Hosting Performance Contest – February 2017 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Cheaper Are Better)

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hosting performance contest February 2017

Here’s the 13th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for February 2017!
I’ve been testing 15 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and I’ll show you you the results below. In general, this contest’s result can be described as “The cheaper hosts are better than more expensive ones this month”.

By the way, you can find the latest roundups here and the performance tables and charts here.

All monitored hosts are presented in the pricing categories according to the most affordable plan they have. Also, I bought the most affordable plans available at each hosting company to test hosting performance.

Let’s see how the hosts hosts performed in February 2017!


Common Information


As you may already know, I’ve been monitoring the performance of some of the best hosting providers I know as well as some other well-known hosts.

In short, since 2013 I’ve been picking out great hosts judging by real users reviews, professional hosting community opinion, long honorable business experience and other factors which make a great hosting.

And I buy anonymously hosting accounts with different hosts in order to closely monitor their performance (basically, uptime checked every minute and full page load time checked every 15 minutes) using a professional monitoring service monitis.com. I buy the most basic and the cheapest plan of each hosting. You can read about my monitoring methodology here.

And I’m happy to share these statistics with you so that you could see how these hosts perform and who is the best from the best!

You can find some real-time performance charts on my recommended hosts page for the hosting which I’ve been recommending and monitoring.

Also, you can see real-time monitoring charts for all hosts that I am monitoring on this page. In addition, the page contains monthly historical data on hosting performance (speed, uptime, satisfactory apdex) – very interesting and useful.

Besides, you may read more information about this Hosting Performance Contest on this page. I will be adding monthly and yearly Contest results on the page too.

And other monthly Hosting Performance Contest roundups are available from here.

By the way, here’s a disclosure: There are some affiliate links on this page. In other words, I get paid if you click on the links and make a purchase. All such links open in new window/tab; no software/program will be installed to your computer. (This is a standard notice required by hosting companies.)
Please note that although all hosts mentioned in this post are well-established and considered to be very good, I highly recommend not all of them. My recommended hosts are here.

 

February 2017 Hosting Performance Contest – Results

Here are the fifteen hosts that you can compare this month. I’ve broken down them in three groups: very affordable (below $4/mo), middle class (upto $8/mo) and more expensive ($8+/mo).

You’ll see a breakdown of hosting performance by prices in the sections below.

Let’s start from an overview of the hosting performance in the order of how the hosts performed in general regardless of how affordable or expensive the hosts are.

winner cup - hosting performance contest Roundup December 2016The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!. The fifth month in a row!
In the Top-3 also go StableHost and SiteGround.

What’s special about the leaders is that all the winners are from the middle and low price category. More affordable hosts outperformed more expensive ones!

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 1.08 seconds (it’s very fast). Its Uptime was 99.99% (almost perfect) And its Satisfactory Apdex was 100% (i.e. 100% of time the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). Fantastic! All these parameters are much above the benchmarks specified for the greatest performance. And since this hosting was the fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts GeekStorage wins the gold medal.

It’s worth mentioning that GeekStorage is absolutely not expensive, especially compared to some other hosts tested. And it wins all of the other hosts the fifth month in a row. Congratulations!

The silver medal goes to StableHost.

In February 2017 StableHost was on average as fast as 1.19 seconds that is 0.11 seconds slower than the leader. StableHost‘s uptime was superb too – 99.98%. And its Satisfactory Apdex was awesome – 99.94% (i.e. 99.94% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Brilliant results!

The bronze medalist is SiteGround.

SiteGround performed in February 2017 as fast as 1.3 seconds which is very good. Its uptime was great 99.98%. And the Satisfactory Apdex was very high – 99.76% (99.76% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and of course it’s above the highest standards set for great hosting).

VeeroTech took the 4th place with 1.62 seconds speed, very good uptime (99.97%) and very good Satisfactory Apdex (99.25%). The values are much above the highest standards set for the best hosts.

Other hosts could not meet at least one of the benchmarks set for the best hosting, though the results of some hosts were very close to the benchmarks and pretty good in general.

HostWinds is on the 5th place this month with very good 1.52 seconds speed, perfect uptime (100%). But it failed a bit the benchmark set for the greatest hosting for Satisfactory Apdex (98.21%). That’s why it goes only after the hosts which have passed all the benchmark tests.

MDDHosting took the 6th place. Its average speed was quite fast (1.56 seconds full page load time), but its Satisfactory Apdex was not superb (98.09%), but still not bad, although it did not pass the benchmark. It also failed uptime by 0.03% (99.87%). It was a little bit below the highest standards (99.9%) set for great hosting. So, this host did not get higher in the standings.

LunarPages goes to the 7th place. Its 1.58 seconds full page load time was pretty good. Its uptime (99.98%) was really great. But it failed a bit Satisfactory Apdex (98.26%) which was lower than the benchmark (99%).

MochaHost takes the 8th place.. Its speed was good (1.59 seconds). And its uptime (99.93%) was very much above the benchmark. But its Satisfactory Apdex (97.28%) did not pass the benchmark test (99%).

InMotionHosting goes to the 9th place. Its performance values were generally fine. Its speed (1.7 seconds) was pretty good. As well as its Satisfactory Apdex (99.36%). But it failed a little bit uptime (99.88%). Only because of that this host goes not high in this month’s rankings.

A2Hosting took the 10th place. Its 1.71 seconds full page load time was quite good. And its Satisfactory Apdex (99.65%) was also great. But it failed to pass the uptime benchmark a bit getting only 99.66% instead of superb 99.9%. Apart from that not bad performance as the above host!

GreenGeeks goes to the 11th place. Its average speed (1.85 secs) was not bad. Its uptime (99.93%) was above the benchmark (99.9%), which is superb. But its Satisfactory Apdex (96.48%) did not meet the highest standards (99%) a bit.

Squidix goes to the 12th place with its speed 1.87 seconds. Its Satisfactory Apdex was not bad 91.98% (91.98% of time its Full page load time was below 2.5 seconds). And its uptime (99.88%) was almost great, but still below the benchmark level (99.9%). The host did not pass both benchmarks.

Eleven2 got the 13th place. Its average speed (1.97 secs) was slower than the above hosts. And it also failed both benchmarks. Its uptime was 99.53%, which is below the benchmark (99.9%). And its Satisfactory Apdex (95.15%) could not get to the highest standards (99%) as well.

HawkHost took just the 14th place. Its average speed (2.61 seconds) was quite slower than the above hosts. And its Satisfactory Apdex (52.79%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). Besides, its uptime also failed (99.38%) compared to the highest standards (99.9%).

And finally, GlowHost is again on the last, 15th place. This host could not get higher because of its low speed. This month it showed not bad uptime (99.85%), but still below the benchmark (99.9%). Its speed was not really good (3.29 seconds). And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (0%) was the lowest in its history as I’ve been monitoring it; and it was far from reaching the benchmark level (99%). In other words, all the time the loading time of my test website was slower than 2.5 seconds.

Generally, the competition this month revealed performance decreasing for the most hosts. But some hosts performed better than in the previous month. An interesting part is that some of the more expensive hosts got even lower in the standings than ever before because more affordable hosts performed better this month.

By the way, keep in mind, that for this Contest I pick out the hosts which are considered to be good, great and superb. These hosts are established businesses for many years and some of them are widely recommended in the Internet. So, the idea of this Contest is to determine the best performing hosts from a technical point of view, giving you objective information for making your own decision regarding hosts.

Let’s see now the results in tables and charts for more convenience, more information and more insight.

Here’s a table view to compare the Hosting Performance Contest results in February 2017:


Table column notes:
Place: The place a hosting has won in this Contest (the less the better).
Load Time: Average Full Page Load Time (the less the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Uptime: Uptime (the more the better). Checked every minute.
Superb Uptime: If Uptime Benchmark (99.9%) passed (YES is very good).
Apdex-S: Satisfactory Apdex, i.e. how often a test website on a tested hosting was loading faster than 2.5 sec (the more the Apdex-S the better). Checked every 15 minutes.
Superb Apdex-S: If Satisfactory Apdex benchmark (99%) passed (YES is very good).
Color areas: The greener, the better. Yellow is below the highest standards. Orange is worse. Red is the worst.

Here’s a table with hosting prices:

 
1 year: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 1-year plan.
2 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 2-year plan.
3 years: Regular prices (after the first invoice) for 3-year plan.
Min Price: The minimum price officially available for the first invoice (can be for 1-year, 2-year or 3-year plan).
*StableHost discount code is given in my review.
Limited-time offers with more discounts are not included in these prices. Check out if there are special offers currently available by visiting the hosting websites.
Worthy: This column contains my recommended hosts. (Under review label means that the host performs well or/and has a good potential in winning prizes in the Contest, but I want to have more proved records of its technical and support performance.)

Here’s a table with places within pricing categories:

 
Since it’s not always correct to compare hosts from different price categories together, I’ve broken down the monitored hosts into three categories to compete within as you can see above in the table.

The prices presented in this table are regular prices (i.e. applied after the first invoice). Note that prices for the first invoice (1-,2- or 3-year plan) are usually less (see them in the previous table). And special promo prices are not included (check them out on the hosting websites).

And here are the charts with the Hosting Performance Contest results in February 2017:

1. The golden medalist: GeekStorage (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).
2. The silver medalist: StableHost (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).
3. The bronze medalist: SiteGround (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).
 

 

 

February 2017 Hosting Performance Contest Results – Notes


I use monitis.com services for uptime and full page load monitoring. The monitoring is performed from two locations in order to decrease chances of false alerts and make monitoring results more objective. You can read more about my methodology of monitoring here.

Here are the monthly monitoring reports screenshots:

Hosting performance contest February 2017 - uptime monitoring report
These monitor checks are performed with 1-minute interval, which makes it great for detecting website uptime and downtime.

So, we need Uptime values from this table for finding the winner of our Contest.
By the way, downtime is detected if server response time (time-to-first-byte) is more than 10 seconds.

Other values (just for information):
Response time is not that important for this Contest, because I’ve got a better indicator monitored, which is Full page load time (see below).
Number of failures may be interesting to look at, but this is just an additional information to Uptime, which is more important for the overall hosting evaluation.

Nine first hosts on the screenshot have passed the uptime benchmark test for great hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in February. Websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 40.3 minutes in total this month.

Here are some uptime details for the hosts in the order of the places the hosts took in the Contest in February 2017:

GeekStorage performed with superb 99.99% uptime. It’s much above the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was not available in February for 0.1% which equals 4 minutes.

StableHost had great uptime 99.98%. It’s much above the benchmark (99.9%). Being unavailable for 0.2% means just 8 minutes this month.

SiteGround showed also great uptime 99.98%. It’s above the benchmark (99.9%). Being unavailable for 0.02% means 4 minutes of downtime this month from a user point of view.

VeeroTech had also very high uptime 99.97%. It’s also much above the benchmark level. My site hosted with it was unavailable for 0.03% (or 12.1 minutes) this month. By the way, my second test site with this host had 99.92% uptime which is well above the benchmark too.

HostWinds like the above host had perfect uptime 100%. No downtime registered this month!

MDDHosting showed not bad uptime 99.87%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.13% (52.4 minutes) this month.

LunarPages showed very high uptime99.98%. And 0.02% (about 4 minutes) being unavailable. It’s also above the benchmark (99.9%).

MochaHost had uptime (99.93%) above the benchmark this month. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.07% (about 28.2 minutes).

InMotionHosting showed uptime 99.88% which means 0.12% (about 48.4 minutes) being unavailable. It’s a bit below the benchmark (99.9%).

A2Hosting had uptime 99.66%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.34% (about 2.3 hours). It’s below the benchmark set for the greatest hosts (99.9%).

GreenGeeks managed to meet the highest uptime standards this month. Its uptime was 99.93%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.07% which is 28.2 minutes) this month.

Squidix was nearly great with its uptime this month (99.88%). The site on this hosting was not available 0.12% of the time this month (about 48.4 minutes). It’s a bit below the highest standards (99.9%).

Eleven2 failed with its uptime. My website on this host was up 99.53%, which means no one could access my website on this hosting 0.47% of the time in this month (equals to 3.16 hours).

HawkHost failed uptime this month (99.38%). No one could access my website on this hosting 0.62% of the time in this month (equals to 4.17 hours).

GlowHost couldn’t pass uptime tests this month. 99.85% being available. And correspondingly, it was not available for 0.15% of the time (60.5 minutes).

hosting performance contest February 2017 - full page load time monitoring report


These tests are performed with 15-minute interval. It makes it a perfect real-user performance monitor. This monitor’s activity is equal to 192 unique visitors per day (about 5,760 unique visitors per month).

Avg Test Duration is the Full page load time, which is very clear and important factor for the Hosting Performance Contest.

We don’t need Uptime from this table because we have got a better (more precise) Uptime indicator from the previous table.

Also, we don’t need Failures from this table, because it’s less precise than the same indicator from the previous table.

But we will need Apdex, particularly its S (Satisfactory) part. This shows how much time (in %) the website loaded faster than 2.5 seconds. I call it Satisfactory Apdex.

GeekStorage for the fifth month in a row won the gold in the monthly Contest thanks to its the best speed compared to other hosts and other metrics (uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) being above the benchmarks. This month its average speed (full page load time) was 1.08 seconds.

StableHost was the second fastest among all other hosts this month (1.19 seconds). it’s superb result for the affordable hosting like this!

SiteGround was a bit slower than the leaders (1.3 seconds on average) which made it the third with the bronze medal. Very good!

VeeroTech was a little bit slower than some of the hosts (1.62 seconds full page load time). But it passed all the benchmarks (uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) which put it above the hosts which were faster but could not pass the benchmark tests. It was quite a successful month for this host.

HostWinds had a good speed (1.52 seconds full page load time). But it failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark, which is an indication of not very stable speed.

MDDHosting was also quite fast (1.56 seconds full page load time). But failing both benchmarks put it below some other hosts this month.

LunarPages goes not far behind (1.58 seconds full page load time). Failed Satisfactory Apdex. Anyway, It’s not bad result for the the budget plan I’m using with this host.

MochaHost had a very decent speed (1.59 sec). But it failed a bit Satisfactory Apdex benchmark.

InMotionHosting was behind the above hosting performers. It had a good full page load time (1.7 sec), but it failed a little bit its uptime benchmark.

A2Hosting had also quite good speed in general (1.71 seconds full page load time. But as the above host, it failed uptime benchmark set for the greatest hosts.

GreenGeeks had not bad speed in general (1.85 seconds full page load time), but it failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark.

Squidix had comparatively not bad speed as well (1.87 seconds full page load time. And it failed a little both benchmarks.

Eleven2, like in previous months, did not satisfy the strict rules of passing the benchmarks. And with its speed (1.97 seconds) it could not go higher in the ranking.

HawkHost was comparatively slow (2.61 seconds). And failing both uptime and Satisfactory Apdex benchmarks put it at the end of the rankings.

GlowHost was significantly slower than all other monitored hosts in this Contest (3.29 sec). And as expected, it failed badly its Satisfactory Apdex (0%, i.e. all the time it was slower than 2.5 seconds). Only the last place.

Conclusion

The best hosts which have demonstrated the best performance in February 2017 are the medalists: GeekStorage, StableHost and SiteGround. By the way, all the medalists are not from the most expensive hosting category!

By the way, all the top winners have passed the strict benchmarks determined for great hosting.

As regards the winners in different pricing categories, here they are:
The best hosts in the higher pricing category ($8-10/mo) in February 2017 go in the following order: InMotionHosting, A2Hosting and Squidix.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($4-8/mo) in February 2017 are GeekStorage, SiteGround and HostWinds.

By the way, GeekStorage, although being an affordable hosting, has won the gold medal among all the hosts in this Contest the fifth month in a row! Really awesome!

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $4/mo) in February 2017 are StableHost, VeeroTech and MDDHosting.

Please note, that I’m using the cheapest plans available on each of the monitored hosts.

It’s interesting that many hosts from the middle and lower pricing category outperformed hosts from the higher pricing category. And the hero of this Contest is GeekStorage which managed to leave all other more expensive hosts behind.


P.S.: Past and future Hosting Performance Contest results are (and will be) published on this page.
Also, you can see real-time performance charts of the hosts I monitor as well as historical data on the hosting performance on this page.
Other monthly roundups of this Hosting Performance Contest are available here.
And my recommended hosts are here.

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Comments

  1. saurabh kartikay says:

    Thank you for your effort, and it really helped me to switch my current host to Stablehost. In your blog you have mentioned many times EURO VPS as one of best and stable host . just wanted to know why don’t you include EUROVPS in your performance contest . I was about to choose between stable host and EUROVPS, but didn’t find any statics related to eurovps, finally moved to Stablehost . Thank you for Stablehost coupon .

    • Hi Saurabh,
      Thanks for your comment and using my StableHost coupon.
      The Hosting Performance Contest specifically covers the hosts which have server locations in the USA (since most readers of my blog are from US). Also, performance tests run from US locations (East and West Coast).
      EuroVPS is a great host for European, African or world-wide web projects though.

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