it did shave 2-3 seconds of load time… Anyway, you helped me discover Autoptimize! Just installed it and I assume I have to be patient before see any changes but I’m excited to see what it does!
    Cheers,
    Ric

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