$51-100/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2023
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.
Cloudways competed with a DigitalOcean 8GB Premium Droplet.
The Companies and Products
|Company||Plan Monthly Price||Plan Visitors Allowed||Plan Memory||Plan Disk Space||Plan Bandwidth||Plan Sites Allowed|
|Cloudways||$96||Unlimited||8 GB RAM, 4vCPU||160 GB NVMe||5 TB||Unlimited|
|Pressable||$90||150000||512 MB/PHP process||50 GB||Unlimited||10|
|Presslabs||$84||99,000 page views||1 GB||60 GB||Unmetered||1|
|Servebolt||$99||Unlimited||Unlimited||10 GB||Unmetered server bandwidth. 100 GB CDN bandwidth.||5|
|WPX||$99||Unlimited||384 MB/PHP process, 3 processes/site||60 GB||Unlimited*||35|
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:
- Total Requests - Number of requests k6 made
- Total Errors - Number of error requests
- p95 - The 95th percentile response time
- Page Cum Avg - Cumulative average response time for Pages (html)
- Asset Cum Avg - Cumulative average response time for Assets (css, js, images)
- Login Cum Avg - Cumulative average response time for Login (wp-profile.php)
- WP-Login Avg Response Time - Average response time for login (301 redirect which validates credentials)
|Company||Total Requests||Total Errors||Peak Rps||Average Rps||P95||Wp-login Average Response Time||Page Cum Avg||Asset Cum Avg||Login Cum Avg|
Pressable, Presslabs, Servebolt, and WPX all handled this test without issue.
Cloudways started to show signs of load around 1300 VUsers and response times started to slowly increase with a large spike towards the end.
K6 Static Testing Results
K6 Static test is designed to test cached performance by repeatedly requesting the homepage.
|Company||Requests||Errors||Peak Rps||Average Response Time||Average Rps||P95|
Everyone handled the static test well. There was literally not an error between all the companies combined. Last year I was impressed to see 4 companies below 50ms, now it's 4 companies below 20ms. The field continues to improve each and every year which is fantastic for everyone.
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.
Uptime Robot showed every company at perfect 100% uptime. Hetrix Tools had everyone above 99.99%. Basically perfect across the board.
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.
|Company||Virginia||California||Salt Lake City||London||Frankfurt||Cape Town||Singapore||Mumbai||Tokyo||Sydney||Brazil||Dubai||Average|
Presslabs had the fastest average at 290ms and 6/12 fastest single location speeds.
Servebolt was the second fastest at 372ms and picked up 1/12 fastest single location speeds.
WPX was the third fastest at 396ms and picked up 5/12 fastest single location speeds.
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.
|Company||PHP Bench||WP Bench|
Servebolt had the fastest PHP bench and WP Bench scores by a significant margin. Servebolt run a patched version of MariaDB whereas the default version performs AES_ENCRYPT() function slower. I debated changing the plugin before I was aware it was patchable, but considering it is something fixable, I opted not to change it this year.
SSL Testing Results
The tool is available at https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
|Company||Qualsys SSL Grade|
A's for everyone except Servebolt, who received an A+.
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.
This year's Top Tier WordPress Hosting Performance Award goes to the following companies who showed virtually no signs of struggle during the testing.
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.