You know it yourself, when a website is slow to load you quickly lose patience and click away. Your own site is no different, right?
We've tried 100s over different hosting providers over the years. In this post I’ll share the fastest Wordpress hosts we've found for French businesses and why we use them.
Since we started in 2008, we have worked with over 2000 businesses and used a huge number of different hosting companies over the years. These are the few we use ourselves, trust and recommend to clients on a daily basis.
The FASTEST France & mainland Europe based WordPress hosting providers we've found after trying 100s of different hosts all across the web.
Most people choose a hosting provider based on price but when you care about performance, SEO, Facebook and Google Ads, that’s a bad idea. If you’re on this page I’m guessing you’re not looking for the cheapest you’re looking for the best right?
A VERY common mistake French business owners make is choosing hosting based out of the US or internationally when their target audience is France or Europe. If website speed is important to you (which it should be!) you ideally want a hosting provider located in the same country as your visitors or target market.
You’ll find our preferred hosts for France in the table below. Here’s a one liner summary of each one:
Cloudways - this is a newer provider and has a Paris data center and multiple throughout Europe including Frankfurt and Belgium and is by far the fastest because of their speed optimized server stack. You get the power of a dedicated server without the hassle of complex configuration. If you want the fastest choose this one.
They also have locations globally, which in some cases may be better if more of your visitors are international or coming from Canada. In these situations offer the US or Canada based hosting is a better choice.
**They have a 3 day free trial BUT if you use the coupon code FASTHOSTING they'll give you $25 credit so nearly 3 months free on the base plan ($10 USD/month)
WPEngine - if one of the original Managed WP Hosts. Go with WPE if you have Woocommerce or a complex site that needs high quality backups and a staging environment. Not the cheapest BUT you’ll save money on web developers and support.
Kinsta - a premium managed WP hosting provider running on Google Cloud Platform with multiple European locations. For some types of sites they may be a better choice than WPEngine especially if you're running a large or complex site. If you're considering WPEngine it'd be worth looking at Kinsta too.
Siteground - the fastest Cpanel host and only marginally more expensive that the rubbish $3-5/month hosts! ...their European data centers are located in Netherlands and London which will give you almost identical speeds to Paris based hosting. Best if you have a handful of small sites, have a tight budget and also need email hosting.
WPX Hosting - WPX is an amazingly priced Managed Wordpress Host with a great balance of price and performance with excellent support, email hosting too! Their data center is based in London
If you’ve done any searching around the web around website speed or fast Wordpress hosting you’ll see a bunch of scary stats thrown around. You’ll see things like “every 1 second of speed equates to 1% less conversion rate” and similar.
I don’t know how correct these numbers are, or the testing methodology being used but I’m guessing we can both agree faster websites=better, right?
There’s really no argument about whether speed is important, it’s even part of Google’s search algorithm, faster loading sites rank higher!
We've broken down the specifications and details on each host we recommend below.
If you scroll down further on this page we've explained the key features to look at when evaluating which host is right for you - take some time to dig into that list as often simple things like server location are completely neglected when it comes to choosing a fast host.
Cloudways is a relatively new hosting provider and a bit different to most other providers in the market. In a nutshell you get dedicated server hosting without the complexity associated with running your own VPS or dedicated server.
They offer over 60 different locations with 5 different providers - Linode, Vultr, Digitalocean, Amazon and Google. (most providers only use one provider, eg Wpengine & Kinsta both use Google as their core provider).
Because it's highly configurable, scalable AND you get dedicated server resources, Cloudways is the fastest WP hosting provider on the web right now.
Why they might be the best Wordpress hosting choice for you:
More details at www.cloudways.com
Best All Rounder & Fastest Cpanel Host, Not Recommended For High Traffic Sites
More details at www.siteground.com
Best Value Managed WP Host, Good For Small to Mid Size Sites
More details at www.wpxhosting.com
Best & World's Leading Fully Managed WP Host ,Fantastic For Complex Sites & Woocommerce Although A Little More Expensive
More details at www.wpengine.com
Highly Scalable, Managed WP Host, Great For Mid Size Sites
More details at www.kinsta.com
Managed WP Hosting, Great For Small Sites
More details at www.pressable.com
Unfortunately most people choose a hosting provider based on price which is not really the best way to do it.
Ultimately with hosting you get what you pay for. Cost is obviously one of the considerations to look at when choosing a provider but that's really only one element of many. Below I’ve summarized the key features or things we look for when choosing a hosting provider.
Click play below to hear an audio walk-through and more in depth explanation of what you consider when choosing a provider. Alternatively click here for an MP3 audio or scroll down for a Youtube powered embed.
Server location is key and poor location choice is a common problem we see. It's really important that you host in the geographic location that is closest to the majority of your visitors.
That means if you're an French company serving mostly French customers you need to host at a location in Europe. If you're a US company, then host in the US and so forth.
Generally the site will run 0.5-1 second SLOWER when the visitor traffic has to cross an ocean so this is really important!
Not all providers offer hosting in all locations so before committing to a provider make sure the servers are located in the right location for your business.
**NOTE if you're serving an international audience then it's really important you use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN is a distributed network of servers around the world that host your content that will reduce the impact geographic location has on speed. Most top tier hosts have CDN services built in.
Obviously if you're on this page you know that site speed is really important but most people overlook uptime and reliability which are arguably even more important, after all, if your site is down is effectively has zero speed!
Your hosting needs to be well matched to the number of visitors you’re expecting and the order volume you’re catering for. If your store revenue is in the millions then you’ll need a much larger server to suit.
Don't expect to run a high traffic site or a database heavy site on cheap hosting or a low end plan. Make sure the plan is matches to the traffic level you're expect.
Sidenote: we use sitespeedbot.com to test website speed. In a perfect world your site should be loading in under 1 second (where the load begins to feel instant). We also use uptimerobot.com to monitor site uptime.
What is your support expectation?
At some point you’re going to need support. Do you expect to be able to call your provider when the site is down? Do you expect them to be able to help with general technical problems that aren't strictly related to hosting? Being clear with what your expectation is up front is really important.
You're not going to get a high level of support paying a few bucks a month - it's just not commercially feasible. Make sure you factor in the level of support you want when choosing a plan.
If you’re a larger store doing millions in revenue you’ll ideally need your own dedicated Wordpress dev resources on top of what the hosting provider offers.
Your website CMS is no different to your smartphone or laptop. It needs regular patches and updates to ensure bugs are taken care of and security holes are patched.
Some hosting providers offer patching as part of their service, others expect you to take care of it. Bottom line, patching needs to be done by someone!
Most hosting plans will offer roughly the same specs and features but often there are some subtle differences.
Features that are worth considering are:
Free SSL Certificates - all good hosts offer free SSL certificates and SSL/HTTPS is standard across the web now. Any host you’re looking at should support free SSL certs.
HTTP2 protocol support - this is an important speed consideration. A host that doesn’t support HTTP2 is not running updated servers and should be avoided.
PHP 7.X support - your host at a minimum should support PHP v7.0 and ideally the newer v7.1 and 7.2. The PHP version your hosting instances are running can have a dramatic impact on site speed. Newer versions run faster.
Number of Wordpress instances or domains supported - how many sites do you want to run on the plan? Some providers give you one instance, some a handful and some unlimited.
Storage and Disk Space - how much disk space are you going to need? Most sites aren’t actually that big, 10-20gb is usually plenty for even larger sites.
Traffic Quota - how much traffic or quota do you need for your site? Some hosts charge on raw gigabytes or terabytes transferred, some on actual visitors.
Backups - this is probably one of the most important features so we’ve expanded further in the point below.
CPanel - Cpanel is a hosting management console. Some hosts use/provide Cpanel and some use different management interfaces. This really shouldn’t be much of a consideration because all admin panels allow you to do roughly the same thing but for some people this is important.
MySQL server version support - v5.7 is the latest version of SQL server, the database server Wordpress uses. v5.7 can be significantly faster than v5.6 for *some* types of sites so if you’re interested in absolute maximum performance this is important.
What is your backup strategy? There’s so much digital capital tied up in your website that it’s critical that you at least have some backup system in place taking daily backups.
On bigger sites ideally you’ll need to look at realtime or near realtime backup solutions where the site is backed up upon every change or on an hourly basis.
With backups there's a saying, 2 is 1 and 1 is none. What's the is implying is that it's not wise to rely solely on one backup system.
With ALL our SEO agency clients we run two backup systems - usually the hosting the site is on has a backup and then we generally use Blogvault on top of the hosting backup.
Blogvault is by far our favourite backup solution as it has a realtime option where changes are backed up on the site as they happen (perfect for Woocommerce) AND they specifically tell you which files and database tables are not being backed up.
We've used pretty much every major backup plugin on the markup - Backup Buddy, Vaultpress, Updraft, BackWPUp and a bunch of others - Blogvault is really the only one we trust.
It's not good enough to solely rely on the hosting provider's backup as problems and data loss DO happen. Even a moderately successful website will have 100s if not 1000s of hours invested in it along with SEO rankings and optimizations - most businesses today simply cannot afford data loss so at less than 10 bucks a month for the base plan there's really no excuse.
Like I said at the top, you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. You simply cannot expect a quality hosting service when you’re paying a few bucks a month.
These hosts are known to be slow hosts and should be avoided if speed is your top priority:
Bluehost, Godaddy, Hostgator, any hosting company owned by EIG, Dreamhost, A2 Hosting, Site5, iPage, 1&1 Hosting.
These guys all run a business model that is based on price being the key feature. In order to give you that $3/month hosting plan they run their servers to the absolute limit, don't keep infrastructure up to date and provide poor quality support. Avoid them if speed is important. If price is an important concern, Siteground and Cloudways are both fast and dirt cheap.
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