$25-50/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

$25-50/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
Cloudways 27878711206155151011153.0015.41118561
highavailability.io 3954911829422015006450.0021.631612
IONOS 234689493171130152852148.0016.52119179
Nestify 3667191280.67203.7315058.0048122.6317.3413
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) 37111836282.67206.181367160921.8416.7112
Pantheon 35435542961973408.00106.00201711
Pressable 4921566377273.422402.0093.00252014
Seravo 3274413265.35181.911003537516.5713.659205
Servebolt 55418649662307.8815156.00128.002025.6411.29
SiteGround 45996713392563465229.0024.491814
WordPress.com 7480641459641615064.0068.00322618
WPX 4463959033424815100.00145.00241814

Discussion

WordPress.com Business (Automattic), HighAvailability, Nestify, Onyx, Pantheon, Pressable, Seravo, Servebolt, SiteGround and WPX Hosting all handled this test without any issues.

1&1 IONOS and Cloudways slowed down but didn't error out.

K6 Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95P99
Cloudways 26577225
highavailability.io 2939020
IONOS 2931290
Nestify 2964750
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) 2772240
Pantheon 4498740
Pressable 4497600
Seravo 2992820
Servebolt 4333360
SiteGround 3708670
WordPress.com 4485500
WPX 4273133

Discussion

1&1 IONOS, WordPress.com Business (Automattic), HighAvailability, Nestify, Onyx, Pantheon, Pressable, Seravo, Servebolt, SiteGround and WPX Hosting all handled this test without issue.

Cloudways slowed down and had peak average response time climb to almost 1.5s.

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
Cloudways 100100
highavailability.io 100100
IONOS 99.99999.99
Nestify 100100
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) 99.998100
Pantheon 100100
Pressable 100100
Seravo 100100
Servebolt 99.94699.9699.94
SiteGround 10099.99
WordPress.com 100100
WPX 10099.99

Discussion

Everyone maintained uptime above 99.9% including with 11/12 keeping 99.99% or higher.

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
Cloudways 0.3780.7510.7810.8061.8211.9071.2351.730.991.190752.0761.147
highavailability.io 0.4120.5770.9710.8151.8732.4021.0731.3381.181.2294166672.2731.274
IONOS 0.6630.9251.2121.522.9052.5932.9742.6841.7692.01653.9211.952
Nestify 0.4851.1451.5361.6013.1383.5312.4692.9131.9112.1629166674.1972.036
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) 0.6811.4130.3710.3912.0852.1362.0192.5311.5961.4738333332.1041.075
Pantheon 0.5110.4750.5580.8530.9240.9560.8760.8470.9971.022753.3911.115
Pressable 0.5430.8970.9580.8821.7642.2371.4451.6491.5961.4226666672.5581.661
Seravo 0.5130.680.9421.132.231.9641.5321.8551.4261.368252.1361.464
Servebolt 0.6550.9070.4570.4541.080.9741.1611.3661.0510.96691666671.5841.058
SiteGround 0.5490.7961.0721.1582.4252.4211.7372.391.6021.600752.8231.608
WordPress.com 0.7680.5881.1091.2061.0682.1220.7981.161.221.2782.9381.581
WPX 0.470.6571.0261.0811.7482.4271.442.2451.9191.4993333332.8251.445

Discussion

1&1 IONOS and Nestify stand out as the two slowest around the globe being first or second in 8/12 locales together. Onyx, the UK based company, was the fastest in London and Frankfurt, which is nice to see that geography seems to make an impact. Servebolt picked up the fastest average response time at just under a second average across the 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
Cloudways 8.486498.2561036
highavailability.io 10.39227.53910553
IONOS 10.774407.3319756
Nestify 7.486777.6049767
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) 11.083257.003341
Pantheon 9.793273.5978112
Pressable 6.2171375.515818
Seravo 7.926485.2013586
Servebolt 2.4362403.846154
SiteGround 7.4251297.016861
WordPress.com 6.2552066.115702
WPX 8.389699.3006993

Discussion

The clear standout here is Servebolt with some of the fastest times I've ever seen. WordPress.com Business isn't too far back with both of them breaking them 2000 mark on WP bench (which is more than double WordPress.com Business' score last year). The highest score in any tier last year was in 1700 range (from Servebolt and High Availability[under old IWW brand]), so this is a drastic improvement.

SSL Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
Cloudways B
highavailability.io B
IONOS A
Nestify B
Onyx (Krystal Hosting) A
Pantheon A+
Pressable A
Seravo B
Servebolt B
SiteGround A
WordPress.com A
WPX A

Discussion

Pantheon is the only company that achieved an A+ rating. 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

Cloudways had perfect uptime on both monitors which was good. The problem was the load tests caused the server to slow down and have high response times.
100% uptime is really nice to see. 0 Load Impact errors and a miniscule 18 errors on Load Storm wrap up an overall excellent performance, well deserving of Top Tier honors.
1&1 IONOS overall had a much stronger showing here than in the tier below. The server didn't error out on any tests. It kept excellent uptime. The only issue was Load Storm seemed to slow down the server to over 2s average load times which kept it out of earning any recognition.
A whopping 1 error across both load tests with perfect uptime easily earned Nestify Top Tier status this year.
This UK brand (owned by Krystal Hosting) earned itself their first Top Tier honors ever. Dedicated to Managed WordPress Hosting, the new offering really showed off well with near perfect uptime of 100 and 99.998%. It was also the fastest in London and Frankfurt on WebPageTest.
Pantheon has historically done very well in these tests and this year was no exception. Perfect uptime. The absolute fastest Load Impact response time at a blazing 23ms. They were also the fastest on WebPageTest from 4/12 locales. A Top Tier performance without question.
Perfect uptime. The second fastest average response time on Load Storm (only beat by WordPress.com Business which are both owned by Automattic). Pressable also had the second fastest PHP bench score. Well deserved on another Top Tier performance this year.
The only truly new entrant in this price tier put on excellent showing with perfect uptime, zero errors on Load Impact and only three errors on Load Storm. Nice to see new entrant do so spectacularly and earn Top Tier status.
The second year for Servebolt has treated them well. They haven't missed a beat with near perfect load tests. They stood out the most on the WPPerformanceTester benchmark where they blew away the numbers from last year. Top Tier performance again.
Near perfect uptime. A total of one error on both load tests. It wasn't flashy in any of the results but it handled all the tests gracefully and earned another Top Tier mark this year.
The other Automattic brand. It appears there may be some similarities in infrastructure with sister brand Pressable. They had similar PHP bench scores which were very fast. They also shared perfect uptime. An excellent brand to be sharing a lot in common with. WordPress.com Business stood out in having the fastest average response on Load Storm and the second fastest on Load Impact. They also had the second fastest WP bench score. Another year, another Top Tier performance well earned.
WPX Hosting had 100/99.99% uptime marks. Their average response times on both load tests was in the snappy 100ms range. WPX earned themselves Top Tier honors again 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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