The choice of hosting for your Thrive Themes website should be based on three criteria:
- Which of the Thrive Themes plugins you're using on your website
- Other WordPress plugins you're using with Thrive Themes
- How much traffic you get each month
For those who prefer a direct answer and straight to the point:
WPX Hosting - Best Thrive Themes Host for a standard brochure site or blog that will still be blazing fast. You can even run smaller landing-page based sales and drive significant traffic without it breaking a sweat.
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency - Best Thrive Themes Host for tech-heavy sites that need tons of power behind them for a blazing-fast back-end and front-end that demands performance for significant processes like memberships, learning management, and ecommerce.
Take either of those hosts and combine them with my recommendations for how to make your Thrive Themes website faster and you'll be in great shape.
Need more information? In this guide, we'll walk through the major Thrive plugins and their needs for hosting as well as a look at some of the common plugins used in tandem with Thrive Themes. I'll break down why WPX Hosting and Cloudways are my two recommendations for common tech stacks, and my rating for each of those hosts based on the type of sites I've thrown at them.
Thrive Themes Plugins and How Each Affect Hosting Needs
Each of the Thrive Themes plugins vary in how much server power they demand from a host. Below I identify what you should consider when using each of these primary Thrive Themes plugins.
Thrive Architect itself is not a massive drain on server resources, but it is still a page builder. Page builders all require more resources than the standard WordPress WYSIWYG or Gutenberg blocks. Therefore, I never recommend using a hosting provider like GoDaddy or Bluehost because they are bogged too easily by the requests from Thrive.
Thrive Apprentice itself is a fairly light load when compared against its competitors and bigger LMS platforms like LearnDash and BuddyBoss. However, it also installs and requires the functionality of Thrive Architect. What elevates your hosting needs when using Thrive Apprentice tends to be all of the plugins you need in conjunction with it like a membership plugin, ecommerce or sales platform, form processors, and more which we'll go over below.
Thrive Leads doesn't contribute much to your hosting requirements at first, but as you scale up your ThriveBoxes, LeadGroups, and all of the checks and processes you'll find that it can definitely have a noticeable impact on the speed of your website if your hosting it's up to the task — especially the backend Thrive Leads area. They've recently updated how Thrive Leads uses the database to improve this, though.
Common Plugins Used by Thrive Themes Members that Affect Your Hosting Requirements
It has been my experience that Thrive Themes users typically lean more towards tech enthusiasts than other page builder users. Maybe it's the business and conversion-focused mindset. That usually means they install more plugins, set their sights higher than a standard brochure site, and strive to build a robust automated platform.
If you're using Thrive Apprentice, you probably have a membership plugin like WishList Member. Installing a platform that checks members' access, protects content, manages accounts, and creates integrations with so many tools definitely comes with cost. If you plan to have a membership site with people logging in regularly and accessing multiple areas of content, particularly with a platform like Buddy Boss, then I recommend going with more powerful hosting like Cloudways Vultr High Frequency.
WooCommerce is one of the best ecommerce platform out there, but it's an absolute hog on your website's resources. Almost immediately after installing it, you'll notice the backend of your site will slow to an absolute crawl. If you're going to have just a couple of products and use WooCommerce with something like CartFlows to have a simple funnel, then you can probably get away with WPX. You may notice some slowdown on the backend, but with WPX Cloud CDN the frontend should still be reasonably fast.
If you plan to use FluentCRM, the amazing new email marketing platform built right into WordPress, then I'd recommend you go with Cloudways. While not a hit to the front-end speed of your site, FluentCRM does bring a small decrease in performance that I've noticed in the admin area. I'm not sure if it's the licensing check, but there's definite slowdown if you aren't using more powerful hosting.
Best Hosting Providers for Thrive Themes & Thrive Themes Tech Stacks
WPX is what I would classify as "premium shared hosting" designed specifically for WordPress. They've solidified themselves in the hosting space because they don't consider themselves in the hosting or technology space — they openly call themselves a "customer service company." It shows. WPX has the best customer service ever. I simply feel safe and taken care of when using WPX, which is why I currently host over 50 of my clients' websites on WPX. They even hosted this website until I needed a little more power.
Pricing is fair. At first it feels high, but for what you're getting it's right where it should be. Even if you just need to host one website, I still think it's a good deal if you're not feeling up to managing a few more technical settings with a host like Cloudways.
The user interface when managing your websites on WPX's website is okay. It's not amazing. My biggest gripe is the number of clicks it takes to get anywhere. They do not use cPanel (but I consider that a good thing), but they also don't give you a whole lot of options, either. If you need a particular PHP setting enabled, you'll need to contact support via chat, but they'll get you taken care of in under 5 minutes. No wait. Ever.
- Customer Service is, by far, the best you will ever find in a hosting provider
- They move your websites to them for free in under 24 hours
- Their free CDN is extremely good
- Security is never a concern, and they fix any issues that come up
- The price starts higher than many shared hosting providers
- They limit the number of sites you get for the price
- Their security and anti-bot protection can be overly aggressive and trigger warnings when using Thrive
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Let me start by saying that I recommend you choose the VULTR High Frequency option. You won't find faster hosting at Cloudways. Cloudways takes the shared hosting experience and elevates it to what feels like a fully-managed VPS level.
You'll be given many more options to manage at Cloudways, but you only need to set them once and then you can forget about them. There's no technical coding, no files to tweak. It's 100% toggles. Setting up your site and SSL isn't 1-button simple, but it's 3 buttons simple. I completely disagree with anyone that says Cloudways is "too technical", particularly for a Thrive Themes user.
Price is where Cloudways absolutely destroys the competition. The power you're getting out of your server for the price is astonishing. For just $13/month you can easily host a website or even two - maybe more if they're simple brochure sites. When you upgrade to $50/month (what I'm at), you can host multiple juggernauts with Woocommerce, membership plugins, and hundreds of active users.
- Blazing fast speeds with VultrHF
- Free trial - throw your biggest, slowest site at them and see how it does!
- Phenomenal caching plugin & Varnish Cache
- No website limits - host however many sites you want and your resources can handle
- Extremely low price on their lowest tier
- There are a few extra steps to get your Cloudways server up and running
- Customer service is "good" but not "amazing"
- As your sites grow, you'll want to watch your server resources in case you need to upgrade
WPX vs. Cloudways for Thrive Themes Tech Stacks
As I've mentioned from the start, the big difference between these two hosts is what you throw at them for tech. Layer it on too thick, and you'll start to 'feel' the difference on WPX.
Thrive Themes + This Tech Stack
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Standard Page & Blog Writing Use
Simple Course Site with Low Traffic
WooCommerce with Multiple SKUs
WooCommerce + Membership / Course Site with Heavy Account Usage
Cloudways vs. WPX Hosting: My General Experience with Both Hosts
I have no negatives to say about either on the standard hosting critique list. Neither score poorly in any of these things, but when compared to the other I'm showing you the swing in how drastically better one is than the other -- not how worse one is, if that makes sense.
Cloudways gives you more options, more control. WPX gives you fewer options, but some might say that simplifies things. I prefer the options.
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Admin Interface / Experience
Ease of Use
Limited to 5 websites (including staging). Security, serverside-cdn, and backups are a huge value.
No 'hard cap' on site limit but would not put more than 2-3 brochure sites or 1 big site on their lowest plan.
Final Thoughts & Overall Conclusion
Both WPX and Cloudways are phenomenal hosts. I use both in my businesses, and have no plans to change in the foreseeable future. WPX Hosting. They provide immense value in their own way, and I haven't found another host that comes even close. They don't screw over their customers by raising prices on you (Siteground) after a promotional period, impose ridiculous limits in files (Siteground again), or gouge you on the price for what you get (WPEngine and so many others). They're just solid choices that will forever remove the worry you have about hosting.
Just starting out? Want a super safe, easy choice? Pick WPX.
Using a tech-heavy stack? Like a few more options and the best speeds? Go with Cloudways.