Page Load Speed, Hostgator and Wordpress

I have been having some issues with Wordpress blogs hosted on Hostgator for a few months now. There seems to be some kind of intermittent problem with the server but tech support say the server is fine and not overloaded.

When I test my sites sometimes I see 2-3s load times, on other days I see 30s+ before the server even delivers first byte.

Here is a recent ten second example of what I am talking about:

I am still on shared hosting with HG. Am I expecting too much by wanting a consistent 2-3s page load time? Some time ago I was receiving this level of performance, but over recent months the server seems to be getting slower and slower.

I would happily upgrade to a VPS if I thought it would solve the problem, but advice in that regard is contradictory. Some people say that a low level VPS is less powerful than what I receive on shared hosting so page load speeds might be even slower. This seems counter-intuitive as you obviously pay a lot more for VPS than a shared account.

I hope someone here can help me achieve what I used to think was a very simple goal (2-3s page load speeds).

I am running W3 Total Cache on this blog, but no CDN. APC is greyed out, so I assume that this is not enabled on shared hosting.

It’s entirely possible that the server load is normally ok but spikes when someone else does a lot of activity, particularly if they are doing a lot of disk I/O or slamming the database. Usually with shared hosting the database server is a different server that also needs to be checked.

A VPS may or may not get you better performance though you usually have a lot more control over the installed software and can install APC and other things that the hosting provider doesn’t install.

Is your W3TC configuration set to pre-cache pages? if not it’s possible that the long load times are from when the cached version of the page needs to be re-built.

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I set the page cache to be recreated every 24hrs. Seemed to be most “server friendly” settings I could think of.

Page cache = on
Mode = Disk (enhanced)
Pre-cache = 86400s

It is not just this site that has the issue. The one in that test is quite small/new. My main site is a few years old and used to be snappy but now loads like a slug. I have deleted some plugins and carried out other reasonable measures to regains its speed but basically it is the same. Fast some of the time (2-3s), moderate/slow most of the time and occasionally totally ridiculous (30s+).

Your comment about a lot of activity is how I see it too. I totally accept that shared hosting means thousands of sites on the same server, but I cannot accept 30s+ page loads when I have a site on that server that is making money. The attraction of a VPS is that any demand problems are at least of my own making.

Is it true that VPS are also oversold?

Seriously thinking about buying one, but while I can code pages I know almost nothing about Apache apart from some .htaccess commands. Any recommendations for a managed VPS? Not sure I want to reward HG by upgrading the account if the problem is their end.

Yes, VPS is usually also oversold but you can usually “reserve” dedicated capacity (though that is usually CPU and memory - I/O can still be iffy).

Another option to look at is something like EC2 (or other cloud-based VPS systems) where they also account for I/O. The EC2 micro instances can be really affordable and give you all the control in the world (but that does require even more systems management).

Maybe the best option would be to look at a wordpress-specific hosting provider (like but I’ve also heard good things about Media Temple: )

I know this thread is a bit old, but I’ve seen similar issues as Conflagrant. Some days HostGator is amazingly fast, other days slow.

I decided to run a load test on them and compare with a few other hosts. Turns out HostGator is about average when it comes to handling load, at about 125 concurrent users before the site fails.

One host handled as much as 300 users, others failed at under 50.

Here’s how I ran the load test on hostgator if you’re interested.


The problem is EIG/HostGator and their cost-cutting ways.

My experience was similar to yours but not quite as severe: 5-6 second page load times when they should be under 2 seconds.

I solved my page load problem along with the HG long-support-wait-time experience by moving client sites to another hosting company - Site5.

Load times were reduced 75%, and were consistent, even without using CloudFlare CDN as I had done on HostGator.

Run, don’t walk, to Site5 or another non-EIG-owned reseller hosting company!

HG website load test:
Site5 website load test:

You can use cache plugins, recommended by the hostgator, and they says wp super cache. Avoid over using of the plugins, if possible just remove the unused plugins. Try to optimize image that you have uploaded.