Hosting Performance Contest – February 2020 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Faster Standard)

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hosting performance contest February 2020

Here’s the 49th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for February 2020!
I’ve been testing 15 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and I’ll show you the results below. The interesting observation is that faster performance tends to become the norm.

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 performed in February 2020!

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 20 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 2020 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 $5/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 RoundupThe winner of this month’s contest is GreenGeeks!

In the Top-3 also go StableHost and LunarPages.

GreenGeeks took the 1st place. Its full page load time (0.69) seconds was the fastest this month. Its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 4.2 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was simply perfect 100% which of course is above the benchmark level (99%) determined for the greatest hosts. The host surpassed the benchmark tests and thanks to the best speed it got the gold this month!

The silver medalist is StableHost.

Average full page load time of StableHost was 0.71 seconds (it’s astonishingly fast). It was slower than the leader by just 0.02 seconds. Its Uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. It’s very much above the benchmark level set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 4.2 minutes. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was simply perfect 100% (i.e. all the time during this month the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). It’s much above the benchmark level (99%) set for the greatest hosts. Since all these parameters are above the benchmarks specified for the greatest hosting performance and this hosting was the second fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts StableHost wins the silver medal.

The bronze medal goes to LunarPages.

LunarPages performed wonderfully well and satisfied both benchmarks set for the greatest hosts. Its average speed was 0.72 seconds which is astonishingly fast. It was slower than the leader by just 0.03 seconds. And its uptime (100%) was simply perfect and much above the benchmark level (99.9%) set for the greatest hosts. My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (100%) was also perfect and of course much above the highest standards (99%). And since this hosting was the third fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts LunarPages wins the bronze medal.

HawkHost took the 4th place. The host performed in this month as fast as 0.73 seconds which is impressively fast. Its uptime was very high 99.97%. It’s very well above the benchmark level (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 12.5 minutes. And the Satisfactory Apdex was simply perfect – 100% (all the time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and it’s much above the highest standards set for great hosting which is 99%). Great performance!

SiteGround took the 5th place. Its average speed was awesome (0.75 seconds full page load time). The uptime was simply perfect 100%, which is very much above the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was available all the time this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (100%) was also perfect and of course very much above the highest standards (99%). Brilliant performance!

In this month MDDHosting took the 6th place in the Contest. This month my site was on average as fast as 0.82 seconds that is awesome. And its uptime was almost perfect 99.99% which is much above the highest standards set for the best hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month except 4.2 minutes. And its Satisfactory Apdex was simply perfect 100% (i.e. all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). It was much above the highest standards set for the best hosts (99%). Awesome performance!

In this month HawkHost took the 7th place in the Contest. This month my site was on average as fast as 0.83 seconds that is brilliant. And its uptime was simply perfect 100% which is of course much above the highest standards set for the best hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month. And its Satisfactory Apdex was also perfect 100% (i.e. all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). It was much above the highest standards set for the best hosts (99%). Brilliant performance!

InMotionHosting goes to the 8th place. Its 0.96 seconds full page load time was impressively good. Its uptime (99.93%) was very good and above the benchmark level which is set for great hosts (99.9%). My site was available all the time during this month except 29.2 minutes. This host had very high Satisfactory Apdex (99.04% of the time my website hosted with this host was faster than 2.5 seconds). It was above the benchmark set for the greatest hosts (99%). Impressively good results this month!

Eleven2 has got the 9th place this month. It performed as fast as 1.02 seconds which is pretty fast. Its uptime (99.98%) was very high and above the highest standards level set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month except 8.4 minutes. And the Satisfactory Apdex was well above the highest standards as well – 99.85% (99.85% of the time this month the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). It’s above the highest standards (99%). Great.

HostWinds this month took the 10th place. The average speed was 1.09 seconds which is really great. And its Satisfactory Apdex (100%) was simply perfect and of course very much above the highest standards (99%). Uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%) too. My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time during this month except 4.2 minutes. Really good performance!

Squidix took the 11th place with 1.36 seconds speed, which is very good. And it had uptime (99.99%) which is almost perfect and much above the highest standards (99.9%) set for the greatest hosts. My site hosted with this host was not available this month for just 4.2 minutes. Also, it had a very high Satisfactory Apdex99.76%. It means that 99.76% of the time in this month my testing site was faster than 2.5 seconds in this month. This is very well above the highest benchmark (99%) which is set for great hosts. Great results!

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.

A2Hosting took the 12th place this month.. Its speed was awesome (0.73 seconds). But its uptime (99.67%) was below the benchmark (99.9%) set for the greatest hosts. My site was not available for 2.5 hours this month. This host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.9%) was great and very much above the benchmark level (99%). Because of the failed uptime benchmark test this host did not get higher in the rankings.

MochaHost took the 13th place. The host had really good speed (0.93 seconds on average). But it had uptime (99.8%) which was a bit below the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was 1.39 hours offline. As regards its Satisfactory Apdex (99.76%) it was great and above the benchmark (99%). 99.76% of the time the site was faster than 2.5 seconds.

GeekStorage got the 14th place this month. Its average speed (1.32 secs) was great. And its uptime was awesome 99.93%, which is above the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for jsut 29.2 minutes this month. But the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (98.99%) was a tiny bit below the the highest standards (99%). And because of the failed Apdex benchmark, this host did not get higher in this Contest’s rankings.

GlowHost went to the last 15th place. This host could not get higher because of its relative slowness. Its uptime (99.97%) was great, and above the benchmark level (99.9%) which is set to determine the greatest hosts. My site was not available for just 12.5 minutes this month. But the host’s speed was slow (2.82 seconds). And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (0.33%) was very low; and it was far from reaching the benchmark level (99%). The loading time of my test website was worse than 2.5 seconds during almost the whole month.

Generally, the competition of the monitored hosts this month was extremely high in addition to better performance of the most 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 February 2020:


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 20 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 20 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).
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 2020:

1. The golden medalist: GreenGeeks.
2. The silver medalist: StableHost
3. The bronze medalist: LunarPages

 

February 2020 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 2020 - 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.

Just two hosts on the screenshot have not passed the uptime benchmark test (99.9%) for the greatest hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in February. The websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 41.8 minutes in total this month.

Hosting Performance Contest February 2020 - full page load time monitoring report


These tests are performed with 20-minute interval from two locations. It makes it a perfect real-user performance monitor. This monitor’s activity is equal to 144 unique visitors per day (about 4,320 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 February 2020 are the medalists: GreenGeeks, StableHost and LunarPages.

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+/mo) in this month go in the following order: GreenGeeks, LunarPages and SiteGround.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($5.01-8/mo) in this month are Veerotech, Eleven2 and HostWinds.

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $5/mo) in this month are StableHost, MDDHosting and HawkHost.

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

It’s noticeable as usual that some of the less expensive hosts outperformed hosts from more expensive categories.

And the hero of the Contest this month is LunarPages. This is the fastest hosting which got perfect (100%) performance of Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex!


You can download a PDF version of this article (452 KB):


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Comments

  1. Thanks, Micheal for the well-researched article. I can able to understand the efforts you made to get this article out. Currently, I hosted my site on Blue Host. Can you suggest any best host below $3? I am new to blogging and I can’t afford that much

  2. Hi Michael,
    Wow! This is fantastic. I loved the way you provided the information which helped me to understand the detailed rundown of hosting, how it works, price comparison and its unique features.
    Thanks for this Great work!

  3. Thanks, Michael for the great comparison of different hosts. I have been looking for a good host to host my new website. Do you know? I stuck like a deer in the headlight. But this article helped me in deciding the new host for my new website. I am going with StableHost.

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