Hosting Performance Contest – September 2020 Roundup (15 Hosts Tested: Fast But Worse Uptime)

Share the knowledge...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

hosting performance contest September 2020

Here’s the 56th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for September 2020!
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 hosts are still blazing fast on the whole, but some of the fastest hosts have surprisingly not great 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 performed in September 2020!

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 2020 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 RoundupThe winner of this month’s contest is HawkHost!

In the Top-3 also go A2Hosting and MochaHost.

What’s remarkable about the winners this month is that two top guys including the winner in from the most affordable category whereas the other top performer is from the most expensive category.

HawkHost took the 1st place. Its full page load time was 0.66 seconds. The host was ultra fast. And its uptime was 100%. The host had simply perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was available all the time during this month. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark. The host surpassed the benchmark tests and thanks to the best speed HawkHost got the gold this month!

The silver medalist is A2Hosting.

A2 Hosting took the 2nd place. Its full page load time was 0.72 seconds. The host had ultra great speed. And its uptime was 100%. The host had simply perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was available all the time during this month. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark. And since this hosting was the second fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts A2Hosting wins the silver medal.

The bronze medal goes to MochaHost.

MochaHost took the 3rd place. Its full page load time was 0.73 seconds. The host had ultra great speed. And its uptime was 99.98%. The host had ultra super mega great uptime, much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 8.64 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark. Since all these parameters are above the benchmarks specified for the greatest hosting performance and this hosting was the third fastest host among the hosts which exceeded all the benchmarks determined for the greatest hosts MochaHost wins the bronze medal.

StableHost took the 4th place. Its full page load time was 0.77 seconds. The host had the kind of speed that just very few hosts can have. And its uptime was 100%. The host had simply perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was available all the time during this month. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.9%. It means that 99.9% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had ultra super mega great Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

SiteGround took the 5th place. Its full page load time was 0.78 seconds. The host was unbelievably fast. And its uptime was 99.99%. The host had almost perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 4.32 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.95%. It means that 99.95% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had almost perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

MDD Hosting took the 6th place. Its full page load time was 0.89 seconds. The host was brilliantly fast. And its uptime was 99.99%. The host had almost perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 4.32 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

HostWinds took the 7th place. Its full page load time was 1.23 seconds. The host had impressively good speed. And its uptime was 99.99%. The host had almost perfect uptime, very much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 4.32 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

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.

HostPapa took the 8th place. Its full page load time was 0.43 seconds. The host was ultra super mega fast. And its uptime was 99.81%. The host had quite good uptime, but below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 1.37 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.86%. It means that 99.86% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had ultra super mega great Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

VeeroTech took the 9th place. Its full page load time was 0.64 seconds. The host had ultra mega great speed. And its uptime was 99.76%. The host had relatively not so superb uptime, below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 1.73 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.86%. It means that 99.86% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had ultra super mega great Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

GreenGeeks took the 10th place. Its full page load time was 0.66 seconds. The host was ultra fast. And its uptime was 99.47%. The host had not really okay uptime, which is quite below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 3.82 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 100%. It means that all the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had simply perfect Satisfactory Apdex, very much above the highest benchmark.

GeekStorage took the 11th place. Its full page load time was 0.74 seconds. The host was as fast as how just very few hosts can be. And its uptime was 99.76%. The host had relatively not so superb uptime, below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 1.73 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.72%. It means that 99.72% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had ultra mega great Satisfactory Apdex, much above the highest benchmark.

Eleven2 took the 12th place. Its full page load time was 0.88 seconds. The host was brilliantly fast. And its uptime was 99%. The host had bad uptime, very much below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 7.2 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.39%. It means that 99.39% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had super good Satisfactory Apdex, above the highest benchmark.

Squidix took the 13th place. Its full page load time was 1.07 seconds. The host was really fast. And its uptime was 99.86%. The host had admittedly good uptime, but a bit below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 1.01 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 99.49%. It means that 99.49% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had superb Satisfactory Apdex, above the highest benchmark.

InMotionHosting took the 14th place. Its full page load time was 1.62 seconds. The host had recognizably good speed. And its uptime was 99.97%. The host had ultra mega great uptime, much above the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for just 12.96 minutes. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 83.68%. It means that 83.68% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had generally okay Satisfactory Apdex in general, but below the highest benchmark.

GlowHost took the 15th place. Its full page load time was 3.01 seconds. The host slow. And its uptime was 99.85%. The host had recognizably good uptime, but a bit below the highest standards set for the greatest hosts (99.9%). My site was not available this month for 1.08 hours. As regards Satisfactory Apdex, it was 0.04%. It means that 0.04% of the time the full page load time of my website hosted with this host was less than 2.5 seconds. The host had awful Satisfactory Apdex, very much below the highest benchmark.

Generally, the competition of the monitored hosts this month was pretty tight as usual, especially among the top half of the 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 2020:


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.
Note: The hosts with failed at least one benchmark go below the hosts with passed benchmarks in the rankings.

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 2020:

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

 

September 2020 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 2020 - 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.

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

Hosting Performance Contest September 2020 - 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.
 

Why I do not always recommend the winners (sort of disclaimer)

First of all, this Contest displays no more than just results of speed and uptime performance for the month in question. And only using the cheapest plan. And only using a pretty simple WP installation. And using no caching plugins, including the ones developed specifically by a host (e.g. SiteGround’s case). And this Contest results does not consider anything else, e.g. it does not review technical support, tools, features, overall clients’ satisfaction etc. 

As you can see the Contest is pretty limited to be the ultimate tool to evaluate a host. The contest is about speed and uptime performance during a month and that’s it, no more, no less. As you can see, the average speed difference presented in the Contest is sometimes almost none (less than a tenth of a second). So the first prize sounds cool, but in fact the difference with other places is often too little. The Contest is a great tool to see how each hosting’s performance evolves though!

The hosts that I recommend considering all the possible nuances are on this page.

Conclusion

The best hosts which have demonstrated the best performance in September 2020 are the medalists: HawkHost, A2Hosting and MochaHost.

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: A2Hosting, SiteGround and HostPapa
.

The best three hosts in the middle pricing category ($5.01-8/mo) in this month are HostWinds, VeeroTech and Eleven2.

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 is noticeable as usual that some of the less expensive hosts outperformed the hosts from more expensive categories.

And the hero of the Contest this month is HawkHost. This is the hosting was not only the ultimate winner, but also the fastest among the hosts with perfect both Uptime and Satisfactory Apdex! Jackpot!


You can download a PDF version of this article (756 KB):


Subscribe to my Free Researches
Work on your blog and small business more efficiently!

subscribe
BTW, I respect your privacy, and of course I don't send spam, affiliate offers or trade your emails. What I send is information that I consider useful.

Share the knowledge...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

It's important for me to know what you think

*