Hosting Performance Contest – January 2019 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Mid-Priced Are A Bit Behind)

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hosting performance contest January 2019

Here’s the 36th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for January 2019!
I’ve been testing 15 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and I’ll show you the results below. In general, this contest’s results can be featured as “Most mid-priced hosts performed worse than the cheaper and the more expensive ones”.

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 2019!

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 2019 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 Roundup January 2019The winner of this month’s contest is SiteGround!. By the way, it’s one of the best performing hosts historically among the shared hosts I present in this Contest.

In the Top-3 also go GeekStorage and A2Hosting.

What’s remarkable about the winners this month is that unlike many previous months, no hosts from the cheapest category could make to the three top winners.

Average full page load time of SiteGround (the winner) was 1.07 seconds (it’s super fast). Its Uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 4.5 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). 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 SiteGround wins the gold medal.

SiteGround has always been one of the best performing hosts since the time I started the monitoring series!

The silver medalist is GeekStorage.

GeekStorage performed in this month as fast as 1.13 seconds which is impressively fast. It was slower than the leader by just 0.06 seconds. Its uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 4.5 minutes. And the Satisfactory Apdex was also awesome – 99.91% (99.91% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and of course it’s much above the highest standards set for great hosting). Amazing performance!

The bronze medal goes to A2Hosting.

A2Hosting performed wonderfully well and satisfied both benchmarks set for great hosts. Its average speed was 1.36 seconds which is very fast. It was slower than the leader by 0.29 seconds. And its uptime (99.94%) was very high and much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time this month except 26.8 minutes. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.41) was also very good and much above the highest standards (99%). Very solid performance!

HawkHost took the 4th place. Its full page load time (1.42) seconds was amazingly fast. And its uptime (99.94%) was higher than the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available for just 26.8 minutes this month. Besides, this host had a great Satisfactory Apdex (99.32%) which was above the benchmark (99%). Astonishing performance!

In this month GreenGeeks took the 5th place in the Contest. My site was on average as fast as 1.48 seconds that is awesome. 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. Also, its Satisfactory Apdex was very good as well – 99.82% (i.e. 99.82% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Superb!

In this month StableHost took the 6th place in the Contest. It was on average as fast as 1.58 seconds that is really fast. And its uptime (99.97%) was very high and much above the benchmark value set for the great hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was not available during this month for just 13.4 minutes. And its Satisfactory Apdex was great – 99.82% (i.e. 99.82% of all the time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). It’s very much above the benchmark level set for the great hosts (99%).

LunarPages has got the 7th place this month. It performed as fast as 1.78 seconds which is very fast. Its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was not available for just 4.5 minutes during this month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was above the highest standards as well – 99.14% (99.14% of the time this month the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). It is a great performance and 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.

MDDHosting took the 8th place with 1.29 seconds speed, which is very fast. But it had a bit less than brilliant uptime (99.82%). It means that my site hosted with this host was available for all the time this month except 1.34 hours. This is a bit below the highest standards (99.9%). Anyway, it had a very high Satisfactory Apdex99.77%. It means that 99.77% of the time 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. Generally very good results!

HostWinds goes to the 9th place. Its 1.4 seconds full page load time was very good. And its uptime (99.86%) was a bit below the benchmark level which is set for great hosts (99.9%). My site was not available for 1.04 hours this month. This host had a great Satisfactory Apdex (99.77%) which was much above the benchmark (99%). Generally very good performance.

Squidix took the 10th place. Its average speed was generally brilliant (1.49 seconds full page load time). But its uptime was 98.51%, which is below the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 11.09 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (95.73%) was also a bit below the highest standards (99%).

VeeroTech this month took the 11th place. The average speed was 1.54 seconds which is very fast. Its uptime (99.9%) was awesome. It satisfied the benchmark test (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time during this month except 44.6 minutes. But the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (98.87%) was generally good but a bit below the highest standards (99%). That’s why this month the host did not get a higher rank.

InMotionHosting took the 12th place. The host had generally good speed (2.05 seconds on average). But it had comparatively low uptime (99.29%). It means my site hosted with this hosting was 5.28 hours offline. This is below the uptime benchmark set for great hosts (99.9%). Its Satisfactory Apdex (93.89%) was also below the benchmark (99%).

Eleven2 got the 13th place. Its average speed (2.35 secs) was generally okay. Its uptime was 99.89%, which is generally great but a bit below the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 49.1 minutes this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (78.77%) was below the highest standards (99%).

GlowHost went to the 14th place this month. This host could not get higher because of its relatively slow speed. Its uptime (99.87%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%) which is set to determine the greatest hosts. My site was not available for 58.03 minutes this month. And the host’s speed was slow (3.47 seconds). And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (0%) was the lowest possible value; and it was far from reaching the benchmark level (99%). The loading time of my test website was lower than 2.5 seconds during the whole month.

MochaHost took the last 15th place this month.. Its speed was the lowest among the monitored hosts (4.57 seconds). And its uptime (97.48%) was quite below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 18.75 hours this month. This is the worst uptime performance this month among the hosts. This host’s Satisfactory Apdex (0%) was also very bad and of course did not pass the benchmark level (99%) too. Looks like this host is becoming the new worst performing host in the Contest.

Generally, the competition of the monitored hosts this month was pretty tight as usual, especially among the better performing 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 January 2019:


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).
*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 2019:

1. The golden medalist: SiteGround (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).
2. The silver medalist: GeekStorage (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).
3. The bronze medalist: A2Hosting (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).

 

January 2019 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 2019 - 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 the greatest 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 2019 - 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 2019 are the medalists: SiteGround, GeekStorage and A2Hosting.

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: SiteGround, A2Hosting and GreenGeeks.

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

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

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 GreenGeeks. This host is the only host this month which managed to get perfect 100% Uptime! Good job!


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

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