WPX Hosting Review
One of the best managed WordPress hosting companies. Considering the level of support they provide, the speed of their servers and the features on offer, the price charged is more than fair. Highly recommended for those who care about their websites.
One of the most important factors to consider for your business website is what website hosting company to use. If like me, you are a WordPress user, you might want to consider WPX Hosting. I don’t earn any affiliate income by selling their hosting and my recommendation of them is purely because I’m delighted with their service. This website and a number of others I’ve built are hosted with WPX so I hope you can see that I ‘practice what I preach’. So why do I rate them so highly? Well read the rest of this WPX Hosting Review and hopefully it will help you decide if they might be the best hosting solution for you too.
What I Look For In A WordPress Host
When deciding between different WordPress hosts there are a number of factors I consider. The following are the main things that are likely to form the basis of my decision:
- Speed. Unless your website is a simple ‘hobby’ website you should put speed near the top of your considerations. My income is highly dependent on people finding my businesses on Google. Being on page 1 of Google for my main search terms has the biggest impact on how many enquiries I get. There are a huge number of factors that determine where you rank in Google but page loading speed is one important one. Not only that but with Google’s Core Web Vitals going live in May 2021 it will become an even more important ranking factor.
WPX Hosting is considered to be the fastest ‘managed’ WordPress hosting company. Feel free to test this website using tools like Pingdom, GTmetrix or Google Pagespeed Insights.
- Support. I don’t claim to be an expert in running a web server. If I get an issue with a website I like to know that my hosting company will respond quickly and resolve the issue. In my dealings with WPX I’ve been very impressed with their knowledge and response times. Generally I will either raise a support ticket or speak via their online chat. Because their hosting is so good I’ve never had to contact support about things like downtime, plugin conflicts etc. Most of my support questions have simply been migration requests where I am asking them to help move a website from another hosting company (something they do for free!).
- Security. WPX Hosting offers free daily malware scanning and removal. They also provide enterprise level DDoS protection. I’ve personally not had a website hacked in many years and I’m careful about passwords and what plugins I use with WordPress. However if you are unlucky enough to have an issue, it’s reassuring to know that your hosting company are there to help. With many WordPress hosts, in the event you are hacked they will try and upsell you a service like Securi to resolve the issue at huge additional cost.
- Features. There are a number of features you might want from your WordPress host.
Free regular backups. WPX offer daily backups so if you accidentally delete something permanently from your website you can revert back using the most recent backup.
SSD Hard Drives. This is a feature that relates to speed. I simply won’t consider a hosting company if they don’t use SSD drives.
Free SSL certificates. Most good hosts now offer this. Having a https secure website with the green padlock is very important, even if you don’t sell anything directly from your website. WPX Hosting supports the free Let’s Encrypt certificates.
- Price. I’m always looking to get value for money. That doesn’t mean the cheapest though, I’ve been burnt by cheap hosting in the past. In my opinion WPX is great value for money for my needs but I accept they might not be for everyone, particularly if you only have one website to host. There is a separate section on pricing below for those who are interested.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network). In truth not many of the websites I design actually require a CDN. A CDN effectively means that your website lives on a large number of servers located around the world. When someone visits your website, the closest server to their IP address is the one that feeds the browser the website. This helps with page speed. Since most of my websites are for local businesses, attracting local customers, I don’t really require a CDN. I simply pick a hosting company with a UK datacentre. Having said this a CDN does have other benefits like managing traffic ‘spikes’ and heavy traffic but again the sorts of websites I design tend not to go ‘viral’ and get modest traffic volumes.
WPX hosting provide their own free Cloud CDN which they setup for you by default. I’ve certainly found their CDN to be very reliable, more so than the free Cloudways CDN that some hosting companies use.
WPX Hosting Pricing
WPX Hosting offers 3 different hosting packages which are payable either monthly or annually (there is a discount if you pay annually). The prices mentioned below are based on paying annually and are correct at the time of this article (April 2021).
Their cheapest plan is called Business and costs $20.83 a month which allows you to host up to 5 websites. If you only have one website to host WPX may look expensive. For websites I design and manage for clients I’m able to host them on my hosting accounts which allows me to charge them less for hosting than they could get themselves.
Their mid tier plan is called Professional and costs $41.58 a month. You can host up to 15 websites using this plan. This is the plan that I’m currently using.
Their top plan is called Elite and costs $83.25 a month. You can host up to 35 websites using this plan. The graphic below highlights these plans with information on storage and bandwidth limits.
Personally I find WPX prices are very fair for the features and performance you get. Their pricing is also very transparent, no heavily discounted offer to entice you and then huge hike in prices come the time to renew. The only possible gripe is that WPX don’t do a basic level plan for owners with just one website to host. If they had a basic plan with say 3 GB storage and 30 GB bandwidth with the same great features and priced it at $8.00 a month I have no doubt it would prove very popular.
WPX Hosting vs Siteground
When looking for managed WordPress hosting, another name that often comes up is Siteground. Indeed this website was hosted on Siteground until I migrated it to WPX Hosting. A number of customers’ websites are still hosted on Siteground and I still think they are a decent choice. Siteground is also strong in many of the categories that are important to me. I like their SuperCacher plugin which helps in providing fast loading speeds for your website. Their support is also very good, with quick replies and knowledgeable staff. However the following are a few of the reasons why I now prefer WPX hosting:
- Security. In the event your website has malware, Siteground will try and sell you Securi which is very expensive. WPX Hosting offers a far better security service as part of the hosting fees you are paying.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network). I’ve found the WPX Cloud CDN to be a far more stable option than the free Cloudways CDN offered as part of Siteground hosting.
- Constant changes to Siteground. Naturally Siteground will always try and tell you that a change is in your interests and is an improvement on the service they are offering but some changes do have an impact on my time. Two big recent changes spring to mind.
In early 2020 Siteground switched their servers to Google Cloud servers. Fortunately the move was painless and as the end user I didn’t need to get involved. Since the change the service has remained good but I can’t honestly say I’ve seen any improvement or had any complaints about the servers they used prior to Google Cloud.
The second big change was a switch away from using the cPanel control panel to using their own control panel. I believe hosting companies were facing an increase in fees from cPanel, so many started to move away from using it. Their replacement for cPanel seems to perform well but the change did have an impact on emails. If like me you use Gmail to view and reply to your domain emails, this change away from cPanel broke the connection between Gmail and my mail server. It was a fairly simple fix to edit the settings within Gmail so that it would ‘talk’ to my mail server again. However when 3 or 4 of your clients start ringing you panicking that their email has stopped working it’s far from ideal. It would have been good if Siteground warned users of this issue so that they could plan for it.
WPX have never used cPanel. Their own control panel is simple to use and they have lots of useful guides on how to do basic things like creating email accounts, using file managers etc. There is a lot to be said for using a product or service that just works flawlessly. I don’t fear change but when changes cost me time and result in questions from customers at busy times you soon see the benefit of using a host that doesn’t constantly ‘tinker’ with the service.
- Pricing model. The Siteground business model is based on offering a big discount to attract customers. To their credit this introductory discount could be applied for multiple years if you are the sort of person who is willing to buy 3 years of hosting in advance. This is exactly what I did but you could say it’s a risk as you are betting that the service will remain high for a longer period of time. It’s not unknown for a previously good hosting company to be bought out by a bigger company and the quality of service begins to suffer.
My issue with the pricing model is that the normal prices once it comes time to renew are nothing special. Certainly I feel WPX hosting looks like better value when you consider their free malware removal, excellent CDN and generally better page speed. Siteground have a habit of raising prices and offering less at the same time. This is especially true of their GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Both these plans previously allowed for hosting unlimited websites. Typically I would happily host 8 low traffic, small local business websites on a GrowBig plan. Their new pricing model means that GrowBig is for a maximum of 2 websites and GoGeek is for a maximum of 5 websites. Apparently these new limits don’t apply to existing customers. For new customers though these plans look like poor value for money, especially compared to many other WordPress hosts, including WPX hosting.
WPX Hosting Review – Conclusion
There are a number of good WordPress hosting companies to pick from. If you are a developer who understands about web servers there are probably better, cheaper options. For most people though the best option is a ‘managed’ WordPress host that is easy to use and offers great support. With an ever greater emphasis on page speed as a ranking factor, I feel WPX should be on most people’s shortlist of contenders. The lack of a plan for users with just one website to host is the only possible drawback I can think of. Indeed if I only had one website the $20.00 a month for their Business plan is at the top end of what I would consider paying.
I hope you have enjoyed this WPX hosting review. If you have any questions that I didn’t cover please feel free to leave a comment and I will reply.