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Forget the Best WordPress Hosting, Instead Choose the Right Server

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Description
Which Server to Choose for WordPress Hosting? If you are a techie who creates websites for your clients or you are creating a website for your own. There is always confusion while choosing the best hosting for the WordPress website. In this post, we are targeting to solve this confusion.


Summary
  • Introduction
  • What WordPress hosting plan suits you?
  • 2 Questions for the best WordPress hosting plan
  • Actual case study & Comparison of WordPress hosting plan
  • CodedBug.com Example
  • Conclusion

Which Server to Choose for WordPress Hosting? If you are a techie who creates websites for your clients or you are creating a website for your own. There is always confusion while choosing the best hosting for the WordPress website. In this post, we are targeting to solve this confusion. There are a number of good posts on the internet that tell which hosted WordPress solutions to choose or the best hosting provider for WordPress. But believing in what is written as a promotional article will not lead anyone anywhere. So we did the analysis! Let’s dig a little bit to understand what is WordPress, what business you are doing using WordPress. Once we understand these two things, then, choosing cheap and best hosting will be easy. Keeping the audience in mind, I tried to keep the technical jargon minimal so that it is understandable and beneficial for technical as well as non-technical personnel.


What WordPress hosting plan suits you?
You must have read or heard the below-mentioned points a number of times, to consider, while purchasing WordPress hosting:


1. Best hosting provider for WordPress

2. Comparison of pricing and features of cheap web hosting for WordPress

3. Useless plugins to keep the WordPress lightweight

4. Use of cache / CDN

Those are all good points, but how will you validate them? How will you decide which server is good for your WordPress Website or do you need all those things mentioned above or is there anything additional you required? There are a lot of WordPress shared hosting plans offered by various companies. Use this link for a comparison of WordPress shared hosting plans. As per the comparison, inmotion hosting seems best as it is fast and cheap. You can give it a try. But in my experience Shared hosting cannot solve the purpose. If one wants to do a serious business (for example, wants to earn money from a WordPress blog), then shared hosting (from any hosting company) is not an option for him. In the shared hosting plan, there is no guarantee of website speed or page speed. You always need minimum website loading speed or website page speed so that you do not lose the visitor. So, we should look for a server that supplies continuous power to your website, unlike shared hosting.

Questions for the best WordPress hosting plan

1. What is WordPress – WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) written in PHP language used as a blog or company website etc to manage the content

2. What is your business – As WordPress can be used as a CMS (Content Management System) you can create your company website, blog, news website and eCommerce website, etc. Basically, any website where you want a backend system or admin panel using which the content can be managed


Depending on the type of website you will decide what servers you should use. For example,

1. If you have a news website, then you need a different CDN that can serve videos, as the News website contains heavy videos

2. If you have a blog or e-commerce, then it’s expected to have a lot of images for which you can either deploy a separate CDN, or if that’s not the case, then SSD would work for you.

3. In the case of a company website, I believe you are good if you have a decent server with SSD.

Actual case study & Comparison of WordPress hosting plan

My first advice is to stop searching for the fastest web hosting for WordPress or where to host WordPress because the answer to this really depends on your need. Slow speed can eat up everything!


1. You will NOT get the audience even when you have the best content on your blog. Because if any pages are taking longer than a few milliseconds to 5 seconds to load, it frustrates the visitor.

2. Slow speed can affect your SEO as Slower speed, lower the rank on Google refer to this article for details

3. You could get all other features (like- one-click deployment or managed services) on any WordPress hosting provider, but you still have to consider speed test for your website

Let’s take an example of this (codedbug.com) blog

Shared Hosting
For the first year, I used shared hosting (which provides one-click deployment and other services like emails service GUI or CPanel to manage the website hosting), but a year later, I realized those services are of no use, Instead, the speed of the website is slow because of which I barely get any users and the Bounce Rate was also high.


VPS Hosting
Then, I moved the blog to VPS hosting (13K Rs/year) from the shared hosting (3K – 5K Rs/year). After moving the website I ran it for 1 year and with the increase in images and updated versions of WordPress, I started seeing slowness in the website. Now, I started thinking- Where to host the website? Because the page speed was very low and the response time was between 30 to 60 seconds, which is a LOT!


Performance test
I am a performance engineer by profession, So to understand the problem, I started with a very basic thing- To monitor RAM and CPU usage and monitored it for a few days. After looking at the results the problem was clear, the hardware resources in use were not sufficient for my blog. They were consuming all 1 GB of RAM (the apache webserver was almost consuming 800 MBs of RAM with minimal MPM settings) and 50% of the CPU usage, even when there was barely any user. So it was clear the resources in use were not sufficient and I needed a server upgrade. Also, I looked at y-slow and google page speed and found that contents (like- js, CSS, images) were taking time and that was due to the slow speed of the standard disk. So to summarize, I needed more RAM and a CDN to deliver the content faster. Now upgrading the servers is also a cost-consuming task because there is a good cost associated with every increase in the configuration of the hardware. But before proceeding, I should know which server is good for my blog-


1. Should I upgrade to a VPS with 4 GB RAM with CDN

2. Or, 8 GB RAM with CDN

3. Also, do I need a better CPU or not

4. Or, should I try Nginx instead of Apache web server

All these questions can be answered, by classifying them into separate cases and executing them, So as to test usage performance and, based on the corresponding results of each case, determine which is the best hosting solution. So, I did all these experiments to get the best WordPress hosting for my needs. Let’s see these cases, that will give a good idea to decide which one to choose. And trust me if you want to do serious business you have to leave “shared hosting” right away! Shared hosting is just good for a newbie to explore stuff or for a single-page website visited by the only couple of people in a day. Skipping “shared hosting” from the 4 cases (that we are going to discuss), let’s jump to the table below. NOTE: We are using a decent WordPress instance with like 200 images and 10 MBs DB size and the overall size of the website is 300 – 350 MBs

Configuration Case - 1 Case - 2 Case - 3 Case - 4
Results / Speed Poor Good Good, similar to Case – 2 Better than Case – 2 & 3
OS CentOS Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Server Apache/2.2.15 (Unix) Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu) Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu) Apache/2.4.18 (Ubuntu)
RAM 1 GB 7 GB 3.5 GB 3.5 GB
CPU 1 core, 1.2 GHz 2 core, 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 (Haswell) Processors 1 core, 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 (Haswell) processors 1 core, 2.4 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 (Haswell) processors
Storage 50 GB Standard Disk Storage 14 GB SSD 14 GB SSD 14 GB SSD
Page Caching Yes, using the WP Super Cache plugin No No Yes
Server/VM Location US East US East US East US
Client Internet Bandwidth Download: 2.8 MBPS Upload: 4.5 MBPS Download: 2.73 Mbps Upload: 1.6 MBPS Download: 2.5 Mbps Upload: 1.0 MBPS Download: 5.19 MBPS Upload: 7.28 MBPS
Expires headers No No No Yes, But left for a few
Content Delivery Network (CDN) No No No No
Others Both WordPress and DB are on the same VM Both WordPress and DB are on the same VM Both WordPress and DB are on the same VM Both WordPress and DB are on the same VM
RAM utilization reaches 100% even with minimal transactions RAM was 1 GB out of 7 GB RAM was 1 GB out of 3.5 GB RAM was 1 GB out of 3.5 GB
The CPU utilization reaches 100% if the WordPress admin panel is used CPU was not utilized more than 2% with the admin panel in use CPU was not utilized more than 4% with the admin panel in use CPU was not utilized more than 4% with the admin panel in use

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