Looking for a good, fast Wordpress host for 25k+ visitors/month
October 28, 2013 12:24 PM   Subscribe

I have a Wordpress site with ~25k unique visitors/month, and I'm looking for a new host. I've been on Dreamhost for the last year, and have run into serious problems they can't seem to resolve (takes 60+ seconds for uploaded images to appear in Wordpress's media manager, any non-cached content has a 3 second time-to-first-byte). So I'm looking for a webhost that's fast, reliable and ideally, cooperates with a CDN like Cloudflare. Any suggestions?
posted by sdis to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (Oh, and affordable is nice, too :) )
posted by sdis at 12:29 PM on October 28, 2013

Best answer: I run a lot of my clients on webfaction. I'm quite satisfied. I had TTFB issues on another host with a WP site with a large database. Moving it to webfaction solved that.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:39 PM on October 28, 2013

Best answer: Webfaction just recently increased the RAM you get as well, which is nice.

Now's a great time to sign up:
New customers: just sign up between now and October 31st, pay $9.50 for the first month (or pay for longer) and enter the promo code "BUSYOCTOBER". $50 will automatically be credited to your account.
They are the best shared host around.
posted by jsturgill at 12:43 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

MediaTemple Wordpress hosting.
posted by Dansaman at 1:26 PM on October 28, 2013

Webfaction's hosting model has a slight learning curve, but I'd agree that they're the best big shared hosting provider.
posted by holgate at 1:26 PM on October 28, 2013

Response by poster: Holgate: What do you mean?
posted by sdis at 1:36 PM on October 28, 2013

They don't use cPanel, which is the standard. Neither does dreamhost.

They have extensive FAQs that will walk you through everything, but depending on how clueless you are, it could be moderately daunting.
posted by jsturgill at 1:46 PM on October 28, 2013

They don't use cPanel, or Plesk, and they don't take the standard "upload your stuff into a generic webroot" approach either. You set up an "application", map it to a domain and URI path, and either upload your site or use their default installers. There's various stuff with ACLs available if you want to set up multiple users with different privileges, which isn't standard. Finally, they apply a varying amount of (transparent) reverse proxying with nginx on the frontend depending upon what you're running.

Once you grok the model, it makes sense, and it's pretty powerful, but if you're used to flinging stuff in a web-accessible filesystem bucket, or your site has more than just a WP install, it's worth checking the docs.
posted by holgate at 2:23 PM on October 28, 2013

I have had good experiences with A Small Orange and LiquidWeb. Though the latter is pricey.
posted by cessair at 3:00 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Marco Arment (the creator of Instapaper) has a few pointers to hoisters in the footnote to this blog post of his. Short version: he likes Linode. I have no direct experience with them myself, but I take his opinion reasonably seriously. I am a fan of A Small Orange, but his advice is to avoid shared hosting unless cost is a major factor, and the sites I've created on it aren't particularly high traffic ones or anything so I can't say how well its offerings scale with demand.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2013

Linode is exclusively unmanaged VPS, and so brings all the not-fun of administering your own system. For a Wordpress site, that means dealing with bots and exploit-seekers on top of OS-level security.

While Marco's "I’ve never used or heard of a shared host that was consistently good for most of its customers" carries a certain amount of truth, he's also stated elsewhere that he's more than comfortable doing sysadmin work, not least because he builds custom web backends to his apps. He even built his own blogging engine. This isn't the same scenario.
posted by holgate at 4:38 PM on October 28, 2013

I am a sysadmin. For my personal stuff I use Dreamhost/Mediatemple because christ, when I'm off work I'm off work and don't want to be dealing with the dreck of the internet to keep my block running.
posted by Oktober at 7:06 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

We recently switched over to WPEngine for hosting and have been quite happy with the service. I believe they run on top of linode.

Their managed approach will either rub you the wrong way or be a godsend--they won't let you install certain plugins and automatically update your install to the latest version of WP.
posted by beep-bop-robot at 6:58 AM on October 29, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all! I went with webfaction and just got someone on Fiverr to move my site over (so I haven't yet dealt with the Admin panel learning curve). Seems fast and the price (with that coupon code) was pretty excellent. Many thanks!
posted by sdis at 8:56 AM on October 29, 2013

If you've got a blog that doesn't have a ridiculous amount of comments/user participation, as long as you setup your webserver/caching correctly, the cheapest Linode will more than suffice. (I've been boingboing'd and barely even noticed, except for the bandwidth).

Google "wordpress fastcgi-cache" and you should be well on your way. If you want more info, please feel free to MeMail.

On Preview: I see you've allready moved. Still, feel free to MeMail if you want gory details.
posted by Freen at 6:41 PM on October 29, 2013

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