Is Avada theme fast on A2Hosting? 8352 tests done to answer that.

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On what shared hosting does Avada theme work well? Is Avada fast on A2Hosting? These are the questions that I have been asked multiple times.

Until I tested it and monitored it myself during a quite lengthy period of time, I could just say that most shared hosts are not suitable for a heavy WordPress theme like Avada. And I could just say that a managed or self-managed VPS or more expensive WP Engine is recommended for using multipurpose themes like Avada.

Now I’ve got a month of tests (8352 speed measurements, i.e. every 20 minutes during 29 days for two websites from two locations). I tested the speed of Avada theme on a Swift plan (A2 Hosting). And I can give you more precise response now.

Please note that Swift plan is not the fastest shared hosting plan in A2 options. But it’s relatively not expensive among A2Hosting’s shared plans.

By the way, here’s a disclosure: There are some affiliate links on this page for the hosting companies which I mention: A2 Hosting and WP Engine hosting. Also I feature some of the the website security products. In other words, I get paid if you click on the links and make a purchase. All such links open in new window/tab; no software/program will be installed to your computer. (This is a standard notice required by affiliate programs terms.) Please note that I mention the products not as an advertisement, but as my recommendation.

 

Why Most most shared hosts can’t handle Avada theme

The developers of Avada theme recommend WP Engine and one of the EIG hosts to use with their theme. Also, Avada’s authors basically specify the minimum requirements for running Avada. But the truth is that most shared hosts complying with these minimum requirements are too slow to run Avada.

As regards the hosts recommended by Avada’s team, WP Engine seems a legit one. It’s not a typical shared hosting and it’s quite powerful to run Avada theme. So, this recommendation is fine.

As regards their other recommendation which is one of the EIG shared hosts, I believe this is not a good idea for a number of reasons. Besides, I’ve seen multiple times when EIG clients were desperately looking forward switching from that EIG host to some other hosts which would not cost too much.

One of the reasons why most affordable shared hosts can’t work well for Avada theme is the limits of the server resources allocated for your shared hosting account. That’s why Avada theme can work well on a VPS-grade hosting (which is much more expensive than a shared hosting though).

Besides, the most powerful shared hosting plans can also be okay.

Avada is a multipurpose theme which has many appreciated whistles and bells. And people love it for its design.

One of the drawback of using Avada though is that it works incredibly slow on shared hosting. On some shared hosts Avada does not work at all (server gives out timeouts even when you just try installing Avada).

Avada (like many other multipurpose themes) is filled with a lot of functionality. The rich functionality and interactive design that Avada offers requires more server resources such as CPU and memory than a typical WordPress theme may require.

One of the most vital bottlenecks in Avada performance is physical memory allocated for your shared hosting account.

Normally, 512 MB of physical memory is enough for running a not heavy WordPress site. Some hosts cut the RAM resources even lower giving you only 384 MB of physical RAM. And this is fine for a small or mid-sized WordPress site that does not have a ton of visitors. Most WordPress sites work quite normally within these limits.

Many shared hosts do not advertise the server resource limits for a single account. These limits, however, are fine for a normal WordPress theme with a reasonable muber of plugins. But Avada as well as many other multi-purpose themes are not normal themes in this respect. And a typical shared hosting should not be used with such themes including Avada.

A2Hosting is an advanced shared hosting. But anyway until recently it had not been clear to me if A2Hosting‘s quite affordable plan (Swift plan) can handle Avada. I have run my tests and you can see further.

 

Methodology of testing the speed of Avada theme on A2 Hosting’s Swift plan

Here’s a short overview of what I did to test how fast Avada theme is on A2 Hosting (Swift plan):

  • I bought A2 Hosting Swift plan. (US Michigan location)
  • Added two domains (the plan allows hosting unlimited domains).
  • On one domain I installed a test WordPress website with a typical not heavy theme.
  • On the other domain I installed Avada (Classic demo) theme. Installed Fusion core plugin from Avada dashboard. Installed Layer Slider and Slider Revolution. Added Slider Revolution to the front page.
  • On both domains I activated “A2 Optimized” option provided by A2 Hosting (1-click action). This is basically a caching and performance optimization plugin designed specifically for using on A2 Hosting.
  • On both domains I used a very light-weight security plugin.
  • I used monitis.com monitoring service to automatically check the performance of the two websites for 29 days from two locations (US East and US West). Full Page Load Time tests also known as website speed tests were run every 20 minutes during the whole period for each website. The tests include 8352 speed measurements in total.

As you can see, I’ve chosen a pretty loaded Avada theme installation. I wanted to get a realistic speed estimation of Avada theme on A2 Hosting.

 

Description of A2 Hosting’s Swift plan used for testing speed of Avada theme

A2 hosting offers three shared hosting plans: Lite, Swift and Turbo. By the way, I compared the performance of Lite and Turbo plans here.

Although, Turbo plan is the most powerful plan, Swift plan is the most popular as it is the most cost-effective in most cases.

Swift plan is not expensive and pretty powerful. Moreover, you can host unlimited sites on it. That’s why this plan is so popular. And I’ve chosen this popular plan to test how fast heavy-loaded Avada theme will be performing on it.

Swift plan has 1 GB physical memory which is very good. There’s also 8 GB virtual memory which is also generous for a shared hosting.

Before using Avadaon any host, you need to make sure that your hosting meets at least the the minimum server and WP environment requirements.

By default WP Memory Limit on A2Hosting Swift plan is 40 MB. This is enough for running WordPress (WordPress needs 32 MB). However, Avada theme for using a pre-built Classic theme requires many times more – at least 256 MB.

avada system status - installed on a2hosting

WordPress environment requirements for Avada theme

Unlike many other shared hosts, A2 allows to increase WP Memory Limit:

avada system status after php limit increase on a2hosting

PHP Memory Limit increased for Avada on A2Hosting Swift plan

Avada requires PHP Time Limit at least 128 seconds. And the Swift plan has 300 seconds, which is really enough.

Avada requires PHP Max Input Vars to be at least 1540 and recommended 4,440. A2Hosting Swift has more than that – 10,000.

A2 Hosting Swift - Server environment limits on Avada

Server environment limits on A2 Hosting Swift plan

A2 Hosting Swift plan meets all formal requirements for using Avada. Which is already a great start. Far not all shared hosts are so generous.

But how does Avada perform on A2Hosting Swift in real life? I show it in the next chapter.

 

The results of the 8+ K tests of Avada on A2Hosting Swift

As I explained above, I did not just tested how fast Avada theme is on A2 Hosting. I also compared it with the speed of a typical WordPress theme on the same A2 Hosting plan (Swift).

This comparison can show you how heavy Avada theme compares to a simple WP theme. And it can show what you can expect from not expensive A2 Hosting plan if you use Avada.

Here is the summary chart showing you the average website speed of both websites from a real visitor perspective:

a2hosting - avada general performance overview

Average speed of ordinary WP site and Avada theme on A2Hosting Swift plan

And here is the chart below which represents the average speed of each website per day on the same A2 Hosting Swift plan. The speed is calculated as daily average from the 20-minute interval measurements from US West and US East locations:

a2hosting - avada per day speed chart

Average speed per day of ordinary WP site and Avada theme on A2Hosting Swift plan

Here is the source data for the charts – the screenshots of the daily reports on how fast these two websites are on A2Hosting:

a2hosting avada 31

A typical average daily performance comparison between a normal WP them and Avada on A2Hosting Swift

 

Avada theme on A2Hosting Swift – Conclusion

I’ve run more than eight thousand tests during a month to see how fast a heavy loaded Avada theme will be on a A2 Hosting’s Swift plan in comparison with a normal WordPress theme.

And here are my final thoughts:

  1. Avada theme’s design looks good 🙂
  2. Avada is a very heavy-loaded theme compared to a normal WordPress theme. Avada’s performance is as slow as a normal WordPress theme with a ton of plugins (see my tests of super stuffed WordPress performance on A2 Hosting in my other article here).
  3. Avada can work on A2 Hosting Swift plan quite tolerably. This is great because Avada does not work or does not work feasibly on many other shared hosts.
  4. Avada is not very fast on A2 Hosting, but it’s still pretty good for such a heavy theme. My tests have shown on average 5.07 seconds Full Page Load Time (a realistic loading time from a visitor’s point of view). This is how fast Avada Classic demo with all the plugins (Fusion and Sliders for Avada) performed. It’s not blazing fast, but it’s really not bad.
  5. For better performance Avada is recommended to be used on VPS hosting. But managed VPS service is at least 3-5 times more expensive than shared hosting. Whereas using affordable self-managed VPS is much cheaper but requires technical knowledge.
  6. Less expensive alternative compared to managed VPS is WP Engine managed hosting.
  7. For those who can’t afford neither managed VPS, nor WP Engine, then A2 Hosting (starting from a Swift plan) is a working alternative.

After all, you can use Avada on A2 Hosing. The question is closed.

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