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I'm building a site for a client. This site often takes a long time to load initially, but is rather fast when loading the next page because of WP Super Cache plugin.

But still, the majority of people visiting a site for the first time will navigate away if the site doesn't load completely in < 3 seconds. So I'm having a bit of a problem here.

We are considering a new hoster. The budget is limited, so we prefer the (starter package) hosting of www.neostrada.nl, but they have a shared server, and it is not wordpress optimized.

Is there a real benefit in using Wordpress optimized hosting like www.bluehost.com/wordpress? Or are there any other things that can make a Wordpress site load faster on the first visit?

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    Please be more specific as in fact you are asking several questions as well as all of them being very broad and mainly opinion based. – kraftner Apr 28 '14 at 11:02
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    I don't see why an answer on this question is opinion based. There are probably several 'facts' why a wordpress optimized hosting is better than a non-optimized hosting, and also on how you could limit loading time on a wordpress site. I want to hear those facts from someone who has experience in this. Preferably someone who has used both WP optimized and non optimized hosting, and who can really tell the difference between the two. – Forza Apr 28 '14 at 11:05
  • I'm just saying that this is based on a very high number of factors, way too many to get an answer here. And your second question mainly says "Give me all possible performance optimisations there are" which is very broad as well. – kraftner Apr 28 '14 at 11:08
  • I don't see why I can't get an expert view on WP optimized hosting here.. Would you answer my question if I make it a community wiki.. – Forza Apr 28 '14 at 11:12
  • Are you sure if the problem is on hosting? Sometime badly written queries increases load time. Assuming you covered the basics, I've never used those "WordPress Optimized" hostings but I do not see why my WP site (on a normal hosting) wouldn't work perfect if I've done everything right. – Sisir Apr 28 '14 at 11:27
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It depends on what you need.

The software environment is the same you need for every other PHP site where you want to get an efficient workflow:

  • up-to-date PHP (currently 5.5, so you can use Opcache) with at least 128 MB memory limit
  • the same for MySQL
  • web server with a rewrite engine
  • regular backups
  • SSH
  • Git

You can get that everywhere for 5 €/month. In fact, I have seen more expensive “WP optimized” hostings where you could not even get PHP 5.4. Not acceptable, newer PHP versions are much faster.

What does make a difference is the support: If you need a lot of support and there are people who know WordPress very well, this will be very beneficial. Good, fast support is worth some money.

  • Thank you Toscho. Our current hosting uses PHP 5.3.28 so it looks like we have to find hosting with newer PHP version and Opcache support :) – Forza Apr 28 '14 at 11:57
  • Do you know any other tips/tricks that could drastically improve WP loading speed on first visit? Or will that also be covered if I choose a better hosting? – Forza Apr 28 '14 at 12:10
  • @Forza That again depends on what makes the site slow. Running PHP in Fast-CGI mode for example avoids a restart of PHP on every request. – fuxia Apr 28 '14 at 12:15
  • Strictly speaking, Git, SSH and regular backups are irrelevant to the original question. – Jeff Apr 28 '14 at 14:28

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