Hosting Performance Contest – September 2019 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Mopegranate Burst)

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hosting performance contest September 2019

Here’s the 44th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for September 2019!
I’ve been testing 15 hosts in a non-stop manner the whole month and I’ll show you the results below. The interesting observation is that the slowest hosts have become a bit faster this month.

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 performed in September 2019!

Hosting Performance Contest Video – Get Some Fun!

Want to get some fun while watching the hosting contest results? Here’s my video for you. This time this is a 20-second action scene with the hosting contest results inside the pomegranates.

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.

 

September 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 September 2019The winner of this month’s contest is GeekStorage!.

In the Top-3 also go SiteGround and HawkHost.

What’s remarkable about the winners this month is that all hosts are from different pricing categories.

GeekStorage took the 1st place. Its full page load time (1.13) seconds was amazingly fast. And its uptime (99.95%) was brilliant and much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 21.6 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was amazing 99.9% which is above the benchmark level (99%) determined for the greatest hosts. The host surpassed the benchmark tests and thanks to the best speed it got the gold this month!

The silver medalist is SiteGround.

SiteGround performed wonderfully well and satisfied both benchmarks set for great hosts. Its average speed was 1.21 seconds which is astonishingly fast. It was slower than the leader by just 0.08 seconds. And its uptime (100%) was simply perfect and much above the benchmark level (99.9%) set for the greatest hosts. 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 much above the highest standards (99%). And since this hosting was the second fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts SiteGround wins the silver medal.

The bronze medal goes to HawkHost.

Average full page load time HawkHost was 1.25 seconds (it’s super fast). It was slower than the leader by just 0.12 seconds. Its Uptime was almost perfect 99.99%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 4.3 minutes. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex was very good 99.06% (i.e. 99.06% of the time during this month the full page load time was less than 2.5 seconds). All these parameters are above the benchmarks specified for the greatest hosting performance. And since this hosting was the third fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts HawkHost wins the bronze medal.

VeeroTech took the 4th place. The host performed in this month as fast as 1.26 seconds which is impressively fast. Its uptime was awesome 99.98%. My site hosted with this host was available all the time during the whole month except 8.6 minutes. And the Satisfactory Apdex was awesome – 99.76% (99.76% of the time the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds, and it’s much above the highest standards set for great hosting which is 99%). Great performance!

MochaHost took the 5th place. Its average speed was brilliant (1.33 seconds full page load time). The uptime of MochaHost was very high 99.94%, which is much above the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for 25.9 minutes this month. And the host’s Satisfactory Apdex (99.81%) was very much above the highest standards (99%). Brilliant performance!

In this month GreenGeeks took the 6th place in the Contest. This month my site was on average as fast as 1.44 seconds that is great. And its uptime was awesome 99.98% which is 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 except 8.6 minutes. And its Satisfactory Apdex was 99.95% (i.e. 99.95% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). It was much above the highest standards set for the best hosts (99%). Great!

In this month StableHost took the 7th place in the Contest. It was on average as fast as 1.53 seconds that is really fast. And its uptime (100%) was simply perfect and very much above the benchmark value set for the great hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available during this month all the time. And its Satisfactory Apdex was very good – 99.39% (i.e. 99.39% of all the time full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds). It’s quite above the benchmark level set for the great hosts (99%). Awesome.

HostWinds goes to the 8th place. Its 1.62 seconds full page load time was very good. Its uptime (100%) was simply perfect and of course much above the benchmark level which is set for great hosts (99.9%). My site was available all the time during this month. This host had Satisfactory Apdex 99.39% which was above the benchmark set for the greatest hosts (99%). Impressive results this month!

LunarPages has got the 9th place this month. It performed as fast as 1.75 seconds which is pretty fast. Its uptime (100%) was perfect and of course above the highest standards level set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site hosted with this host was available all the time during this month. And the Satisfactory Apdex was well above the highest standards as well – 99.48% (99.48% of the time this month the speed was faster than 2.5 seconds). It’s above the highest standards (99%) too. Brilliant!

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 this month took the 10th place. The average speed was 1.23 seconds which is astonishingly fast. But its Uptime (99.82%) was a little bit less than the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was available all the time during this month except 1.3 hours. Satisfactory Apdex (99.16%) was very good and above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99%). If its uptime were a little bit better, then is satisfactory Apdex could pass the benchmark test and the host could become one of the winners. Really good performance anyway!

A2Hosting took the 11th place with 1.42 seconds speed, which is brilliant. But it had bad uptime (98.92%) this month, which was quite below the highest standards (99.9%) set for the greatest hosts. My site hosted with this host was not available this month for 7.78 hours. The host had Satisfactory Apdex96.96%. It means that 96.96% of the time in this month my testing site was faster than 2.5 seconds in this month. This is below the highest benchmark (99%) set for great hosts, although it was not bad. After all, both benchmarks failed and did not let this host get higher in the rankings.

InMotionHosting took the 12th place. The host had generally good speed (1.79 seconds on average). But it had uptime (99.8%) which is below the highest standards (99.9%). My site hosted with this hosting was 1.44 hours offline. Also, its Satisfactory Apdex (96.09%) was below the benchmark (99%). 96.09% of the time the site was slower than 2.5 seconds.

Eleven2 got the 13th place. Its average speed (1.9 secs) was generally good. Its uptime was 99.94% was great and above the benchmark level (99.9%). My site was not available for just 25.9 minutes this month. The host’s Satisfactory Apdex (94.68%) was not bad but below the highest standards (99%). Because of the failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark test this host did not get higher in the rankings.

Squidix took the 14th place this month.. Its speed was quite okay (2.1 seconds). And its uptime (99.93%) was great and above the benchmark (99.9%). My site was not available for just 30.2 minutes. This host’s Satisfactory Apdex (92.56%) was below the benchmark level (99%), although not bad in general. Because of the failed Satisfactory Apdex benchmark test this host did not get higher in the rankings.

GlowHost went to the last 15th place this month. This host could not get higher because of its relatively slowness. Its uptime (99.56%) was not very good, and quite below the benchmark level (99.9%) which is set to determine the greatest hosts. My site was not available for 3.17 hours this month. And the host’s speed was slow (2.78 seconds). Although higher than previous months. And as expected, its Satisfactory Apdex (39.83%) was the lowest among other monitored hosts; and it was still very far from reaching the benchmark level (99%). The loading time of my test website was lower than 2.5 seconds during 39.83% of the time during this month.

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 September 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).
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 September 2019:

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: HawkHost (it’s in my list of the recommended hosts; see my review).

 

September 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 September 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.

Just four 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 September. The websites on the uptime-failed hosting were not available for more than 43.2 minutes in total this month.

Hosting Performance Contest September 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 September 2019 are the medalists: GeekStorage, SiteGround and HawkHost.

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, GreenGeeks and A2Hosting.

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

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

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 SiteGround. This is the onlz hosting in this month which managed to get perfect both Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex!


You can download a PDF version of this article (643 KB):


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Comments

  1. Michael,

    I could see more positive flags for SiteGround. Even in this post, I have noticed the 100% uptime by SiteGround. And watching your regular monitoring and top-liting, I could see GreenGeeks and SiteGroud might be the winners mostly. Unfortunately, I haven’t used SiteGround hosting so far. I’ll make sure to try it for my future projects.

    • Aria,
      Thanks for your comment.
      SiteGround is an awesome post with a stunning performance.
      As regards the contest, it has the rules – you are the winner if you pass all the benchmarks and if you are the fastest. The contest is just an additional tool to analyze the hosts. The contest itself does not determine the “best host” in all nominations.

  2. Based partially on your assessment a couple of years ago, we moved our internal site to Stablehost. However, for the execution of our clients’ sites, we are more interested in managed packagers (Siteground offer one) and would love it if you would add a section for that including companies like Flywheel and wpEngine.

    Thanks

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Scott.
      I think that the performance of the managed packages such as SiteGround, Flywheel, Liquidweb etc would not very different from the best performing hosts in this contest. The reason is that in this contest I test the lite websites (default WordPress themes with few plugins and relatively small page size. Managed hosting have a great advantage when using big and heavy sites (which I don’t test on a regular basis).
      And for now I don’t plan to test on a regular basis the fully managed hosts since they are too expensive for my testing budget.

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