Hosting Performance Contest – June 2017 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: The Middles Go On)

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hosting performance contest June 2017

Here’s the 17th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for June 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 featured as “The middle pricing category hosts go on on showing great results”.

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 June 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.

 

June 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 June 2017The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!. By the way, it’s one of the expensive hosts among the shared hosts I present in this Contest.
In the Top-3 also go SiteGround and HostWinds.

What’s interesting about the leaders is that two of the three leaders includingthe winner are from the middle pricing category.

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 1.28 seconds (it’s very fast). Its Uptime was perfect 100% (no downtime). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was also perfect 100% (i.e. 100% of time the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). Very impressive! All these parameters are much above the benchmarks specified for the greatest hosting 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.

GeekStorage is not expensive at all, and it’s noticable that it outperfromed moreexpensive hosts! Congratulations!

The silver medal goes to SiteGround.

SiteGround performed in June 2017 as fast as 1.3 seconds which is superb. It was slower than the leader by just 0.02 seconds. Its uptime was great 99.93%. My site hosted with this host was not available for 30 minutes during the whole month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was also very high – 99.92% (99.92% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and of course it’s above the highest standards set for great hosting).

The bronze medalist is HostWinds.

In June 2017 HostWinds was on average as fast as 1.43 seconds that is just 0.15 seconds slower than the leader. HostWinds‘s uptime was also very high – 99.94%. My site hosted with this host was not available for 25.9 minutes during the whole month. And its Satisfactory Apdex was also great – 99.8% (i.e. 99.8% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Very good results!

StableHost took the 4th place with 1.45 seconds speed, almost perfect uptime (99.99%) which means that my site hosted with it was not available for 4.3 minutes during this month. Also, it had great Satisfactory Apdex (99.88%). The values are much above the highest standards set for the best hosts too. Solid performance and very close to the leaders!

LunarPages goes to the 5th place. Its 1.56 seconds full page load time was great. Its uptime (99.98%) was very good and much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for only 8.6 minutes this month. The host well passed the Satisfactory Apdex (99.76%) which was above the benchmark (99%). Very strong results!

VeeroTech took the 6th place with 1.63 seconds speed, which is good. And it had great uptime (99.92%) this month. My site was not available for 34.6 minutes this month. The other site hosted with this hosting had even better uptime (99.99%). And the host had very good Satisfactory Apdex (99.53%), which is above the benchmark (99%).

A2Hosting goes to the 7th place. Its 1.68 seconds full page load time was great. Its uptime (99.96%) was very good and much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for only 17.3 minutes this month. The host well passed the Satisfactory Apdex (99.57%) which was above the benchmark (99%). Nice and stable!

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

MDDHosting goes to the 8th place this month. Its performance values were almost superb. Its speed (1.23 seconds) was the best. But its Satisfactory Apdex (98.3%) was a bit below the value set for the great hosts (99%). And it failed a little bit uptime (99.84%), which is just 0.06% less than the standards set for thebest performing hosts in the industry (99.9%). My site was not available for 69.1 minutes this month. Rules are rules. MDDHosting could have won the gold medal. But alas!

GreenGeeks goes to the 9th place. Its average speed (1.74 secs) was good. But its uptime (99.82%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 1.3 hours this month. Also, the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (95.3%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). Both benchmarks failed a bit.

InMotionHosting took the 10th place. Its average speed was generally not bad (1.83 seconds full page load time). Its uptime was very good (99.92%) and above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 34.6 minutes this month. But the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (98.65%) was a bit below the highest standards (99%). It did not pass this benchmark.

MochaHost takes the 11th place.. Its speed was generally not bad (1.85 seconds). But its uptime (99.65%) was below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 2.52 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (96.23%) also did not pass the benchmark test (99%).

Eleven2 got the 12th place. Its average speed (2.05 secs) was generally not bad. But it failed both benchmarks. Its uptime was 99.31%, which is much below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for almost 5 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (93.74%) could not get to the highest standards (99%) as well.

Squidix goes to the 13th place with its average speed 2.13 seconds. Its uptime (99.92%) was great and well above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 34.6 minutes this month. But the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was 82.98% (82.98% of time its Full page load time was below 2.5 seconds). It’s below the benchmark level (99%).

HawkHost took just the 14th place. Its average speed (2.14 seconds) was slower than the above hosts. And its Satisfactory Apdex (91.05%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). 91.05^ of time in this month the speed of my test site was slower than 2.5 seconds. However, its uptime was awesome (99.98%) and much above the highest standards (99.9%). My site was not available for just 8.6 minutes this month.

And finally, GlowHost is again on the last, 15th place. This host could not get higher because of its slow speed. This month it failed both benchmarks. Its uptime (99.88%) was a little bit below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 51.8 minutes this month. The host’s speed was not really good (3.26 seconds). And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (0%) was the lowest among other monitored hosts; 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 a tiny performance decreasing for most of the hosts. An interesting part is that many of the hosts from the middle pricing category outperformed more expensive hosts.

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 June 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: Green is superb and above the highest standards. The greener, the better. Yellow is good, but below the highest standards. Orange is not very good; worse than yellow. Red is comparatively 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 June 2017:

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

 

 

June 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 June 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.

Only five last hosts on the screenshot have not passed the uptime benchmark test for great hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in June. Websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 43.2 minutes in total this month.

Hosting Performance Contest June 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.

Conclusion

The best hosts which have demonstrated the best performance in June 2017 are the medalists: GeekStorage, SiteGround and HostWinds. Two of the three hosts including the winner are from the middle pricing 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 June 2017 go in the following order: SiteGround, A2Hosting and InMotionHosting.

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

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

By the way, GeekStorage outperformed many other more expensive hosts by quite a good speed difference.

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 even lower pricing category outperformed some hosts from the higher pricing category.

And the hero of this Contest is GeekStorage which managed to leave all other more expensive hosts behind. And moreover, its both uptime and Satisfactory Apdex were perfect 100%. And this is awesome!


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. Hi,

    After going through your site, i shifted my website from siteground “GrowBig” plan to the share hosting economy of Geekstorage.

    Unfortunately, I tested the site on
    https://tools.pingdom.com
    https://gtmetrix.com
    https://developers.google.com
    https://www.webpagetest.org

    The loading time takes 20s – 30s and it gets graded like D, E, F and even poor on the websites above. Previously Siteground was much faster.

    I am worried because i sign for 3 years at Geekstorage.

    Any suggestions?

    Regards,
    E

    • Hi Eugene,

      Sorry to hear about your speed issues.

      Both hosts are great from a performance point of view.

      And according to my tests, GeekStorage performs even faster (comparing to SiteGround’s StartUp plan though). Anyway, SG’s GrowBig and GS’ Economy plans are not that different to give you performance issues like that.

      Can’t say exactly what’s wrong, but I’d suggest contacting GeekStorage support with this issue before all. If your site was much faster with SiteGround, there’s something wrong. It should not be much (or even any) slower with GeekStorage in your case.

      Also, there’s something to add:

      1. There’s definitely DNS-related problem(s). Probably it’s connected with a DNS propagation (perhaps your site is still not completely propagated after moving). I’ve checked your site here: http://leafdns.com/index.cgi?testid=08190A0F and I can see there are failures. You can send this info to GeekStorage support.
      I also looked at webpagetest.org test, and Time To First Byte is too big. It can be a result of a DNS issue too. Y oucan report it to GeekStorage support as well.

      2. Also, I’m not sure but do you use a caching plugin now? But anyway, DNS issue is the first and the most important issue that should be resolved.

      No worries with 3-year plan with GeekStorage. Their performance has been stable and superb. By the way, I also use their 3-year plan on one of my sites.

      Contact them and I’m sure your speed issue will be resolved.

  2. Hi, thanks for the reply! You are indeed the guru

    I got a reply from Geekstorage, the reply somewhat differs from yours, Any thoughts?

    Hi Eugene,

    I’m not seeing any issues on the server side and your DNS appears fine in this case from the provided report. Is your site loading any information from a separate server perhaps? (i.e., using a third-party API before loading up the page to bring in information from an outside source) Often times, when we see slow WordPress sites, it’s because of a bad API query stalling, failing, or just operating slowly. Your site CPU usage is quite high, but not over the limit allowed by your account. My best recommendation would be to try toggling different plugins off and seeing if it improves load time substantially. If any particular plugin being disabled results in a fast website, this would be an indication the plugin is producing a speed/load problem with the site.

    A load time of 20-30 seconds is way higher than what I am seeing from this end, however. I’m seeing about 5-10 seconds, which is still very high. I have checked other WordPress sites on the same server and they load in less than 1-2 seconds depending on complexity.

    Regards,
    Matthew Eli

    • Hi Eugene,

      Well, I’ve just seen that my site gives a similar report as your site. Looks like GeekStorage tech guys are right that the DNS is fine. As regards your high Time to first byte, it can be indeed connected with plugins.

      Anyway, as I traceroute your site now, I don’t see any timeouts. I think the propagation or network latency issues did take a place, And now this factor is removed.

      Also, I’ve checked your site again several times. And the loading time is now a bit below 10 seconds which is not 20-30 seconds initially. Is loading much slower compared to SiteGround now? It should not be so.

      And I can see that the IP your website is on resolves quite fast on the server – you can see https://www.webpagetest.org/result/170714_YW_GAT/ It means that the server is generally fine.

      From webpagetest.org tests I can see that the main issues are Time to first byte and caching.

      Time to first byte can be connected with plugins or/and theme itself. But if the same set of plugins worked fine on SiteGroundm then the issue is somewhere else. Maybe caching?

      By the way, SiteGround offered its own caching option (SuperCacher) on your plan. And do you use caching now? E.g. W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache plugin? if not I suggest trying them out. Perhaps they are not as efficient as SuperCacher on SiteGround, but the difference should not be very dramatic I guess.

      Hope it helps.

  3. Hi,

    I installed W3 Total Cache, bulletproof security (based on your blog posts) – i hope i did it correctly. It seems like i am still getting a grade C for “Cache static content” at webpagetest.org and the fully load time is at 19.43s So sad.

    About the Time To First Byte (TTFB) – is the only way to test this by turning off and on plugin one at a time, and rerunning the website speed test at webpagetest.org ?

    Thanks for helping i really appreciate it!

    Regards

    • Hi Eugene,

      As far as I can see, your load time is below 10 seconds (testing from US Dallas location):
      https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/cZVGge/oxytarm-ap.com (5.62 sec)
      http://www.webpagetest.org/result/170714_8J_1A20/ (9.6 sec). Visually complete time is longer though (14.167 seconds). But from a user experience point of view the load time may be more important (see this filmstrip: http://www.webpagetest.org/video/compare.php?tests=170714_4N_1A80-r:1-c:0).

      Bulletproof security does not affect speed. And it’s fine that you installed it.

      “C” for static content is not great, but I doubt it could cause ten seconds slowness. Anyway, it’s better to eliminate other factors first to consider it (disable all plugins to see if it improves the speed dramatically).

      As regards W3 Total Cache, did you enable Page Cache and Browser Cache (this can be done in WP dashboard / Performance / General Settings)? If yes, then I’m surprised that the same website was much faster on SiteGround.

      By the way, as a quick look, I can see that you have a popup form (opt-in form or something). This often is a bottleneck.

      Anyway, for deeper analysis it’s indeed you need to turn off the plugins one my one (or the other way round – disable all of them and enable one by one – probably the better approach). And check out the site speed at webpagetest.org or similar services to see what plugins starts slowing down your site (webpagetest.org is the most accurate in my opinion).

      By the way, if you don’t want to experiment on your live website, you can clone it to a new subdomain or domain (I’ve got a tutorial on it here).

      Hope it helps.

  4. Hi,

    I zero down to 2 plugins

    Beeketing For WooCommerce – this is the plugin popup at the first load of the site – i contacted the plugin owner and let them have a look at my site.
    LayerSlider WP – this is causing speed issues too. – any recommendations for “faster” slider?

    Best regards,
    Eugene

    • Hi Eugene,
      Glad to hear you’ve narrowed down the speed issue.
      Unfortunately I can’t recommend any “faster” slider. Sliders are usually very resource-hungry. Perhaps you can find one that is not too slow and satisfies you.
      Perhaps, the most efficient alternative in some cases could be a video that autoplays and looks like slider that changes its images with some interval. Or an animated illustration. But I have not researched in deep here and can recommend anything particular.

  5. Hi,

    I can’t seem to solve the speed of the website, even after switching off the two that i identified,
    the site is still slow.

    I downloaded more plugins to check for GZIP (enabled), WP Smush (optimized images) W3 Total Cache, a3 Lazy Load (as per your recommendation). But my tests at https://www.webpagetest.org/

    Still gets very bad grades…

    Any advise?

    Thanks!

    • Hi, i asked a freelancer on fiverr for their services…

      “please note you have reduce server time error its mean you are not using good quality sever
      if we are unable to achieve our maximum result the only reason behind this error
      solution for this error is upgrading server hosting and separate hosting for this website”

      Based on my website? Did i make a wrong choice and choose Geekstorage (and paid 3 years in advance?)

      • Hi Eugene,

        To be honest, I doubt you can find any significantly faster shared hosting than GeekStorage for the same price with the same quality of support and stable performance.

        GeekStorage has 30 days money-back guarantee. If you are still within this period, I can suggest the following. Sign up with any other host of your choice, ask them to move your site to them and see if it’s faster. If it is faster, you can cancel your GeekStorage account, get your money back and enjoy your new host.

        If your site is heavy, then on any shared hosting it will use comparatively a lot of server resources. And if it happens that on some new host your are allowed to abuse the resources (and it will make your site much faster), then it means that the hosting does not manage its server carefully. And anyone else on that host could abuse the resource too. And sooner or later the server will be overloaded which means very slow website for you.

        You mentioned that you were on SiteGround’s GrowBig plan and your site was much faster. I don’t know the details and if you had exactly the same website with the same plugins installed on SiteGround, but the speed difference is too big. As far as I could understand from your words, a couple of seconds with SiteGround and 20-30 seconds with GeekStorage. Something does not sum up here for me.

        In general, if your website is heavy and you can’t optimize it and get rid of the performance bottlenecks, then you need more powerful hosting. But if we talk about 20-30 seconds on a shared hosting like GeekStorage, then I doubt that any shard hosting would satisfy you. VPS-grade hosting (or a sort of a CloudLinux shared hosting with dedicated server resources from a reliable provider) could suit your then. But it’s above the price tag compared to what GeekStorage’s simple unlimited plan offers.

        Anyway, if the speed of your website does not satisfy you, then you need to do something. If you can’t optimize your website, then move to another host. Or try a plan that offers more server resources (CPU, RAM, disk I/O).

        I’d ask GeekStorage to try your site on one of its limited plans which are called Performance Hosting. There’s a dedicated RAM and CPU. Try PX-2 (or maybe PX-1) plan. It’s cheaper than Siteground’s GrowBig plan. And if after all, even a PX plan does not help, then there are definitely some details I’m not aware of about your case.

        • Hi man,

          Thanks alot for your suggestions, i really appreciate it. You are a guru at this area. I will hire a freelancer to fix and speed up the website and will inform you of the progress.

          Thanks!

          Best regards,
          E

          • Hi Eugene,

            Hopefully, you’ll get positive results with your website speed optimization.
            However, there are no miracles (as a rule). Sometimes with a heavy theme and plugins there’s not much to improve if there are no vivid errors or easy-to-fix bottlenecks.
            Anyway, I don’t know your details. Good luck!

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