Enterprise ($500+/Month) WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2020

Enterprise ($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
Flywheel 20430292181644.771135.022239101112.4290.4462.46797
GridPane.com 20711823165211511506985.00112.279062825
Pantheon 19344432521548107527699105.00120.8697671002
Pressable 233901651887129915099114.00120.5397671005
Presslabs 23130060186712855763.00198.0011291621310
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 22316884951782124015103111.00117.8294651428
Seravo 201702661647.151120.5713379106105.2186.1758.45804
Servebolt 2707825250218015041528964.00101.028056881
WordPress VIP 196872631581.051093.743821109165.96133.4192.2804

Discussion

Flywheel, GridPane, Jelastic, Pantheon, Pressable, Presslabs, Seravo, Servebolt and WPVIP all handled this test without issue. It's impressive how the average response time for every company was below 200ms.

K6 Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95P99
Flywheel 20559933
GridPane.com 16928530
Pantheon 20333133
Pressable 21930450
Presslabs 19093941
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 20036059
Seravo 20223250
Servebolt 17031870
WordPress VIP 21469540

Discussion

No company struggled with the Load Impact test. Jelastic had a very strange looking graph with response times bouncing up and down, possibly an auto scaling issue? GridPane's graph looked like there was an increasing in load but the peak was under 300ms, it really isn't an issue.

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
Flywheel 100100
GridPane.com 100100
Pantheon 100100
Pressable 100100
Presslabs 100100
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 99.97999.99
Seravo 99.984100
Servebolt 99.58110099.99
WordPress VIP 100100

Discussion

No companies had any uptime issues.

Servebolt also had a discrepancy between UptimeRobot and StatusCake uptime. One showed a very low 99.581 and the other 100. The third monitor I setup showed 99.99%, 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
Flywheel 0.3510.4330.3520.3530.3710.4170.410.4390.3810.49958333331.0580.91
GridPane.com 0.450.7831.0541.0322.0912.4431.5812.1611.1791.4519166672.3211.547
Pantheon 0.4720.5690.610.6320.8850.9881.0060.9540.6880.98716666673.261.13
Pressable 0.4730.9571.2381.1722.3092.0391.852.3351.3221.6546666673.2172.027
Presslabs 0.660.8540.3690.3890.3670.5650.6040.4681.5560.70216666671.1020.881
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 0.6340.920.3250.4191.3160.8471.6321.5061.1311.1141666672.5221.048
Seravo 0.3420.4010.460.3450.5270.570.3680.4380.350.53108333331.020.973
Servebolt 0.4260.6450.6390.6711.0530.990.8471.0650.7840.89941666671.7691.213
WordPress VIP 0.4210.5310.7040.7221.6181.4511.0371.2710.6980.9891.5931.16

Discussion

Flywheel and Seravo were neck and neck with Flywheel edging out Seravo by 31ms for fastest average load time. Pressable was the slowest in 7/12 locations.

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
Flywheel 8.852357.1428571
GridPane.com 6.093923
Pantheon 11.098226.3980077
Pressable 6.2841344.086022
Presslabs 6.7121242.236025
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic 7.524314.861461
Seravo 6.12820.3445447
Servebolt 3.2922037
WordPress VIP 9.875854.7008547

Discussion

Servebolt stood out being the fastest PHP Bench and WP Bench. GridPane, Pressable, Presslabs and Seravo all had faster PHP bench scores than the second fastest company last year (Presslabs); so it's nice to see the whole field getting faster.

*GridPane.com couldn't run the WPPerformanceTester plugin because of the database layer they run wasn't compatible (LudicrousDB). The same commands were executed manually that the WPPerformanceTester does against the system to replicate the numbers.

SSL Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
Flywheel A
GridPane.com A+
Pantheon A+
Pressable A
Presslabs A+
Scaleforce powered by Jelastic A
Seravo A+
Servebolt B
WordPress VIP A

Discussion

GridPane, Pantheon, Presslabs and Seravo 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.

No company achieved this status.


Individual Host Analysis

Perfect uptime. The fastest WebPageTest average response time. Second and third fastest Load Impact and Load Storm average response speed respectively. A well deserved Top Tier performance.
One of the new entrants in this years test, GridPane only competed at the Enterprise tier to likely send a message that says we're here and we're serious. Well the results say, welcome to the club. Perfect uptime and the second fastest Load Storm average response time combined with a miniscule 3 total errors on both load tests say GridPane is here to perform. The only improvement I would like to see is better scores on WebPageTest where outside of US/Europe it wasn't as fast as some of the competition. Overall, happy to see GridPane show us that another Top Tier Enterprise performer is here.
Pantheon had perfect uptime and the third fastest Load Impact peak average response time. There isn't much to say other than they earned a Top Tier performance and had a nice improvement in the Load Storm test compared to last year with fewer errors and half the average response time.
Pressable had perfect uptime and only 5 total errors on both load tests. I'd like to see faster response times globally but it was a Top Tier performance for sure.
This small company has participated many years and continues to impress with yet another Top Tier performance. Perfect uptime. 1 error total on the load tests was the lowest total of any company. The third fastest average response time on WebPageTest. Well done Presslabs.
Jelastic competed in many tiers and I was excited to see them figure out a way to balance their slightly different billing scheme to fit into these tests. Their platform scaled all the way up to the Enterprise tier, showing that it can handle tremendous loads without struggling. It earned Top Tier recognition in yet another tier, well done.
The third new Enterprise Tier entrant didn't disappoint. Seravo was neck and neck with Flywheel for the fastest average response time globally on WebPageTest. They had a total of 6 errors on excellent load tests. Welcome to the Top Tier Seravo.
Servebolt continued it's dominance in the WPPerformanceTester results into the Enterprise Tier being the fastest by a solid margin again on both PHP and WP Bench. They also managed the fastest average response time on Load Storm and kept a global average response time under 1000ms on WebPageTest which put them in 4th place. Another Top Tier performance by Servebolt.
Perfect uptime. 3 total errors across both load tests. The fastest peak average response time on Load Impact. WordPress VIP continues to deliver Top Tier performances.

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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