Hosting Performance Contest – May 2018 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Better Expensive)

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hosting performance contest May 2018

Here’s the 28th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for May 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 result can be featured as “More expensive hosts in general are better performers”.

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 May 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.

 

May 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 May 2018The winner of this month’s contest is A2Hosting!. 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 GeekStorage.

What’s remarkable about the leaders in this month is that none of them are from the cheapest pricing category.

Average full page load time of A2Hosting (the winner) was 1.23 seconds (it’s super fast). Its Uptime was very high 99.9%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month apart from 44.6 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 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 A2Hosting wins the gold medal.

A2Hosting is the only host that managed to get 100% Satisfactory Apdex! Very good job!

The silver medal goes to SiteGround.

SiteGround performed in May 2018 as fast as 1.27 seconds which is amazingly fast. It was slower than the leader by just 0.04 seconds. Its uptime was perfect 100%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was very high – 99.95% (99.95% 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).

The bronze medalist is GeekStorage.

In May 2018 GeekStorage was on average as fast as 1.3 seconds that is 0.07 seconds slower than the leader. GeekStorage‘s uptime was almost perfect – 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month apart from 4.5 minutes. And its Satisfactory Apdex was simply great – 99.68% (i.e. 99.68% of all the time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). Outstanding results!

MDD Hosting took the 4th place. Its average speed (1.3 seconds) was as much as the previous host, but its Satisfactory Apdex (99.64%) was a tiny bit lower compared to the previous host, although it’s still very high and surely could meet the highest standards (99%). I.e. 99.64% of the time in this month the speed of my test site was faster than 2.5 seconds. As regards its uptime (99.99%) it was almost perfect and also much above the highest standards (99.9%). My site was not available for just 4.5 minutes this month.

VeeroTech took the 5th place. This host performed very well and satisfied both benchmarks set for great hosts. Its average speed was 1.38 seconds which is very fast. And its uptime (100%) was 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 (99.95%) was amazingly high and of course it was much above the highest standards (99%).

LunarPages goes to the 6th place. Its 1.52 seconds full page load time was great. Its uptime (99.94%) was also brilliant. My site was not available for 26.9 minutes this month. Also, this host had a very good Satisfactory Apdex (99.82%) which was much above the benchmark (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.

HawkHost took the 7th place. Its full page load time (0.91) seconds was the fastest. But due to its uptime (99.64%) which was below the highest standards set for the great hosts it did not take the first place in this Contest. My site was not available for 2.7 hours this month. Although this host had a great Satisfactory Apdex (99.37%) which was much significantly above the benchmark (99%).

GreenGeeks took the 8th place with 1.23 seconds speed, which is super fast. The host had a bit not satisfactory uptime (99.77%) which means that my site hosted with it was not available for 1.7 hours this month. This is below the highest standards (99.9%). Meanwhile, it had a very good Satisfactory Apdex99.82%. It means that 99.82% 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. If the host had uptime above the benchmark (99.9%) then the host would have got into the winners of the Contest.

InMotionHosting took the 9th place. Its average speed was generally very good (1.67 seconds full page load time). But its uptime was 99.64%) a bit below the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 2.7 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (96.05%) was also below the highest standards (99%).

StableHost this month took the 10th place. The hosting performed generally well, but not as great as it probably could. It did not satisfy one of the benchmarks which are set for great hosting performance. The average speed was 1.95 seconds which is not bad. Its uptime (99.92%) was brilliant and satisfied the benchmark test (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was not available for just 35.7 minutes this month. But the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (97.35%) did not exceed the highest standards (99%), that’s why the host got lower in the rankings.

HostWinds took the 11th place. The host had generally good speed (2.06 seconds on average). But it had not good enough uptime (99.58%). It means my site hosted with this hosting was 3.12 hours offline. This is below the uptime benchmark set for great hosts (99.9%). It’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.56%) was also a bit below the benchmark (99%).

Squidix has got the 12th place in this month. It performed as fast as 2.06 seconds which is as well as the previous host. But its two other metrics were worse. Its uptime (97.82%) was below the highest standards set for great host (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was not available for 16.22 hours during this month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was not very good – 86.81% (86.81% of all time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds).

Eleven2 got the 13th place. Its average speed (2.08 secs) was not bad generally. Its uptime was 99.99%, which is almost perfect and much above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for just 4.5 minutes this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (90.93%) could not get above the highest standards (99%) though.

MochaHost took the 14th place.. Its speed was not bad (2.13 seconds). But its uptime (99.56%) was a bit below the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for 3.27 hours this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (89.77%) did not pass the benchmark level (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 (99.95%) was great and much above the benchmark (99.9%) which is set to determine the best hosts. My site was not available for 22.3 minutes this month. But the host’s speed was slow (3.48 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 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 more expensive hosts could get higher in the rankings thanks to its more stable and reliable performance, not due to fast speed.

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 May 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 May 2018:

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

 

 

May 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 May 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.

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

Hosting Performance Contest May 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 May 2018 are the medalists: A2Hosting, GeekStorage. The winners are from all different pricing categories 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 May 2018 go in the following order: A2Hosting, SiteGround, GreenGeeks.

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

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

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

It’s noticeable that some of the expensive hosts outperformed most hosts from other pricing categories. This is what people expect actually.

And the hero of the Contest in this month is A2Hosting which is the only host which managed to get 100% Satisfactory Apdex during this month with other measured metrics being superb!

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