ChemiCloud Review: LiteSpeed Hosting, NVMe SSDs, Redis, cPanel, And ∼100ms TTFB With LiteSpeed Cache + Cloudflare

Chemicloud review

ChemiCloud is doing a Winter sale (WordPress Turbo plan is $4.95/mo). Ends 2/29/24.

Let’s jump straight into the full setup which costs $4.95/mo for everything:

  • Hosting: ChemiCloud’s WordPress Turbo plan ($4.95/mo).
  • Cache plugin: LiteSpeed Cache which connects to Redis (free).
  • CDN: Super Page Cache For Cloudflare plugin (free full page caching).
  • CSS/JS unloading: Asset CleanUp (or similar) to disable plugins on specific pages (free).

This demo site uses the same setup which you can test in KeyCDN or SpeedVitals to measure TTFB in multiple global locations. You’ll want to run 3 tests to make sure resources are cached.

Keycdn performance report chemicloud with super page cache for cloudflare

With this setup, you get the best of all worlds (the “TLDR” of this review):

  • Performance: LiteSpeed servers, LiteSpeed Cache, Cloudflare, NVMe SSDs, Redis, and PHP 8.2 are generally faster than alternatives (tables/references listed below).
  • Server resources – you get 3 CPU cores + 3GB RAM on the WordPress Turbo plan (more than most shared hosts who sometimes don’t even list these). LiteSpeed is also more CPU + memory efficient with roughly 2x the capacity of Apache servers.
  • Large network – ChemiCloud has 11 data centers, Cloudflare has 300+. So even if Chemi doesn’t have a close data center, static sites/blogs can get a ∼100ms global TTFB between Cloudflare’s full page caching and ChemiCloud’s LiteSpeed servers.
  • Scalability – their Turbo Boost add-on can scale CPU/RAM from 3/3 to 6/6. Which means even if you pay 3 years upfront, you’re not stuck with the same resources.
  • Price: with other hosts, it gets ridiculous between renewals, premium CDNs, and premium cache plugins (SiteGround Optimizer and Cloudways Breeze can’t even delay JavaScript or remove unused CSS, so you need FlyingPress or Perfmatters).
  • Support: ChemiCloud has a perfect 5/5 TrustPilot rating and does free migrations.

 

1. TTFB Tests

SpeedVitals tests TTFB in 40 locations. Run 3 tests to ensure you get a cache HIT and that content is served from the closest CDN data center (also recommended by SpeedVitals). After configuring ChemiCloud, LiteSpeed Cache, and Super Page Cache For Cloudflare, tests showed a ~100ms average TTFB. Each test is different, so you can run your own or click through the site.

Speedvitals ttfb report chemicloud with super page cache for cloudflare
View full report or test it yourself

Chemicloud server response time

Even when using ChemiCloud’s New York data center, TTFB is ~100ms in most locations.

Chemicloud data center

This is why “choosing a host based on data center location” doesn’t always make sense (especially for static sites and if Cloudflare has a close PoP to your visitors). To get a similar TTFB on WooCommerce, you would ideally use CDN smart routing (like Cloudflare Argo). Without a CDN, TTFB is fast for visitors close to the data center and slower in other locations:

Chemicloud keycdn performance test no cdn
TTFB without a CDN (New York data center)

 

2. ChemiCloud vs. Other LiteSpeed/Non-LiteSpeed Hosts

Hostinger Business Plan GreenGeeks Pro Plan FastComet FastCloud Extra Plan NameHero Turbo WP Plan ChemiCloud WP Turbo Plan
Server LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed
CPU/RAM 2 cores + 1.5GB 3 cores + 2GB 6 cores + 6GB 3 cores + 3GB 3 cores + 3GB (scalable to 6/6)
Storage 200GB NVMe (not accurate) Unlimited SATA 35GB SATA Unlimited NVMe 40GB NVMe
Database MariaDB MariaDB MySQL MariaDB MariaDB
Object cache Memcached x Memcached Redis Redis
Data centers 8 4 11 1 (US) 11
Cache plugin LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache
CDN QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare) QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare) QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare) QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare) QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare)
Full page caching
Control Panel hPanel cPanel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Inodes 600,000 400,000 500,000 500,000 500,000
Migrations Unlimited free (but unreliable) 1 free 3 free 1 free 200 cPanel + 10 non-cPanel
Past issues Scams, fake reviews, bad poll, downtimes Scams (unable to cancel), CPU issues 2022 DDoS attack 2011 node outage None
Support F C B B A
TrustPilot rating 4.6/5 (fake) 4.2/5 4.8/5 4.6/5 5/5
Monthly price $3.99 (4 years) $4.95 (1 year) $4.39 (1-3 years) $10.97 (3 years) $4.95 (1-3 years)
Renewals $8.99 $16.95 $21.95 $19.95 $19.95

 

GoDaddy Managed WP Basic Plan HostGator Standard Plan Bluehost Choice Plus Plan SiteGround GrowBig Plan ChemiCloud WordPress Turbo Plan
Server Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx LiteSpeed
CPU/RAM 1 core + 512MB Not listed Not listed Not listed 3 cores + 3GB (scalable to 6/6)
Storage 10GB NVMe Unlimited SATA 40GB SATA 20GB SATA 40GB NVMe
Database MySQL MySQL MySQL MySQL MariaDB
Object cache Memcached x x Memcached Redis
Data centers 9 2 6 10 11
Cache plugin x x x SG Optimizer LiteSpeed Cache
CDN Cloudflare (free) Cloudflare (free) Cloudflare (free) SiteGround CDN ($14.99/mo) QUIC.cloud (but try Cloudflare)
Full page caching x x x
Control panel Custom cPanel cPanel Site Tools cPanel
Inodes 250,000 200,000 200,000 400,000 500,000
Migrations Paid 1 free Free on qualified accounts only $30/site 200 cPanel + 10 non-cPanel
Past issues Data breaches, malware, low resource limits Bought by EIG (same problems as Bluehost) Downtimes, CPU throttling, Sitelock scams TTFB, DNS, CPU issues, controls FB groups None
Support C D D C A
TrustPilot rating 4.7/5 4.3/5 4.2/5 4.8/5 5/5
Monthly price $7.49 (2-3 years) $5.95 (3 years) $5.45 (1 year) $4.99 (1 year) $4.95 (1-3 years)
Renewals $11.49/mo $12.99/mo $21.99/mo $29.99/mo $19.95/mo

 
Notes

  • LiteSpeed servers are more CPU/memory efficient than Apache.
  • LiteSpeed Cache is faster (and better supported) than most cache plugins.
  • NVMe SSDs are faster than SATA SSDs, often with 6x faster read/write speeds.
  • MariaDB is more powerful than MySQL (here’s a Facebook poll taken on the two).
  • Redis is more powerful than Memcached, especially for WooCommerce/dynamic sites.
  • SiteGround’s CDN requires their DNS which caused 2M sites to get blocked from Google.
  • Hostinger advertises more resources than what you actually get with various limitations.

 

3. Why LiteSpeed?

Speed

LiteSpeed servers with LiteSpeed Cache outperform most shared hosting setups (that’s why it got popular). This has a lot to do with LiteSpeed Cache optimizing web vitals better than other cache plugins – including WP Rocket. Not only does it have nearly every features in WP Rocket, but it has faster server-side caching, can host third-party code locally (i.e. fonts/Gravatars), lazy renders HTML elements (great for page builders and WooCommerce), gives you more control of caching, and their “remove unused CSS” is faster because it can load used CSS in a separate file.

All ChemiCloud’s WordPress hosting plans use LiteSpeed.

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache

Resource Usage + Scalability

“You’ve exceeded your plan’s maximum resources, now upgrade or we’ll suspend you.” This is what SiteGround does, or you’ll get 5xx errors on hosts like Bluehost/GoDaddy. Since LiteSpeed uses resources more efficiently, it can mean more traffic/plugins without worrying about spikes.

Litespeed apache cpu usage

Easy On The Wallet

  • No need to pay for a cache plugin (LiteSpeed Cache is free).
  • Less chance of upgrading due to spikes in CPU/memory usage.
  • Even if you upgrade, the Turbo+ Boost add-on doubles CPU/RAM for just $6-7/mo.
  • ChemiCloud is cheaper than most hosts and lets you buy 1-3 years at the intro price.
Which web server do you use recommendLitespeed cache litespeed serverLitespeed litespeed cache quic. CloudLitespeed with litespeed cache
Which web server do you useLitespeed on litespeed serverLitespeed cache vs. Wp rocketSiteground to chemicloud performance

 

4. Why Their WordPress Turbo Plan?

In the table, you get more resources (cores/RAM/inodes) and a faster site with Redis, APC, OPcache, and QUIC.cloud’s protocol. For just over $1/mo more than the Pro plan, it’s worth it.

Chemicloud wordpress hosting plan differences

 

5. Request Free Migration(s) Or Install WordPress

Migrations include 200 cPanel + 10 non-cPanel. It’s also easy to install WordPress with cPanel (Softaculous). More importantly, you can trust them since support knows what they’re doing – unlike some hosts. Or just search “migrations” on TrustPilot to see other people’s experiences.

 

6. Configure LiteSpeed Cache

Next, configure LiteSpeed Cache using my tutorial, but check the CDN section if you plan on using the Super Page Cache plugin for full page caching.

Litespeed cache plugin

It does a great job optimizing core web vitals and is arguably faster than WP Rocket (and definitely faster than SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin) which can’t even delay JavaScript or remove unused CSS. You also get server-side caching and the developers do an awesome job releasing new features which you can follow in the LiteSpeed WordPress Community FB group.

SiteGround Optimizer WP Rocket LiteSpeed Cache
WordPress rating 4.3/5 N/A 4.8/5
Price Free $59/year Free
Server-side caching x
Object cache integration Memcached x Redis/Memcached
Delay JavaScript x
Remove unused CSS x Inline File ?
Critical CSS x
Self-host third-party code x x
Image compression x
WebP x
Add image dimensions (CLS) x
Exclude viewport images from lazy (LCP) By class/type Helper plugin Automatic
Lazy load HTML x x
Preload links x
First time visit optimization x x Guest Mode
Control cache TTL x
Control preloading x
ESI (edge side includes) x x
Gravatar cache x x
Limit post revisions Deletes all Deletes all Keeps some
1-click preset settings x x

LiteSpeed Cache works best on LiteSpeed servers. If you don’t use LiteSpeed, you’re missing out on “LiteSpeed exclusive features” listed on the plugins page.

 

7. Configure Redis

Redis is more powerful than Memcached, especially for speeding up the admin.

Redis vs memcached stackoverflow

Step 1: Go cPanel → Redis Object Cache.

Chemicloud cpanel software

Step 2: Enable Redis and copy the socket path.

Redis object cache cpanel

Step 3: Go to LiteSpeed Cache → Cache → Object. Enable object cache + Redis and paste the socket path. Port will always be 0. Save changes, then make sure you pass the connection test.

Litespeed cache object cache redis chemicloud

When setting up Redis on multiple sites, each site should have a unique Redis Database ID (0-100). For example, site 1 is “1” and site 2 is “2.” You can also read ChemiCloud’s Redis tutorial.

 

8. Configure Your CDN (Cloudflare Or QUIC.cloud)

CDNs are a huge part of TTFB for visitors far away from your hosting server.

While QUIC.cloud’s CDN was built by LiteSpeed, Cloudflare has better performance on CDN Performance Tracker, or see cdnperf.com. This is due to Cloudflare’s network (3x larger than QUIC’s) + 228 Tbps (data transfer speeds). Cloudflare also has more features in the dashboard.

Some hosts/cache plugins started offering CDN integrations (SiteGround CDN, RocketCDN, etc). These are usually inferior since you lose access to the original CDN dashboard… which means you also lose access to many features. And the CDNs they use are typically inferior to Cloudflare.

Cdn performance tracker 1000

RocketCDN (WP Rocket) FlyingCDN (FlyingPress) SiteGround CDN QUIC.cloud Standard Plan Cloudflare
CDN BunnyCDN BunnyCDN Google Cloud QUIC.cloud Cloudflare
Locations 121 121 183 84 310
Speed (Tbps) 80 80 Not listed Not listed 228
Full page caching x x
Load balancing x
Firewall x
Image optimization x Bunny Optimizer Limited x
Bandwidth Not unlimited as advertised Unlimited Unmetered Unlimited Unlimited
Features Low Low Low Medium High
Price $8.99/mo $.03/GB $14.99/mo $.02 – .08/GB Free with Super Page Cache

On the ChemiCloud demo site, I used the free Cloudflare Super Page Cache plugin to cache everything, which is similar to APO and seems to have better compatibility than the official Cloudflare plugin (which has very few settings). I’ll also show you how to set up QUIC.cloud’s CDN if you prefer it, but I recommend at least trying Super Page Cache.

Cloudflare Super Page Cache

Super page cache for cloudflare plugin

Step 1: Change your DNS to Cloudflare which performs well on dnsperf.com. Add your website to Cloudflare, they will scan records, then provide you with 2 nameservers. In ChemiCloud, you will change these (Domains → Manage Domains → Nameservers → Use Custom Nameservers).

Change chemicloud nameservers to cloudflare

Step 2: Install the Super Page Cache For Cloudflare plugin. Add your Cloudflare email, global API key, domain, and enable page caching. According to the developer (iSaumya), follow these next steps. If you have additional questions, I recommend asking iSaumya in a support thread.

  1. Disable LiteSpeed’s page caching and guest mode + guest optimization.
  2. “Only use LiteSpeed Cache for static file optimization.” However, I believe you can still configure it normally except for the caching/CDN settings (including using it for object cache, crawler, database optimization, Heartbeat, and image/page optimization settings).
  3. Do not enter your Cloudflare API details in LiteSpeed Cache (it’s handled by this plugin).
  4. Do not use the official Cloudflare plugin and make sure APO is disabled in CF dashboard.
  5. Enable fallback cache in Super Page Cache, then disable page caching in LiteSpeed Cache.

Super page cache for cloudflare settings

Step 3: Configure settings in your Cloudflare dashboard (I recommend the following):

  • SSL/TLS Recommender (SSL/TLS → Overview).
  • Always Use HTTPS (SSL/TLS → Edge Certificates).
  • HTTP Strict Transport Security (SSL/TLS → Edge Certificates).
  • WAF Rules (Security) to block unwanted requests.
  • Brotli (Speed → Optimization → Content Optimization).
  • Early Hints (Speed → Optimization → Content Optimization).
  • Automatic Signed Exchanges (Speed → Optimization → Other).
  • Crawler Hints (Caching → Configuration).
  • Hotlink Protection (Scrape Shield).
  • Purge Cloudflare’s Cache (after you’re done configuring settings).

QUIC.cloud

Quic. Cloud

Step 1: In the LiteSpeed Cache General settings, request a domain key and add your server IP. Once you have a domain key, click “link to QUIC.cloud” which adds a link to QUIC’s dashboard.

Link to quic. Cloud

Step 2: In LiteSpeed Cache’s CDN settings, enable QUIC.cloud CDN (leave CDN Mapping off).

Litespeed cache cdn turn on quic. Cloud cdn

Step 3: Change nameservers to QUIC.cloud’s:

Quic. Cloud nameservers

Step 4: Review the free vs. standard plan. The free plan only uses 6 PoPs without DDoS protection while the standard plan uses all 83 PoPs with DDoS protection. It costs $.02-$.08/GB (depending on the regions you select) and requires adding credits inside your QUIC dashboard.

 

9. Optimizing Images

When using Cloudflare’s CDN, you don’t get QUIC.cloud’s image optimizations.

Which means you’ll have to find another way to compress and convert them to WebP. I recommend Optimole (same developers as Super Page Cache For Cloudflare) or ShortPixel.

 

10. Use PHP 8.2

Login to your ChemiCloud cPanel → Select PHP Version. Update to the latest version while testing your site for broken elements (which probably means a specific plugin isn’t compatible).

Chemicloud php 8. 2

 

11. Scalable CPU Cores/RAM

The Turbo+ Boost add-on doubles CPU/RAM from 3 cores + 3GB RAM to 6 cores + 6GB RAM for $6-7/mo. Which means even if your resource usage goes up, you don’t have to buy a new plan.

Chemicloud turbo boost add on

As far as I know, ChemiCloud is the only host with this kind of scalability on shared hosting. Other hosts make you sign up for 3 years to get the cheapest price, then you’re trapped with a fixed amount of resources. You max them out with extra traffic, plugins, background tasks, etc. You’re then at the mercy of your host (who will probably tell you to upgrade plans). And since resource usage should be under 50%, it’s nice to have. ChemiCloud has other add-ons as well.

Price:

  • 12 months (7% Discount) $77.40 ($6.45/mo)
  • 24 months (10% Discount) $150 ($6.25/mo)
  • 36 months (14% Discount) $214.20 ($5.95/mo)

 

12. NVMe SSDs + MariaDB

NVMe SSDs often have 6x faster read/write speeds than traditional hard drives, but they’re usually only beneficial for dynamic (WooCommerce) or complex sites with large databases. NVMe SSDs (and MariaDB) are still preferred over traditional hard drives and MySQL which are used on hosts like SiteGround/Bluehost. If the price is the same, stick with NVMe and MariaDB.

Mysql vs mariadb facebook poll

 

13. 5/5 TrustPilot Rating With Great Support

Search their profile for people who moved from SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, etc.

Chemicloud trustpilot

Not many hosts let you review them on Google:

Chemicloud google reviews

As always, I recommend joining the WP Speed Matters Facebook Group since most other Facebook groups are run by SiteGround (that’s the only reason they’re promoted everywhere).

Siteground to chemicloud performanceChemicloud gtmetrix report
Litespeed with litespeed cacheSiteground vs chemicloud comparisonChemicloud speed ui supportChemicloud vs sitegroundChemicloud pro feedback

 
Try them out and see yourself (they have a 45 day money back guarantee): chemicloud.com

Cheers,
Tom

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57 Comments...

  1. Hey Tom,

    I’ve read so much on your site, I’ll switch to either rocket.net or Chemicloud through your links at this point.

    But I was wondering if I can be on a budget with my WooCommerce site.

    The rocket plan with Cloudflare Enterprise included sounds enticing but they use Apache+Nginx servers. Aren’t they much slower than Litespeed servers? Plus the total price point is quite high when adding FlyingPress into the mix.

    I was thinking to use Chemiclouds WP Turbo, get Cloudflare Images for $5 and use Litespeed Cache + Super Page Cache for free to get the benefits of Litespeed servers at much lower cost.
    Does it make sense?

    Reply
    • Hey Andy,

      Might want to explore a VPS. You probably don’t want shared because of low resource limits which aren’t great for WooCommerce. Not managed cloud because of price.

      LiteSpeed is preferable but managed cloud hosts don’t use it… I believe because the licensing is super expensive. Even on VPS plans like on Chemi/NameHero, the customer has to pay extra for the license. That said, have you looked at RunCloud?

      You can also go on these company’s TrustPilot profiles and use the filter to search “VPS.” See how many good vs. bad reviews they have specifically about their VPS plans. For example, Scala has mostly good reviews, Hostinger and FastComet have quite a few bad ones.

      I’ve been creating a spreadsheet comparing a bunch of different hosts including different shared, VPS, and managed cloud plans. Planning on publishing it on my “best WordPress hosting” article soon… likely in the next 1-2 weeks. But it sounds like RunCloud or Scala may be two better options.

      Hope that helps but lmk.

      Reply
  2. Hi Tom!
    I had read your review for a long time and today I had signed up for Chemicloud via your affiliate link. I had got 3 hosting experience by your review and It is true everything’s.
    Have a nice day :)

    Reply
  3. Hi Tom! I just wanted to say “Thank you” for this excellent review of Chemicloud which I came to via your “..Best Hosting..” page. Having been a Cloudways customer (Vulture HF) for about 1.5 years now or so, I’ve just signed up for Chemicloud via your affiliate link.

    Originally I started learning information about what *REALLY* matters for page speed from your wonderful content some time ago. I became one of the few people I know personally to achieve near 99-100 Pagespeed Insights (mobile, no CDN, no “tricks”) scores using what I learned from your site as a foundation and then going down the rabbit hole as we say, ha ha.

    Moving to Chemicloud will be a refreshing change as:

    – Cloudways does not include email by default. The dashboard optional email add-on, Rackspace Email, is cheap ($1/month) but messed up the formatting on basic text emails when I tried it. Ridiculous! I’ve been using SMTP2GO for free, but fewer and fewer Wordpress emails having been getting through over time. :(
    – Cloudways pricing has increased, making it a worse value than before.
    – Speeds are good but they have a custom user interface (not cPanel), and while it works fine, I have to admit it’ll be nice to go back to cPanel.
    – No file manager with Cloudways unlike in cPanel; I have to use FileZilla for that. It works, but requires more time & hassle.
    – Cloudways support is not “bad” per se, but it’s simply not at the level of higher-tier hosting providers or better-rated ones like you’ve mentioned here.

    For anyone concerned about storage growth I contacted Chemicloud and they replied that you can add 20GB more storage for $4.95 more/month, so that’s good to hear.

    Looking forward to trying to implement CDN use for the first time based on the steps you listed. The test data you provided showing how it actually does help for site visitors in other countries was very helpful in convincing me to finally give it a fair try.

    Thanks again Tom. Your test data, snapshots, and tables are awesome! Sadly, it’s very rare to see legit hosting comparisons – SO MUCH garbage out there.

    Have a great week and even better Christmas holiday. :)

    Reply
    • Hey Marty,

      That’s awesome! Glad the tutorials are useful to ya :)

      I felt the same about Cloudways… definitely lacking in some key areas which lead me to find some better solutions. ChemiCloud is one of them (it’s shared hosting, but solves nearly every problem). Rocket.net is another (higher budget, but a major upgrade from CW), and the other would probably be something like ServerAvatar.

      Of course I agree about the garbage… it’s all about commissions and aggressive/unethical marketing from both hosting companies and their affiliates. And when you’re honest, there’s a good chance you’ll get threatened.

      Let me know where you end up at and if you have questions along the way. Really appreciate you saying all that and have an amazing Christmas!

      Reply

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