It’s hard to mention WPX without dropping Matthew Woodward (kills me to even link to this).
What I’m asking you to do is push the “fastest WordPress hosting” marketing gimmick aside (because that’s all it is). He now ranks SiteGround, A2, and Bluehost in the top 6 spots. Almost all his top picks are shared hosting (including WPX) with generous affiliate commissions. There’s no mention of Rocket.net, RunCloud, GridPane, and other hosts who would crush anyone in the list. He also uses a CDN on some hosts (i.e. WPX), but not others. Anyone whose been in the industry long enough knows the tests were designed for monetary purposes with bogus results. Funny thing is, WPX/Matthew call his tests “independent,” but they’re clearly anything but that.
So let’s talk about what WPX really is.
At the end of the day, it’s still shared hosting with 3 data centers. They don’t clearly list limits (CPU/RAM, inodes, email, unlimited bandwidth) which can lead to misunderstandings and even account termination as shown in their TOS. When WPX had a worldwide outage in 2011, their response was threatening to sue their partner (Steadfast) and expecting a letter from the dead CEO when it was WPX who had no redundancy system in place – not even for their own website.
This is why I don’t recommend WPX anymore.
They do have their strengths: LiteSpeed servers, free XDN, site speed optimization, malware removal, and support is arguably one of the best especially for shared hosting. While a lot of people are happy with them, they need to be more transparent, reliable, as well as professional.
- It’s still shared hosting
- No clear limits on CPU resources, inodes, email, bandwidth
- No Redis or Memcached
- Response to worldwide outage was horrendous
- Only 3 data centers (Chicago, London, Sydney)
- Be careful with WooCommerce/dynamic sites
- LiteSpeed Cache vs. W3 Total Cache
- XDN vs. QUIC.cloud
- Day to day support is still good
- Free site speed optimization
- WPX dashboard
- Pricing + bandwidth calculator
- WPX alternatives
1. It’s Still Shared Hosting
Maybe they meant the fastest shared hosting?
I have no doubt they’re one of the fastest shared hosts (above SiteGround, Bluehost, etc). But what actually makes them faster? LiteSpeed, or better hardware? The only “specs” I found are high-spec SSD servers with underloaded servers and LiteSpeed. I don’t understand why they don’t have a table listing all the specs/features of each plan like almost every other host does.
Shared hosting is not the “fastest WordPress hosting.”
2. No Clear Limits On CPU Resources, Inodes, Email, Bandwidth
Most hosts set clear limits on all of these. Even if it means digging through their TOS and policy pages, numbers should be found somewhere.
When I went through WPX’s TOS, all I saw was how they can terminate your account without a refund if you exceed CPU resources (at their discretion). No mention of inode/email limits and you’re left clueless on how much CPU/RAM each plan has.
Their “unlimited bandwidth” on higher plans don’t have numbers. Instead, they have a “reasonable use” limit at WPX’s discretion.
So I went ahead and checked TrustPilot and sure enough, there are reviews about exceeding these non-existent limits. But what surprised me most is the response of WPX’s CEO who blamed the customer when not even the TOS has clear numbers. Make your own judgment.
3. No Redis Or Memcached
WPX doesn’t support object caching (Redis/Memcached).
This is a huge disadvantage since it speeds up your site while reducing server load (and is especially good for WooCommerce/dynamic sites). Which means if you installed LiteSpeed Cache with their hosting, you can’t pass the object cache connection test. Normally, you would enable Redis or Memcached in your hosting account, then use LiteSpeed Cache to integrate it.
4. Response To Worldwide Outage Was Horrendous
On 8/2/2021, WPX had a major outage (Worldwide, not just Chicago) due to not having a redundancy system, which means there’s a single point of failure. WPX said adding one was too expensive. Thousands of customer websites (including their own) were down for about 5 hours.
How did they respond?
See the Facebook thread here (WPX’s crisis management = 0/5 stars).
The only response during the outage was it would be resolved shortly. Hours went by with no communication, then WPX denied all responsibility and threatened to sue Steadfast’s CEO who died just months earlier, even though Steadfast provided services for BigScoots who had little to 0 downtime because they did have a redundancy system. There was no confirmation WPX would add a redundancy system in the future, no compensation I’m aware of, and it’s unclear whether they have one in place to this date. Their official response also blames it on Steadfast.
This is exactly why 99.9% uptimes tests and TrustPilot ratings don’t always matter.
WPX doesn’t have a network status page either, so it’s pretty much impossible to track uptimes across all WPX’s servers, but you can find many individual reports of their frequent downtimes.
5. Only 3 Data Centers (Chicago, London, Sydney)
If your visitors aren’t geographically relatively close to these locations, you’ll probably experience latency. While CDNs (and XDN) help, this isn’t a replacement for a close origin server.
|Chicago, IL (USA)||London (England)||Sydney (Australia)|
6. Be Careful With WooCommerce/Dynamic sites
I never recommend running WooCommerce on shared hosting because they demand more resources.
I’m not saying it’s impossible with WPX (it looks like they have quite a few WooCommerce customers), I’m just saying I don’t think it’s a good idea. Especially since WPX doesn’t have anything higher than their Elite plan which can still result in 5xx errors if you’re not careful about bandwidth usage. XDN also can’t cache dynamic elements, so that won’t help much.
7. LiteSpeed Cache vs. W3 Total Cache
WPX uses LiteSpeed servers, nice!
So why do they recommend W3 Total Cache when LiteSpeed Cache is better? WPX says it has “the best performance with our pre-configured settings and our server’s configuration.” Fair enough, but you’re still missing out on a ton of optimizations that can improve core web vitals.
You can use plugins like WP-Optimize, Flying Scripts, Heartbeat Control, and an image optimization plugin like ShortPixel to do these, but that would be a lot of plugins to install. I have extensive tutorials for both the W3 Total Cache settings and LiteSpeed Cache settings.
|W3 Total Cache||LiteSpeed Cache|
|Critical CSS||x||via QUIC|
|Remove unused CSS||x||via QUIC|
|Load CSS asynchronously||Pro||✓|
|Lazy load videos||x||✓|
|Lazy load Google Maps||Pro||✓|
|Lazy load HTML selectors||x||✓|
|Host third-party code locally||x||✓|
|First time visit optimization||x||Guest Mode|
|ESI (edge side includes)||x||✓|
|Image compression||Pro||via QUIC|
|Add missing image dimensions||x||✓|
|Low quality image placeholder||x||via QUIC|
|Price||Freemium (Pro: $99/year)||Free|
8. XDN vs. QUIC.cloud
XDN was the secret weapon that helped win speed tests done by Kevin Ohashi and Matthew Woodward (so does that mean they will be testing with Cloudflare Enterprise on other hosts)?
XDN is free, has 34 PoPs, and caches static and dynamic/HTML resources.
QUIC.cloud CDN has a free and standard plan. While their free plan only uses 6 PoPs, the standard plan uses 70 PoPs with DDoS protection. Both the free and standard plan include HTML caching and page/image optimizations like critical CSS, unique CSS, and LQIP. Which makes the paid (standard) plan much more robust than XDN both in terms of speed/security.
But of course, feel free to test them out yourself.
9. Day To Day Support Is Still Good
While support is usually something you have to experience, WPX has one of the best support teams which is reflected in their TrustPilot reviews.
You can reach someone in 30s via live chat or open a ticket. They have a fix for you guarantee that says if you run into a technical issue affecting normal operations of your site, they will fix it free. Their Live Chat profile has a 99% satisfaction rate, 41,000+ ratings, and 25s response time.
10. Free Site Speed Optimization
WPX comes with 1 free site speed optimization, then $139 after that.
On the surface, it looks like a good deal considering you get the following optimizations, although WPX says there is usually a backlog for several days. I’ve never used it so feel free to share your experience in the comments if you have. Although if you use my W3 Total Cache or LSC tutorial, you may not need to do this. Who knows, maybe they have some special tweaks.
11. WPX Dashboard
WPX uses their own custom dashboard.
It’s easy to use especially for basic things like email, backups, SSL, staging, and FTP. But some people think it’s oversimplified and lacks features. Beginners shouldn’t have any problem navigating the dashboard, but some advanced users may find they don’t have as much control.
Staging usually works fine, but there have been a few error reports in Facebook groups. They only let you create 1 copy, in which case you would need to use something like the WP Staging.
12. Pricing + Bandwidth Calculator
You can get 2 months free if you sign up for 1 year.
Most hosts make you sign up for 1-3 years with a cheap intro price, then renews and gets about 2.5x more expensive. It’s nice WPX has flexible monthly pricing if you want to try them. Each plan also comes with free site speed optimization.
|Business||Up to 5||10GB||100GB||$24.99/mo||$20.83/mo|
|Professional||Up to 15||20GB||200GB||$49.99/mo||$41.58/mo|
|Elite||Up to 35||40GB||“Unlimited”||$99.00/mo||$83.25/mo|
To learn which plan is best for you, use their bandwidth calculator. Enter your website’s average page size, monthly visitors, and average page views. WPX will recommend the best plan for you.
13. WPX Alternatives
Rocket.net and Cloudways Vultr HF are similarly priced and faster than WPX.
Both are cloud hosting with NVMe storage and Redis. Both also have Cloudflare Enterprise which can make a big improvement to TTFB between Cloudflare’s large network of 270+ PoPs, Argo Smart Routing (specifically good for dynamic sites), and other optimizations. Rocket.net is faster than Cloudways (and who I use) but storage/bandwidth are lower. It really depends on your budget and whether you’re willing to pay for the absolute fastest load times. Rocket.net also has a perfect TrustPilot rating and no PHP worker limits with even better support than WPX.
|WPX||Cloudways Vultr HF||Rocket.net|
|Hosting type||Shared||Cloud||Private cloud|
|CPU/RAM||Not listed||1 cores + 1GB RAM||32 cores + 128GB RAM|
|Object cache||x||Redis Pro||Redis|
|Server||LiteSpeed||Apache||Apache + Nginx|
|Limits on bandwidth (or monthly visits)||200GB||1TB||50GB + 250k visits/mo|
|CDN||QUIC.cloud or XDN||Cloudflare Enterprise||Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Full page caching||✓||Coming soon||✓|
|Argo smart routing||x||✓||✓|
|CDN price||$.01 – $.04/GB||$5/mo||Free|
|CPU limits||At their discretion||Average||None|
|Cache plugin||LSC or W3TC||Breeze||x|
|Major incidents||Worldwide outage||None||None|
|Free migration||5-35 sites free||1 free||Unlimited free|
|Monthly price||$20.83||$18 (with Cloudflare Enterprise)||$25|
|Specs||View specs||View specs||View specs|
I’ve been reading your review from quite some time and I must admit you do spread a lot of misinformation about web hosting companies you don’t support while concealing negative sides of hosting companies you aggresively promote.
Just to clarify, I too recommend Cloudways over WPX Hosting. But I make sure to clearly highlight positives and negatives of both the hosting companies.
Chances are pretty high that my comment will never be published. But nevermind, I wanted to put my point
I try to publish everything, good and bad. What am I concealing? Please elaborate and I’ll take it I to consideration, but I try to post pros/cons of every host.
I see for web hosting companies you don’t aggresively promote, you have put up a lot of screenshots of people complaining about their hosting from WordPress groups on FB.
However, one of the hosting companies you promote has poor reviews in the same FB group. However, your review talks about their support in just one single line with no screenshots as against a dedicated sections with tons of negative screenshots for other hosting companies.
I’ll rest my case.
If you’re talking about Cloudways I think I said their support isn’t the best. I usually don’t post a lot of screenshots when talking about support because it’s kind of pointless and based off personal experiences. Incidents like WPX’s outage however are clearly shown in 1 single thread, so it makes sense to include it IMO.
I thought you should know that WPX doesn’t support Memcached nor Redis on a Server level.
“Our Server cache currently is PHP OPcache. In case you would like to use the LiteSpeed cache plugin, you can install it, but keep in mind that neither Memcached nor Redis are supported.”
So you cannot use object caching
Thanks Rodney, sorry it took so long to respond by I updated the review to include that.
Hi, we’re in the process of moving form WP Engine to WPX based on articles much like this one and trust pilot reviews etc. but I’m just not getting the same kind of vibe everyone else has. We’re a web dev agency and we have many WP sites to move across, but we’re still on the first migration after hitting a massive roadblock and getting absolutely no sense from support.
The site setup at mydomain.com can’t send
emails to any address @mydomain.com
As first we figured mail() / sendmail was disabled,
but it turns out it can email other domains just fine, including domains that
routed to the exact same mail server and mailbox. e.g. email@example.com doesn’t
work but firstname.lastname@example.org does work.
So we’ve ruled out the receiving server.
After a full afternoon speaking to support they kept referring us to guides on
how to “configure outlook for WPX mailboxes” insisting our MX records
I ended up writing a php script that ran a
series of mail and DNS tests and determined that their server did not use public
DNS to lookup records for any domains configured on that server.
So when the WPX server tries to email
email@example.com, it’s getting the local IP address and trying to deliver the
email to a mailbox on the WPX server (which does not exist)
So I explained this and was told I’d need to
setup mailboxes for anyone that wanted to receive email (in some cases this
could be an organisation with 1,000s of users/mailboxes)
I tried to explain this made no sense and
surely this is just a simple requirement for anyone running a wordpress site –
how would you get a password reset email if your email address matched the
domain of the website? Does everyone who uses WPX switch to their email service
All they have done is manually added some MX
records to their internal DNS, but obviously this will stop working as soon as
DNS changes and what a nightmare to maintain.
Does anyone else use WPX and can you get
simple notifications emails working?
I haven’t used them for email but hopefully someone sees this and is able to respond. Otherwise you might want to repost this in a Facebook Group like WordPress Hosting or even Bloggers Passion as I’m pretty sure Anil was using them for email and had similar issues.
I use Cloudways and WpxHosting.
With Wpxhosting, sometimes, the first request is not delivered with the cache but the ccs and the js, no problem.
With Cloudways, the first request is delivered with the cache and therefore is faster.
I contact them but they say me no problem.
Hi Tom, thanks for this review. My site has around 2K monthly traffic, so which one should i choose WPX or cloudways?
I would personally do Cloudways DigitalOcean: $10/month (1 CPU + 1GB RAM) should be plenty for that traffic.
It’s cheaper than WPX but you won’t get as good of support. If support is important and you don’t mind (usually very slightly) lower speeds, then WPX. WPX is more user-friendly than Cloudways, you just need to weigh out what’s important for you.