<$25/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

<$25/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
34SP.com 410619830222815102.00405.00221612
A2Hosting 43590803222428036418.0022.881713
ChemiCloud 239019511417813316425719.0013.58117545
Cloudways 2016020156112123513038.0010.6975085938
DreamHost 2302790164128106341935.0012.4287
EasyWP by Namecheap 35297929498256.60196.101564770419.0113.6510.56
Flywheel 33199231421312184153311592.0017.13169517
GoDaddy 495189151370275.1115156.00348.003224.4318.02
GreenGeeks 361071226820113667503.0021.651612
highavailability.io 40462503062252803450.0022.171712
InMotion Hosting 47156224484326151005017.001048.001839582
IONOS Shared 4816545640135826815364550.0018.531410
IONOS WP 4525445029034025115403545.0020.141511
Krystal Hosting 2815488199.05156.4215088.00149215.9311.229
Lightning Base 381503152832122128.00430.00231713
RAIDBOXES 41836503112325025510.0022.111612
SiteGround 45868963422555548233.0024.261813
TVC.Net 36380414426620215090506.0022.201612
Wetopi 34806513032551934093604.0021.181612
WPCycle 353996155245.53196.661064973419.1213.5110.62
WPX 4318469433124015103.00200.00241813

Discussion

34SP, A2 Hosting, DreamHost, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks, HighAvailability, Krystal Hosting, LightningBase, Raidboxes, SiteGround, TVC.Net, WPCycle and WPX Hosting all handled the Load Storm test without any issues. Wetopi had a few errors but overall quite good at a minimal 0.37% error rate.

1&1 IONOS appeared to have security features that couldn't be worked around, they maintained a constant response time and error rate. ChemiCloud had some wp-login security issues and hit the limitations of the plan. Cloudways slowed down and response times increased. Flywheel was overwhelmed by the test. InMotion Hosting was overwhelmed by the test as well. NameCheap struggled to keep up with the test.

K6 Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95P99
34SP.com 2795210
A2Hosting 2922460
ChemiCloud 3060730
Cloudways 2141970
DreamHost 2745410
EasyWP by Namecheap 2728821
Flywheel 4493360
GoDaddy 29663145
GreenGeeks 2958910
highavailability.io 2923410
InMotion Hosting 2961970
IONOS Shared 881225000
IONOS WP 2014265000
Krystal Hosting 28392410
Lightning Base 3011420
RAIDBOXES 2891230
SiteGround 3714220
TVC.Net 2893730
Wetopi 2516800
WPCycle 1915120
WPX 4208433

Discussion

A2 Hosting, ChemiCloud, Flywheel, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks, High Availability, InMotion Hosting, LightningBase, Namecheap, Raidboxes, SiteGround, TVCNet, and WPX Hosting all handled the Load Impact test without any issues.

34SP had a couple spikes but overall did pretty well. DreamHost saw some small spikes and increased response times. Krystal generally handled it well except for a couple spikes.

Cloudways, Wetopi and WPCycle didn't error out but saw a substantial increase in response times.

1&1 IONOS had over 5000 errors on each test and slow response times which the company said was due to its webshield security features which couldn't be turned off.

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
34SP.com 99.96399.94
A2Hosting 10099.99
ChemiCloud 100100
Cloudways 100100
DreamHost 99.9799.95
EasyWP by Namecheap 99.74899.75
Flywheel 100100
GoDaddy 99.99399.96
GreenGeeks 99.89499.9699.9
highavailability.io 99.999100
InMotion Hosting 99.93899.94
IONOS Shared 99.994100
IONOS WP 99.9499.97
Krystal Hosting 99.999100
Lightning Base 100100
RAIDBOXES 99.999100
SiteGround 10099.99
TVC.Net 99.8499.87
Wetopi 99.99299.98
WPCycle 99.41499.5
WPX 99.99999.99

Discussion

Most companies did fine maintaining above 99.9% uptime.

GreenGeeks had conflicting monitors of 99.96% and 99.894%, so a tiebreak monitor was checked which showed 99.9% making it the most borderline result I've ever encountered.

Namecheap, TVCNet and WPCycle experienced downtime which kept them below 99.9% threshold.

*SiteGround had one downtime event which was caused by me not verifying the test domain which I discounted from the uptime monitoring.

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
34SP.com 0.8231.3340.5210.3932.0131.2692.352.9351.7311.4531666671.8850.889
A2Hosting 0.5660.7430.9831.0811.931.8371.5542.091.4241.3919166672.4061.456
ChemiCloud 0.3440.7720.7710.8672.0061.7811.3341.9071.0911.241752.1761.273
Cloudways 0.4260.6850.6810.7981.7721.9031.2961.7810.9871.1938333332.1771.235
DreamHost 0.5310.2840.880.7440.8051.3610.550.9640.8770.86116666671.7261.15
EasyWP by Namecheap 0.6850.5211.3821.4741.8132.2131.2521.6831.7171.486752.6231.815
Flywheel 0.3620.3740.4120.3460.3520.4140.3730.4630.3680.485751.0060.824
GoDaddy 0.6040.8960.9090.9891.5052.381.2921.9721.7041.4464166672.3381.58
GreenGeeks 0.5330.6160.7440.8181.6991.5451.2641.9171.2181.185252.0421.244
highavailability.io 0.4580.5130.8680.9581.5542.2221.2491.3341.1021.1981666672.2631.246
InMotion Hosting 0.3720.6870.7510.791.8111.4821.4681.6791.0511.18452.2521.185
IONOS Shared 0.630.7391.1361.2192.022.2581.4532.0621.4791.5278333332.9871.572
IONOS WP 0.7140.7491.0451.291.8672.2431.5131.9161.6221.526752.9641.598
Krystal Hosting 0.851.4940.4790.4632.2521.2092.2352.6881.7641.5065833332.5120.921
Lightning Base 0.4780.5770.9011.0811.6142.1671.1391.8311.3741.2784166672.1091.423
RAIDBOXES 0.8051.3990.4170.4311.3461.0592.2262.4181.7621.33251.9411.089
SiteGround 0.5260.7110.881.0822.0591.9021.7112.1381.5431.44252.6211.518
TVC.Net 0.7370.6031.2481.3591.7552.1721.0551.4781.6211.40152.4131.602
Wetopi 0.8011.2540.4170.4951.2491.0212.2312.3311.8351.2889166671.7690.995
WPCycle 0.4630.7830.8380.921.9571.8181.4961.8431.2561.3240833332.4751.405
WPX 0.4550.6911.0621.0811.7292.5481.3552.1751.8851.4841666672.8181.459

Discussion

Flywheel is the obvious standout being the fastest from 9/12 testing locations. DreamHost also stands out as the second fastest in many locations and the fastest in a couple. No company stood out as obviously the slowest around the world which is a good sign.

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
34SP.com 10.868468.164794
A2Hosting 10.875527.1481286
ChemiCloud 11.437323.5198965
Cloudways 8.222484.9660524
DreamHost 7.01560.2240896
EasyWP by Namecheap 10.277522.7391532
Flywheel 11.446297.7963073
GoDaddy 10.712279.173646
GreenGeeks 9.2111305.483029
highavailability.io 10.39630.6335008
InMotion Hosting 10.6331077.586207
IONOS Shared 10.238490.6771344
IONOS WP 11.52235.349494
Krystal Hosting 8.6361191.895113
Lightning Base 6.369870.3220191
RAIDBOXES 8.546312.1098627
SiteGround 7.431406.469761
TVC.Net 8.5921356.852103
Wetopi 12.801744.6016381
WPCycle 12.164629.7229219
WPX 8.533761.614623

Discussion

LightingBase and DreamHost stand out as the fastest PHP Bench scores. The WP Bench provides some interesting insight about why it may not correlate to performance at scale. High Availability has the slowest score by an order of magnitude but that's almost surely due to the high availability architecture which allowed it to handle all the load testing with ease.

SSL Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
34SP.com A
A2Hosting A+
ChemiCloud A
Cloudways B
DreamHost B
EasyWP by Namecheap A+
Flywheel A
GoDaddy B
GreenGeeks A+
highavailability.io B
InMotion Hosting B
IONOS Shared B
IONOS WP B
Krystal Hosting A
Lightning Base A
RAIDBOXES A+
SiteGround A
TVC.Net A
Wetopi B
WPCycle A+
WPX A

Discussion

A2, GreenGeeks, Namecheap, Raidboxes and WPCycle all earned A+ ratings. 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.


Individual Host Analysis

This is the third year of participation for 34SP.com and it's fantastic to see them earn an honorable mention status this year. Last year they were almost there.  A few spikes in the Load Impact testing kept them out of top tier status this time. Next year I hope to see them earning top tier status as they continue to improve.
A2 stepped up their game this year after struggling with Load Storm last year going from a 0.57% error rate to a perfect zero errors. With the uptime monitors showing 100 and 99.99% uptime, A2 earned Top Tier honors this year.
ChemiCloud is a first time participant and did an admirable job with perfect 100% uptime on both monitors. They handled the Load Impact test without issue but the Load Storm test proved to be a bit too much with a 2% error rate. I hope to see them return and make small improvements to do better next year.
Cloudways had perfect uptime at 100% on both monitors. The good news during the load tests were that they didn't have a single error. The bad news during the load tests was the response times increased substantially and the server slowed down under stress.
DreamHost did very well this year earning themselves an honorable mention. Their uptime exceeded the 99.9% threshold and their Load Storm test was excellent. The issue was Load Impact which slowed down and saw some small spikes as the test progressed but there were no errors. They also had some of the fastest response times on WebPageTest being first twice and second five times out of the 12 geographical locations.
It's nice to see a new entrant step into the ring. They almost participated last year, but finally bit the bullet in 2020. True to their name, they are one of the cheapest plans that competed in the cheapest price tier. They handled the Load Impact test well but sadly the uptime monitors were not kind where they experienced some network wide outages during the testing. The Load Storm test also proved to be too much for their containers but it failed gracefully with the requests that were making it through respond very quickly. I hope to see NameCheap return next year and deliver even better performance and value.
Flywheel's smallest plan got knocked down by Load Storm again. The test may be too much for the plan. The good news was the perfect uptime and being one of the fastest response times around the world a whopping nine out of twelve times.
A surprise from a company that is responsible for these tests ever being performed. GoDaddy recovered after last years less than ideal performance with a Top Tier performance this year. Their uptime was above 99.9% which was a problem last year. The load testing results didn't show much issue with the load this year once the security measures were worked around and they even handled the most total requests on Load Storm. Glad to see GoDaddy's engineering team doing well again.
GreenGeeks earned an honorable mention this year, a slight downgrade from last year's Top Tier honor. This was perhaps the most on the edge decision I've had to make. Their results on the load tests were good but the uptime monitors showed 99.96% and 99.894%. I added a third monitor this year in case something like this happened again to act as a tie breaker and it showed 99.9%, the exact threshold I keep between doing well enough and failure. Considering how borderline it was, I opted to give honorable mention status because the Top Tier companies unambiguously didn't struggle with any tests. Overall, it was a very good showing from GreenGeeks but they were kept out by the slimmest margin from earning Top Tier status this year.
Formerly Incendia Web Works, this multiple time participant is back in the Top Tier. Their 99.999% and 100% uptimes combined with doing well on the load tests showed they are highly available. The one test which made it clear that they were doing something different at this tier is the WPPerformanceTester WP Bench test where they have a very low score. One reason I don't use it as a meaningful metric is because of how architectures might impact the results. Latency between the database(s) and the web server will cause dramatic differences in the results and the load tests made it clear how real world performance may not correlate strictly with the WP bench result against other architectures. Great job by HighAvailability this year earning Top Tier status.
InMotion Hosting was brought down by Load Storm's test. Their uptime was above 99.9%. My contact there stopped responding and I wasn't ever able to get more details about any issues the server might have had security wise. Hopefully next time they will do better.
1&1's performance may have been marred by security measures which couldn't be disabled on both load tests. There may have been issues with handling the traffic too, it's hard to tell. But the problems on Load Storm and Load Impact tests held them back this year. The bright spot was the 99.99/100% uptime recorded by the shared plan.
1&1's performance may have been marred by security measures which couldn't be disabled on both load tests. There may have been issues with handling the traffic too, it's hard to tell. But the problems on Load Storm and Load Impact tests held them back this year. The bright spot was the 99.99/100% uptime recorded by the shared plan.
A second year entrant that almost earned honorable mention status last year, got over the hump and earned honorable mention status this year. The struggle was the Load Impact test again where last year it seemed to cause a bit too much stress, this year it was nearly under control with a spike keeping it just out of Top Tier status. The continued improvement from Krystal is excellent to see and I hope to see them be Top Tier next year.
Another year, another Top Tier honor for LightningBase. Perfect uptime. Only 15 errors total on Load Storm and perfect on Load Impact. LightningBase continue to be a model of consistent top tier performance. Congratulations for the longest streak of Top Tier honors of any company that has participated in these tests.
It's always nice to see a first time entrant just do flawlessly. With a whopping 0 total errors on their load tests and 99.999% and 100% on their uptime monitors, it's hard to ask for a better performance. Welcome to the show Raidboxes and congratulations on earning your first Top Tier honor, may you earn many more in the years to come.
SiteGround earned itself Top Tier status again this year after earning Honorable Mention status last year. The small issues with Load Storm tests seem to have disappeared and the uptime was excellent. Congrats to SiteGround on returning to Top Tier status.
TVC's second year participating. Last year they struggled with Load Impact, but they did excellent on both load tests this year. What held them back this year is they were just below the 99.9% uptime threshold at 99.87% and 99.84%. Hopefully it was just a little bit of bad luck and next year will see them earn Top Tier status.
Wetopi was another new entrant into the testing. As far as first performances go, Wetopi did pretty decently. Load Storm had a few errors. Load Impact had no errors but the response time elevated quite substantially by around 1s over the course of the test. The uptime was excellent. Handling Load Impact a little better would have earned them Honorable Mention status. Here's to hoping they improve earn some recognition next year.
The final new entrant in this years testing. Unfortunately WPCycle struggled with uptime and the Load Impact test. They did do very well on the Load Storm test which is a solid start considering it's often the most stressful load test. Hoping to see big improvements next year.
WPX Hosting earned another Top Tier award this year. There's not much to say, 99.999% uptime and almost perfect load tests will do that. Congrats on the repeat, keep up the excellent work.

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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