I’ve followed Satish Gandham’s good advice and moved to LiquidWeb, mid-range VPS, with APC cache installed on the server. Page loading time dropped immediately and considerably, from 5-7 seconds at HostGator to 2-4 at LiquidWeb all else unchanged. A switch from a powerful but somewhat heavy Weaver II to Swift resulted in a further improvement of the loading speed to around one second! While I’m a hardwired conservative in my tastes and preferences, I will probably switch to Swift. Under 2 seconds loading time is tempting.
My thanks to Satish Gandham for one of the better advice since the WordPress misery phase of my life started in October or November 2011. I would also like to recommend LiquidWeb as a suitable and cost effective solution if your needs are like mine. Famous WPEngine would cost much more, plus they don’t have or at least didn’t have, last time I checked about a year ago, 24 hour support, which is an essential for a techno-peasant like me. Hostenko.com took three days to answer an enquiry, which pretty much says it all, and it seems keeping 20 sites with either of them would make internet presence prohibitively expensive.
Please note I’m not saying that LiquidWeb is “better” than other hosts I tried. HostGator is great (price and service-wise) for shared hosting. Site5.com has a remarkably easy interface and one of my associates, Marisha from Moldova, got fed up with me and my attempts to improve how things work, gave up on CMS, and went back to Site5. But in my case (about 20 sites that are either my own or under my care, 10 WordPress installations, a total of about 40GB of stuff, all serving a tiny struggling traveller support service) a move to LiquidWeb seems to have done it.
So, if your sites takes 10-15 seconds to load, don’t despair. Not for this reason. Not before you try different hosts and themes and levels of service. In my case VPS, with ~70GB of disk space at $60-90 per month, seems to be appropriate. Don’t take promises of “unlimited” hosting for $7/month seriously. You can consistently get only what you pay for, minus the cost of handling. Blame the universe that consists of constants and does not usually generate something out of nothing, or modern sales and marketing style that fails to clearly describe what tool suits what job.