THE FASTEST WEB HOSTS OF 2017
The 2017 Web Hosting Industries Speed Test Results Are Here.
Author: Taylor Hawkes
, Helping find web hosting companies that don't suck.
There are plenty of ways to rank web hosts - by price, customer service, user reviews, editors choice, etc. But we should only care about one thing, speed. The leading factor which determines how fast your site actually loads. That way you can get more leads, customers, views, allowing you to "do more" with your business.
So, how did I determine the fastest web hosts of 2017? I have done a lot of research over the years testing page load speeds, this year I tested 100+ websites on dozens of different hosting providers (you can find "the geeky details" here). Tests were run on computers in Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA in order to measure variances in different geographical regions.
The table below is a quick summary of the results, DreamHost came in first place this year and I would highly recommend switching to DreamHost (even if it's a few bucks more), if price is a big concern for you then go with iPage (see why I recommend these companies here)
Disclosure: I receive commissions on a referral bases from most of these web hosting companies. I spend a lot of time and work very hard putting together and keeping this data up to date, relevant, unbiased and accurate as possible . So please use the links I provide to signup for the hosting provider of your choosing. Feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about these speed test results.
Here's an overview of the fastest web hosts
What's the best part of switching to a faster web host? It's when you run your Google Analytics reports and see lots and lots of green. According to my research, DreamHost is most likely to give you that green data. DreamHost has also ranked consistently fast over the past few years.
There are a few notable shifts from last year. First of all you'll notice no web hosting providers averaged under .8 seconds - this is likely due to my more precise testing method (see here). I also noticed that the standard deviation between the hosting companies decreased, meaning there was not such a huge speed difference among providers as we have seen in past (although still significant when it comes to load time).
Interestingly, iPage who placed first last year, dropped to third, and while 1&1 Hosting remained a steady second. Bluehost improved quite a bit in 2017 and is now back to reasonable speeds. While SiteGround dropped significantly in the ranking, their speed is still competitive.
Full Testing Results (Shared Hosting)
The below graphs show the full test results. The x-axis shows the time in seconds it took for a web page to load, the y-axis shows the number of websites that loaded a page in a particular timeframe. Tests were done from a computer in Washington, DC (orange) and San Fransico, CA (blue).
Full Testing Results (VPS Hosting)
I broke out cloud hosting/VPS providers from shared hosting this year, because it's not really fair to compare VPS hosting services to shared hosting services.
My Hosting Recomendations
In 2017 DreamHost is where businesses looking for fast, reliable, affordable hosting should go. If the shared hosting price of $7.95 is too steep for you, then go with iPage, but let me tell you why it makes sense to go with DreamHost.
First of all DreamHost is the fastest hosting provider on the market which is very important for increasing your website's loading time, faster load time helps in all sorts of ways including ranking higher in google, visitor satisfaction and generally avoiding all the other terrible things that come with a slow website.
But speed is not the only reason I recommend DreamHost, they also have great server reliability (uptime), great customer support, transparent pricing, a great user interface and they don't spam you or conduct any unethical business. For example although there pricing seems a little higher than most other hosting companies, this is mostly because other companies offer a "intro" price for the first year and then will charge more after the first year is up. So in other words you are probably going to be paying more with another host anyway. Overall people who go with DreamHost like them them the most and will stick with them for life - they are the clear choice in my honest opinion.
If you are really not able to shell out the $7.95/mo you can get a pretty decent and more affordable option with iPage. They are consistently fast, and they have been in the hosting game for a while, they are generally quite well rounded and will be able to give you everything you need for a small business website.
If shared hosting is just not getting the job done and you think you need to upgrade to a virtual private server ... OK ... but keep these things in mind before you do.
- Your website should be getting well over 10k/monthly views before you need a virtual private server (VPS) to handle the load - any website under 10k/monthly simply does not need VPS or Dedicated hosting - just stick with shared.
- Bear in mind that most VPS providers don't offer a simple website builder or an easy way to build out your website, that means you will likely need a developer to help setup your website on a VPS hosting provider.
- Expect to pay at least $40/mo for a good Virtual Private Server
If you are aware of the above facts, and still want to get a VPS then get VPS hosting with DreamHost. They have a great VPS hosting packages and they continue to offer a easy to use interface to help manage your website. Linode & Rackspace are also good options for technical people, but be prepared to know how to program on the command line.
There are tons of factors that go into website loading speed, many of which are outside the control of a web host. However some factors are very much in control of a web host and those are the factors that we want to analyze and compare between hosting providers.
The primary two factors are the servers processing power and then the bandwidth (transfer rate) of the website content. In testing I attempted to focus on these two factors.
Since hosting providers will set up websites on various servers I needed to test the speed of a number of different websites, so that we could get a good feel for how fast their servers are on the whole. I tried to test at least 100 hundred sites for every hosting provider (a few don't have 100, see caveats below).
The other variable I wanted to account for is physical location of the testing computer, since a website hosted on the east coast will take longer to load from a computer on the west coast than a computer on the east coast I wanted to test from a couple a locations.
I also wanted to test websites that were regularly used, but not huge (like google) because most big websites have special technologies for website loading. To meet these requirements I tested only the speed of websites getting anywhere from 300-10,000 monthly visitors.
2017 Speed Tests Notes & Caveats
1. There were a few results that were over 10 seconds, but I threw them out as it may have been a network hang.
2. To measure variance I ran the same test a few times and saw no substantial changes.
3. If you look at some of the results from past years you will notice a general drop in speed. This is because I honed the results to be a bit more precise this year. The explanation is a bit technical, but basically I did not include tests results from websites that returned anything other than a full legitimate web page. So if a web page was something like placeholder text, or simply redirected to another page it did not count it in the results - generally these type of pages don't have much or any content so naturally they are served up by the web host very fast, therefore removing those type of pages caused a overall increase in load times.
4. As of now I did not include arvixe, ixwebhosting or network solutions in these results. I simply could not get enough speed tests on these companies to determine how fast they were loading.
5. Bluehost results include JustHost and HostMonster which appear to run on the same servers.
6. Yahoo Web hosting is now Aabaco web hosting, and appears to be slowing down the servers substantially from last year's results.
Curious about previous webhosting results? You can find them here:
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