Turbocharge Your ExpressionEngine Website‘s Performance and Security with the Right Host

As a developer-focused and incredibly flexible CMS platform, ExpressionEngine empowers you to build advanced, custom websites rapidly without needing deep technical expertise. With its vast library of add-ons and extensions, you can add virtually any functionality imaginable to your ExpressionEngine site.

However, the key to unlocking ExpressionEngine‘s true potential lies in choosing the right hosting provider. A specialized ExpressionEngine host optimizes for key considerations like speed, security, scaling, and integrations to extract maximum performance from the underlying CMS.

In this comprehensive guide, we dive deep on the hosting factors vital for ExpressionEngine and reveal the 5 most reliable EE hosts to launch your next website.

Why ExpressionEngine Stands Out for Custom Content Sites

Before we analyze the hosting piece, it‘s important to understand what makes ExpressionEngine such an appealing platform, especially for developers and custom site builds.

ExpressionEngine excels as a content management framework. The core software is tuned for flexibility instead of enforcing strict conventions like most other CMS options.

You retain complete creative freedom to build your site‘s functionality using ExpressionEngine‘s modules and extensions architecture. For example, structure your content however you envision – nested channels, custom fields, custom categories or tags, and relationships between content items.

Since everything is customizable, ExpressionEngine facilitates advanced content modeling capable of handling complex data of any type – text, images, videos, downloads, store catalogs etc. This makes it fantastic for heterogeneous content sites like magazines, online publications, media portals, and ecommerce stores.

For developers, ExpressionEngine prioritizes extensibility. You can expand builtin functionality using the hundreds of specialized add-ons available. Integrate tools like forums, membership subscriptions, CRM, galleries, real estate listings, and more seamlessly into your site.

The control panel offers powerful features like collaboration tools, access permissions, revision tracking, workflow management and more for managing content across teams and contributors.

With this combination of flexibility, custom content modeling and enterprise-grade functionality, ExpressionEngine stands in a league of its own vs more rigid CMS options.

Match Your ExpressionEngine Site with a Specialized Host

However, the flexibility and power of ExpressionEngine also demand more specialized hosting. Typical shared platforms simply can‘t keep up.

As an advanced PHP/MySQL application, ExpressionEngine has higher baseline resource requirements compared to simpler CMS options:

  • More RAM for add-on functionality and caching
  • Extra CPU for channel parsing logic
  • Increased storage for content revisions and drafts
  • Higher bandwidth for module requests

The complex logic and dynamic routing also needs properly configured web servers like Nginx, optimized PHP versions, and advanced database support.

Furthermore, exercise caution with security. The modular nature means more vulnerability surface area needing protection.

That‘s why pairing ExpressionEngine with hosts specialized in these areas is vital for achieving your site‘s speed, scale, security and uptime goals. Let‘s analyze the key hosting criteria to evaluate options.

7 Key ExpressionEngine Hosting Factors

Choose your ExpressionEngine host based on capabilities supporting:

1. Optimized Web Server Config

Nginx and Apache web servers must be fine-tuned for EE‘s routing logic. Key optimizations like PHP-FPM for faster processing, opcode caches, optimized php.ini settings, FastCGI caching and more improve throughput substantially.

2. Site Performance and Speed

From server hardware to database access, a high performance architecture is crucial. Prioritize hosts with faster I/O, SSD-based storage, databases like MySQL/MariaDB with optimized data retrieval and caching, CDN for static assets etc.

3. Integrations and Extensibility

Review how easily hosts allow extending EE with 130+ commercial add-ons, embedding third party code, adding custom libraries etc. The more frictionless integrations are, the faster you can enhance functionality.

4. Security Best Practices

Given EE‘s modular architecture, ensure your host proactively hardens servers, applies security patches, protects against OWASP threats, checks for malware, and has strong firewalls. This safeguards your site from exploits.

5. Scalability and Growth

As site traffic or data volumes grow, your EE site should handle increasing requests and activity without performance dips. Prioritize auto-scaling infrastructure that allocates more computing resources seamlessly.

6. Caching and Optimization

Adds caching mechanisms like Redis, Memcached, OPcache that drastically speed up ExpressionEngine. A good host configures platform specific caches to optimize database queries, page loads etc.

7. Reliable Support

Having ExpressionEngine experts helps with migrations, debugging issues, ensuring add-ons behave nicely. Gain peace of mind knowing the support team has your back fully.

Now let‘s explore 5 hand-picked hosts meeting these ExpressionEngine hosting criteria.

1. Nexcess – Optimized Managed Hosting for ExpressionEngine

Nexcess is the official hosting partner for ExpressionEngine recommended by EllisLab themselves. Their application hosting platforms are meticulously configured for optimal ExpressionEngine performance.

Several large web agencies rely on Nexcess for hosting their ExpressionEngine client sites from blogs to online publications and intranets.

Nexcess ExpressionEngine Hosting Features

Speed Technologies

Get blazing fast ExpressionEngine performance powered by an architecture incorporating:

  • LiteSpeed web server + LSCache for faster PHP processing
  • Opcode caches like Redis, Memcache for reduced database hits
  • CDN for serving static assets
  • Latest PHP 8.1, MySQL, MariaDB versions


Lock down your ExpressionEngine site with Nexcess security including:

  • Web application firewall protecting all traffic
  • Daily scans, patches and hardening
  • DDoS mitigation and threat monitoring
  • Regular 3rd party audits and compliance


Receive outstanding managed support from ExpressionEngine specialists assisting with:

  • Free customized migration
  • Configuring EE add-ons, extensions, integrations
  • Performance tuning and optimizations
  • Troubleshooting issues and debugging
  • Managing infrastructure, scaling etc

Nexcess is a little more expensive than regular shared hosting, but you get true managed hosting with EE experts. Pricing starts at $29/month with a 30-day risk-free trial.

2. A2 Hosting – 20X Faster Servers for ExpressionEngine

A2 Hosting is renowned in the hosting industry for its high performance SwiftServer platform. By optimizing everything from the data center network to disk I/O, they deliver up to 20X faster webpage loading speeds.

This turbocharged hosting platform is fantastic for handling ExpressionEngine‘s dynamic requirements. Their servers are fine-tuned to minimize wasted resources and maximize throughput.

A2 Hosting‘s Key Advantages


  • SwiftServer platform optimized for blazing fast speeds
  • Turbo Boost option – adding more power with a click
  • LiteSpeed web server, OPcache for faster PHP
  • High performing SSD storage


  • Guaranteed 99.9% uptime SLA
  • Data centers using top-tier Cisco switches
  • London, Amsterdam locations for EU sites


  • Guru Crew experts provide ExpressionEngine assistance
  • Quick 15 minutes response time
  • Phone, chat and ticketing options

A2 Hosting also has very reasonable pricing starting at $2.99/month. Plus you have a 30-day money back guarantee allowing you to test performance.

3. Krystal UK – Managed ExpressionEngine Hosting

If you‘re looking for fully managed ExpressionEngine hosting in the EU region, Krystal UK hits a sweet spot combining speed, security and support.

With servers based in London and Amsterdam data centers, they adhere to all UK/EU privacy laws like GDPR. By fine-tuning their platform for CMS systems like ExpressionEngine, Drupal, WordPress etc, page loads are super fast even with heavy traffic.

Why Krystal Shines for ExpressionEngine


  • LiteSpeed server + built-in LSCache
  • Free CDN by BunnyCDN for EU sites
  • Fast NVMe SSD storage options
  • HTTP/2 support for faster page loads

Managed Support

Krystal‘s EU based experts help with:

  • Free migration to their optimized servers
  • Configuring ExpressionEngine extensions
  • Ongoing management – patches, updates, security
  • Daily backups and monitoring


  • UK based company meeting GDPR
  • 100% green energy powered data centers
  • ISO 27001 and PCI-DSS compliance

You get full service ExpressionEngine hosting starting at $66/month. Compared to DIY hosting, having Krystal manage infrastructure and EE technicalities is well worth it.

4. Cloudways – Auto Scaled Application Hosting

Cloudways brings the flexibility of cloud hosting providers like DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Google Cloud etc for hosting ExpressionEngine.

The software abstraction makes scaling resources extremely simple. You retain fine grained control to optimize your EE site‘s performance too.

Why Cloudways Shines for ExpressionEngine Hosting


  • Managed application hosting for EE
  • 200+ server locations globally
  • Choice of cloud providers – DO, Vultr, Linode etc
  • Scale server vertically and horizontally


  • Built-in caching like Redis, Memcached
  • Free CDN to 30+ locations
  • HTTP/2 support for faster page loads


  • Automated daily & on-demand backups
  • Self-healing technology
  • Monitoring with actionable notifications
  • 99.9% uptime SLA commitment

With custom server sizes starting under $10/month, Cloudways brings excellent value without compromising on features.

5. FastComet – Budget-Friendly High Performance

Finding a balance of high performance hosting while keeping costs reasonable can be tricky for smaller ExpressionEngine sites. This is where FastComet shines.

Their cloud architecture incorporates SSD storage, powerful Xeon processors, and a free Cloudflare CDN. This combination delivers excellent ExpressionEngine speed affordably.

What Makes FastComet Great Value

Optimized Architecture

  • Latest Intel Xeon processors
  • Fast SSD drives for storage
  • MariaDB and Redis performance addons

Free CDN

  • Global CDN powered by Cloudflare
  • Caches static assets in 40+ locations


  • Daily automated backups
  • Server level caching configs
  • IP whitelisting for security
  • Level 1 PCI compliance

If budget is a factor without compromising performance, FastComet is quite ideal starting at $2.95/month.

Finding ExpressionEngine Hosting – 5 Key Criteria

Now that you‘ve seen top picks optimized for ExpressionEngine, use this checklist when evaluating other hosts as well:

Optimized ExpressionEngine Config – Custom server tuning for Nginx+PHP-FPM, tuned caches like Redis, opcode cache etc

Speed Technologies – SSD storage, HTTP/2, CDN or caching addons, database performance profiling

Security Best Practices – Scanning for threats, malware monitoring, patches, firewall protection

Managed Migration – Free migration service available to move existing EE sites

EU/UK Server Locations – For GDPR compliance and catering to European audiences

Matching your ambitions ExpressionEngine site with specialized hosting is well worth it. The significant performance, security and reliability gains allow you to build innovative sites not possible on regular shared platforms.

Supercharge Your ExpressionEngine Website

The unlimited flexibility and scalability of ExpressionEngine helps developers take on the most ambitious website projects – whether enterprise content hubs or customized web apps.

But you want your creativity unhindered by hosting bottlenecks. The right optimized provider supercharges your EE site with speed, security protections, hassle-free management and helpful experts by your side.

Now go and build that industry-leading website which redefines user experiences using ExpressionEngine‘s immense power!