Hosting Performance Contest – September 2021 Roundup (#68)

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hosting performance contest September 2021

Here’s the 68th Monthly Hosting Performance Contest Roundup for September 2021!

I installed a default WordPress site with no plugins used (“Lite” installation) on four hosts (A2, GeekStorage, HawkHost and GlowHost). And on three hosts (A2, GeekStorage and HawkHost) I installed a heavy-loaded WordPress site with a free caching plugin, lots of plugins and the tested page flooded with content that I built using Elementor plugin (“Heavy” installation).

  • Lite installation is good for monitoring a shared server performance as is without using any caching solutions.
  • Heavy installation is great to see how a real-world website with a caching plugin performs on a particular hosting.


By the way, you can find the comparison tables and charts on the hosts’ performance for previous months here.

Let’s see how the hosts performed in this month!

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 for years.

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. In the beginning of 2021 I decreased the number of the tested hosts to focus on the most popular ones among my readers.

As before, 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 30 minutes) using a professional monitoring service I use the most basic and the cheapest plans of A2, GeekStorage and HawkHost which allow to host at least two websites. With Glowhost I use the plan what allows to host just one site. You can read more about my monitoring methodology 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 I recommend not all of the hosts mentioned on this page. My recommended hosts are here.


Hosting Performance Contest – Results

Here are the four hosts that you can compare this month:

The tables to compare the Hosting Performance Contest results

Lite installations (default WP installations, no plugins used except Bulletproof Security, no caching plugins):

Heavy installations (WP installation with lots of plugins; the tested page is built with Elementor and full of content; the security plugin is Bulletproof Security; caching plugin is a free W3 Total Cache with automatic settings):

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 30 minutes.
Uptime: Uptime (the more the better). Checked every minute. The value is rounded so that there are two figures left after the period.
Downtime: Time during the tested period when the tested website on a particular host was not responsive for more than 10 seconds (the less the better). Checked every minute.
Color areas: Green is superb and above the highest standards. The greener, the better. Yellow is good, but below the highest standards. Orange is so-so; worse than yellow. Red is comparatively bad.

The 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 indicates my recommended hosts.

The charts with the Hosting Performance Contest results

Hosting speed tested on Lite installations:

Hosting speed tested on Heavy installations:


Uptime tested on Lite installations:

Uptime tested on Heavy installations:

The red vertical line indicates the 99.9% uptime which is considered to be top-notch for shared hosting.

Hosting Performance Contest Results – Source data

I use services for hosting uptime and full page load (speed) monitoring. The uptime is performed from two locations in order to decrease chances of false alerts and make monitoring results more objective. Speed is tested from US location.

For the ease of reporting I use weekly data, not monthly. In other words, I take 4 or 5 weeks that make up the current month, and report using this data. Next month I will report from the next week. No weeks will be missing. Each week will be counted only once.

You can read more about my methodology of monitoring here.

Here are the screenshot of the reports (I used this data for the charts and tables above):

Uptime reports:

Hosting Performance Contest  September 2021 - uptime monitoring report

These monitor checks are performed with 1-minute interval, which makes it great for detecting website uptime and downtime.

Full page load time (speed) reports (clickable):

Hosting Performance Contest September 2021 - full page load time monitoring report


The fastest host in September 2021 was A2Hosting for Heavy installation and GeekStorage for Lite installation.

HawkHost and A2 had perfect (100%) uptime. GeekStorage was almost perfect (100% for heavy installation and 99.99% for the Lite installation).

GlowHost was comparatively slow and had not very good uptime (99.73%) this month.

You can download a PDF version of this article (688 KB):

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