$51-100/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

$51-100/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

Please read the Methodology to fully understand the scope of these tests.

Note: Please check company profiles for summary of performances across multiple tiers. Some companies also offer promotions or coupon codes for a discount as well.

Originally posted here.

LoadStorm Testing Results

Load Storm is designed to simulate real users visiting the site, logging in and browsing. It tests uncached performance.

Results Table

CompanyTotal RequestsTotal ErrorsPeak RpsAverage RpsPeak Response TimeAverage Response TimeTotal Data TransferredPeak ThroughputAverage ThroughputWp-login Average Response Time
A2Hosting 4562821145341253151131042.0023.441813
Cloudways 5440090404302.2314085.00609.003223.9717.58
DreamHost 3944370267219101161470.0021.911512
highavailability.io 57308004423184266478.0031.412517
IONOS 48740933532716141391.0032.342418
Lightning Base 56422774403132283.00407.00342719
Nestify 3794151310.63210.7915094.0044122.618.8313
Pressable 6991691495663881501699.0035.823020
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 689246118352138314074188.0036.802820
Servebolt 798420315924441509995.0028.852216
WPX 652294724893623069.00137.00362720

Discussion

1&1 IONOS, Cloudways, HighAvailability, Jelastic, LightningBase, Nestify, Pressable, Servebolt and WPX Hosting didn't have any issues.

A2 Hosting started slowing down around 1600 users and average response times went up substantially. DreamHost started slowing down around 1300 users but didn't have a single error.

K6 Testing Results

K6 is designed to test cached performance by repeatedly requesting the homepage.

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95P99
A2Hosting 30471994
Cloudways 6317100
DreamHost 5275170
highavailability.io 5871430
IONOS 411084849
Lightning Base 6018560
Nestify 5889440
Pressable 8985890
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 8653977
Servebolt 7841854
WPX 84998311

Discussion

Cloudways, High Availability, Jelastic, LightningBase, Nestify, Pressable, Servebolt and WPX Hosting didn't have any issues.

1&1 IONOS slowed down around 1050 users. A2 Hosting collapsed with an average response time spiking to over 48 seconds. DreamHost started slowing down around 1400 users but didn't error out.

Uptime Testing Results

Uptime is monitored by two companies: HetrixTools and Uptime Robot. A self hosted monitor was also run in case there was a major discrepancy between the two third party monitors.

Results Table

CompanyUptime RobotHetrixAlt Uptime Monitor
A2Hosting 99.99399.99
Cloudways 99.98299.92
DreamHost 100100
highavailability.io 99.997100
IONOS 100100
Lightning Base 100100
Nestify 100100
Pressable 100100
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 99.9999.99
Servebolt 99.58399.9999.99
WPX 10099.99

Discussion

Every company did well maintaining above 99.9% uptime. The only issue was a strange discrepancy between UptimeRobot and StatusCake on Servebolt's uptime. One showed a very low 99.583 and the other 99.99. The third monitor I setup showed 99.99%, so the issue appears to be with Uptime Robot.

WebPageTest Testing Results

WebPageTest fully loads the homepage and records how long it takes from 12 different locations around the world.

Results Table

CompanyVirginiaCaliforniaLondonFrankfurtSingaporeMumbaiTokyoSydneyBrazilAverageRose Hill MauritiusIsrael
A2Hosting 0.8290.61.4531.5782.1142.6531.4582.131.8391.7708333333.4482.496
Cloudways 0.3890.6890.730.8051.7831.8381.2491.7470.981.1740833332.0861.211
DreamHost 0.4050.2520.650.7450.831.250.5310.9610.8880.831251.7341.174
highavailability.io 0.3460.5550.7610.9831.4821.9871.0911.3821.0541.15352.2721.337
IONOS 0.6540.8011.2741.3642.3142.8511.7772.2932.7051.887753.8771.875
Lightning Base 0.450.580.9220.9671.742.0751.1421.7761.2541.2614166672.1361.482
Nestify 0.4461.1511.5221.6283.2593.4962.4542.9711.8282.1525833334.1562.015
Pressable 0.4651.0691.2121.3372.2582.171.7462.1111.41.6631666673.2581.964
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 0.8971.510.2920.3722.5781.3122.5562.9472.1771.5944166672.1280.996
Servebolt 0.3940.6230.6430.6491.0941.1741.0511.0890.7910.94191666671.7581.209
WPX 0.4210.6670.9181.1831.6822.611.3372.1921.921.4699166672.7811.391

Discussion

DreamHost did shockingly well being the fastest in 5/12 locations and the second fastest in 3/12. Servebolt was the fastest in 2 locations and second in 6 more. Jelastic had a confusing performance of being the fastest in 1 location and slowest in 3 and second slowest in an additional 3 more. Nestify didn't stand out in a good way being the slowest in 6/12 locales.

WPPerformanceTester Testing Results

WPPerformanceTester performs two benchmarks. One is a WordPress (WP Bench) and the other a PHP benchmark. WP Bench measures how many WP queries per second and higher tends to be better (varies considerably by architecture). PHP Bench performs a lot of computational and some database operations which are measured in seconds to complete. Lower PHP Bench is better. WP Bench is red in the chart, PHP Bench is blue.

Results Table

CompanyPHP BenchWP Bench
A2Hosting 11.458953.2888465
Cloudways 7.948722.5433526
DreamHost 7.6541013.171226
highavailability.io 10.2329.64719834
IONOS 10.755523.5602094
Lightning Base 6.383871.0801394
Nestify 7.481808.4074373
Pressable 7.904877.9631255
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 7.7151503.759398
Servebolt 3.2982155.172414
WPX 8.407713.7758744

Discussion

Servebolt stole the show here with completing the PHP bench in nearly half the time of the next fastest competitor. Servebolt also had the fastest WP bench by over 40% and almost two orders of magnitude faster than the slowest WP bench. But both the slowest and fastest WP bench scores were able to handle the load tests without issue showing that different architectures with different trade offs can both perform well.

SSL Testing Results

The tool is available at https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
A2Hosting A
Cloudways B
DreamHost B
highavailability.io B
IONOS A
Lightning Base A
Nestify B
Pressable A
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic A
Servebolt B
WPX A

Discussion

No company scored an A+. Every single B grade was for the following reason according to Qualsys: "This server supports TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1. Grade capped to B."

Conclusion

There are two levels of recognition awarded to companies that participate in the tests. There is no ‘best’ declared, it’s simply tiered, it’s hard to come up with an objective ranking system because of the complex nature of hosting. These tests also don’t take into account outside factors such as reviews, support, and features. It is simply testing performance as described in the methodology.

Top Tier

This year's Top Tier WordPress Hosting Performance Award goes to the following companies who showed virtually no signs of struggle during the testing.


Honorable Mention

The following companies earned Honorable Mention status because they did very well and had a minor issue or two holding them back from earning Top Tier status.

No company achieved this status.


Individual Host Analysis

The good news was A2 Hosting had over 99.99% uptime on both monitors. The bad news is they failed both load tests with response times rising significantly. Not sure what happened this year but hopefully they make some improvements next year and do much better.
Zero errors on both load tests and no impact on response times, one of only two companies in this price tier that managed to pull off the perfect load tests. Congrats on earning Top Tier status.
DreamHost managed perfect uptime and zero load testing errors. DreamHost also had the fastest average load speed on WebPageTest. The problem was keeping the response times down during load testing, the servers slowed on both tests causing response times to rise substantially. DreamHost manages to do well, but just not well enough, I hope to see them do a little bit better next year and earn some more recognition.
High Availability managed the perfect load tests with zero errors. Near perfect uptime of 99.997% and 100% cap off a Top Tier performance.
Perfect uptime and an almost perfect Load Storm test were a great start. Unfortunately, the Load Impact test proved to be a bit too much. Hopefully next year improvements in the static caching will let them earn Top Tier status.
Consistency seems to define Lightning Base. Perfect uptime. Only 7 errors total on load testing. For the sixth year in a row across every tier they've participated in, Lightning Base has earned Top Tier status. This year is no exception, consistently excellent performance that doesn't get enough recognition.
Perfect uptime. 1 error during the load tests. The only thing I'd like to see improved is the global response times which are a non impacting measurement. Nestify definitely earned their Top Tier status this year. congratulations.
Shaky uptime was an issue in the past, but perfect uptime this year shows Pressable has really stepped it up. The load tests went well, especially having the fastest Load Impact response times. It's nice seeing positive improvements leading to Pressable earning Top Tier status again.
This first time participant put up 99.99% uptime and solid performances on the load test. A Top Tier performance.
Servebolt's second year was kind to them. Their new servers blew away the competition on WPPerformanceTester and it wasn't even close. Servebolt also managed the fastest average response time on Load Storm and the second fastest average response time on WebPageTest. Servebolt is really pushing hard on the speed button and it earned them another Top Tier performance.
WPX had near perfect uptime and did excellent on both load tests. It wasn't flashy but they were the third fastest average response on Load Storm and second fastest on Load Impact. A consistently great performance which got them another Top Tier award this year.

About the Author

Kevin Ohashi

Kevin Ohashi is the geek-in-charge at Review Signal. He is passionate about making data meaningful for consumers. Kevin is based in Washington, DC.

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