$201-500/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks 2023

$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

CompanyPlan Monthly PricePlan Visitors AllowedPlan MemoryPlan Disk SpacePlan BandwidthPlan Sites Allowed
Cloudways $397Unlimited 32 GB RAM, 8 vCPU20 GB2 GBUnlimited
Nexcess $299UnlimitedN/A300 GB5 TB50
Pressable $3501000000512 MB/PHP process200 GBUnlimited50
Servebolt $349UnlimitedUnlimited40 GBUnmetered server bandwidth. 100 GB CDN bandwidth.25
Servebolt Pro+ACD $481UnlimitedUnlimited16 GB1 TB CDN Bandwidth 5
View Full Products Table

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 RpsP95Wp-login Average Response TimePage Cum AvgAsset Cum AvgLogin Cum Avg
Cloudways 8214937705.754464255123119331971192
Nexcess 103078317871.5856029925021731245
Pressable 11327061974.7561525118018018187
Servebolt 1257669111042.3368426519125621278
Servebolt Pro+ACD 125950371044.9268426918821524217


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.

Results Table

CompanyRequestsErrorsPeak RpsAverage Response TimeAverage RpsP95
Cloudways 162069403569.671111779217
Nexcess 177650823915.8314195022
Pressable 179193703944.335.3196712
Servebolt 176577913883.8320193828
Servebolt Pro+ACD 174825943859.3330191941


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.

Results Table

CompanyUptime RobotHetrix
Cloudways 100100
Nexcess 10099.9909
Pressable 100100
Servebolt 10099.9941
Servebolt Pro+ACD 10099.9972


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.

Results Table

CompanyVirginiaCaliforniaSalt Lake CityLondonFrankfurtCape TownSingaporeMumbaiTokyoSydneyBrazilDubaiAverage
Cloudways 20346239950957813301190120087311486761171812
Nexcess 2834824334659211005114111467731120636941779
Pressable 2733033842782981534263726291282390386451
Servebolt 227355448323388218753865375465210240406
Servebolt Pro+ACD 256440652442324248749442415223498296415


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.

Results Table

CompanyPHP BenchWP Bench
Cloudways 7.161873.3624454
Nexcess 6.2972512.562814
Pressable 9.681647.446458
Servebolt 4.2334716.981132
Servebolt Pro+ACD 4.2274464.285714


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/

Results Table

CompanyQualsys SSL Grade
Cloudways A
Nexcess A
Pressable A
Servebolt A+
Servebolt Pro+ACD A+


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.

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

Cloudways handled the Static test flawlessly with no errors or signs of load and a quick 111ms average response time. Cloudways also had perfect uptime. Cloudways even picked up the fastest response time in Virginia on WPT. Unfortunately, the Load Storm test proved a little much with the server slowing down around 2300 users. This was a dramatic improvement over last year where issues started around 900 users and it errored out. It's nice to see a lot of improvement, but there's definitely a little more work left to be done.
Visit Cloudways Website
Nexcess earned Top Tier last year but the performance didn't stand out against its peers. The improvement this year was dramatic with Load Storm's p95 going from 509 down to 299. The Static test saw an even more dramatic drop from 248ms average to 14ms and 473ms to 22ms for the p95. The Static results were the second fastest this year from being in the slowest the previous year. Nexcess had 100% and 99.99%+ uptime. The PHP and WP Bench scores from Nexcess would be the fastest of any company this year except Servebolt. It's nice to see a Top Tier performer improve considerably and earn another Top Tier award.
Visit Nexcess Website
Pressable had a fantastic Load Storm test where it led every response time metric (p95, wp-login, Page, Asset, Login). Pressable also led the average and p95 response times on the Static test. Pressable had perfect uptime on both monitors. Despite having the third fastest WPT average, it led in 6/12 locations as the fastest. Pressable was unquestionably Top Tier this year.
Visit Pressable Website
Servebolt's Business plan compared fairly similarly to it's Pro+ACD variant. The Load Storm test saw Servebolt earn second fastest p95 and Asset response times; along with third fastest wp-login response time. Servebolt aced the static test with 20ms average and 28ms p95. The Uptime was 100% and 99.99%+. This Servebolt plan also had the fastest average WPT speed and led in 3/12 locations. Servebolt's plans ran away in PHP/WP Bench scores posting the highest numbers we've seen to date this year. The SSL test earned an A+. The test results were excellent for Servebolt, yet again, and they find themselves earning another Top Tier award.
Visit Servebolt Website
Servebolt Pro+ACD handled the Load Storm test effortlessly. It had the second fastest wp-login, Page, and Login; as well as the third fastest p95, and Asset response times. The Static test was easy as well with Servebolt clocking in 30ms average and 41ms p95 response times. Uptime was 100% and 99.99%+. Servebolt Pro+ACD had the second fastest WPT average and was the fastest in 2/12 locations. Servebolt ran away in PHP/WP Bench scores posting the highest numbers we've seen to date this year. Add in an A+ SSL for good measure. Yet another Top Tier performance for Servebolt.
Visit Servebolt Pro+ACD 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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