$201-500/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

$201-500/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 6064810521336.933760.00340.00353019
Nestify 8480460668.7471.144214.0046952.1441.4829
Pressable 97223222708540124051086.0049.913728
RAIDBOXES 10034510773.97557.471072850553.0541.1129.47
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 115309092890064115315124.0061.274834
Servebolt 13811294210907671509947.0050.954028

Discussion

Cloudways, Jelastic, Nestify, Raidboxes and Servebolt all handled this test without issue.

Pressable saw a slight increase in response times from 500 to 1200ms.

K6 Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95P99
Cloudways 116206815
Nestify 10035820
Pressable 17689260
RAIDBOXES 11422400
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 16968197
Servebolt 14207600

Discussion

Jelastic, Pressable, Raidboxes and Servebolt all handled the Load Impact test without issue.

Cloudways started to slow down around 3250 users and peak average response time increased to 1100.

Nestify started to slow down around 2500 users and peak average response time went to almost 1500ms.

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
Nestify 100100
Pressable 100100
RAIDBOXES 99.999100
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 98.58799.9998.56
Servebolt 99.58399.9999.98

Discussion

Cloudways, Nestify, Pressable, and Raidboxes had perfect or 99.999% uptime.

Jelastic had very different uptimes based on the monitors with UptimeRobot showing 98.587% and StatusCake showing 99.99%. The third monitor showed 98.56% which was inline with UptimeRobot, so I went with that being correct.

Servebolt also had a discrepancy between UptimeRobot and StatusCake uptime. One showed a very low 99.583 and the other 99.99. The third monitor I setup showed 99.98%, so I went with the StatusCake number.

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 0.3370.6390.6580.7321.7221.551.2731.5251.0191.110252.021.187
Nestify 0.4861.131.6971.6233.2463.5382.3572.9031.8152.1740833334.262.077
Pressable 0.5211.011.3111.2592.2431.9711.7572.1911.5131.66853.311.92
RAIDBOXES 0.8751.4560.4280.3691.3731.0692.3872.4081.7751.3503333331.9840.893
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 1.1222.1820.3040.4173.6161.7913.394.1213.0082.1620833333.1061.019
Servebolt 0.4750.6170.5820.7131.0520.9870.8811.0870.7950.89816666671.681.218

Discussion

Servebolt was the fastest in 7/12 locations and had the fastest average response time. Jelastic was the slowest in 7/12 and fastest in 1. Nestify was the slowest in 5/12.

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 7.538689.1798759
Nestify 7.486742.9420505
Pressable 6.2151367.989056
RAIDBOXES 5.644938.0863039
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 7.6491213.592233
Servebolt 3.2811992.031873

Discussion

The speed on this test was impressive. Servebolt was clearly the fastest on both tests but the numbers were an astonishing improvement over last year. The second fastest score last year on PHP Bench was 9.388 and the slowest this year was 7.649, nearly a two second improvement. Some of this could be because there are a different mix of companies but three of them are the same. Servebolt got faster by ~500ms and ~500 queries per second. Pressable improved by 4000ms and 900 queries per second. Cloudways improved by 1900ms and 260 queries per second. It's nice to see continuous improvements being made across the board.

SSL Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
Cloudways B
Nestify B
Pressable A
RAIDBOXES A+
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic A
Servebolt B

Discussion

Raidboxes was the only company to achieve 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.


Individual Host Analysis

Overall a very good performance from Cloudways. Perfect uptime. Improved speeds from last years WPPerformanceTester results. Just a minor slow down during Load Impact kept them from earning Top Tier honors.
Nestify had perfect uptime. A perfect looking Load Storm test with zero errors and flat response times. The only issue was Load Impact slowed down starting around 2300 users and kept climbing upwards to around 1.5s average response time. Very borderline on earning an Honorable Mention, just a bit better next year will earn some them recognition.
Pressable had perfect uptime and Load Impact test. In fact, they had the fastest peak average response time of any company in this price tier. The only issue was Load Storm caused some increased response times with it slowly climbing to over 1300ms at points. It was borderline on the honorable mention, but the response times went a bit too high. A little better and Pressable would be earning honors at this tier.
One of the standout new entrants this year earned Top Tier status right off the bat. 99.999% uptime and up. Zero errors on both load tests. Hard to ask for a better performance, but they also had the fastest PHP bench score of a company not named Servebolt across any price tier. Well done Raidboxes and congrats on the Top Tier marks.
Excellent performance from this new comer except for the uptime issue. They didn't have this issue in other tiers, so I am optimistic next year they will earn Top Tier status.
Speed, speed, speed. Servebolt had the fastest response times on Load Storm and WebPageTest. They also were in a class of their own on WPPerformanceTester. The Top Tier status was well deserved for Servebolt.

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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