Best WordPress Hosting
Providers for UK in 2021

Solution:
  • For a simple website, £2.5 per month, use EthernetServers
  • For a demanding eCommerce website, £8 per month, use MechanicWeb
  • Choose EthernetServers in the London data center and MechanicWeb in the German data center to serve visitors from the UK.
  • The same two companies offer servers in the US; use the US data centers to serve your international, English-speaking visitors.
22 minutes read | Last modified on August 3d, 2021

Summary

Table 1. UK hosting providers with LiteSpeed Web Server.
Table 1. UK hosting providers with LiteSpeed Web Server.
Awesome- LiteSpeed testimonial
Table 2. International hosting providers with LiteSpeed WebServer
Table 2. International hosting providers with LiteSpeed WebServer
Krystal Onyx is a ridiculous attempt to build its own proprietary software platform without key security features. Krystal Onyx shares the hall of shame with Cloudways. Both do not provide much protection against malware. Don’t entertain that option since Onyx’s lead software developer left Krystal last month.
cPanel accounts on Krystal are overpriced and hosted on old slow hardware. GURU is as fast as VultrHF, but 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 less money, you can use four times more CPU recourse on MechanicWeb’s servers. If one CPU is sufficient for your needs, you can get your hosting four times cheaper at EthernetServers, which is 20% faster than GURU.
Keep an eye on Brixly, who is upgrading their offering with AMD EPYC servers and should offer similar speed to GURU’s. Please give them a try by the end of October – they are just in the middle of moving all their users over to the new hardware.
MechanicWeb deserves serious consideration. With QUIC.cloud CDN by LiteSpeed, you can serve UK users from the London PoP. MechanicWeb overhead to UK from the Hetzner’s data centre in Germany is 30ms. However, their TTFB time is one of the best in the industry, and their servers are 90% faster than the GURU’s. Aside from the impressive speed boosts, MechanicWeb is among the best value for money offers.

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 is changing 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, but they 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 and US businesses. The information is regularly updated. We are glad to report that three providers on the current list have already doubled their disk I/O speed allocation after reading our posts. Another one has increased his disk speed limit five times. We also glad to see that several companies have greatly improved the fine-tuning of their servers to improve benchmarks score in several performance testing plugins like WP Performance Tester and WP Benchmark introduced by us to their technical team.

Domestic Website

Can a CDN be ignored?

If your website has only UK visitors – then select your hosting provider in the UK. Another popular hub for the hosting providers is Amsterdam, with its massive Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) handling around 10TB of data every second. It is the largest internet hub on the planet, sometimes referred to as “the centre of the Internet”. Of course, there is a small overhead in the region of 10ms for the PING from the UK to Amsterdam, but it is not a substantial penalty for the page loading speed. Additional options will open up if you decide to consider Amsterdam, but you indeed might count for better technical support from the onshore hosting provider. 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. While Google strikes a balance by ignoring 25% of the worst data that the Chrome browser reports from your actual visitors, 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. In most cases, CDN will be free or will cost you less than $2 per month, so it’s worth the effort to set it up.
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. 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.

Cloud services

Before describing shortlisted options, we should explain the exclusion of many WordPress bloggers’ darling, GURU Cloud Hosting. Unlike many other cloud hosting providers, GURU (the actual company name is UKDedicated) owns the Data Center and all servers used for the cloud cluster. GURU offers a relatively low CPU resource allocation, such as a single thread of the multithreaded CPU. This is a typical limitation of the cloud services described in our technical paper. GURU runs on five-year-old hardware, but our tests using the WP Performance Tester plugin show that GURU performance is in between the performance of the Vultr HF and DO Premium on Cloudways. Under heavy traffic load, the weak CPU performance with a single vCPU thread could cause some issues; however, the Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) response time for static fully cached sites will not be affected. Please don’t take it seriously for a busy eCommerce store, and your web pages will load lightning fast. However, GURU is no longer using Softaculous and instead uses Installatron, making it impossible to have a staging environment to develop a new version of the website. For us, it is an absolute no-go. A GURU service is expensive compared to the other options on our list. Hosting providers like EthernetServers who rent their servers through OVH will offer you a better price and faster hardware.

Krystal Hosting - is it a good value for money?

The main option for the hosting provider located in the UK, voted for by many reviewers, and used by several dozens of the top-performing agencies in our benchmark study of Cambridge-based web agencies is Krystal Hosting Ltd. Their Onyx Personal offering will cost you £15 per month with 5GB NVMe storage space (with no disk speed throttling), 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU core, 40 simultaneous entry processes, one domain, and no email services.  The Krystal Onyx server is using dual AMD EPYC 7542 (Q3 2019) with 32 CPU cores,  3.4 GHz turbo, 128 MB cache, and DDR4-2933MHz ECC memory.
It’s all good, but let’s talk about complications. Krystal’s internal team developed Onyx as a replacement for cPanel. Unfortunately, Krystal performs much worse in MySQL benchmark results compared to other hosting providers using similar AMD EPYC servers. The drop in performance of about 40% cancels out all the advantages of AMD EPYC hardware, although it still stands up to fast Intel servers such as one used by EthernetServers. Using homegrown software stack has another drawback, which is the inability to incorporate ModSecurity or immunify360. Krystal is working on integrating ModSecurity into its platform, but unfortunately, the timeline for implementation has not been announced.
If you need to host your website with a medium-size company and have less than 20,000 visitors per month, you should take Krystal Onyx Personal plan. It is hosted on modern hardware with NVMe storage and uses LiteSpeed, so your website will be loading extremely fast. You also can redirect from your co.uk domain to the .com domain for free. You can add another domain (with its own resource allocation) and email accounts; each option will cost an extra £5 per month. Instead of MailChannels, Krystal offers SpamExperts, which is not a bad substitute. Overall, the Krystal Hosting offering is not an excellent value for money. Still, it is better than GURU hosting and is about 10% faster in single-core MySQL benchmark tests while providing twice as much CPU resources. We dislike that it is based on the homegrown software stack, but we are afraid that this is the only option in the UK if you want to choose a sizeable hosting provider.
Don’t be put off by the 20,000 visits per month restriction. By unloading most of the traffic to the QUIC.cloud CDN, it is possible to extend such a limit to about 50,000 visits per month using a budget of just £1 extra per month. It will cost at least twenty times more to upgrade your account to the next Tier on Krystal. With QUIC.cloud CDN, your UK visitors will be served from their local London PoP server. Visitors’ requests will go back to Krystal’s origin server only for dynamic HTML pages required for the eCommerce website.
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 with disabled Redis. This plan’s best servers are Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 (Q3 2013), with 12 cores, 24 threads, 3.5 GHz turbo, 30 MB cache, and slow DD3-1600 memory. We have removed from our review about six other inexpensive providers with similar outdated hardware. So 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.

Fast Hosting from OVH data centers

The cheapest LiteSpeed web hosting services are offered by several micro-businesses that rent from OVH data centers. Typical hosting locations include London, Paris, Frankfurt, Montreal, New Jersey, Sydney, and Singapore. OVH serves hosting providers with a mix of fast servers like Intel-Xeon E-2136 and 10% slower E3-1270 v6. OVH already offers 10% faster Intel Xeon-E 2288G in London, but the companies listed below have not yet upgraded to this newer hardware.
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. The best server is built using Xeon E-2136 (Q3 2018) 6 cores, 12 threads, 4.5GHz turbo, 12 MB cache, and DDR4-2666 ECC memory. If you have a simple brochure website or many simple websites with medium traffic, you should seriously consider giving EthernetServers a try. This offering is the best value for money with plenty of positive reviews. 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.
EthernetServers will cost you about 1/4 of the Cloudways plan. Still, they will provide performance matching the best Vultr HF plans, according to MySQL benchmarks determined by the WP Performance Tester plugin. In the table below, we compare EthernetServers to one of the slowest Vultr HF instances. Vultr HF provides large variation in the technical specification for its servers, so you can not rely on been served by the fast one. Overall, EthernetServers’ six times better value for money might convince some users to reconsider their commitment to Cloudways services.
EthernetServers 3 GB RAM, 1 CPU $5.95 per month vs Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
EthernetServers 3 GB RAM, 1 CPU $5.95 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF  2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
The micro-firm HostMantis offers the most comprehensive range of plans with LiteSpeed servers in OVH data centres worldwide. Scott Newton, the company owner, is leaving in Michigan, so be aware of the time difference if you expect prompt technical support. Scott has been running his hosting business for more than fifteen years and focuses on hosting experienced users who don’t need “hand-holding” when using their cPanel accounts. If you’re aware that you’ll be a high-maintenance user, skip HostMantis favouring MechanicWeb, whose services are described below. OVH’s reputation had suffered after the fire at their Strasbourg Data Centre in March 2021, so some of you may want to be careful when deciding to host with them. HostMantis stores all backups with backup providers not affiliated with OVH as an extra layer of redundancy. In the event of an OVH data centre failure, HostMantis would immediately restore any server from the backup to another Data Centre.
HostMantis offers advanced plans such as an Entry plan for £9.5 per month for 2.5 CPU, 4 GB RAM, 50 GB NVMe SSD with 200 MB/s speed and 40 entry processes. You can scale further to the Advanced plan for £18.5 per month for 4.5 CPU, 6 GB RAM, 100 GB NVMe SSD with 450 MB/s and 60 entry processes. The ultimate Expert plan costs £29.5 per month for a 5.5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, 150 GB NVMe SSD with 600 MB/s and 80 entry processes. HostMantis offers essential add-ons such as unmetered 1 Gbps Bandwidth, DDoS Protection, Redis Object Cache, MailChannels and Imunify360. OVH provides HostMantis with a mix of fast servers such as Intel-Xeon E-2136 and 10% slower E3-1270 v6. Please note that extensive system resources are hard to come by on these plans, as you will be prompted to move to the next higher plan once you reach 25% CPU utilisation for longer than 5 minutes. You should divide the CPU and RAM allocation on the HostMantis plans by about 2 times when comparing them to most other hosting plans listed in this review.
HostMantis
HostMantis 4 GB RAM, 2.5 CPU $12.75 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
It would be best to try to stick with EthernetServices whenever possible since they use the same OVH hardware but offer more friendly customer support. There have been a few reported instances where HostMantis terminated clients’ accounts without explanation because its owner Scott was dissatisfied with the clients’ technical demands.

Alternative option

OVH offers low prices for bare metal servers, but their poor infrastructure makes them not very popular with small hosting companies. MechanicWeb is one such company that prefers to rent its servers from HiVelocity’s more expensive but higher-end Data Centres and from boutique provider TailorMadeServers (TMS), which maintains modern infrastructure in a Private Data suite in a world-class data centre in Dallas.
With its servers based in Amsterdam, MechanicWeb offers a wide range of fast web hosting plans for all customers in Europe and the UK. They use Intel Xeon E-2276G with 4.9 GHz Turbo, 2666 MHz DDR4 ECC memory, NVMe SSD and 10 Gbps server port. Such servers are almost the same speed as those available from HostMantis and EthernetServers in OVH data centres in London as well as in Germany and France. But MechanicWeb has 25% faster servers in Dallas and Los Angeles for the users who want to host in the US. Benchmarks using two plugins, WP Benchmark and WP Performace Tester, also confirm these speed improvements in the USA.
The company’s service in Amsterdam is priced the same as that on the 25% faster servers in the US and therefore does not offer significant benefits to the UK market. Most of MechanicWeb’s plans in Amsterdam will be more expensive than similar plans from EthernetServers and HostMantis. If you wish to host multiple websites, MechanicWeb’s shared hosting plans become more attractive. In the section of the report that deals with US-based hosting, we discuss their XL Power and SDC-30 plans. In any case, give them a try if you’re looking for managed VPS or Reseller plans.

The fastest option

Serwer.io‘s WordPress Pro plan, priced at £21.50 per month, is the absolute champion of shared hosting.  Serwer.io uses a workstation and gaming-grade AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X server with 16 CPU cores (turbo speed up to 4.4 GHz) and 128 GB of ECC DDR4-2933 RAM. Using the WP Performance Tester plugin, we found that its MySQL benchmark for a single CPU core was almost twice as fast as Vultr HF. The use of AMD Ryzen servers is the main reason for the boost in the benchmarks. We have corrected these values by about 1.6 times to remove the bias in the benchmarks. In our estimates, Serwer.io remains 25% faster than the best Vulttr HF instances studied by us on Cloudways plans. Serwer.io’s plan is about half the price of Cloudways’ Vultr HF 2 vCPU/ 4 GB RAM plan. Yet, it provides three times more resources, including 6 CPU cores, 10 GB RAM, 100 simultaneous entry processes, 20 domains, 60 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 at least six times better value for money than Cloudways VultrHF 4GB plan and shouldn’t be ignored if you run a bustling eCommerce site.
Serwer.io 10 GB RAM 6 CPU $30 per month vs Cloudways Vultr HF 4 GB RAM 2 vCPU $50 per month
Serwer.io 10 GB RAM 6 CPU $30 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF 4 GB RAM 2 vCPU $50
Serwer.io strives to provide the fastest shared web hosting to their customers. They use the fastest workstation-grade hardware available on the market. Serwer.io has successfully optimised its software settings to minimize various delays caused by CageFS, imunify360, ModSecurity, MySQL, etc. Their hosting plan outperforms Cloudways on Vultr HF 4GB in every single CPU core test performed by hosting benchmark measurement plugins like WPPerformanceTester and WPBenchmark. While EthernetServers offers the best inexpensive plans for smaller eCommerce stores or brochure websites, Serwer.io is the best 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.

Remaining medium speed options

Further options offered by UK hosting providers are outlined below. Please be aware that all of them will have a slower CPU speed and will take slightly longer to process requests from your visitors. Because web pages load times affect both your Google ranking and visitors’ experience, you will want to choose a provider with faster RAM, CPU, and disk access times. Despite this, the options described below still offer comparable performance to SiteGround and DigitalOcean Intel plans on Cloudways.
An attractively priced offer is provided by Snappy Host, incorporated in the middle of 2020. It has a useful Premium plan, priced at £6.5 per month. It comes with 40 GB NVMe Storage (and pathetic disk speed 10 MB/s) for one domain, 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 30 simultaneous entry processes, 1 GB/s network uplink, and MailChannels. Their servers use Xeon Gold 6140 (Q3 2017), 18 cores, 36 threads, a 3.7 GHz turbo, 25 MB cache, and DDR4-2666 ECC memory. Compared to EthernetServers, their servers are 27% slower, but you’ll have twice as many CPU cores. Please be aware that SnappyHost is strictly restricting the number of websites hosted with them. If you need to host three domains, you will have to pay £9.95 per month; it is £12.99 per month for five domains. It is early days for the business, but you can look at their Trustpilot profile to find plenty of genuine positive reviews.  SnappyHost has six technical support people, which allows them to provide better services than EthernetServers and HostMantis listed above. We spoke to actual customers who are really impressed with the response of the technical support team. The speed of their servers is 7% lower than the one offered on DO Premium plans on Cloudways, but you get much more hardware resources for a much smaller fee.
SnappyHost
SnappyHost 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU $9 per month vs
Cloudways DO Premium 2 GB RAM, 1 vCPU $26 per month
You should consider Brixly if you need to host an eCommerce website. For now, be prepared for slower server performance than the rest of the companies listed in our review. But the company is in the process of moving to a new hosting infrastructure with High-Availability cloud servers based on AMD EPYC 7502 with Turbo frequency up to 3.3GHz and DDR4 3200 RAM. That infrastructure will be as fast as the one used by SnappyHost. Brixly’s cheapest plan costs £15 per month. It comes with 4 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 75 simultaneous entry processes, 1 GB/s network uplink, support for ten domains, enabled Redis, HTTP/3 protocol support, and 50 GB NVMe storage with 50 MB/s disk speed. Despite only being four years old, Brixly has a lot of positive reviews. Brixly has a technical team of about five people, with the quality of the technical support similar to SnappyHost. Brixly provides more resources than SnappyHost, so consider their offering as a logical extension of the junior plans offered by SnappyHost.

International Website

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 primary clients are in the UK and Europe, you should select hosting servers in the UK or Amsterdam; we recommend MechanicWeb servers in Amsterdam or EthernetServers in London Data Center.
  • If you serve global markets, you have to choose the USA :
    • try Michigan (NameHero) to access Europe better;
    • New Jersey (EthernetServers) for less recourse-demanding websites;
    • Dallas (MechanicWeb) is the best location between the West and the East Coasts and is more optimised for the traffic to Latin America visitors;
    • select a server in Los Angeles (MechanicWeb) for a website with a significant share of Asian traffic delivered via a CDN provider.
  • If you’re in Sydney or Singapore, use EthernetServers. Singapore is also the best location for optimising CDN traffic to Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
  • For India, Pakistan, and Bahrain, the ExonHost servers in Bangladesh will provide your visitors with the lowest TTFB values.
  • You will have to use the Content Distribution Network (CDN) service. There are several options, with the most important described in the separate post.

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 don’t support Redis but provide Memcached memory-caching system for an eCommerce website. 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 8 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 plan results measured with the WP Performance Tester plugin were 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 and Edge Side Includes. 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 throttling per account on shared servers. 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.
By ruling out the A2Hosting, we describe better options for hosting in the US. We specifically talk about three locations – Los Angeles, Dallas, and Michigan.

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 $4.25 per month and offers 1 GB of RAM, 1 CPU core, 20 concurrent entry processes, 10 GB of NVMe storage (with a questionably low disk speed of 20 Mb/s) and two domains, but still includes Cloudflare Railgun access, HTTP/3 protocol support and MailChannels. MechanicWeb provides an object cache on a Memcached server with SASL security, which ensures that each user has their own Memcached instance. This makes MechanicWeb the perfect choice for eCommerce websites. 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 workstation-grade Intel Xeon E-2288G (Q2 2019, 9th generation Coffee Lake) with 8 CPU cores, 16 threads, 5 GHz Turbo, 16 MB cache and DDR4-2666 ECC memory. This is a high-speed CPU, and this server will provide impressive and fast performance for your website.
The MechanicWeb server in Dallas is an even faster workstation-grade Xeon W-1290P (Q2 2020, 10th generation Comet Lake) with 10 CPU cores, 20 threads, 5.3 GHz Turbo, 20 MB cache, and DDR4-3200 ECC memory. As we pointed out above, MechanicWeb’s shared hosting is about twenty five percent faster than HostMantis or EthernetServers. One way to increase your conversion rate would be to make your website faster, so don’t overlook this opportunity.
MechanicWeb’s Power XL plan is the most interesting one in its lineup. For $12.5 per month you get 2 GB of memory, 1 CPU, 40 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 Geekbench results published by Vultr and MechanicWeb, MechanicWeb offers a 20% CPU speed boost over VultrHF. A MySQL benchmark performed with WP Performance Tester plugging has shown from 25% to 60% increase in MechanicWeb server performance compared to Cloudways Vultr HF plan depending on the specific cloud instance used in the sample. That probably indicates that Vultr HF offers different hardware servers on their plans. Cloud plans may move erratically between different physical servers in the same Data Center, so you should expect unpredictable fluctuations in your hosting performance on Vultr HF. MechanicWeb and Cloudways both offer object caching for eCommerce sites. 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 three times better value for money for up to 60% faster service is not enough to persuade the users to depart from Cloudways, then nothing will.
MechanicWeb 2 GB RAM, 1 CPU $12.8 per month vs Cloudways DO Premium 2 GB RAM, 1 CPU $26 per month
MechanicWeb 2 GB RAM, 1 CPU $12.8 per month vs
Cloudways DO Premium 2 GB RAM, 1 vCPU $26 per month
MechanicWeb offers Semi-Dedicated hosting with a junior SDC-30 plan starting at 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 40 concurrent entry processes, 30 GB of NVMe storage, disk speed of 50 MB /s, and unlimited domains. It is hosted on the same server but costs around $17.5 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 XL if your account consistently consumes a high proportion of CPU ‘s resources.
MechanicWeb 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU $17.3 per month vs Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
MechanicWeb 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU $17.3 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
We recommend considering MechanicWeb’s PowerXL or SDC-30 plans as the best options for a high-traffic eCommerce site. You’ll get faster performance than the less expensive HostMantis’ plans and will sustain higher traffic to your website. More importantly, you will enjoy more friendly and better tech support, which should outweigh any other considerations. MechanicWeb offers all the standard options like ImunifyAV, 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

MechanicWeb has been in the hosting business for six years but some clients prefer to work with slightly larger companies. In this case, consider NameHero, a six year old company with a larger size that also offers a number of very attractive plans. NameHero is a winner of the “Best Web Hosting Companies of 2020” award given by FindBestHost. NameHero hosts about 500,000 websites, and its success in receiving an award shows a large user base ready to vote for their champion. The company is currently developing its own custom Data Center in Kansas City to improve speed and redundancy. NameHero is also respected in the community for a large number of online tutorials and online video created by its CEO Ryan Gray.
NameHero’s best deal is the Turbo Cloud plan with an upfront three-year price of £6.5 per month for the Michigan server. The plan features 3 GB RAM, 3 CPU cores, 100 concurrent entry processes, unlimited NVMe storage (disk speed 50 MB /s), 1 Gbps network uplink, HTTP/3 protocol support, enabled Redis and MailChannels. Their server is based on AMD EPYC 7302 (Q3 2019) with 16 cores, 32 threads, 3.3 GHz Turbo, 128 MB cache and DDR4-3200 memory. The NVMe memory is limited by the same number of inodes as MechanicWeb’s semi-dedicated server described above. Our estimate gives approximately the same 30GB of memory as specified for MechanicWeb’s plan. Increased entry processes allocation allows for hosting up to 25 simple websites with static, fully cached pages.
Discout at NameHero
Using AMD EPYC servers, NameHero improves its MySQL benchmark performance as measured by the WP Performance Tester plugin. Although AMD EPYC servers have slower CPU speeds, NameHero offers a 20 percent improvement in MySQL benchmarks over MechanicalWeb servers. As described in details in our additional report those metrics are boosted by 1.8 times due to artefacts in the selected functions.  We conclude that MechanicWeb’s best Intel servers might still offer 35% faster real-life single-core performance on the busy eCommerce site. AMD EPYC servers, however, offer more CPU resources for the same price, so the jury is still out when comparing high-frequency Intel and AMD EPYC servers.
NameHero 3 GB RAM 3 CPU, $8 per month vs Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
NameHero 3 GB RAM 3 CPU, $8 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month
NameHero have older shared servers hosted in the Data Center in Amsterdam. They will carry upgrades of their European hardware in one or two years, and we expect to add their new Amsterdam based services to our recommended list for UK hosting providers. Watch this space for updates!

South Asia options

Several LiteSpeed hosting companies use OVH data centres in Singapore and Sydney to serve their customers. EthernetServers and HostMantis,  described in our UK section, offer services in both locations. However, it would be best if you also considered ExonHost. Compared to HostMantis, they offer more coordinated plans based in Singapore (OVH data centre) and Bangladesh using the same E3-1270 v6 servers as HostMantis. ExonHost offer their services in Bangladesh for those who have Indian, Pakistani or Bahraini visitors. They have TTFBs below 100ms in these locations, which is impossible for a Singapore-based hosting provider. Consider their Advanced plan for 2GB RAM/ 2 CPU or Turbo Plus plan for 4GB RAM/ 4 CPU. They offer a massive but affordable Turbo Prestige plan with 8 GB RAM/ 8 CPUs and several Reseller Hosting plans with 1 GB RAM/ 1 CPU per child account. Additionally, ExonHost offers LiteSpeed hosting in Dallas, but their offering overlaps with MechanicWeb’s, which uses about 30% faster servers. Faster CPUs are critical, so we recommend considering MechanicWeb instead.
ExonHost-vs-CW
ExonHost 4 GB RAM 4 CPU, $16.8 per month vs
Cloudways Vultr HF 2 GB RAM 1 vCPU, $26 per month

Adanced options

If you are considering Enterprise-grade shared hosting, reseller hosting, or managed VPS, we recommend studying the plans offered by four major providers: NameHero, MechanicWeb, HostMantis, and Serwer.io. Depending on your geographical location, the HostMantis Expert Enterprise Hosting (8 GB RAM/ 5.5 CPU), the ExonHost Turbo Prestige (8 GB RAM / 8 CPU), NameHero Business Cloud (4 GB RAM/ 4 CPU), Serwer.io WordPress Pro (10 GB RAM/ 6 CPU), and SDC-200 from MechanicWeb (8 GB RAM / 4 CPU) are the top semi-dedicated shared hosting plans you should consider when making your decision. NameHero Platinum Reseller, Brixly Reseller Pro, and MechanicWeb TurboXL are the best options for serving multiple clients with optimal resource allocation for child accounts. MechanicWeb’s HF-48 and NameHero’s Hero 8GB 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 (Serwer.io) to serve UK-based and EU clients.
  • Amsterdam (MechanicWeb) will serve the UK, Europe, Turkey, Israel, and India.
  • Los Angeles (MechanicWeb) will serve clients in the West Coast; this is the best location to optimise for the CDN traffic from America and Asia.
  • Dallas (MechanicWeb) for serving customers in the South Central US.
  • Michigan (NameHero) to serve clients in North America; it is the best location for optimising CDN traffic from America and Europe.
  • Sydney (HostMantis) to serve customers in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Singapore (HostMantis) will serve clients in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Bangladesh (ExonHost) to serve clients in India, Pakistan, and Bahrain.

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 using Google Page Speed Insight or GTMetrix. Our favourite performance test tool for measuring TTFB from different geographical locations is provided by KeyCDN. It would be best to aim for a TTFB below 150ms in the UK for the cached website, with less than 50ms added from the major European destinations. Test US hosting servers without using CDN to establish their actual performance with the US and EU traffic. Values in the region from 100ms to 250ms across the US and about 300ms to 350ms across Europe are common for the good hosting providers in the US. Good European providers show a reverse performance.
You should not use a hosting provider with TTFB over 400ms for your freshly installed WordPress website with Elementor and Hello Theme. Make sure OPcache is not enabled by default on your server and do not install any cache plugins. The OPcache status can be checked under the PHP selector in the cPanel. Make sure that the OPcache option is unchecked there. The TTFB for such a non-cached configuration can still be more than 1 second for some hosting companies, even for local visitors.
We recommend installing WPPerformanceTester Plugin to run initial testing of your server hardware and software configuration. From our experience observing scores at various hosting providers, you don’t want to host with the company with an overall Server Performance Benchmark above 8 seconds and overall WordPress Performance Benchmark above 1.0 seconds. The first score is a measure of the CPU performance on your server. The best server will show a value close to 5 seconds. The second score is related to how well the sys-admin can fine-tune various settings to reduce unwanted delays in running the code inside WordPress. It has no direct impact on your experience, but larger values indicate the lazy sys-admin team. A perfectly tuned server will show a number closer to 0.5 seconds. For a more detailed analysis of the results of the WPPerformnceTester plugin, please read another report produced by us.
You likely get the same TTFB performance and overall page speed score for hosting providers in the same geographical zone. The actual difference will be how well the hosting server can handle more laborious tasks, not just responding to the most straightforward request of outputting cached resources. Therefore, monitoring the performance of an eCommerce site that is crowded is the best way to test. If you don’t do this, the most you can achieve will be testing the caching software installed on the server and/or in WordPress. Suppose you follow our advice of using QUIC.cloud CDN with the HTML edge delivery, you will move out most of your visitor traffic away from the hosting provider server. Therefore, internal caching layers developed by some dodgy hosting providers to impress you in TTFB tests are completely irrelevant. In our summary, we list the hardware parameters of the recommended hosting servers. We have performed extra testing of each supplier by running the WP Performance Tester plugin and WP Benchmark plugin in a dummy WordPress installation to record benchmark results. We recommend reproducing our data after subscribing to the specific hosting plan to ensure that you are getting expected hardware performance.
Information provided in the summary table will show that different hosting providers are indeed dissimilar when taking the heavy load. However, it would be best to look at the quality of technical support when making your decision. Don’t be shy to ask stupid and incompetent pre-sales questions. When talking to small companies, you will receive a reply from the same people who will provide you with technical support later. If you go along with them well – go ahead. Good technical support can be more valuable than some minor differences in the technical specification.

Next steps

When a website attracts so much traffic that it overwhelms the hosting capacity, adding a CDN service is an excellent way to allow more people to visit the site. With high volumes of traffic on your site, we recommend BunnyCDN. They will store a permanent cache of static files like CSS, JS and images with its Geo-Replicated Perma-Cache servers to make your website faster and more stable. Perma-Cache servers will distribute your files to the cache of 30 Point-of-Presence (PoP) servers located throughout the world, shielding your origin from traffic. Your origin server will retain only the task of delivering HTML files to visitors, decreasing the bandwidth load at your origin by a minimum of thirty times. BunnyCDN costs about $1 per month and is a much better option than upgrading your original hosting plan.
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 the services mentioned above.
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.