Hosting Performance Contest – March 2017 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Two First Places)

hosting performance contest March 2017

Here’s the 14th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for March 2017!
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 “Two hosts take the first place”.

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 March 2017!


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.)
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.

 

March 2017 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 December 2016The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!. The sixth month in a row!
However, according to the methodology of determining the winner, the another host take the first place too. This host is SiteGround. Both hosts passed all the benchmarks and had exactly the same speed. The reason why GeekStorage is mentioned first is that it had a little better uptime.
Also, in the Top-3 also goes StableHost.

What’s interesting about the leaders is that the winners are from all the different pricing categories. More affordable hosts outperformed some of the more expensive ones!

Average full page load time of GeekStorage (the winner) was 1.27 seconds (it’s very fast). Its Uptime was 100% (simply perfect). And its Satisfactory Apdex was also perfect 100% (i.e. 100% of time the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). Super awesome! All these parameters are much above the benchmarks specified for the greatest performance. And since this hosting was the fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts, and because of the perfect uptime and Satisfactory Apdex, GeekStorage wins the gold medal.

It’s worth mentioning that GeekStorage is absolutely not expensive, especially compared to some other hosts tested. And it wins all of the other hosts the sixth month in a row. Congratulations!

The silver medal goes to SiteGround.

SiteGround performed in March 2017 as fast as the winner – 1.27 seconds which is superb. Its uptime was great 99.99% (a bit less than the winner). And the Satisfactory Apdex was also perfect – 100% (100% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and of course it’s above the highest standards set for great hosting).

The bronze medalist is StableHost.

In March 2017 StableHost was on average as fast as 1.35 seconds that is 0.08 seconds slower than the leaders. StableHost‘s uptime was alsogreat – 99.96%. And its Satisfactory Apdex was awesome – 99.88% (i.e. 99.88% of all time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Brilliant results!

HostWinds took the 4th place with 1.42 seconds speed, perfect uptime (100%) and awesome Satisfactory Apdex (99.83%). The values are much above the highest standards set for the best hosts.

InMotionHosting goes to the 5th place. Its performance values were generally fine. Its speed (1.7 seconds) was pretty good. It had very good uptime (99.94%). And its Satisfactory Apdex (99.06%) was great. All the benchmarks passed!

A2Hosting took the 6th place. Its 1.76 seconds full page load time was quite good. And its uptime (99.91%) was very strong. Satisfactory Apdex (99.11%) was also great (99.11% of the time the website hosted there was faster than 2.5 seconds). The host passed both benchmarks determined for the greatest hosting!

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 pretty good in general.

LunarPages goes to the 7th place. Its 1.52 seconds full page load time was pretty good. Its Satisfactory Apdex (99.88%) was very good though and above the benchmark (99%). But the host failed uptime (99.79%) which was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%). That’s why it goes below some other hosts.

MDDHosting took the 8th place. Its average speed was quite fast (1.54 seconds full page load time), but its Satisfactory Apdex was not superb (93.83%). It did not pass the benchmark. It also failed uptime by a tiny 0.01% (99.89%). It was a little bit below the highest standards (99.9%) set for great hosting. So, this host did not get higher in the standings.

MochaHost takes the 9th place.. Its speed was good (1.64 seconds). But its uptime (99.82%) was below the benchmark (99.9%). And its Satisfactory Apdex (97.85%) did not pass the benchmark test (99%).

VeeroTech took the 10th place with 1.7 seconds speed. It had not superb uptime (99.66%) this month. It did not pass the benchmark. But it had quite good Satisfactory Apdex (99.11%), which is above the benchmark (99%).

GreenGeeks goes to the 11th place. Its average speed (1.94 secs) was not bad. But its uptime (99.86%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%). And its Satisfactory Apdex (96.14%) also did not meet the highest standards (99%).

Eleven2 got the 12th place. Its average speed (2.08 secs) was slower than the above hosts. And it also failed both benchmarks. Its uptime was 99.19%, which is below the benchmark (99.9%). And its Satisfactory Apdex (89.05%) could not get to the highest standards (99%) as well.

Squidix goes to the 13th place with its average speed 2.33 seconds. Its uptime (99.96%) was superb and much above the benchmark. But its Satisfactory Apdex was 74.53% (74.53% of time its Full page load time was below 2.5 seconds). It’s below the benchmark level (99.9%).

HawkHost took just the 14th place. Its average speed (2.36 seconds) was quite slower than the above hosts. And its Satisfactory Apdex (65.73%) did not meet the highest standards (99%). Besides, its uptime also failed (99.39%) compared to the highest standards (99.9%).

And finally, GlowHost is again on the last, 15th place. This host could not get higher because of its low speed. This month it showed not really bad uptime (99.83%), but still below the benchmark (99.9%). Its speed was not really good (3.2 seconds). And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (0.05%) was the lowest among other hosts; and it was far from reaching the benchmark level (99%). In other words, practically all the time the loading time of my test website was slower than 2.5 seconds.

Generally, the competition this month revealed a little performance decreasing for the leading hosts. An interesting part is that some of the more expensive hosts got even lower in the standings, because more affordable hosts performed better.

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 March 2017:


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: The greener, the better. Yellow is below the highest standards. Orange is worse. Red is 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 March 2017:

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

 

 

March 2017 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 March 2017 - 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 first hosts on the screenshot have passed the uptime benchmark test for great hosting. The other hosts I’m monitoring were up more than 99.9% in March. Websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 44.6 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 March 2017:

GeekStorage performed with perfect 100% uptime. It’s much above the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was available in March all the time!

SiteGround showed nearly perfect uptime 99.99%. It’s much above the benchmark (99.9%). Being unavailable for 0.01% means 4.7 minutes of downtime this month from a user point of view.

StableHost had great uptime 99.96%. It’s much above the benchmark (99.9%). Being unavailable for 0.04% means 17.9 minutes this month.

HostWinds like the above host had perfect uptime 100%. No downtime registered this month!

InMotionHosting showed great uptime 99.94% which means 0.06% (about 26.8 minutes) being unavailable. It’s well above the benchmark (99.9%).

A2Hosting had also great uptime 99.91%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.09% (about 40.2 minutes). It’s above the benchmark set for the greatest hosts (99.9%).

LunarPages showed not superb uptime99.79%. And 0.21% (about 1.6 hours) being unavailable. It’s below the benchmark (99.9%).

MDDHosting showed not bad uptime 99.89%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.11% (49.1 minutes) this month. It’s below the benchmark just a little bit (99.9%).

MochaHost had uptime (99.82%) below the benchmark this month. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.12% (about 1.3 hours).

VeeroTech had also not very high uptime 99.66%. It’s below the benchmark level. My site hosted with it was unavailable for 0.34% (or 2.5 hours) this month. By the way, my second test site with this host had 99.8% uptime which is also below the benchmark.

GreenGeeks did not manage to meet the highest uptime standards this month. Its uptime was 99.85%. My site hosted with this host was unavailable for 0.15% which is a bit more than 1 hour) this month.

Eleven2 failed with its uptime. My website on this host was up 99.19%, which means no one could access my website on this hosting 0.81% of the time in this month (equals to a bit more than 6 hours).

Squidix was great with its uptime this month (99.96%). The site on this hosting was not available 0.04% of the time this month (about 17.9 minutes). It’s a well above the highest standards (99.9%).

HawkHost failed uptime this month (99.39%). No one could access my website on this hosting 0.61% of the time in this month (equals to 4.5 hours).

GlowHost couldn’t pass uptime tests this month. 99.83% being available. And correspondingly, it was not available for 0.17% of the time (1.3 hours).

Hosting Performance Contest March 2017 - full page load time 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.

GeekStorage for the sixth month in a row won the gold in the monthly Contest thanks to its the best speed compared to other hosts and other metrics (uptime and Satisfactory Apdex) being above the benchmarks. This month its average speed (full page load time) was 1.27 seconds.

SiteGround was exactly as fast (1.27 seconds on average). But having a little bit lower uptime made this host the second. So, the silver medal. Superb!

StableHost was the second fastest (and the third in standings) among all other hosts this month (1.35 seconds). It’s a superb result for the affordable hosting like this!

HostWinds had a good speed (1.42 seconds full page load time). And it passed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark, which is an indication of a stable speed.

InMotionHosting was a bit behind the above hosting performers. It had a good full page load time (1.7 sec). And it managed to pass Satisfactory Apdex benchmark. Good!

A2Hosting had also quite good speed in general (1.76 seconds full page load time. And it passed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark too.

LunarPages had great speed (1.52 seconds full page load time). But it failed uptime benchmark. That’s why it goes lower in the ranking than the above hosts.

MDDHosting was also quite fast (1.54 seconds full page load time). But failing both benchmarks put it below some other hosts this month.

MochaHost had a very decent speed (1.64 sec). But it failed a bit both benchmarks.

VeeroTech was a little bit slower than some of the hosts (1.7 seconds full page load time). And it did not pass uptime benchmark.

GreenGeeks had not bad speed in general (1.94 seconds full page load time), but it failed both benchmarks.

Eleven2, like in previous months, did not satisfy the strict rules of passing the benchmarks. And with its speed (2.08 seconds) it could not go higher in the rankings.

Squidix had comparatively low speed compared to others (2.33 seconds full page load time). And it failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark.

HawkHost was comparatively slow (2.36 seconds). And failing both uptime and Satisfactory Apdex benchmarks put it close to the end of the rankings.

GlowHost was significantly slower than all other monitored hosts in this Contest (3.2 sec). And as expected, it failed both benchmarks, especially its Satisfactory Apdex (0.5%, i.e. almost all the time it was slower than 2.5 seconds). Only the last place.

Conclusion

The best hosts which have demonstrated the best performance in March 2017 are the medalists: GeekStorage, SiteGround and StableHost. By the way, the first two medalists performed almost identically this month! It’s also interesting that the medalists are from different 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 March 2017 go in the following order: SiteGround, InMotionHosting and A2Hosting.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($4-8/mo) in March 2017 are GeekStorage, HostWinds and GreenGeeks.

By the way, GeekStorage, although being an affordable hosting, has won the gold medal among all the hosts in this Contest the sixth month in a row! Really awesome!

The best three hosts in the most affordable pricing category (up to $4/mo) in March 2017 are StableHost, LunarPages and MDDHosting.

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

It’s interesting that many hosts from the middle and even lower pricing category outperformed some hosts from the higher pricing category. And the hero of this Contest is GeekStorage which 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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