Hosting Performance Contest – September 2016 Roundup (15 Hosts Turbulence)

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hosting performance contest September 2016

Here’s the eight Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for September 2016!
I’ve been testing 15 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and you are about to see the results right now. There was quite a turbulence in hosts performance 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.

Let’s see what results hosts has shown in September 2016!


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.)

 

September 2016 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 September 2016The winner of this month’s contest is MDDHosting!.
Very close to the top go several hosts: HostWinds and SiteGround.

What’s special about the leaders is that none of them are from the most expensive category. This month more affordable hosts performed better than the most expensive ones! And all the leaders come very close to each other in the Contest’s results.

Average full page load time of MDDHosting (the winner) was 1.48 seconds (it’s fast). Its Uptime was 99.99% (very good) 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 above the benchmarks specified for the great performance. And since this hosting was the fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the great hosts MDDHosting wins the gold medal.

It’s worth mentioning that MDDHosting is from the most affordable hosting category. And it wins all of the other hosts. Congrats!

The silver medal goes to HostWinds. Just a bit slower than the leader.

In September 2016 HostWinds was on average as fast as 1.50 seconds that is just 0.02 seconds slower than the leader. HostWinds‘s uptime was perfect 100%. And its Satisfactory Apdex was 99.92% (i.e. 99.92% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with it was less than 2.5 seconds). Very good results!

The bronze medalist is SiteGround. It was as fast as a silver medalist, but with a bit lower but still great other characteristics.

SiteGround performed in September 2016 as fast as 1.5 seconds which is pretty good and so close to other leaders of the Contest. Its uptime was very high 99.98%. And the Satisfactory Apdex was 99.21% (99.21% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, it’s above the highest standards set for great hosting).

I’d like to emphasize once again that all leaders outperformed more expensive hosts this month! And the winner is from the most affordable pricing category, which is simply awesome!

A2Hosting took the 4th place with 1.59 seconds speed, good uptime (99.96%) and strong Satisfactory Apdex (99.39%). The values are much above the highest standards set for the best hosts.

LunarPages took the 5th place. Its 1.61 seconds full page load time was a little behind the above host. The uptime (99.96%) was pretty good. And its Satisfactory Apdex (99.68%) was also above the benchmark.

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 overall pretty good.

GeekStorage has taken the 6th place. From a speed point of view, it was the fastest of all monitored hosts (1.13 seconds full page load time), but its uptime (99.72%) was below the benchmark (99.9%). That’s why it did not win the gold. Its Satisfactory Apdex was very good 99.68%.

GreenGeeks goes to the 7th place. It was 1.62 seconds fast, which is not bad. But its uptime was 99.39% which is the worst among other hosts. And its Satisfactory Apdex was 98.79% which is also below benchmarks.

MochaHost is on the 8th place. Its speed was generally not bad (1.66 seconds), and its uptime (99.93%) was above the benchmark. But its Satisfactory Apdex (98.75%) was not good enough and did not meet the benchmark standards.

InMotionHoting did not a very good job this month getting to the 9th place. And although its speed was on average not bad (1.67 seconds full page load time) and its uptime (99.96%) was pretty good, its Satisfactory Apdex (96.84%) was below the highest standards set for great hosting.

VeeroTech could also win a prize, but this month it took only the 10th place. Its speed was okay (1.77 seconds). Its uptime was great 99.95%. But its Satisfactory Apdex was 98.93% (98.93% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). It was a bit below the highest standards set for great hosting (99%).

StableHost has got to the 11th place. Satisfactory speed (1.82 secs), but a little bit less uptime (99.88%) than the benchmark (99.9%). Its Satisfactory Apdex (98.72%) also was a bit below the highest standards.

Eleven2 took the 12th place. Its speed (1.83 seconds) was on average not much worse than the above hosts. Both its uptime (99.79%) and Satisfactory Apdex (98.04%) were below the standards for great hosting.

HawkHost took just the 13th place. Its speed (1.85 seconds) was slower than most of the other hosts. And its Satisfactory Apdex (98.04%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). But its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect.

Squidix goes to the 14th place with its speed 2.05 seconds. But its uptime (99.98%) was very good and above the benchmark level (99.9%). What did not work very well for this host is its Satisfactory Apdex which was 97.34% (97.34% of time its Full page load time was below 2.5 seconds).

And the outsider is GlowHost is again on the last, 15th place. This host could not get from the last place. This month it showed great uptime (99.98%), but it’s speed was bad (2.74 seconds). And its Satisfactory Apdex (36.85%) decreased even more and was again far below the benchmark level (99%). So, again, there is no chance for this host to get higher in this Contest standings if it does not improve its speed.

Generally, the competition this month was like a turbulence. Not only that a lot of hosts fell below the benchmark levels which are set for great hosting, but the positions mixed and lost its correlation with price this time. It was really surprising to see that more affordable host took all the medals in the Contest.

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 September 2016:


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.
Uptime OK: If Uptime Benchmark (99.9%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not 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.
Apdex-S OK: If Satisfactory Apdex benchmark (99%) passed (YES is very good, NO is not very good).

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 is a newcomer which performs not bad or has potential in winning prizes in the Contest and I want to have proved records of its performance for a couple of months.)

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 September 2016:

 

 

 

September 2016 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 September 2016 - 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.

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 September. Websites on the five failed hosting were not available for more than 43.2 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 September 2016:

MDDHosting performed very well with 99.99% uptime. My site hosted with it was not available 0.01% of time (a bit less than 4.3 minutes) in September. Freat for the affordable plan on this hosting I’m using.

HostWinds showed simply perfect uptime 100%. Now downtime this month.

SiteGround performed great with 99.98% uptime. this month my site with this host was not available for about 8.6 minutes. Very solid result!

A2Hosting had 99.96% uptime (and not available for about 17.3 minutes which is 0.04%).

LunarPages showed a good uptime 99.96%. And 0.04% (about 17.3 minutes) being unavailable.

GeekStorage had lower uptime (99.72%) than the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with it was not available for 2 hours.

GreenGeeks failed with its uptime. 99.39% uptime and 0.61% (about 4.4 hours) being down from a user point of view. Not very good.

MochaHost got not bad uptime (99.96%). Accordingly, 0.04% of time being not available. From user point of view it was down for 30.2 minutes. Quite good.

InMotionHosting had also pretty good uptime 99.96%. It was not available 0.04% of the time which equals 17.3 minutes this month.

VeeroTech performed quite well with 99.95% uptime. My site hosted with it was not available 0.05% (a bit less than 21.6 minutes) in September. it’s very good for the affordable host like this. However, uptime for my other testing account (Veerotech-2 on the screenshot) didn’t pass the benchmark for great hosts.

StableHost had 99.88% uptime. It makes 0.12% (51.8 minutes) when the site on this host was not available. Not really bad result for this affordable host, but not enough to get into the list of the leading hosts.

Eleven2 could not improve much its uptime compared to the previous month and failed. My website on this host was up 99.79%, which means no one could access my website on this hosting 0.21% of the time in this month (equals to 1.5 hours). That’s pretty much below the highest standards.

HawkHost was almost perfect with 99.99% uptime. My website with this hosting was not available for 4.3 minutes in this month. For this budget host it’s a great result.

Squidix was very good with uptime this month (99.98%). The site on this hosting was not available 0.02% of the time in September (about 8.6 minutes). It’s strongly above the highest standards.

GlowHost passed uptime tests (99.98%). It was not available 0.02% of the time (8.6 minutes). It was great from uptime point of view.

hosting performance contest September 2016 - full page load 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.

MDDHosting won the gold because it has passed both benchmark tests (Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) and had the best Full page load time (1.48 sec) among the hosts which have also passed both benchmarks. Well done in September! And notice that this host is from the most affordable pricing category!

HostWinds was quite close to the winner, but being a little bit slower (1.5 sec) made it the second with the silver medal. Very good!

SiteGround got the bronze medal among all the hosts with also very good speed – 1.5 seconds and passing all the benchmarks.

A2Hosting was breathing down the winners, but being a little bit slower (1.59 sec) put it behind the leaders.

LunarPages was also fast (1.61 seconds full page load time). It’s a good result for the the budget plan I’m using with this host.

GeekStorage was an exciting disappointment the second month in a tow for its fans. On the one hand it had the greatest speed among all the hosts (1.07 sec). And it could easily win the gold, but its uptime was below the highest standards.

GreenGeeks was quite fast in general (1.62 seconds full page load time), but my site with it was too often not available (99.39%) which made it behind many other hosts.

MochaHost had generally a good speed (1.66 sec). But it failed in both uptime and Satisfactory Apdex benchmarks. That’s why it did not get higher in the standings.

InMotionHosting fell down from leading positions because it has not passed Satisfactory Apdex. And anyway, it had not the best Full page load time (1.67 sec).

VeeroTech was on average quite fast – 1.77 seconds. But it failed just a little bit with its Satisfactory Apdex (98.93%).

StableHost performed not bad from a speed point of view (1.82 sec). But some of the other hosts were faster and had greater uptime.

Eleven2, like in previous months, did not satisfy the strict rules of passing the benchmarks. So it goes closer to the end of the list with its speed 1.83 seconds.

HawkHost was comparatively not very fast (1.98 seconds). And with failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark it is not higher in the standings.

Squidix had comparatively not a good speed (2.05 seconds full page load time).

GlowHost was not fast at all (2.74 sec). It’s not a surprise for this host to fail badly with speed again. Its Satisfactory Apdex became even worse this month (36.85%). Of course, it did not meet the highest standards for great hosting. Only the last place in this Contest.

Conclusion

Thus, the best hosts which have demonstrated amazing performance in September 2016 are the medalists: MDDHosting, HostWinds and SiteGround. By the way, MDDHosting is from the most affordable pricing category! And the other two winners are not the most expensive either!

As regards the winners in different pricing categories, here they are:
The best hosts in the higher pricing category ($8-10/mo) in September 2016 are in the following order A2Hosting, InMotionHosting and Squidix.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($4-8/mo) in September 2016 are HostWinds, SiteGround and GeekStorage.

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $4/mo) in September 2016 are MDDHosting, LunarPages (I’m using its cheapest plan without cPanel) and MochaHost.
By the way, MDDHosting, although being in the most affordable pricing category, has won the gold medal among all the hosts in this Contest! Very impressive!

By the way, I’m using the cheapest plans available on each of the monitored hosts.

It’s interesting that some hosts from a lower pricing category outperformed hosts from a higher pricing category. The ultimate hero is MDDHosting who 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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