Hosting Performance Contest – January 2018 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Even Better Speed)

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hosting performance contest January 2018

Here’s the 24th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for January 2018!
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 “Faster in the new year”.

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 January 2018!


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.

 

January 2018 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 January 2018The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!. By the way, it’s one of the quite affordable hosts among the shared hosts I present in this Contest.
In the Top-3 also go SiteGround and MDDHosting.

What’s interesting about the leaders is that all of them are from different pricing category.

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 0.81 seconds (it’s blazing fast). Its Uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month apart from the 4.5 minutes. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was perfect100% (i.e. all the time during this month the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). Very impressive performance! 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 one of the quite affordable hosts in this contest, and it’s noticeable that it outperformed more expensive hosts! Very good job!

The silver medalist is SiteGround.

In January 2018 SiteGround was on average as fast as 1.03 seconds that is 0.22 seconds slower than the leader. SiteGround‘s uptime was simply perfect – 100%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month! And its Satisfactory Apdex was very high – 99.9% (i.e. 99.9% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Outstanding results!

The bronze medal goes to MDDHosting.

MDDHosting performed in January 2018 as fast as 1.13 seconds which is super fast. It was slower than the leader by 0.32 seconds. Its uptime was very good 99.93%. My site hosted with this host was not available for 31.3 minutes during the whole month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was also great – 99.55% (99.55% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and it’s much above the highest standards set for great hosting).

StableHost this month took the 4th place. The hosting performed brilliantly and satisfied all the benchmarks which are set for great hosting performance. The average speed was 1.21 seconds which is really fast. Its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and of course much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was not available for just 4.5 minutes this month. Also, the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (100%) was perfect and also exceeded the highest standards (99%). The hosting was just 0.08 seconds slower to win the third place.

LunarPages goes to the 5th place. Its 1.53 seconds full page load time was great. Its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect. My site was not available for just 4.5 minutes this month. Also, this host had very high Satisfactory Apdex (99.8%) which was of course much above the benchmark (99%).

A2Hosting goes to the 6th place. Its 1.57 seconds full page load time was a fast speed. And its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and well passed the benchmark level (99.9%) set for determining great hosting performance. My site was not available for 4.5 minutes this month. And its Satisfactory Apdex (99.75%) was much above the benchmark (99%). Very solid performance!

Eleven2 got the 7th place. Its average speed (1.68 secs) was very good. And it satisafied both benchmarks. Its uptime was 99.95%, which quite above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 22.3 minutes this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.15%) could successfully get above the highest standards (99%).

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.

Squidix goes to the 8th place with its average speed 1.28 seconds which is really fast. But its uptime (99.61%) was below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 2.9 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was 98.55% (98.55% of time its Full page load time was below 2.5 seconds). It’s a bit below the benchmark level (99%). Generally good performance, if not the downtime caused by shared server issues which may happen to any hosting, by the way. The issues were quickly resolved by the technical support.

VeeroTech took the 9th place. This host performed comparatively very well, but did not satisfy one of the benchmarks set for great hosts. Its average speed was 1.37 seconds which is super fast. But its uptime (99.83%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was not available for 1.26 hours this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.55%) could easily meet the highest standards (99%) though.

HawkHost took the 10th place. Its average speed (1.37 seconds) was super fast this month. But its Satisfactory Apdex (96.66%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). I.e. 96.66% of time in this month the speed of my test site was slower than 2.5 seconds. As regards its uptime (99.24%) it was not satisfactory (99.24%), which is quite below the highest standards (99.9%). My site was not available for 5.65 hours this month.

MochaHost takes the 11th place.. Its speed was really good (1.46 seconds). But its uptime (99%) was quite below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 7.44 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (96.17%) also did not pass the benchmark test (99%).

GreenGeeks took the 12th place with 1.67 seconds speed, which is great. The host had very good uptime (99.92%) which means that my site hosted with it was not avaiable for just 35.7 minutes this month. However, it had not great enough Satisfactory Apdex97.41%. It means that 97.41% of the time my testing site was faster than 2.5 seconds in this month. This is a bit below the highest benchmark (99%) which is set for great hosts. Not bad performance after all!

InMotionHosting took the 13th place. Its average speed was generally good (1.79 seconds full page load time). Its uptime was 99.82%) which is a bit below the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 1.34 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (98.4%) was a bit below the highest standards (99%) too.

HostWinds took the 14th place. The host had generally good speed (1.82 seconds on average). But regardless of this, it had that good Satisfactory Apdex (95.02%). It means my site hosted with this hosting was 95.02% of the time in this month faster than 2.5 seconds. It’s below the highest standards (99%). Also, not satisfactory result was with its uptime (96.92%) which is the worst performance among other hosts this month. My site was not available for almost 22.92 hours this month.

GlowHost went to the last 15th place again this month. This host could not get higher because of its relatively slow speed. Its uptime (99.89%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%) which is set to determine the best hosts. My site was not available for 49.1 minutes this month. But the host’s speed was slow (3.31 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%). Never this month the loading time of my test website was faster than 2.5 seconds this month.

Generally, the competition of the monitored hosts this month was pretty tight as usual. And what was noticeable is that several hosts inluding the top ones in this Contest have improved its speed perforamce quite a bit. Great hosts have become even better. Good job!

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 January 2018:


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 January 2018:

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

 

 

January 2018 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 January 2018 - 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.

Seven hosts on the screenshot have not passed the uptime benchmark test (99.9%) for great hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in January. Websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 44.6 minutes in total this month.

Hosting Performance Contest January 2018 - 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 January 2018 are the medalists: GeekStorage, SiteGround and MDDHosting. The winners are from middle and higher pricing categories.

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 January 2018 go in the following order: SiteGround, A2Hosting and GreenGeeks.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($4-8/mo) in January 2018 are GeekStorage, StableHost and Eleven2.

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $4/mo) in January 2018 are MDDHosting, LunarPages and VeeroTech.

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

It’s interesting that some hosts from the middle and even lower pricing category outperformed some hosts from the higher pricing category.

And the hero of the Contest in this month is SiteGround which is the only host with 100% uptime!


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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