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Changing Web Hosts: Look What Happened When I Switched To Traffic Planet (WPX Hosting)

By Chris Lee 51 comments

traffic planet hosting reviewEDIT: Traffic Planet has rebranded, and is now called WPX Hosting.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about how I improved my site speed by over 300%.

I was able to take my page load speed from 9.15s to 1.98s with only about 10 minutes of work, and I showed how you can do the same thing here.

Since writing that post, I’ve decided to try and take things further.

RankXL has always been hosted on my Bluehost shared hosting account, which isn’t known for being the fastest hosting plan, but is a popular option to start out with since it’s cheap.

A few days ago, I decided to try moving to a higher quality hosting solution.

RankXL now loads in under a second.

Host Shopping

servers

I’ve never really taken the time to research the different web hosts in the past.

I was recommended Bluehost when I built my first niche site, and that’s what I’ve been using all this time.

When I decided to move RankXL to something better, I spent quite a bit of time shopping around to find the perfect plan.

It took a long time before I finally decided to go with Traffic Planet (now called WPX Hosting), and I learned quite a bit about the different companies out there and the options they provide.

I’ll take a minute to go through them here.

Cloud hosting

One of the hosting companies I really wanted to go with at first was Linode.

A bunch of big blogs I follow use them and their sites always load super fast.

Unfortunately, it’s SSD Cloud Hosting.

what is ssd cloud hosting

That also means… they just give you a server. You have to do everything else yourself.

Too technical for me.

Unless you’re familiar with Linux and how to set up and manage the entire server yourself, it’s just not the right fit.

I contacted Linode and they did have a managed service plan, where they would set everything up for you and manage your server every month.

That would cost an additional $100/month.

Since their plans start at $10/month, my monthly cost would be fair at $110-$120/month.

The only problem was… the only thing I would be using it for is to host a few sites on there. For just a simple c-panel installation, I didn’t require much management every month and could handle the small things myself.

The only real help I needed was the installation and site migration.

So I requested a quote on a one-time job for site migration and c-panel installation.

Turns out that I would need to pay for my own c-panel license in this case, whereas it’s free if I went with their managed option.

The quote I ended up receiving for site migration, set-up, and installation was $500. I would need to pay for my own cpanel license, which is another $200/year.

So about $700 for set up, and then $10-$20/month for renting their server.

It wasn’t a ridiculous fee, but not exactly the perfect fit for my needs.

Rack Space and Digital Ocean

Same thing here.

They have reputations for being stupid fast, but they also run similar to Linode.

I contacted Rack Space and Digital Ocean, and they both told me that if I don’t know how to configure things myself, this type of hosting is not the right option for me.

WP Engine

Next up was WP Engine.

I’ve heard good reviews about WP Engine in the past.

Unfortunately, their pricing structure definitely wasn’t the right fit for what I was looking for.

wp engine pricing plans

My original plan was to possibly move my biggest niche sites onto the webhost I move to, if performance is noticeably better.

I would only be hosting 1-3 sites, but my bill would jump to their highest plan.

Which isn’t unreasonable by itself, but I’ve been told that the “visitors/month” actually means page views… which would get ridiculous.

I didn’t bother asking them for a quote but I’m guessing it would exceed $1000/month.

Still, I did consider looking into them further until I read this review by Matthew Woodward.

And then noticed this on Linode’s homepage.

linode customers

Is WP Engine just reselling hosting using Linode’s servers?

Either way, my mind had been made to look elsewhere.

Traffic Planet (WPX Hosting)

One of the ways I shopped around for hosting providers was to use this tool to check what other sites were hosted on.

I didn’t want to just make a decision based on reviews. I wanted to use hosting that other bloggers trusted for their own sites.

One name that kept showing up is Traffic Planet.

They had a solid reputation, and great reviews about their support, and their pricing plan made a lot more sense to me.

wpxhosting-pricing

Plus, they offered the same level of maximum security across all their plans, and free site migration for new users.

Perfect.

Moving to Traffic Planet (WPX Hosting)

Traffic Planet offers free site migration completed under 24 hours.

I’m very familiar with how to migrate sites, but felt it wouldn’t make sense not to use this offer.

I created a new support ticket with all the details that were needed…

and literally within 5 minutes, I got a response…

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.20.00 AM

I had heard that Traffic Planet had great support, but this was better than I was expecting.

I’m usually used to creating support tickets and receiving responses the next day.

Within 12 hours, my site had been transferred.

I received a response that everything was completed.

They even configured my W3 Total Cache settings to the optimal settings for their servers.

Thanks!

All I had to do was change my domain’s nameservers to theirs and that was that.

Testing speed

Now that everything was completely transferred, it was time to test out the speed.

I used Pingdom to test speed.

If you note from my previous post (when I was using Bluehost) the fastest I’ve gotten the site is 1.98s.

Website speed test

That’s with using CloudFlare.

Without CloudFlare, the site was loading at 9.15s.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 2.53.53 PM

New tests with WPX Hosting

Before I even started running any tests, I could notice a huge improvement in load speed.

Not only on the front end, but the load time in the wp-admin panel was considerably faster as well.

A good sign…

Now on to the tests…

This is the site speed without CloudFlare.

speed test 1

107% faster than when I had it on Bluehost + CloudFlare.

Let’s see what happens when I move it to CloudFlare.

speed test 2

Less than 3/4 of a second, and 199% faster than my fastest speed on Bluehost.

Nice!

I’m sure I can even get it down a little bit further with more optimization, but that’s really as fast as it gets when it comes to load speed.

Testing from the same location, that’s faster than all the blogs running on Linode that I’ve tested as well.

Of course, they’re all different page sizes and number of requests, but still…

Very happy to see that.

After the move

Aside from super fast speeds, the service I’ve received from Traffic Planet has been like nothing I’ve experienced elsewhere.

Ask them a question on their their live chat and see for yourself. Someone responds almost instantly.

I’ve been using Bluehost for a long time without many problems, so I’m not going to say they’re a terrible option and you should transfer your own sites immediately.

But once I saw how much better it can get, both in site performance and customer support, I’m definitely going to be moving all my sites over to WPX Hosting.

Bluehost was a good solution for me at a cheap price.

But I’m glad I decided to make the switch.

Leave a Reply

51 Comments

  • Reply Robert October 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    crhis interesting . I’m still waiting for the outcome of last month’s gains us

  • Reply jiteshshah October 3, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Hi Chris,

    Your last post helped me to gain knowledge about W3 total cache and cloud flare.

    I hosted my basic site on GoDaddy shared hosting.

    Do you have any knowledge on W3 total chache settings for GoDaddy server?

    I have felt that my site loads slower with cloudflare. I think I am doing something wrong, hence request your help if you know some technical stuff.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    yj shah

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      You should be able to run on the standard settings outlined in the post.

      If anything, try running cloudflare without the plugin.

  • Reply Brad October 3, 2015 at 12:22 am

    I am fed up with my host right now, been looking for alternates, it’s funny because I was just looking at WP engine, now I will have to look at Traffic Planet as well.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Who are you using right now?

    • Reply Terry Kyle October 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Disclosure: I am the co-owner of Traffic Planet Hosting.

      Hi Brad, as you will see on the comparison table on the Traffic Planet Hosting homepage, WPEngine offers 1 site for $29 a month (we offer 5 sites for $24.99) with no email, no SSD, no free site migration (within 24 hours) and speed-wise, TPH has beaten WPE by a considerable margin in virtually all independent tests.

      Thank you Chris for the detailed and fair review above.

      • Reply Chris Lee October 14, 2015 at 1:17 am

        Hey Terry! No problem. Thanks for clarifying πŸ™‚

  • Reply Philos October 3, 2015 at 1:31 am

    That’s fast. And I guess even readers are going to notice the difference. Wondering though if you came across Media Temple’s Grid shared hosting while you were shopping around for a new host Chris?

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Yeah, I checked it out, but didn’t end up heavily considering it.

  • Reply Yogendra Sharma October 3, 2015 at 2:26 am

    I wondered to see this great change by just changing the web host. Really appreciate your efforts to explain the difference between traffic planet and bluehost.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks Yogendra.

  • Reply Nyak Gan October 3, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Nice info, I’ll try this someday πŸ˜€

  • Reply Kim October 3, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Hey Chris

    You should check out serverpilot for cloud hosting management it’s free and it’s pretty simple to use too. You can let it manage any service like Linode, Digital Ocean, RackSpace and even Amazon EC2 πŸ˜‰

    Kim

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Kim, but in the end, I decided that I would prefer using something I’m familiar with rather than rely on someone else for every small detail.

  • Reply Jerry October 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

    In your previous post you mentioned an increase in site speed when using Cloud Flare according to stats, but in actual testing it seemed a lot slower. I do notice a difference in site speed while testing your site now though.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      That’s why I use tools like Pingdom to test, instead of claiming that it “seems faster.”

  • Reply Muhammad Usman October 3, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Hi Chris,

    I was waiting for your post. Now I’m commenting .. πŸ˜‰ Well, Yeah blue host is not bad option.

    Secondly, I have gone thru you niche book. Its quite amazing, well the keywords you suggested in that niche book. From sport niche.. I already found few keywords before and come to know new niches. You done extensive research.

    Thirdly from your keyword, its also proofs that if I’ll work on that nice, it will work.

    Keep posting great stuff as always. Thanks.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks, Muhammad.

  • Reply Shlomo October 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I made the switch to TPH 6 or 7 months ago and I’ve been very pleased. Their customer service has been very responsive to my questions.

    I only had one slight problem. For some reason a few of my images did not get moved when they transferred my websites. I had seen this problem mentioned in a review so I was on the lookout for it. (I suspect, but don’t know for sure, that the images probably weren’t uploaded properly to my old host.)

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Could be. Try using archive.org to retrieve them.

  • Reply Chris October 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Good article chris. You actually went through the same research I went through and I also stumbled on matts ‘a blog on wp engine so I stayed cleared. For me, my main concern was getting hacked so I ended staying on my reseller plan for host gator but getting sucuri which is a combo between cloud flare and web security anti virus. I do think eventually I’ll move a few sites over to the planet and still keep sucuri.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Nice. I’ve heard good things about securi. Will have to look into them further. Thanks, Chris.

  • Reply Ben October 4, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Hey Chris, is the site migration an easy thing to do?

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      If you do it yourself, it’s only confusing the first time. If you go with Traffic Planet, they’ll do it for you so you don’t need to worry about it.

  • Reply Theodore Nwangene October 4, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Hello Chris,
    This is very thoughtful of you indeed, i love the way you always get us informed on all your experiments, I’m currently hosting my own sites with Arvixe and planning to move on soon.

    I’m happy that you’ve done all the leg work for me, i might eventually go with Traffic Planet too.

    Thanks once again.

    BTW: I noticed that your course Facebook page currently disappeared, is it no longer available?

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Thanks, Theodore. Always enjoy reading your comments πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I’ve decided to close it.

  • Reply Nadya from livingoffcloud.com October 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, Chris, that’s really impressive!!!
    I though the CloudFare results from your previous post were already good, but this one… wow!

    I wonder how soon you will see the results of this investment?

    Alos, thanks for the heads up for WP Engine! Very useful.

    Nadya from http://livingoffcloud.com/

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks for reading Nadya.

  • Reply David T October 5, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Hi Chris,

    Do you think this would still be a good host for a non US based site (Australian based site for Australian based customers/readers) because Traffic Planet doesn’t seem to have an Australian based server? Or should I stick with my Australian based host – crazydomains.com.au?

    Cheers,
    David

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Hey David, if your traffic is all Australian based and you’re targeting keywords in Australia, I would stick to your Australian based host.

  • Reply Ankit Yadav October 5, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Hey Chris

    Good to see the improvements that you have made by moving your site from Blue-host to Traffic Planet Hosting, but Chris one thing that I would like to mention here, did you consider Cloudways: https://www.cloudways.com/en/. The reason I am mentioning Cloudways here is because they offer cloud hosting from $5.00 starting with the basic server from Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Compute Engine (GCE). Cloudways also offers free trial for 15 days on Digital Ocean (512 MB and 1 GB servers), AWS (Small) and GCE (g1-small).

    Features include:
    Awesome Control Panel, One click hosting (select the infrastructure provider DO, AWS or GCE and then select your application), Proprietary hosting formula (NGINX, VARNISH, APACHE, MEMCACHE and MYSQL), Dedicated Cloud Servers, 1 Click SSL and Automatic Patching.

    Before I end Chris, I would like to mention that I am not an employee of Cloudways or nor I am an affiliate with Cloudways but I am a satisfied customer of their services for over a year now, because what happened here Chris last time when I submitted the comment I made a typo error and mentioned that I have included the affiliate link in the comment and that’s why you did not approve it, so Chris on that issue my bad, but I hope you will post this comment this time. And finally Chris if you want to use their affiliate program here is the link: http://www.cloudways.com/en/partners/cloud-affiliate-program.php

    Best

    Ankit Yadav

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks for the info, Ankit.

  • Reply dee October 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Hello Chris,
    I am a hugh fan and started following your blog earlier this year. I was just now able to purchase your course.

    I need your help. I have not received log information or access to the course at this time. I sent an email and copy of my paypal invoice. thanks for your help. Will you also be including the bonuses that was mentioned with the course? those checklist will really be helpful.

    thanks for all you do. blessings, Dee

    • Reply Chris Lee October 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Hey Dee, sent you an email.

    • Reply Allen November 17, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Hi Dee,
      If I can butt in and give a shout out to Chris, you are gonna find this course probably the “best” course you’ve ever purchased online. Trust me I’ve spent many thousands. I have followed his course, and had many “stupid” questions, and he’s always answered quickly and helped with any problems. (Disclaimer – I’m an older guy and not up with high tech – I just got a smart phone this year…lol).
      Keep reading his posts. I always “over analyze” everything, but I’ve been thru the course not less than 10 times, and when I finally relaxed and took action, IT WORKS!!! My biggest fear was backlinking. Once I got over that, I’m amazed. You’ll find Chris to be over the top with support!

      • Reply Chris Lee November 18, 2016 at 9:50 pm

        Hey Allen! Thanks so much for the kind words πŸ™‚ Appreciate it!

  • Reply Dominique J. October 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve actually never heard of Traffic Planet but it seems like a great deal. I have a new site I’ve been working on and I might consider giving it a try. Thanks Chris!

    • Reply Chris Lee October 19, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Hey Dominique! Cool, you won’t be disappointed πŸ™‚

  • Reply Bhuboy October 27, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Such detail post chris, i am always learning new things from your site, at thesame i am learning from your niche site course

    • Reply Chris Lee October 27, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Really awesome to hear that πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mobiles10 January 4, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Nice info, I’ll try this Chris.

  • Reply Duryab Aziz August 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Hi chris, Thanks for sharing your experience. I was looking for a good website hosting for my niche site. As per your experience I will be taking a look at Traffic Planet, I can get the most out of them.

    Thanks for this post.. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Chris Lee August 31, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Yeah, it will definitely be a good move!

  • Reply Gabriele September 30, 2016 at 6:49 am

    Hi Chris,
    I launched my second blog on Traffic Planet and yes – that’s super fast.

    I have my first niche blog on a cheaper hosting and I’d want to move it to TrafficPlanet. Is there any problem with SEO in changing the server (you know, redirects?).

    • Reply Chris Lee October 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Nope, shouldn’t have any problems with SEO. If anything, changes will be positive from faster load speeds, lower bounce rate, etc.

  • Reply Etienne Juneau October 7, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Hi Chris,

    I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with Trafficplanethosting. I’ve just tried them and my experience has been horrible.

    I’ve shared this on Matt W’s blog and I’m compelled to share it here. You’re welcome to approve my comment or not.

    Best,

    Etienne

    * * *

    Hi Matt,

    I went with Trafficplanethosting (now WPXHosting) based on your recommendation. However, it’s been horrible. I’m afraid they’re pulling a WPEngine.

    My blog used to work just fine on my previous host. Fine, but slow (~7s load time according to GTmetrix).

    After moving to Trafficplanethosting (WPXHosting):

    – My blog started to load in ~10s, and sometimes up to 50 – 60 s
    – It was slow, temporary unavailable, or gave 500 / internal server errors
    – They blamed my WordPress theme, plug-ins, and even images (?!) and couldn’t fix the situation

    Their lower level tech support kept replying with copy and paste answers, seldom really answering my questions. I felt like I was talking to a machine.

    After 2 days of this, the best answer their senior support gave me was to turn off half of my plug-ins. Of course, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, since my blog was working just fine on my previous host.

    I’m now trying to migrate my blog to another (reputable) host. However, we’re having trouble with migration:

    “Hello, It appears wpxhosting.com has really limited your PHP/WEB request processes time. As a result, I am consistently receiving a timeout 500 error when trying to backup your site. I am attempting to use the updraft backup plugin but this may not work due to the heavy limitations.”

    I have screenshots of 500 internal server errors and 50-60s load times on Trafficplanethosting (WPXHosting). I could share them if you want. Same for support tickets. The whole thing is pretty appalling.

    I’m writing this in hopes the next entrepreneur like me who reads your review thinks twice about going with Trafficplanethosting / WPXHosting. I’m leaving as fast as I can.

    • Reply Chris Lee October 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Hey Etienne,

      I’m surprised to hear this, as my experience with Traffic Planet (now WPXHosting) has been nothing but pleasant so far. And everyone else who I know who uses them have said the same thing.

      As for support, they have been excellent. They have never been copy and paste answers, as I’m able to spot things like that quickly, and they have always been going above and beyond to help me with any problems.

      That being said, you obviously did not have the best experience with them. Thank you for sharing, and I do hope you were able to solve your loading problems.

  • Reply SEOIMO November 17, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Hi, Chris,

    Thanks for your great post. I have learnt so much. πŸ™‚

    But why you don’t use a VPS?

    I think $10 (even $5) per month is OK for you in Vultr or DO.

    You could set up LAMP/LNMP firstly, that is not difficult ..

    Frederick

    • Reply Chris Lee November 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks Frederick! Don’t really need one for RankXL at the moment. It doesn’t get a crazy amount of traffic… ( yet πŸ˜‰ )

  • Reply simon watson January 16, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    It would appear to be a fantastic, solid review of WPX hosting and how to change your web hosts in general. I was looking in to WPX and I thank you as this has helped to make my mind up!

    • Reply Chris Lee January 18, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Awesome! Glad to hear that Simon.