Enterprise ($500+/Month) WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2022

Enterprise ($500+/Month) WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2022

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.

The Enterprise tier of these benchmarks is special in that companies are allowed to change configurations to optimize for performance because at this price tier it’s expected for customers paying a lot of money. All other price tiers test default configurations.

Servebolt submitted two plans, the Scale + ACD plan is utilizing their Scale and Accelerated Domains addon which adds performance, scalability and security enhancements.

Cloudways competed with a 4XL plan from Google Cloud.

The Companies and Products

CompanyPlan Monthly PricePlan Visitors AllowedPlan MemoryPlan Disk SpacePlan BandwidthPlan Sites Allowed
Cloudways $722Unlimited60 GB20 GB2 GBUnlimited
Performant Websites $1250unlimited32 GB30 GB10 TB1
Presslabs $599+UnlimitedCustom, depending on site needs100 GB+UnmeteredCustom
raidboxes 950€Unlimited64 GB40 GBUp to 10Gbit1
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo $1,279Unmetered96+ GBCustomUnmeteredBased on system resources
Servebolt $528Dynamic Requests are set per planUnmetered25Unlimited30
Servebolt Accelerated $2490Dynamic Requests are set per planUmeteredCustom > 200 GBUnlimited60
WordPress VIP Starts at $2000/moStarting price allows for 2M http requests per month. Can grow from there at additional costs up to unlimited.UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedStarts at 1 application, which can be a multisite with no limits. Additional applications available for extra cost with no limit on how many we can support.

LoadStorm Testing Results

The Load Storm test (in k6) is designed to simulate real users visiting the site, logging in and browsing. It tests uncached performance.

The key metrics are:

Results Table

CompanyTotal RequestsTotal ErrorsPeak RpsAverage RpsP95Page Cum AvgAsset Cum AvgLogin Cum AvgWp-login Average Response Time
Cloudways 26034383598392221.081423723235337227159
Performant Websites 1692580161393.75920287216159221182
Presslabs 220495701822.67119821015613163152
raidboxes 245903469378268913363231177131926822547
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo 18787074691656.83102126917519211178
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) 2425293541991.67131824620426196193
Servebolt 242095591961.25131125020926201196
WordPress VIP 170374211435.9292530121114184226

Discussion

Performant Websites, Presslabs, Scaleforce, Servebolt (both) and WordPress VIP all handled this test without issue.

Cloudways ran into issues around 1500 VUsers where login stopped responding and caused errors. The numbers appear artificially low because of this.

Raidboxes started slowing down around 3700 VUsers with errors kicking in around 4600 VUsers.

Overall, it's impressive how fast most of these companies are. With the exception of Raidboxes (and Cloudways gets an asterisk), every host is loading pages under 300ms. More than half the companies are loading assets sub 30ms. At the high end, you really have a lot of high performing globally available options.

K6 Static Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95
Cloudways 183313504030.172292012473
Performant Websites 2161496104758.8342234954
Presslabs 22215600492314243653
raidboxes 178941603931.332591964575
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo 22310521404926.839.5245228
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) 218341524814.6731239448
Servebolt 217594664782.3335234048
WordPress VIP 223741604924.676.4245620

Discussion

Every company handled this test very well. It is very clear which companies have CDNs setup though based on the average response times. The P95 of all but two companies being under 60ms is just impressive.

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 RobotHetrix
Cloudways 99.99699.8335
Performant Websites 100100
Presslabs 10099.9951
raidboxes 10099.9996
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo 100100
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) 100100
Servebolt 100100
WordPress VIP 100100

Discussion

Every company with the exception of Cloudways had 100% on at least one monitor. Cloudways had very different uptimes as measured by the two providers (happened across multiple plans tested). But the higher of the two uptime monitors showed 99.99%+ which seems to indicate the server was responsive.

WebPageTest Testing Results

WebPageTest fully loads the homepage and records how long it takes from 12 different locations around the world. Result are measured in seconds.

Results Table

CompanyVirginiaCaliforniaSalt Lake CityLondonFrankfurtCape TownSingaporeMumbaiTokyoSydneyBrazilDubaiAverage
Cloudways 0.260.3160.2790.5560.6131.3281.0471.3110.7420.9920.8431.330.8014166667
Performant Websites 0.4040.1590.2690.3170.3880.1510.1850.3180.3690.2510.6540.2430.309
Presslabs 0.1550.1430.260.1410.1730.2220.1540.1690.2130.1550.160.1370.1735
raidboxes 0.6040.9080.8640.3310.1690.8850.8840.7711.3271.531.1560.6930.8435
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo 0.2820.2460.2920.220.2410.2740.3870.2220.3290.1560.2461.0510.3288333333
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) 0.2670.3170.3790.2020.3190.1610.7670.3030.2430.310.4450.2670.3316666667
Servebolt 0.3470.1970.3420.3930.4260.1750.6540.220.2570.3970.3370.2620.3339166667
WordPress VIP 0.2150.1680.2430.220.2540.2630.2260.2090.2430.2360.2370.3010.2345833333

Discussion

Presslabs is the obvious standout here with 10/12 of the fastest response times alongside the fastest average response time at a snappy 0.1735s.

WPVIP and Performant Websites managed to grab the other two fastest response times. They also managed the second and third fastest averages respectively.

Raidboxes and Cloudways stood out on the slower end because of the lack of CDN setup in this configuration.

WPPerformanceTester Testing Results

WPPerformanceTester performs two benchmarks. One is a WordPress (WP Bench) and the other is a PHP Bench. 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.

Results Table

CompanyPHP BenchWP Bench
Cloudways 9.968624.2197253
Performant Websites 9.7731094.091904
Presslabs 6.9981865.671642
raidboxes 8.1851402.524544
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo 9.705400
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) 5.8392132.196162
Servebolt 5.8452227.171492
WordPress VIP 8.4081280.409731

Discussion

Servebolt led the way here. They took the top two spots in both tests. Presslabs was third in both tests.

Scaleforce shows us that raw single threaded speed doesn't make or break an enterprise configuration. Despite having the slowest WP Bench and one of the slowest PHP Bench scores, a clustered configuration can handle massive scale and perform well in real world delivery.

SSL Testing Results

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

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
Cloudways A
Performant Websites A+
Presslabs A+
raidboxes A+
Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo A+
Servebolt (Scale + ACD) A+
Servebolt A+
WordPress VIP A+

Discussion

Everyone got an A+ except Cloudways which earned an A.

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 one thing Cloudways did well this year was the static test. It handled it without issue. We could add in uptime if we assume it was a glitch on the monitoring end which affected all Cloudways servers being monitored by Hetrix Tools. But Cloudways struggled with the Load Storm test with the login erroring completely. There is some definite room for improvement.
Visit Cloudways Website
New entrant Performant Websites stepped into the biggest ring and showed they belong. Perfect uptime. The third fastest WPT average including being the fastest in Cape Town. They handled all the tests without any issues, well done and welcome to the Top Tier.
Visit Performant Websites Website
Presslabs absolutely crushed the Load Storm test. They had the fastest P95, Page, Asset, and login times. Presslabs also had the third fastest average response time for the static test at 14ms. Throw in a tour de force of the WebPageTest benchmark where they were the fastest in 10/12 locations and had the fastest average response time. Sprinkle in perfect or near perfect uptime on both monitors and you've got yourself an excellent Top Tier worthy performance.
Visit Presslabs Website
The bright spots for Raidboxes were it handled the static test effortlessly and the uptime was near perfect at 100% and 99.9996%. The less bright spots were that Raidboxes struggled with the Load Storm test which seems to have overwhelmed the system. Raidboxes also didn't have any sort of CDN integrated which slowed down global response times and averages on many of the tests. I hope with the recent acquisition we see some improvements that brings them back to to Top Tier status.
Visit raidboxes Website
Scaleforce had the second fastest wp-login, and page speed, along with third fastest asset speeds on the Load Storm test. Scaleforce also had the second fastest average response time and p95 response time in the static test. Throw in perfect uptime for good measure and you've got another well earned Top Tier award.
Visit Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo Website
Servebolt had the second fastest P95 alongside third fastest page, asset speeds and login cum avg. Perfect uptime. It seems to have eked out a slight edge over its sister product in a few tests beating getting slightly fastest response times on an already Top Tier product. Well done.
Visit Servebolt (Scale + ACD) Website
Perfect uptime. Fastest WP/PHP Bench scores alongside it's sister product. Third fastest p95 in both Load Storm and Static tests. Servebolt Enterprise delivers another Top Tier performance.
Visit Servebolt Website
WPVIP had the second fastest asset and login cum avg scores on the Load Storm test. WPVIP had the fastest average and p95 response times on the Static test. WPVIP also had perfect uptime on both monitors. WPVIP also picked up the second fastest average response time average on the WPT. WPVIP continues to prove itself year after year as a Top Tier product. Congratulations.
Visit WordPress VIP Website

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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