$201-500/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.
Servebolt submitted two plans, Business and Pro+Accelerated Domains (ACD).
Cloudways competed with a GCP CO 2XL instance.
The Companies and Products
|Company||Plan Monthly Price||Plan Visitors Allowed||Plan Memory||Plan Disk Space||Plan Bandwidth||Plan Sites Allowed|
|Cloudways||$397||Unlimited||32 GB RAM, 8 vCPU||20 GB||2 GB||Unlimited|
|Nexcess||$299||Unlimited||N/A||300 GB||5 TB||50|
|Pressable||$350||1000000||512 MB/PHP process||200 GB||Unlimited||50|
|Servebolt||$349||Unlimited||Unlimited||40 GB||Unmetered server bandwidth. 100 GB CDN bandwidth.||25|
|Servebolt Pro+ACD||$481||Unlimited||Unlimited||16 GB||1 TB CDN Bandwidth||5|
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|
Nexcess, Pressable, and both Servebolt plans handled this test without any issues.
Cloudways started slowing down around 2300 VUsers.
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|
Every company handled the static test almost perfect. There was a decrease in average and p95 response times from every company that participated in the previous year. Cloudways went from 212/489 to 111/217 [Avg/p95]. Nexcess went from 248/473 to 14/22. Pressable went from 5.9/19 to 5.3/12. Servebolt went from 176/283 + 37/50 to 20/28 + 30/41. It shows the companies which were slower last year saw the biggest gains, but even the fastest companies continue to speed up.
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.
Perfect uptime on Uptime Robot for everyone and nobody was below 99.99% on Hetrix Tools.
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|
Servebolt was the fastest average with 406ms with 3/12 fastest locations.
Servebolt ACD followed close behind for second at 415ms average and 2/12 fastest locations.
Pressable was third fastest average with 451ms with 6/12 fastest locations
Cloudways was the fastest in Virginia.
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.
Nexcess had an incredibly fast WP Bench, the fastest of any WP Bench this year for a company not named Servebolt.
SSL Testing Results
The tool is available at https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
|Company||Qualsys SSL Grade|
Everyone got an A with Servebolt earning two A+'s.
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.