Best WordPress Hosting
Providers for UK in 2022

Solution:
21 minutes read | Last modified on June 13th, 2022

Summary

Top UK providers
Details of our benchmark methodology are explained in a separate post.
Awesome- LiteSpeed testimonial
Krystal Onyx is a failed attempt at building a proprietary software platform lacking key security features. Despite using the recent and most expensive hardware, benchmarks show significant performance drops. TTFB,  disk and database access speed are poor. Do not consider this option and choose the industry standard software stack based on cPanel, Cloudlinux, and LiteSpeed Enterprise.
cPanel accounts on Krystal are overpriced and hosted on old hardware. GURU is using relatively slow Intel servers and their prices are too high. 1 CPU and 2 GB RAM for £10 per month with additional charges for email addons is not good value for money. It only seems reasonable for users who locked themselves with other overpriced options like Cloudways, Kinsta and WPX. For £4 per month, you can take advantage of two times faster hardware on MechanicWeb’s servers in London offering similat 1 CPU and 2GB RAM. HostXnow can reduce that to £2.5 per month while offering similar fast server hardware and specifications to MechanicWeb.
Due to its enhanced resources and limited customers per server, semi-dedicated hosting from HostXNow is a great choice for resource-intensive websites. Their Ryzen 5900x servers in the London data centre from OVH deliver great performance. A similar AMD Ryzen 9 5900x server is offered by HostXnow from the OVH data centre in the US, Washington. Hosting plan options range from 1 CPU/ 2 GB RAM  to 8 CPUs/ 12 GB RAM, which should satisfy every client’s needs.
MechanicWeb offers hosting on Ryzen 9 5950x platform in Germany and Dallas USA. Ryzen 9 5900x is provided by them in London and Los Angeles. Their servers are optimised for the fastest possible speed. In the loading tests os simple websites, they perform 90 ms faster than HostXNow. That is mainly due to better server tuning, and partially (15ms out of overall 90ms) because MechanicWeb has decided to replace Imunify360. They are using CSF (Firewall and Web Application Firewall), ModSecurity (Web Application Firewall), and CXS / ImunifyAV+ (Malware Scanner). Imunify360 is a suite of malware scanner (AV+), Firewall, and Web Application Firewall. Choosing individual software instead of a suite like Imunify360 was a conscious decision by MechanicWeb to improve some small delays in processing web traffic. For uncached requests, with the latest Litespeed updates, most mod_security work can be run more efficiently too which is handy. There is always a balance between outright speed and security, and security takes priority for all hosting companies.
MechanicWeb serves simple websites 90 milliseconds faster than HostXnow servers. This is a noticeable difference, the impact can be accumulated on busy complex websites, where more requests will be directed toward the server. However, we should emphasise that you should not worry about such added delays. If you run a complex eCommerce website, the PHP performance and the efficiency of the database queries will be similar to both providers, as they use the same hardware and the same software.
Our PHP tests show outstanding performence of Ryzen 5950x servers. They are at least 35% faster than EPYC Zen 3 servers. But MechanicWeb added an edge to Ryzen by reducing software delays related to the firewall and security. It will be difficult to find a server that can match the performance offered by MechanicWeb. Speed improvements shouldn’t bother owners of brochure websites which are usually served from the server cache. However, it might increase conversion rates on busy eCommerce sites. Therefore, customers with more serious eCommerce websites should appreciate the value of the improvements offered by Ryzen Zen 3 servers. Beware of illusions, however. The majority of complex websites struggle with the efficient use of software such as LiteSpeed Caching Engine. ESI (Edge Side Includes) can improve your eCommerce website’s performance well beyond your expectations even without switching to the best hosting provider. Do your research! When it comes to optimising the speed of your website, hosting is only one part of the equation. Our separate report discusses optimisation techniques in greater detail.
MechanicWeb offers a range of quasi-dedicated plans with VPS-like resource allocations, ranging from 8 CPUs / 16 GB RAM to 16 CPUs / 64 GB RAM. On such plans, RAM is dedicated to the user. Top tier plans have dedicated CPU resources, which allow them to outperform most VPS options.
Generally, the purpose of quasi-dedicated plans is to provide both greater resources and stability at the same time. MechanicWeb’s junior Flux plan has 8 CPU cores and 16 GB of dedicated RAM. This will withstand a greater sustained load than HostXNow’s and MechanicWeb’s shared hosting plan with 8 CPU cores and 12 GB RAM. Flux doesn’t just offer dedicated RAM and storage, it also boosts disk IO speed beyond 1000 MB/s and allows 50% CPU quota average usage. This is something shared hosting cannot offer. Additionally, it provides more isolation than shared hosting, so you can use an object cache such as Redis or Memcached in a safe environment.
Another UK provider, Stablepoint, recently upgraded its offering with AMD EPYC 7313P Zen 3 servers in London, providing 50% faster speed than Guru. They also deploy Ryzen 9 5900x servers in the US, Oregon, and continuously upgrade their mix of global servers in twenty geographical locations. They do this by moving from EPYC Zen 2 servers to much faster EPYC Zen 3 servers whenever possible. Reseller hosting accounts from Stablepoint are popular among UK and European clients because of their value for money. Sysadmins at StablePoint are experts in optimizing software. In spite of using 25% slower hardware than HostXnow and MechanicWeb, Stablepoint offers fast response times when serving simple websites.
MechanicWeb , HostXNow , and Stablepoint deserve serious attention.  Considering their similar value for money, you should study their offering closely.  These companies offer very close software stack based on cPanel, CloudLinux, LiteSpeed Enterprise, and other standard software packages including WAF and malware protection. Users in the UK and Europe can take advantage of these excellent services since they are using the fastest hardware in the world. Keep in mind that MechanicWeb also offers similar Ryzen servers in Los Angeles and Dallas, HostXNow offers Ryzen 5900x servers in Washington, and Stablepoint offers Ryzen 5900x servers in Oregon.

Introduction

Website page’s loading speed is a critical element of Google’s “mobile-friendliness score”. Speed of page loading, especially on mobile devices, affects search engine rankings. Slow pages never rank high in organic results and are less efficient in converting paid clicks – and this issue is even more important for the eCommerce websites owners.
From August 2021, Google has changed their ranking algorithm by adding Page Experience signals. The new score is partially based on Core Web Vitals such as:
  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – measures loading performance
  • First Input Delay (FID) – measures interactivity
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – measures visual stability
The website owner shouldn’t ignore Core Web Vitals since the Page Experience signal is now a ranking factor. However, Core Web Vitals won’t become THE primary factor. Both Core Web Vitals and the Page Experience signal will be updated annually, and its importance might be reduced over time. But for now, Google is trying to force the change to the website owners’ attitude. If Google succeeds, the web will become much faster to the benefit of mobile users.
The page load speed is determined by two primary factors: your web design agency’s skills and your hosting server configuration. In our study ” How to select a web design agency? Benchmark of 400 web design providers around Cambridge” we have shown a vast range of possible page loading speeds found in the wild.
page loading speed
This is not an arbitrary set – this is the ranking of webpages of web design agencies around Cambridge. If most of them cannot make faster brochure websites for themselves, what can we say about the ordinary website pages’ loading speed? But the actual picture is more complicated – the page loading speed of many websites is pushed further down because of the wrong choice of the hosting providers. The classical cycle of blame, the Hosting provider – Caching plugins – Web page building tool – Web designer – Hosting provider, requires optimisation of each part of the chain.
This post carefully researches available options and recommends several providers for hosting websites for UK businesses. The information is regularly updated.

Hosting in the UK and EU

Can a CDN be ignored?

If your website has only UK visitors – then select your hosting provider in the UK. Additional options will open up if you decide to consider Germany; it will add about 40 ms delay to the web traffic. If you serve visitors only in the UK and Europe, do not use the Content distribution network (CDN) services – there is no benefit from doing so. For the website with heavy traffic, use recommended CDN options from our technical study to reduce the origin server load.
Google Core Web Vitals form the new backbone of Google’s search quality algorithms. However, please be aware of the complications introduced with Web Vitals. If you do content marketing with lots of blogs and long-form pillar content, there’s a good chance your website will attract worldwide traffic. In reality, up to 2/3 of your visitors will be outside the UK. Google is unaware that you are a local business only interested in UK customers. The Google Web Vitals are not implemented to penalise websites with international traffic. However, the metrics are calculated from the set of Chrome users from all over the world and the data collected from them. Google strikes a balance by ignoring 25% of the worst data that the Chrome browser reports from your actual visitors. However, you need to make sure you’re serving the remaining 75% with fast-loading pages. So be careful when you say your site only has visitors from the UK; there is a significant global English-speaking community around the UK! Our research article on CDN and HTML delivery at the edge is a must-read for serving international visitors.  It’s worth the effort to use Quic.cloud’s CDN integrated with LiteSpeed, as it’s free or costs less than $1 a month depending on traffic volume.
Static HTML files delivered at-the-edge with proper CDN options shield the origin server from the bulk of visitor requests. However, it’s important to choose your hosting provider carefully to improve the experience of your visitors requesting dynamic HTML pages that are specific to each logged-in user. Your experience with WordPress editing tasks will also be improved with a reliable hosting provider using modern fast hardware and software. According to our separate technical study’s hardware and software recommendations, we have selected a range of hosting providers. The essential criteria are LiteSpeed Web Server software and SSD disk with a high-speed PCIe socket for Non-Volatile Memory Express interface protocol (NVMe).  Such a winning formula boosts about four times the speed of specific internal processes on a server, removing the bottleneck in its performance.

Your best option in the UK

The MechanicWeb services are available in Europe on hardware from Hetzner’s data centre in Germany and OVH data centre in London. They also have similar servers in the data center in Dallas and Los Angeles. MechanicWeb specializes in high-performance servers. MechanicWeb offers Ryzen 9 5950x and 5900x servers, which are the fastest servers available on the market today. In comparison, AMD EPYC Zen 2 servers are 50% slower, and AMD EPYC Zen 3 servers are 20% slower.
For about £4 per month, the Smart plan offers a single CPU, 2 GB RAM, and 10 GB NVMe disk space. This option is highly recommended for anyone with a brochure website. Even with the large traffic on your website, you have more than enough resources to maintain and edit it. A similar plan priced just £2.5 per month is available from HostXNow on their servers in London and Washington.
For an eCommerce site with high traffic, MechanicWeb’s  Prime plan is a suitable option.  With the Prime account, you receive 3 CPUs and 3 GB RAM, 30 GB of disk storage, 100 MB/s disk I/O speed, and 300 GB bandwidth for unlimited domains for around £10 per month. You can upgrade to the Boost plan (4 CPU, 6 GB RAM), Premium plan (6 CPU, 8 GB RAM), and Elite plan (8 CPU, 12 GB RAM).
There are also fully managed accounts with dedicated CPU and RAM, including Flux (8 CPU, 16 GB RAM), Silo (8 CPU, 24 GB RAM), Saprk (8 CPU, 32 GB RAM), and Apex (16 CPU, 64 GB RAM). As a result of the significantly lower density of users and VPS-like setup, these accounts are offered with both Redis and Memcached.
Typical software offered on cPanel shared hosting accounts is provided on these dedicated CPU and RAM plans. It includes cPanel, CloudLinux, LiteSpeed Enterprise, Softaculous, ModSecurity, malware scanner, and daily offsite backup. In addition the optional additional software can be installed after the customer requests it. Technically, this is not VPS plans as MechanicWeb does not provide root access. But it will outperform most VPS accounts on Gridpane with a huge margin!

Another great option in the UK

Consider HostXNow if you need a hosting company based in London or the East Coast in the USA. The company advertises itself as the fastest hosting company in the UK, which is patially true. Now they have to share this title to MechanicWeb, who recently began offering their services from London. MechanicWeb servers perform slightly faster than HostXNow’s, mainly due to better software tuning. Their hosting plans are very similar.
HostXnow’s semi-dedicated shared hosting is powered by a Ryzen 5900x servers. They are the fastest servers on the market today. As a result of reducing client density on the server, HostXnow is able to offer semi-dedicated plans with up to 8 CPUs and 12 GB RAM. In all benchmark testing, HostXNow performs well, and you may be surprised to discover that your current provider is using hardware that is much slower. To be specific, your current provider is two times slower if you happen to use Guru and Krystal Hosting, 20i is about 2.5 times slower.
At the monthly rate of £12 and £56 respectively, HostXNow offers plans from 4 CPUs/ 4GB RAM/100 MB/s disk speed to 8 CPUs/ 12 GB RAM/ 250 MB/s disk speed.  There is a 1 GB/s network uplink with unmetered traffic.  The company provides discounts of 15% for annual billing, 25% for bi-annual billing, and 35% for tri-annual billing. You can get a free trial for a nominal fee of just £1 for the first month to test the hosting and run some performance tests before deciding to move your websites to the fastest hardware in the UK.
HostXNow offers the best value shared-hosting plans if you are searching for the cheapest option. At £2.5 per month, you can get 1 CPU, 2GB RAM, and 15 GB of disk space. The hosting plan is available on the fastest modern Ryzen 5900x hardware and includes up to two domains.
HostXNow offers all standard software including cPanel, LiteSpeed Web Server, CloudLinux Shared Pro, Imunify360 malware protection, MailChannels, and FREE backups hosted offsite.  Backups are taken every four hours. Overall, you have access to 31 days of backups with 186 restore points. It’s a premium option, especially for NameHero’s unfortunate clients, who typically have access to a single restore point taken up to a week ago.
HostXNow has been providing hosting services for the last 12 years, and its owner is an active member of the WebHostingTalk community. The company has many positive reviews on TrustPilot, so you should expect good customer service if you switch to their servers.
HostXNow deserve a large customer base given the excellent spec, especially entry semi-dedicated plan. And Chris is very responsive and open to improvements which I really like. The hosting plans seem to be as optimized as you can make them without spending huge amounts of money.

Alternative shared-hosting plans provided in the UK

Stablepoint had many problems transitioning to the new hosting model, but they have chosen the right path now. By using EPCY Zen 2 instances from such providers as Linode or DigitalOcean, they provide the most diverse location of any other provider. In most destinations, however, they are trying to switch to dedicated bare metal servers on EPYC Zen 3 and Ryzen Zen 3 processors. In many areas, such as Asia, that is not feasible. We recommend that you check out Stablepoint’s Shared Web Hosting and Reseller Hosting. Stablepoint offers convenient industry-standard cPanel-based plans that use LiteSpeed Enterprise Web Server. Security-hardened and developed over years, cPanel is a professional hosting platform. The team at Stablepoint provides transparent resource allocation, fixed billing, and a friendly 24/7 support team. All the standard security features of a cPanel-based account are included, including WAF and malware protection.
Due to unpredictability in hardware specifications, we advise companies in the US, Europe, and the UK to be cautious when choosing Stablepoint plans. In Oregon, Stablepoint offers Ryzen Zen 3 servers, but if your location is closer to Los Angeles or Dallas, we recommend MechanicWeb, which offers a similar Ryzen Zen 3 configuration. Our recommendation on the East Coast is to use HostXNow with Ryzen Zen 3 servers located in the Washington, D.C. data center. In Asia, Stablepoint already has EPYC Zen 3 servers in Singapore, so we recommend it to anyone with visitors based in India, Tokyo, or China. We have presented shared hosting plans from HostXNow and MechanicWeb with much faster hardware in this article. In spite of this, Stablepoint should still be considered by the vast majority of users since more technical suport operators would be available to answer customer questions and requests. While we hesitate to recommend their shared hosting plans in the US and Europe, Stablepoint should be adequate for simple brochure sites.
Stablepoint Premium Unlimited Reseller 100 offers unlimited storage, 100 cPanel accounts, a low disk I/O speed of 10 MB/s, 4 GB of RAM and two CPUs for $110 per month. Stablepoint heavily oversubscribed their shared servers. For all 100 Reseller plans put together, the Premium Unlimited Reseller plan will most likely allow a persistent usage of less than two CPUs. You should be careful how you interpret the overall consistent use of such a plan. Unlimited Reseller with 50 cPanel accounts, 2 GB of RAM, and 2 vCPUs costs $28 per month. The aggregated consistent CPU utilization of all 50 cPanel accounts should be kept well below 1 CPU on the Unlimited Reseller plan.
Larger agencies should consider StablePoint’s dedicated CPU Business hosting plans. This move will enable Redis for your clients and will remove problems with overcrowded servers. LiteSpeed Enterprise and cPanel accounts are provisioned for your clients on dedicated CPU VPS instances from Linode or DO servers. The plans are identical to those offered by MechanicWeb as quasi-dedicated plans. However, they are about 20% more expensive and are run on hardware that is about 30% slower.  Linode and DO provide a wide geographical coverage for this offering. Those outside of the United States and Europe should take advantage of StablePoint’s offer. Most users in the USA and Europe will benefit from MechanicWeb’s faster quasi-dedicated plans.

Your best value reseller plans in the UK

Multiple CPUs and large RAM sizes will not enhance performance if your clients are serving brochure websites. LiteSpeed Cache Engine delivers such websites from the server cache. However, anyone who uses Elementor will benefit from faster hardware speed. Your server’s slow single-core CPU performance is mostly to blame for Elementor’s slow loading speed. You may prefer the junior Power Reseller plan from MechanicWeb to edit your website more conviently. With 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM, 30 GB disk space for up to 25 accounts, you don’t have much storage, but you will only pay about £13 per month.  This is an excellent price for most clients. It also allows users to start using the latest modern hardware and software at the lowest possible monthly fee. Eventually, you can easily scale up to the Turbo XL plan with 1 CPU and 2 GB RAM per account. You will have 100 GB storage and up to 75 accounts for £35 per month.
For more demanding clients, you can consider HostXNow. It provides 100 GB of storage, 100 cPanel accounts, 4 GB RAM/2 CPU with the Professional Reseller plan for £68 per month.  For agencies requiring even higher CPU resources, HostXNow offers two additional plans. The Business plan includes 150 cPanel accounts with 6 GB RAM and 3 CPUs, and Agency plan comes with 200 cPanel accounts with 8 GB RAM, 4 CPUs per child account, and 200 GB storage. The Agency plan is two times more expensive than the  Professional plan, but it offers two times more cPanel accounts and two times more resources per child account. All reseller plans comes with free four daily backups hosted offsite. It is a premium level service not offered by any other competitor.
When you have several websites with occasional high CPU load requirements, HostXNow is one of the most competitive offers available. HostXNow’s ultra-fast server and significant CPU and RAM resources per child account allow hosting busy websites that were previously not possible through Reseller plans. However, be realistic about your expectations. If you need continuous high CPU utilisation, you should use a VPS instance with dedicated CPUs instead of a Reseller plan. You should aim for a continuous CPU load of less than 3 CPUs for the entire Agency account, so plan accordingly!
Don’t expect miracles. Hypervisors allocate CPU threads for a short period of time to different accounts queuing to serve entry processes. With several hundred cPanel accounts per server, you are not guaranteed 4 vCPUs per account on the Agency Reseller plan. Only on an underutilised server will your single account be able to use its entire allocation. It is the goal at HostXNow to keep the server utilization below 60% to provide you with more on-demand resources, but you must set realistic expectations if you want a trouble-free service.

Alternative reseller plan in the UK

Stablepoint offers a number of reseller plans that are different from HostXnow’s. There are some of them that are better value for money, some are more affordable at HostXnow. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that Stablepoint is using 20% slower hardware in Europe and the UK compared to HostXnow. It is not a significant difference, so we suggest studying the options presented by Stablepoint for Premium Unlimited Reseller with 2 CPUs and 4GB RAM per child account or Unlimited Reseller with 2 CPUs and 2GB RAM.
Brixly offers decent servers in the UK, but they are 40% slower than those from HostXNow. Brixly’s  reseller Pro plans deserve special attention. Brixly offers unlimited storage and bandwidth, up to 250 cPanel accounts, 50 MB/s disk I/O speed, 2 GB RAM, and two CPUs per child account. With Brixly, you can boost specific child accounts to 4 GB RAM and 4 CPUs for just £5 per month. Resources like these can be beneficial during the holiday season and provide much more power than top-tier shared hosting plans like those offered by NameHero and A2 Hosting. The WHMCS license costs an additional £7 per month.
Brixly reseller hosting is inexpensive, but you should not sign up for it unless you are confident in your technical abilities. Only shared hosting accounts come with “handholding” technical support. It is not recommended that novice users try to set up an agency with cheap reseller plans. You might be better off upgrading your skills on a shared hosting plan before moving to the reseller plan.
Companies like Brixly can offer low-cost reseller plans because resellers mainly work with simple brochure websites. The LiteSpeed Cache Engine caches such sites on the server, so child accounts are rarely accessed except for editing content and updating plugins. Server resources are grossly oversubscribed. A reseller hosting server with 16 CPU cores can have more than 1,000 cPanel accounts. Your child account can access up to two CPU cores, which does not mean that you can use them continuously. Even a continuous utilization of 5% of the CPU core on the child account can cause problems on such an oversubscribed hosting server.
Your entire reseller account with 100 child accounts should aim to have a conservative average usage of less than 6 GB RAM and 1 CPU. Provisioning 2 GB RAM / 2 CPUs per child account is for peak loads only! Most eCommerce customers should expect to be billed £5 per month for boost resources at 4 CPUs/4GB RAM. If you have a client with a successful eCommerce website, you should consider semi-dedicated shared hosting instead of putting them on a heavily oversubscribed reseller hosting account.

Cheapest but slower option for busy eCommerce websites

HostXNow and MechanicWeb are by far the best options for eCommerce hosting. With their Business plan and Premium plan, you get 8 GB RAM and 6 CPUs for just £30 per month for the annual plan.  The next best option is offered by Serwer.io. It is a 25% slower speed. However, Serwer.io offers slightly better value for money if you want to optimise your website’s resources but can’t afford spending £30 per month.
Serwer.io’s WordPress Deluxe plan, priced at £22 per month, is an interesting option for semi-dedicated shared hosting.  Serwer.io uses AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X server with 16 CPU cores (turbo speed up to 4.4 GHz) and 128 GB of ECC DDR4-2933 RAM.  In our benchmarks, Serwer.io servers provide similar performance to the newest AMD EPYC 7413 Zen 3 servers. Serwer.io’s plan is affordable. It is about half the price of Cloudways’ Vultr HF 2 vCPU/ 4 GB RAM plan. Yet, it provides faster hardware with four times more resources, including 8 CPU cores, 8 GB RAM, 100 simultaneous entry processes, 8 domains, 40 GB NVMe storage (disk speed 64 MB/s), 3Gbps network uplink, enabled Redis, and support for HTTP/3. This configuration is sufficient for several heavily loaded eCommerce sites and outperforms most entry-level VPS offerings. Overall, it provides about ten times better value for money than Cloudways VultrHF 4GB plan and shouldn’t be ignored if you run a bustling eCommerce site.
Serwer.io is the cheapest solution for a busy eCommerce store. Even if you have up to 100,000 visitors per day, you should talk to Serwer.io about your project. Your website has a good chance of being supported by the Serwer.io shared hosting plan, especially if all static assets are left to the CDN.

Cheapet but slower option for brochure websites

The cheapest LiteSpeed web hosting services are offered by several micro-businesses that rent from OVH data centers. Typical hosting locations include London, Washington, Oregon, Sydney, and Singapore. OVH serves hosting providers with a mix of slow servers like Intel Xeon E-2136 and significantly faster Ryzen 5900x. Most companies still offer slow E-2136, but HostXNow and MechanicWeb areis one of the first providers to offer Ryzen 5900x.
You can host your brochure website for as low as £2.5 per month with HostXNow’s Lite annual plan. You may want to consider £4 per month Smart plan from MechanicWeb. Both companies offer almost 1.5 times faster performance than the next best option offered by EthernetServers. When editing websites, the server’s speed is essential, which is why we recommend HostXNow or MechanicWeb. Even when it comes to price, HostXnow is a better alternative to EthernetServers.
Hosting on OVH London data centre servers might cost you as low as £2.5 per month from micro-company EthernetServers based in the UK. The Silver plan includes 3 GB of RAM, 1 CPU core, 30 simultaneous entry processes, support for HTTP/3 protocol, MailChannels, and 15GB of NVMe storage space (disk speed 100MB/s) for five domains, with 1 GB/s network uplink. They offer 4 years old Xeon E-2136 with DDR4-2666 ECC memory.  EthernetServers has been in the business for more than seven years without managing to grow in size. Still, by now, George Sturley, the business owner, has vast experience in setting up and maintaining the service.
Some hosting companies that use OVH are eager to give misleading information. One example of this is WebPlot, which is based in the UK. This company has a bad reputation even among LowEndTalk members. However, since WebPlot claims to be one of the first providers of E-2388G servers from the OVH datacenter in London, we decided to test them. Their servers were poorly misconfigured E-2288G that underperformed EthernetServer’s E-2136. Robert Anderson of WebPlot is often considered a fraud in the LowEndtalk community, and now we know why.

Why we don't recommend GURU

As opposed to many other cloud hosts, GURU (the actual name of the company is UKDedicated) owns the entire Data Center and all servers for the cloud cluster. GURU offers a relatively small CPU allocation for the same money, about two times less than 15% faster Brixly plans priced at the same level. Although GURU runs on five-year-old hardware, our benchmarks show that its performance is comparable to DO Intel Premium on Cloudways.
When choosing GURU, we don’t see any benefit in sacrificing your hardware resources. A few years ago, it might have been a wise choice. They are now offering midrange hardware for a huge premium that isn’t worth your attention. Many affiliate scammers are still trying to convince you to switch to GURU. Compare GURU’s benchmarks with HostXNow or MechanicWeb. There is no need to pursue further investigation. Nothing can change your opinion about Guru if you still believe their services offer good value for money.

Does Krystal Hosting offer reasonable value for money?

Krystal Hosting  is the main LiteSpeed hosting provider in the UK, heavily marketed by affiliate scammers, and used by the majority of the best-performing web agencies in our study of Cambridge web agencies. With Onyx Personal, you can get 2 GB of RAM, 5GB of NVMe storage space (with horribly slow disk speeds), 40 simultaneous process entries, one domain, and no email services for £15 per month. The Krystal Onyx server uses two AMD EPYC 7542 Zen 2 processors.
For several years, Krystal has worked on “Katapult” – an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform intended to offer extreme performance and simplicity. Onyx is Krystal’s managed shared hosting on the Katapult platform. The benchmarks show that Krystal Onyx performs much worse than Brixly, which is using similar AMD EPYC servers. This decrease in performance cancels out all the advantages of AMD EPYC hardware. In particular, long TTFB, slow access to the disk and database is regrettable.
While it still holds up to fast Intel servers such as those used by GURU, we don’t recommend Krystal Onyx.  Krystal is heavily overprised and slow. Another drawback of using a homegrown software stack is the inability to incorporate ModSecurity or Immunify360. Krystal is working on integrating ModSecurity into its platform, but a timeline for implementation has not been announced. We can’t think of any arguments for why people would still fall into the trap of using slow hardware and a flawed homegrown software stack when you can get HostXNow or MechanicWeb services with twice the speed for hardware. Featuring the latest industry software and email support HostXNow and MechanicWeb are of a different calibre.
Krystal offers a set of cPanel plans. The more expensive one, Sapphire, for £30 per month, is already providing NVMe SSD storage. But it is too costly and is running on outdated hardware. We suggest that you have to wait to see if Krystal will manage to upgrade their more reasonably priced Ruby plan (for £10 per month) to more recent hardware with the NVMe storage. Until then, we don’t recommend using their cPanel services.

Hosting in the USA and Asia

International hosting
Details of our benchmark methodology are explained in a separate post.

Your best options

As we explained above, even a local business based in the UK may need to optimise its website for global traffic to meet the requirements of the new Page Experience metrics introduced by Google.
  • If your clients are in the UK or Europe we recommend HostXNow or MechanicWeb; they both have servers in London.
  • If you serve global markets, you have to choose the USA :
    • Dallas (MechanicWeb) is the best location for the global traffic to EU and Asia;
    • select a server in Oregon (Stablepoint), Los Angeles (MechanicWeb), or Dallas (MechanicWeb) for a website with a significant share of the West coast traffic.
    • Dallas (MecahnicWeb) or Washington (HostXNow) for optimised traffic to the US and Europe
  • If you’re in Asia, use Stablepoint.
  • You will have to use the Content Distribution Network (CDN) service. There are several options, with the most important described in the separate post.
TTFB vs hosting server location

The Hall of shame

The most widely approved hosting provider meeting hardware requirements set in our separate study is A2Hosting with their Turbo Boost plan, which will cost you £7.2 per month if paying for a three years package upfront. The Turbo Boost comes with 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 50 simultaneous entry processes, unlimited NVMe storage with the heavily throttled 4 MB/s speed, and support for HTTP/3 protocol and MailChannels. They provide Memcached memory-caching system for an eCommerce website which most likely is a security threat for your account. The heavy-throttled NVMe storage speed defies the very reason for introducing an SSD with a high-speed PCIe socket. In fact, many plans using ordinary SSD storage will offer 10 MB/s disk I/O speed. So be aware that you’re buying the service with an NVMe SSD drive, but your hard drive speed is throttled below what you get with ordinary SSD storage. This is sheer incompetence on the part of the technical staff at A2Hosting.
The A2Hosting Turbo Boost benchmarks are similar to those of NameHero. Regrettably, A2Hosting restricted disk I/O so severely. Turbo Web Hosting servers come with a built-in caching engine for Full Page Cache. Bloggers who report fast server performance without realising they measure caching system performance on a very slow disk server are confused by this. For junior plans, just be aware that A2Hosting has too much spare capacity on the old hardware to accommodate the new users. According to BuilWith the number of users of A2Hosting has dropped four (!) times during last year.
A2Hosting Usage Statistics
A2Hosting Usage Statistics
The massive exodus is caused by the devastating ransomware attack destroying data for ALL users of A2Hosting. The recent wave of recommendations from all walks of WordPress bloggers to use A2Hosting looks as bad as a massive number of positive reviews on the Amazon page of the questionable Chinese supplier.  We don’t recommend taking an A2Hosting Turbo Boost plan with its dismal 4 MB/s disk speed regardless of any other considerations. CloudLinux recommends this specific value for HDD drive speed. NVMe technology offers a fiftyfold increase in disk I/O speed over HDD, a technology that is two generations behind. A2Hosting is not alone in judging disk I/O speed unfairly. The Business WordPress Hosting plan of Hostinger offered a 1 MB/s limit, which was upgraded in August 2021 to 10 MB/s. Hostinger adds too many caching layers to mask the pathetically slow disk speed, but this is not the only problem they have.

MechanicWeb services

Cloudflare CDN traffic for visitors from China is forwarded to Cloudflare’s server in Los Angeles. You may consider using a low-cost MechanicWeb hosting in Los Angeles to optimize traffic for the origin server for dynamic HTML pages.  Their cheapest Smart shared hosting plan is available for $3 per month and offers 1 GB of RAM, 1 CPU core, 20 concurrent entry processes, 10 GB of NVMe storage and two domains, but still includes Cloudflare Railgun access, HTTP/3 protocol support and MailChannels. The full list of features can be found here. MechanicWeb’s Los Angeles server has modern hardware, multiple 100 GBps network uplinks, and is connected to 300+ peers via various fiber transport links on the local Internet Exchange. The Los Angeles server is based on the Ryzen 9 5900x Zen 3 processor. This is a high-speed CPU, and this server will provide impressive and fast performance for your website.
The MechanicWeb server in Dallas has a about 5% faster Ryzen 9 5950x processor with a slightly larger CPU cores count. This is the same server used by MechanicWeb in the Hetzner data center in Germany.
MechanicWeb’s Power plan is the most interesting one in its lineup. For $10 per month, you get 2 GB of memory, 2 CPU, 50 MB/s disk I/O speed, and 30 GB of disk space for up to twenty domains. We can compare this plan with the shared VPS hosting that Cloudways offers. Cloudway’s VultrHF plan with 2GB RAM and 1vCPU costs twice as much. Many confused bloggers describe Cloudways’ resource allocation as dedicated. Please read our discussion or Vultr’s own offering of dedicated vCPU plans starting at $60 per month to understand the extent of the user misinformation run by the Cloudways team and its affiliate community.
Based on our benchmark, MechanicWeb offers a 90% CPU speed boost over VultrHF. You will serve each visitor request faster with MechanicWeb, which will result in a better experience for your visitors and a higher conversion rate. If nine times better value for money for 90% faster service is not enough to persuade the users to depart from Cloudways, then nothing will.
MechanicWeb offers Semi-Dedciated plans with a junior Prime plan starting at 3 GB RAM, 3 CPU cores, 40 concurrent entry processes, 30 GB of NVMe storage, disk speed of 100 MB /s, and unlimited domains. It is hosted on the same server but costs around $13 per month. The limit imposed by the allocation of entry processes should be quite enough to host around twenty simple websites from the server’s static cache. This plan is a useful upgrade option from Power plan if your account consistently consumes a high proportion of CPU ‘s resources.
We recommend considering MechanicWeb’s Power or Prime plans as the best options for a high-traffic eCommerce site. You’ll get faster performance and will sustain higher traffic to your website. More importantly, you will enjoy friendly tech support, which should outweigh any other considerations. MechanicWeb offers all the standard options like ImunifyAV for Malware Protection, free daily offsite backup, 30-day backup retention, Cloudflare CDN with Railgun integration, MailChannels outbound spam filter, Softaculous one-click installer, and staging environment.

NameHero

Affiliate scammers cause a lot of confusion about NameHero’s services. NameHero’s flagship AMD EPYC 7302 servers show disappointing benchmark results. HostXNow Ryzen Zen 3 5900x servers in the  data center in Washington are a better choice. They are two and a half time faster than NameHero’s current servers. In fact, you can also consider MechanicWeb with Ryzen 5900x in Los Angeles and Ryzen 5950x in Dallas, or StablePoint Ryzen 5900x in Oregon.
On top of that, NameHero’s backups are inadequate – most of the time you can only use a single backup taken a week ago. When you suffer a ransomware attack, a lack of daily backups for the last month or more can cause a lot of trouble. NameHero reneged on their initial plans to upgrade to AMD EPYC Zen 3. If you take an ill advice to switch to NameHero as proof of affiliate scammers’ incompetence, you will be right.

USA and the rest of the World option

Stablepoint is using a mix of older EPYC Zen 2 servers at Linode and DigitalOcean datacenters, but is also moving to bare metal EPYC Zen 3 or Ryzen Zen 3 servers at third-party datacenters. For example, in London they are using EPYC 7313P Zen 3 from Leaseweb, and in Oregon they are using Ryzen 9 5900x Zen 3 from OVH data center. EPYC Zen 3 is used at Singapore. It’s important to check their current hardware at your local preferred location with the Stablepoint support team. In order to receive an answer, you should open a new  Support Ticket. StablePoint is planning to move to EPYC Zen 3 in most locations in the near future, but that has not yet been accomplished in some places like Australia.
Stablepoint has a decent range of shared-hosting and reseller hosting plans. You first choice should always be a Ryzen Zen 3 server. You can get in London or in Germany from MechanicWeb and  HostXNow. In the USA it is available in Oregon from Stablepoint, in Los Angeles and Dallas from MechanicWeb, and in Washington from HostXNow. In all other locations available from Stablepoint you should prioritise EPYC Zen 3 servers, which are just 20% slower than Ryzen 5900x. If your customers are located in more obscured parts of the world, you will have to use EPYC Zen 2 servers, which are 50% slower. It is best to be served from the server which is local to your customers. In the case of the global traffic to the website, you should choose location according the geography of your audience. Dallas is the best location for serving global users. TTFB times are excellent across the USA, and TTFB times to Europe and Asia are among the lowest for USA-based servers.
Larger agencies should consider StablePoint’s dedicated CPU Business hosting plans. This move will enable Redis for your clients and will remove problems with overcrowded servers. LiteSpeed Enterprise and cPanel accounts are provisioned for your clients on dedicated CPU VPS instances from Linode or DO servers. The plans are identical to those offered by MechanicWeb as quasi-dedicated plans. However, they are about 20% more expensive and are run on hardware that is about 40% slower. The main attraction of this offer is the wide geographical coverage provided by Linode and DO. StablePoint offers services that might be useful to anyone outside of the USA and Europe covered by MechanicWeb.

Adanced options

If you are considering Enterprise-grade shared hosting, reseller hosting, or managed VPS, we recommend studying the plans offered by four providers:  MechanicWeb, HostXNow, Brixly, and Stablepoint. Depending on your geographical location, HostXNow and MechanicWeb, should be your first choice for the top semi-dedicated shared hosting plans. Brixly Reseller Pro,  HostXNow Business Reseller plan, MechanicWeb TurboXL, and Stablepoint’s Business plans are the best options for serving multiple clients with optimal resource allocation for child accounts. MechanicWeb’s HF-68 are among the best managed VPS options for hosting your own LiteSpeed Web Server. You can find detailed information regarding the comparison of all these options in a separate study. Please don’t forget to consider implementing the CDN options described by us.
The following is our final summary of the geographical location of advanced hosting:
  • London (HostXNow, MechanicWeb) to serve UK-based clients.
  • Germany (MechanicWeb) will serve the UK, Europe, Turkey, and Israel.
  • Los Angeles (MechanicWeb) or Orgeon (StablePoint) will serve clients in the West Coast;
  • Dallas (MechanicWeb) is the best spot for serving customers globally
  • Washington (HostXNow) is the best location for serving USA and Europe
  • Sydney, Sinagpore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Bangalore (Stablepoint) to serve customers in Asia.

How to Test your options

Most hosting providers suggested above offer a free trial, discounted fee of £1 for the first month, or first 30-day full refund option. So, you can try a couple of them at once by moving your website files to several hosting providers. You can then start changing Domain Nameservers (to point to a new host) and measure your webpages’ overall performance.
Our methodology for testing hosting providers is described in a separate post. Using the free WP Benchmarking plugin, multiple tests can be measured quickly and easily. You will get a lot of information about your hosting provider in less than 4 minutes! Measured data is completely independent of any other settings on your hosting provider package and is unaffected by any other plugins installed on your WordPress site. Follow the simple instructions offered in the above article, and you will be able to determine whether the hosting plan offered to you is worth keeping.

Next steps

If you are hosting your website on a LiteSpeed Web server, be sure to use the QUIC.cloud CDN. This CDN service provides for free 10 GB of bandwidth per month and will serve static HTML files from its edge servers, freeing up your origin server to focus on serving dynamic HTML files for eCommerce website visitors. Please read our post “How to Choose Your Best CDN Provider” for in-depth technical information about CDN services, espesially if you need to host video files.
Web design agencies are important to your website’s function. Selecting the appropriate hosting and a CDN can help with website loading time, but you’re not going to get far without an attractive page design. The democratization of web page design tools has led to an influx of technically uninformed web designers into website development roles. You may be surprised to learn that most designers are unable to design websites with fast loading speeds. Our article on “How to choose a web design agency” helps you thoroughly evaluate which design company is the right fit for your needs.
WebWhim is a design agency based in Cambridge, UK, that specialises in web design services. We are experts in graphic and web development. Our company has over 15 years of experience in the field. We’ll work with you to explore all your business needs and create tailored solutions to meet them. To provide clients with a comprehensive design process, we have created an affordable web design package. It’s possible to learn more about what we offer on our website design page.
We offer web and graphic design. We cover the full spectrum of your needs, from logos to eCommerce stores. Our company offers advice on web hosting solutions, as well as technical search engine optimization. We have a small team with the expertise to meet all your needs.
If you need any assistance, please contact us at svetlana.zh@webwhim.co.uk.
Visit our WordPress research portal for more information. We’ve interviewed various hosting providers and plugin developers to come up with six research articles, all about understanding the WordPress ecosystem. A knowledgeable web design agency is crucial to delivering blazing-fast pages, as are proper plugins and tools, a great hosting provider, and fast CDN. Without these basics, your website will not pass the new Page Experience signals introduced by Google.