Hosting Performance Contest – July 2018 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: The Perfect Are Not The Fastest)

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hosting performance contest July 2018

Here’s the 30th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for July 2018!
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 “The month with high uptime”.

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 July 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.

 

July 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 $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 Juдн 2018The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!. 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 SiteGround and A2Hosting.

What’s remarkable about the winner this month is that this host is not the most expensive. The other two leaders are more expensive though.

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 1.25 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 brilliant 99.73% (i.e. 99.73% of 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 with better uptime among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts GeekStorage wins the gold medal.

GeekStorage is one of comparatively affordable hosts in this contest, and it’s noticeable that it outperformed more expensive hosts! Very good job!

The silver medalist is A2Hosting.

In July 2018 A2Hosting was on average as fast as 1.25 seconds that is exactly as fast as the above host. But since A2Hosting‘s uptime was a bit lower – 99.92%, this host goes to the second place. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month except 35.7 minutes. And its Satisfactory Apdex was also brilliant – 99.73% (i.e. 99.73% of all the time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Also impressive!

The bronze medal goes to SiteGround.

SiteGround performed in July 2018 as fast as 1.33 seconds which is impressively fast. It was slower than the leader by just 0.08 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!

HawkHost took the 4th place. Its full page load time (1.39) seconds was very fast. And its uptime (99.96%) which was much above the highest standards set for the great hosts. My site was not available for 17.9 minutes this month. And this host had a great Satisfactory Apdex (99.55%) which was also much above the benchmark (99%).

VeeroTech took the 5th place. This host performed wonderfully well and perfectly satisfied both benchmarks set for great hosts. Its average speed was 1.40 seconds which is very fast. And its uptime (100%) was simply perfect and of course much above the benchmark (99.9%). 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 it was much above the highest standards (99%). Heroic performance!

In this month MDDHosting took the 6th place in the Contest. My site was on average as fast as 1.46 seconds that super fast. And MDDHosting‘s uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was not available for just 4.5 minutes this month. Also, its Satisfactory Apdex was awesome – 99.91% (i.e. 99.91% of all the time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Both metrics are much above the highest standards.

GreenGeeks took the 7th place with 1.53 seconds speed, which is really fast. The host had perfect uptime (100%) which means that my site hosted with it was available for all the time this month. This is of course much above the highest standards (99.9%). Besides, it had a perfect Satisfactory Apdex100%. It means that 100% 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. Perfect!

StableHost this month took the 8th place. The hosting performed very well. It easily satisfied both benchmarks which are set for great hosting performance. The average speed was 1.55 seconds which is really fast. Its uptime (99.99%) was almost perfect and of course it satisfied the benchmark test (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time during this month except 4.5 minutes. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.86%) was great and much exceeded 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 has got the 9th place this month. It performed as fast as 1.56 seconds which is an awesome speed. But its two other metrics were not ideal. Its uptime (99.72%) was below the highest standards set for great host (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was not available for 2.08 hours during this month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was below the highest standards as well – 92.28% (92.28% of the time this month the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds).

InMotionHosting took the 10th place. Its average speed was generally great (1.72 seconds full page load time). But its uptime was 99.72%, which is below the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 2.08 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (93.85%) was also below the highest standards (99%).

LunarPages goes to the 11th place. Its 1.77 seconds full page load time was very good. But its uptime (99.84%) was a bit below the benchmark level which is set for great hosts (99.9%). My site was not available for 1.19 hours this month. Besides, this host had a very good Satisfactory Apdex (99.77%) which was much above the benchmark (99%).

Eleven2 got the 12th place. Its average speed (2.07 secs) was generally okay. Its uptime was 99.97%, which is superb and much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for just 13.4 minutes this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (89.45%) could not get above the highest standards (99%) though.

MochaHost took the 13th place.. Its speed was generally okay (2.08 seconds). But its uptime (98.39%) was a quite below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 12 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (87.48%) did not pass the benchmark level (99%) too.

HostWinds took the 14th place. The host had generally not bad speed (2.26 seconds on average). But it had not good enough uptime (99.86%). It means my site hosted with this hosting was 1.04 hours offline. This is below the uptime benchmark set for great hosts (99.9%). It’s Satisfactory Apdex (96.81%) was also a bit below the benchmark (99%).

GlowHost went to the last 15th place again this month. This host could not get higher because of its relatively slow speed. Its uptime (99.94%) was great and above the benchmark (99.9%) which is set to determine the best hosts. My site was not available for 26.8 minutes this month. And the host’s speed was slow (3.65 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%). The loading time of my test website was lower than 2.5 seconds during practically the whole month.

Generally, the competition of the monitored hosts this month was pretty tight as usual especially between the leaders. And what was noticeable is that two hosts could get both perfect uptime and Satisfactory Apdex (100%).

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 July 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 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 July 2018:

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

 

 

July 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 July 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.

Five 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 July. Websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 44.6 minutes in total this month.

Hosting Performance Contest July 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 July 2018 are the medalists: GeekStorage, A2Hosting and SiteGround.

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

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($5.01-8/mo) in July 2018 are GeekStorage, Veerotech, Squidix.

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $5/mo) in July 2018 are HawkHost, MDDHosting and StableHost.

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

It’s noticeable that some of the hosts have 100% uptime and Satisfactory Apdex this month. This is not easy to be that good. Good job!

And there are two heros of the Contest this month. They are Veerotech and GreenGeeks which managed to get both 100% uptime and 100% Satisfactory Apdex during this month!


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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Comments

  1. Lyn Thompson says:

    Have you reviewed Kinsta yet? I’m looking to migrate.

  2. Manish Sahay says:

    Hi Michael,
    Do you have a list where you score or rank all of these 15 hosts based the “Support” factor? I mean, because most of these are lesser-known/small companies there is not much information about their support. I only want to get an idea about the support of the following six hosts:
    – GeekStorage
    – Hawk Host
    – VeeroTech
    – MDDHosting
    – StableHost
    – Squidix
    You could comment about these six only or create a detailed post about all of these 15 hosts but my main motive is to learn about these ones only.
    Thanks for your time 🙂

    • Hi Manish,

      Thanks for your question.

      Indeed, not only performance but also support is very important factor.

      One of the resources where you can learn about clients feedback including support of smaller hosts like these ones is webhostingtalk.com. But please note that this forum is for more technically advanced people than average hosting clients.

      Reddit threads are also helpful when researching real users reviews.

      Search in Google like “hosting_name reviews” gives some results too.

      Apart from that, I can share with you my own experience.

      Squidix has the most approachable support which is very comfortable (pleasing) to non-technical people. I felt it like a boutique-style support.

      GeekStorage and MDD felt to me like the most technically-oriented. Technically-minded people would find it advantageous.

      Hawk and Stablehost felt like universal, i.e. oriented to any kind of client. An average hosting client would feel absolutely okay with them.

      Veerotech felt like also universally good. But the difference with Hawk and Stablehost is that Veerotech is a comparatively bigger host. This results in a more corporate approach (from a positive point of view in this case).

      Any questions I ever had with these hosts (I’ve been using them since beginning-middle of 2016) have been successfully and quickly answered (within minutes, sometimes couple of hours). So no complaints here.

      To summarize the above, different people may prefer different kinds of support attitude (my-cup-of-tea thing, to speak one language etc). For example, I fond of more technically-oriented support. However, more ordinary (average) hosting clients feel more happy with more client-oriented approach in the first place. The difference sometimes is subtle, but if you work with different kinds of people you will understand what I’m talking about.

      As regards ranking the hosts by the support factor, it does not make much sense from my personal point of view as all of them did the work well for me.
      However, ranking makes some sense depending on what kind of user needs this ranking. Again, from my personal taste, I like the hosts which are more technically oriented as it speaks closer to my heart. But this is just a matter of preference, not the ranking.

      Also note that I wrote about technical support above.

      As regards billing support, I like the most StableHost and HawkHost support as they are the most flexible (thanks to the relative small size of a company compared to some other hosts).
      GeekStorage’s billing support could take days to reply (if a ticket is created during not working weekends and holidays). Billing support is not 24/7 as technical support is, so this should be taken into account anyway.
      At the same time GeekStorage’s support (and especially MDDHosting’s billing support) are the most scrutinizing among other hosts (strict fraud checking).

      Can’t say nothing good or bad about other hosts’ billing support.

      Hope it helps.

      • Manish Sahay says:

        Hi Michael,
        Thanks for this useful information.
        I’m already using WebHostingTalk to gain more information and knowledge about Web Hosts and the Web Hosting industry. The representatives of various hosting companies such as MDDHosting, HostXNow, Hawk Host, etc. are very active there.
        I like that MDDHosting and GeekStorage are strict about their billing procedures.
        Thanks again 🙂

  3. I’ve been hearing recently of issues with SiteGround.

    One of my clients is moving her hosting because of issues and I’ve seen some reports of issues on Reddit and other places.

    Have you heard anything about this?

    • Gary,

      I have not heard of the issues.

      My testing website is hosted in the Chicago, USA location. As you can see, in my reports it performed very well in July (high uptime checked every 1 minute and speed checked every 20 minutes).

      Also, you can see current performance (including the history) here.

      Maybe there are issues on some other server. But quick search in the web did not show that it’s anywhere close to a massive issue. Anyway, we’ll see.

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