wordpress-hosting-performance-review

Performance of the Best WordPress Hosting Companies Compared

When it comes to WordPress Hosting, I’m bound and determined to find out which company is providing the most value. There are three major components that make up a great host in my opinion, and those are 1) Performance, 2) Knowledge, Speed, and Reliability of Support, and 3) Pricing and the overall product offering.

For this initial run I compared several top shared WordPress hosting companies. I plan to continue to add to this list and update it in 2014 as well so that people have a goto resource for the best WordPress hosting companies. Here are the hosts I’ve tested in no particular order:

Name Account Type Cost Per Month
Siteground SiteGround Startup $3.95
Site5 Site5 HostPro $8.95
Bluehost Bluehost Standard Shared $4.95
Eleven2 Eleven2 S-200 $8.00
Media Temple MediaTemple Grid Server $20.00
Hostgator HostGator* Hatchling $7.16
Dreamhost Dreamhost Standard Shared $8.95
GoDaddy GoDaddy Deluxe $8.99

Today I want to take a look at how many of the top WordPress hosting companies measure up from purely a performance standpoint.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that having the fastest servers doesn’t make a company the best host, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. If you’re looking for the best WordPress host for your website, the data here’s a great place to start your research.

The Performance Testing Experiment

Testing speed and performance of servers in remote locations introduces some fun and interesting challenges. When I first set out to run these tests, I thought I’d run benchmarks for an hour or two and then be done and would be totally ready to crown the fastest performing WordPress host.

That wasn’t the case at all.

Eliminating as many variables as possible from the test ended up being a lot more work than I anticipated, but the end result is some seriously concrete data.

To run the tests I used a load testing service called Load Impact. Load Impact fires up an Amazon server that you choose, and begins to send traffic to the site, increasing slowly over a certain amount of time.

For this particular test I sent 50 users to a testing site, increasing from one user to 50 concurrent users, over the span of 10 minutes. 50 concurrent users is a nice baseline test for a shared host. Once you hit that benchmark on a fairly consistent basis, it’s probably time to start exploring VPS and Managed WordPress hosting options. Traffic increases steadily throughout the timeframe until 50 users are visiting the site all at the same time.

Here are some of the precautions I took to keep the tests as fair as possible, even though each of these sites are spread out all over the United States:

  • Each WordPress site is an identical install of WordPress 3.6 with the TwentyThirteen theme installed and a number of posts and pages (same number of posts and pages on every site). For example, here’s the site I used to test Dreamhost:  http://dh.wpsc.me. All other testing sites were exact clones of that site.
  • I used the same domain name for every testing site with a different subdomain. I didn’t want the chance of any latency showing up in results because each testing site had a separate domain with a potentially separate registrar.
  • For all hosting accounts located on servers on the West Coast, I used a testing server located in Ashburn, VA. And for all hosting accounts living on servers on the East Coast, I used a testing server located in Portland, Oregon.
  • I did everything possible to make the physical distance traveled the same across all tests.
  • All caching and plugins were disabled on each site
  • Each test was run 5 times with the best result of each posted here.

Overall I ended up with a really nice set of data that gives some very good insight into which hosts make performance a priority, and which hosts have some work to do.

The Results

Without further ado, here’s what I found from each host. The green line represents the increase in traffic, and the blue line represents the response time of the site as traffic increases.

SiteGround

SiteGround was one of our top performers, and is especially impressive considering the $3.95 price point for their StartUp hosting tier. It does have a limitation of one website at that price point, but considering the average response time was ~700ms all the way to 50 concurrent users with no real hiccups, SiteGround offers a great value.

Testing Server Location: Dallas, TX
SiteGround Server Location: Chicago, IL
Max Response Time: 1.79 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 669.9 milliseconds

SiteGround

Click here to see the full report from Load Impact

Bluehost

Bluehost’s performance was lackluster. As traffic increased so did response time, almost following the same steep climb. Even at lower user counts the response time jumped around quite a bit, ranging anywhere from 1 to 3.5 seconds with only 10 active users. As Bluehost approached the 20 user mark load times skyrocketed to over 10 seconds. They did come back down, but performance was still highly inconsistent with huge variances from one second to the next.

Testing Server Location: Ashburn, VA
Bluehost Server Location: Provo, UT
Max Response Time: 10.64 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 915.53 milliseconds

bluehost

Click here to see the full Bluehost report from Load Impact

Eleven2

Eleven2 is likely the smallest hosting company that we tested on this list, although I don’t have the date to confirm that. That said, performance-wise they do pretty well as a shared hosting provider. With site load times of just under a second throughout the entire test, Eleven2 isn’t a leader, but they’re definitely no slouch. The $8 per month price is only available when you pre-pay for a year.

Testing Server Location: Dallas, TX
SiteGround Server Location: Wichita, KS
Max Response Time: 2.01 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 898.61 milliseconds

eleven2-performance

Click here to see the full report from Load Impact

Site5

Site5 had crazy fast load times of as low as 485 milliseconds. They also had the lowest max response time at 2.21 seconds. With such a small variance from top to bottom, some of the jumps stand out a bit more just because it’s a smaller scale. One very interesting thing with Site5 is that it seemed to get better as the test moved on, maintaining site load times of just about half a second all the way to 50 concurrent users. Site5 showed up to play.

Testing Server Location: Portland, OR
Site5 Server Location: Atlanta, GA
Max Response Time: 2.21 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 485.15 milliseconds

site5

Click here to see the full Site5 report from Load Impact

NOTICE: Due to a DNS issue, when we initially published this article the results for Site5 were incorrect. A big thanks to Ryan at R-FX Networks for pointing out our reporting error. The new results are posted below the original results.

Site5 Corrected Results

As noted above, because of a DNS propagation issue we actually made a mistake with one of our tests so we ran Site5 through the gamut again, and again they did very well. While their minimum response time was higher than initially reported, their max response time was lower than we initially reported. Throughout the majority of the ten minute load testing, Site5′s server response time stayed steady at 750ms to 1 second with only a handful of deviations.

Testing Server Location: Portland, OR
Site5 Server Location: Atlanta, GA
Max Response Time: 1.95 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 704.41 milliseconds

site5-new

Click here to see the full Site5 report from Load Impact (Updated)

MediaTemple

MediaTemple Grid Server is a bit pricier at $20 per month than the other hosts featured in this post, but technically it’s still considered a shared host which is why we included it. While not boasting the fastest load times, aside from a strange hiccup at the very beginning of the test, MediaTemple was rock solid all the way to scale. Variances were 2-300 milliseconds but load times generally stayed at almost exactly 1 second, regardless of the number of users.

Testing Server Location: Ashburn, VA
Media Temple Server Location: Los Angeles, CA
Max Response Time: 4.54 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 934.07 milliseconds

mediatemple

Click here to see the full MediaTemple report from Load Impact 

HostGator

HostGator’s server performance looked a lot like a pattern you’d see from a healthy EKG, until it completely flatlined. The only problem is that for web performance, we don’t want to see a line with a a lot of ups and downs, flat lines are great unless they fall off the grid completely a la GoDaddy. While HostGator returned the fastest response time of any host, it’s a little misleading because the server had essentially quit at that point and then stopped responding completely. Basically it was one last hurrah before it called it a day.

*I was happy to see that my HostGator account was housed outside of the Provo, UT datacenter where Bluehost resides so we could get a more true host to host comparison.

Testing Server Location: Portland, OR
HostGator Server Location: Charlotte, NC
Max Response Time: 10.16 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 258.07 milliseconds

hostgator

Click here to see the full HostGator report from Load Impact

Dreamhost

While at a first Glance Dreamhost’s results may seem inconsistent, you’ll notice that there are more bumps in the road because the extremes are much more controlled. So variances in a handful of milliseconds show up as jumps in the graph. Overall Dreamhost was solid from beginning to end. It didn’t report the lowest lows, but it also kept things in check as traffic increased, without having massive jumps in response times. Dreamhost had a strong showing.

Testing Server Location: Ashburn, VA
Dreamhost Server Location: Los Angeles, CA
Max Response Time: 3.74 seconds
Minimum Response Time: 621.87 milliseconds

dreamhost

Click here to see the full Dreamhost report from Load Impact

GoDaddy

GoDaddy surprised me in more ways than one. GoDaddy started at a blazing 483 ms response time, but once traffic hit 25 users, it essentially fell off the face of the earth. The report lists times of above 4 minutes, and that may be true, but it almost looks like the server became completely unresponsive or started rejecting connections. The load test reported a number of failed attempts to connect to the server. While GoDaddy shined at lower traffic levels, it fell apart completely as traffic passed the 25 user mark.

Godaddy reached out and ask that I clarify the results of their test. This is what they had to say:”We use a software security layer called Sentinel. Because of it’s conservative settings, the software detected the load test as a DoS attack since all the LoadImpact traffic was coming from one IP, and banned it for 5 minutes.”I believe they have thresholds set at a painfully low level if they consider 25 users a DDOS attack. That means one small business sharing an article internally could take down a site.

Testing Server Location: Ashburn, VA
GoDaddy Server Location: Phoenix, AZ
Max Response Time: 4.1 minutes
Minimum Response Time: 483.08 milliseconds

godaddy

Click here to see the full GoDaddy report from Load Impact

So which shared WordPress hosting company performed the fastest?

Based strictly on the performance data from each webhost, there were three hosts that really stood out in the group. Each of the following hosts had an average page load time of below one second throughout the entire course of the test, all the way to 50 concurrent users. Stay tuned for the next update in early 2014 where we re-evaluate all of these options.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the data you see here. Anything that stands out to you? Anything that surprised you?

Let’s talk it out :)

Disclaimer: All hosting accounts are owned and paid for by us.

  • Meri

    This is great.Thanks for doing all this work! Was this done before the big Bluehost/HostGator meltdown a week ago? Have they made any changes since then?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi Meri, these tests started about a week ago but the majority of these final tests were run in the last 24-48 hours, so yes, the data is very fresh.

      I haven’t seen any official announcements from Bluehost or Hostgator addressing improvements to their Provo, UT datacenter going forward but that doesn’t mean they haven’t done anything to improve.

  • David Abramson

    Wow thank you for running this experiment. Always good to see real data :)

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Happy to do it, David :) We like real data too!

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  • BenSite5

    Nice post! Any chance you could post a graphic with the same y axis with each host a different color so its easier to compare the graph?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Great idea! That would be a nice visual. I’ll see what I can put together.

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  • Michael John Beil

    Ryan, great work on this informative test.

  • Andy Merrett

    It’s interesting but these are all unspectacular when you factor in the need to do some serious server tweaking if you want to get below Google’s current recommendation of <200ms response time.

    So anyone serious about response time needs to look at whether their shared account gives them enough access to server tools to (for example) install the Google PageSpeed module.

    I suppose you can argue that any additional optimization you do from this base setup will simply improve upon these results, but you may end up doing better on a slightly slower server with decent access, than a faster one that offers no such access.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      I totally agree. Even PHP configurations can make a big difference in these results and I didn’t mention which was the default version or config on any of the hosts. That said, I didn’t do any server tweaking at all but I did that very much on purpose, because most of the people using these shared hosting accounts aren’t going to have the skills or know how to get the most out of their resources. I just wanted to show people what they get “out of the box” so to speak. Thanks for chiming in!

  • http://johncarlstrom.com/ John Carlstrom

    Ryan,

    Well done! It’s nice to see actual data and facts when comparing web hosts. There are so many spammy “Top 10 Web Hosting” sites out there, where their “#1 rated web host” also just happens to be paying them the highest commissions. So your post is definitely a breath of fresh air.

    I’ve used five of the web hosts that you tested: Bluehost, A Small Orange, Hostgator, Dreamhost, and Site5. I’m a little surprised that Hostgator didn’t do better. I’m not surprised with Godaddy’s results.

    PS: I actually did a video review of iPage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwcZFAOgdTg. If you have the time to watch it, I’d really appreciate your honest opinion (I’m new at making videos). My goal was to just give people the facts and show them my tests. I plan to make some more videos reviewing a couple of the hosts in your list, and if it’s okay with you I may use some of your data (and give you credit of course).

    Oh, and it’s nice to see you here Ben! Site5 is awesome.

    • BenSite5

      Hi John, thanks :)

    • Leo

      I recently moved a site from a 1and1 reseller to iPage. I was not happy with the general site speed from 1and1 but it was adequate. When moving to iPage my client is totally disgusted. Frankly it’s horrible. The support and control panel are fine but the speed! well, horrible

      • Jason Crawford

        I actually had problems with iPage’s support as well. I tried migrating a site from a local host to iPage and backupbuddy wouldn’t work. Turned out there were all sorts of limitations and controls that I couldn’t access and support wasn’t interested in changing anything for me. This was a clients site and I was luckily able to get them to switch servers.

      • Forrest Smyth

        I made the mistake of using iPage a couple of years ago, and you’re right, they suck. The number of concurrent visitors their basic plans can handle is pathetic. Fine for a personal website or small mom & pop business with very few visitors they might be ok, but that’s about it.

        • Leo

          What has been your experience with lighteningbase? They are not in this report but I have a client using them and the performance is pretty impressive. Might want to move some clients to them.

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            Hi Leo, since these are all shared hosting plans we didn’t include lightningbase here, but we’ve had a few clients use them and be happy with the results!

  • http://about.me/mikeschinkel MikeSchinkel

    Nice and useful post.

    Did you consider maybe benchmarking the WordPress-specific hosts, WPEngine, Page.ly, Zippy Kid, Web Synthesis and I think a few others?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Those are coming :) They’re a bit trickier because a much bigger surge in traffic has to be sent, but we’re definitely going to do it.

      • http://boldlygoing.com/2009_08_02/reply-about-carrington-theme-documentation/ James D Kirk

        Definitely interested in your findings on the “reputable” managed WP hosting companies (j/k, I’m still on the floor after reading that comment!) My partner and I are looking to add hosting services to our SEO offerings, and currently extend WPEngine and Page.ly to our clients. Any idea when you might have those tests ready for our consumption, Mike? Thanks so much for going through the hard work of pulling these sorts of tests together for the rest of us. Much appreciated and very grateful!

        • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

          Hey James, we’re hoping to get these published within the next 2 weeks. We’ve already started preliminary testing but fine-tuning things is going to take a while. The financial investment alone is pretty big, but the biggest thing is making sure we get the results right. As soon as it’s live I’ll send you an email.

          • Shane P

            Hi there, I’m also interested in what you find from those two. I have a few clients that I want to move to WP specific hosts but in two cases (one with lots of images / over 15g worth, and the other with over 38k views a day) both of those hosts became really expensive. I was really liking all of the added bonuses they both have so it’s too bad.

            Thanks for the great reviews!

          • http://www.blueprintmarketing.com/ Thomas Zickell

            I hear you there Ryan please let me know if you would like to collaborate on something like this as I have spent a great deal of money already on doing something very similar to what you’re doing maybe we can offer people a fair honest representation of these companies free up affiliate links and help each other do it I have over a year of information on all but one of the hosts I’ve mentioned in my first post. I would be more than happy to lend you my data once it’s published or we can work something else out. Tell me your thoughts if you’re at all interested if not I completely understand.

        • http://www.blueprintmarketing.com/ Thomas Zickell

          If you would like to see my data please feel free to send me an e-mail as I have quite a bit but I cannot publish it until it is already. So you know I’m using Neustar as a load testing method and would be happy to share my results. Because almost all managed WordPress of the hosting companies use Nginx their no longer in need of extremely of RAM to complete 10,000 connections at one time. This makes a huge difference in price for them at least What the post is able to handle I came ashore you from my data. You can go much higher than what is seen here on the hosts you mentioned and all the ones I’ve mentioned in my previous post. if you would like a recommendation from somebody who is not looking to make money off of affiliate links or anything like that I can give you what I have experienced. To tell you the truth the two companies you mentioned are vastly different from each other in my opinion.

    • http://Local-SEO-Company.net/ Gregory Smith

      Exactly what I was intending on commenting about. The kid doesn’t even mention ANY reputable WordPress hosting Companies. LOL I use Web Synthesis and Love them!

      • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

        Who’s “the kid”? :)

      • BenSite5

        Reputable :)? We host around 200,000 WordPress websites and has a lot of very happy customers, we aren’t some ill reputed hobbo in the WP community I hope :)

        • gothamtommy

          The irony that I came to this page looking for a replacement from Site5 and find you here.

          I’ve had numerous instances where a WP site I built was successful (yay!) but Site5 suspended the account without warning… because of the traffic.

          If you’re hosting small sites with little traffic, Site5 is fine but if you ever expect a rush of traffic and sudden popularity, avoid them like the plague.

    • chromeorange

      Wonder how he is going to turn off the caching on the hosts in that list

      • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

        Caching won’t be disabled. For many of the hosts it actually a mandatory piece of their software stack so disabling it actually is impossible (from an end user perspective). At the same time, it makes a lot of sense to compare the hosts as they are “out of the box” so to speak. CDNs won’t be enabled for any of the hosts, but the default configurations is what will be used int he comparison test.

        • chromeorange

          That’s kind of why I asked the question. Makes you wonder if they really are that much better that the shared hosts. Not a fan of “you must having all the caching on and you can’t install things we don’t like” hosting plans. Much rather do it properly on my own VPS.

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            Sure. It definitely depends on the architecture of each host. Some are little more than an optimized VPS, and others have a much more robust architecture. Where they provide value is for those people who don’t know anything about administering their own servers, which is a lot of people :)

  • http://www.elite-strategies.com/blog Patrick Coombe

    Interesting, thanks so much for your findings. IMO the only way to really run benchmarks with hosting companies on a shared environment is to run them for 7 days a week at a time. In my experience I’ve seen great speeds at 3AM Est Time but then come rush hour times will be double if not triple what it was.

    Thanks again Ryan!

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      You’re right! I definitely don’t consider this the end-all be-all in server performance. This is very much an initial test and we plan to repeat it over and over again for even more providers.

  • http://www.quantifire.net/blog Will

    Nice post! any chance you put eleven2 on here as well?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      They’re on our short list Will!

  • Greg Garrison

    I’m working on a site now and have ended up trying out an Amazon EC2/RDS/S3 configuration and I’d LOVE to see that compared in the mix. :)

    I love the approach here. Thanks for keeping it data-centric.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey Greg, thanks for stopping by! I can tell you right now that if EC2 has proper load balancing in place, it’s going to blow this performance stats out of the water :) It’s a tricky comparison to make because EC2 will just send more resources as they’re needed. I’ll have to think of a way to provide some good metrics on EC2 and how it performs with WordPress.

      • Greg Garrison

        Interesting… it seems like the only way to include it then is to somehow overlay a cost metric since the additional EC2 resources will cost something that flat-rate plans don’t?

        Which, of course, becomes a perfectly valid and interesting question, even if it’s slightly different. This initial post is a great opening to a conversation about performance, but everyone knows you can buy just about any level of performance you want if you’re willing to pay for it. Introducing the Amazon mix puts that in clear relief; cost has got to be in the analysis to get to a more practical comparison.

        Thanks for the thoughtful and informed response!

        • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

          Yep, things get a little bit tricky for sure :)

  • Matt Sharper

    none of these are wordpress specific hosts they are just generic hosting companies…

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      You’re right!

  • http://www.soccerhouse.jp/ Nancy

    Godday is just a piece of crap for both domain registration and webhosting ! Bluehost rocks from my own experice.

  • lautaro dragan

    Excellent post!
    But what about Laughing Squid? It’s a recommended host by WordPress, and works like a charm for me. Would be nice to see how it really performs against the other hosts :)

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Great idea. We have another post just like this one for another set of hosts and we’ll definitely need to include Laughing Squid as they are a recommended WP host. Thanks Lautaro!

  • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

    To be honest, you don’t get much from these entry level plans. It’s a good comparison AT THE ENTRY Level. But, another useful comparison would be for higher up plans, as it’s quite revealing, perhaps bump it up to the $30-50 / month.

    I learned it the hard way. Any successful blog that starts to get up to a decent level of traffic will not be satisfied with a $20/month plan.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Agreed, William! We’re not advocating one type of hosting over another, just reporting what we found with these shared hosts. We likely wouldn’t recommend any of these plans for someone planning on running a business.

      • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

        yup. thanks for clarifying. if you’re up to it, i would love to see another analysis targeting the $30-$100 levels where it gets a little more interesting, and you’ve got to look at things like backups, CDN’s, memory issues, etc.

        • http://www.hippressurecooking.com/ Laura Pazzaglia

          Add “me too” to this list – I’m on a shared host and bursting at the seams (400,000 visits/month) so lots of down times, database errors, etc.

          I’ve been looking at the VPS plans of the top three recommended hosts. Sitegrounds most basic VPS starts at €51/month, which is a little high for someone moving out of basic. But dream host has them starting at €15/month – except it’s based on RAM usage and I have no idea how to calculate that (being a lowly self run-managed single-site WordPress operation).

          Thanks,

          L

    • Cristobal Infante

      Hi, What do you consider a decent level of traffic?

      • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

        At ~ 25,000 visitors per month you should probably start looking at non-shared hosting alternatives.

        • Cristobal Infante

          thanks for your reply, so what would be the step up? I wouldn’t know how to manage a whole server myself so it has to be user friendly ;)

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            There are SO MANY different options and it depends on a number of different variables, but if you don’t have much experience managing your own server, then a managed host might be a good place to look. WPEngine, WebSynthesis, Page.ly, ZippyKid, and FlyWheel to name a few…

      • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

        I would agree with WP Site Care, i.e. over 25K visitors/month, just as a tipping point.

  • TD

    Thanks for taking the time to do this test. By chance, we’re you also using the hosting company’s DNS or did you bring your own? Also, according to NetCraft, GoDaddy switched 26 million sites from Apache to IIS. This made me wonder if it was possible to indicate what their server is running such as nginx, Apache, etc.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Namecheap’s DNS was used for all testing. The GoDaddy server we tested was running Apache.

  • http://hilaryrowland.com/ Hilary Rowland

    What about adding Google App Engine to the list? :)

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      We can’t get an account! We applied months ago and still haven’t been invited. WE WANT TO!

  • Andy Merrett

    No doubt these tools are not for the faint-hearted, and yes they do require some tweaking to get the best results. Some of the biggest gains will often come from simpler tasks like caching data, optimising images and making JS/CSS more efficient.

    Mobile access to me seems a lot more hit-and-miss right now, as network access varies considerably from area to area. Yet about 25% of my traffic now appears to be mobile-based (not all of this is via cellular network, as many people use phones and tablets over Wi-Fi) so I can’t afford to ignore it. :)

    And while it’s somewhat anecdotal and will vary because of many other factors, I applied Google’s tools to one of my web sites (which was already pretty well optimised for WP and in general) and got the initial response time down from ~1.2s to <0.2s. I'm certainly not unhappy with that :)

    • BenSite5

      Nice!! Have you tested their setup against something like CloudFlare and their “cdn” type setup?

      • Andy Merrett

        I haven’t done as yet.

  • Ryan M.

    Are you sure the site5 test was correctly executed? Looking at the results, it appears content type seen by loadimpact was only TEXT/HTML as-if the page being served by site5 was a placeholder page or an error page. Likewise, this is also reiterated by the the bandwidth used on the site5 test being 10 times lower than that of other hosts with fully completed tests (e.g asmallorange, mediatemple etc..).

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Great catch, Ryan. You’re exactly right. It looks like there was an issue with DNS propagation and the server we commissioned was hitting some kind of landing page. I’m running the new benchmark now and will post the new (correct) results this evening. Thanks for pointing that out!

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi Ryan, we’ve updated the results. Site5 still did very well, but this report is accurate. Thanks again!

  • James Idayi

    insightful, I wish I could get a recommendation. I have 10 wordpress sites and lately have been having issues with my current host (name withheld) happens to be among your list. I just need a good pointer to a new host ideal for wordpress blog

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey James, we’d definitely be willing to talk to you about specifics. Want to shoot us an email? hello at wpsitecare.com

  • http://www.smartonlinepros.com/ SmartOnlinePros

    Thanks for your impartial assessment. We have been using HostGator, BlueHost and DreamHost for our different websites. I’m just surprised that HostGator didn’t perform well as I’ve expected. Among these three hosting companies, HostGator has been the most consistent. Site5 looks like a promising option.

  • http://imadalin.ro/ Madalin Ignisca

    I think it would be more relevant if we, users, should post our own results if we use other hosts as well.

    Here’s mine with my personal blog: http://loadimpact.com/load-test/www.imadalin.ro-e54afb3b574664bb898c64f71ae61ead

  • Troy Peterson

    I’m surprised you didn’t include 1and1.com… I’ve had better luck with them than Godaddy or others.

    Also,
    Has anyone had issues with MediaTemple and slow response times from their database servers? I have had big issues with them

  • haymanpl

    I’ve tried all of them except site5 and Orange and none impressed me for speed.

    WPEngine makes my home page load in 0.5 to 1 second.

    Shared hosting would never go below 3 seconds for me but i guess you can’t expect much for around $80 a year,

    Never got any level of VPS below 3 seconds either so its managed hosting by a country mile in my opinion.

  • Julie @ Table for Two

    Love this test, Ryan! I’d be interested to see higher level ones (I guess that’s what they’re called..the ones you pay more for)..like Servint, Liquid Web, Web Synthesis, WPEngine, etc. – Great post :) this is all so interesting to me!

    • http://www.blueprintmarketing.com/ Thomas Zickell

      I have that info I will post in two days

  • http://jb510.com Jon

    Love your data and testing, thanks! It seems to bear out with my general subjective experience with each of those shared hosts (I’ve used them all at some point, usually for clients).

    I too hope and encourage you to do identical testing of all of the WP specific/managed hosts (WP Engine, ZippyKid, Page.ly, synthesis and the new one Freewheel?).

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey Jon, we’ve already started preliminary tests! There are just a lot more variables to nail down. One of the biggest considerations is how to send 500-1000 users at a time without making it appear like a DoS attack. We’ll get it figured out! :)

      • http://www.blueprintmarketing.com/ Thomas Zickell

        You must alert the host as if you were going to be on television that is the method I use. Though they all have much better ideas of what is a lot of people considering what Go Daddy did at 25 is sad. Have you checked out netcraft? I like to test from more than one location. Amazon is great but there are more sophisticated ways of telling exactly what will occur in different cities which is something important to me.

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  • Kevin Trye

    Interesting thread. As a wordpress web developer ‘downunder’ we’ve used dozens of hosts over the years, including many of those mentioned here. Until recent times, Hostgator has given few issues, although like many hosts now pushing for profits, am finding performance and reliability is deteriorating.

    Someone mentioned amazon EC2. We tested this option recently for multiple WP sites using a variety of configurations. Bottom line is unless you want to more than double your monthly host costs and halve your speed at the same time, it’s an offering to avoid. Some of the S3 and CDN facilities are handy, but little else. Fancy ‘scaling’ sounds great in theory, but in practice gives erratic performance and is poor value for money. A dedicated or VPS server of similar cost from any of the providers listed here would be better in every respect.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey Kevin,

      The cost analysis is definitely something to take into consideration, and it sounds like you’ve tried a lot of different configurations, but this article might help shed some light on some of the issues you were running into: http://wpforce.com/ec2-or-no-ec2-the-great-wordpress-server-debate/

    • Howard

      While it does cost more than the cheap pain in the ass hosts. EC2 does not have the issues you state, sounds like bad configuration on your end. If you are not use to working with servers at a true Admin level, you will have issues and you will increase your costs while you are learning.

      The main difference with ec2 is you need an Admin or to be one yourself to have success with it, proper configuration and use of their many tools is also something you have to make sure you nail or costs fly out the roof. Pre paying for a year cuts your costs by as much 80%.

      One thing many people do not get is you want to peg out your instance to its max or you are wasting money, you’re paying for idle processes which increases your costs drastically. That is were the whole auto scaling/load balancing parts really can save you money, because you never pay for anything idling. You also have more abilities and features than anything you will find any cheap hosting plan, heck even the vast majority of middle of the road ones can not compare to what you can build.

      I would be interested to know what zones you tested and what actual setups you were running to see such bad performance. EC2 is not like hosting on cheap o hosts and it also requires you to be more than “computer savy” the learning curve is massive. What do you see S3 and their CDNs lacking in? Since you are not impressed with those either?

      I cant say it is your ideal solution, but from your description sounds like it was on your end than Amazons. I host over 20 blogs plus many other sites and internal services on ec2. But I can say I have drastically cut my overall costs, I get to control everything and no longer have to deal with shitty tech support, or whacked out configuration options.

      You possibly might want to look into fully managed hosting, all you have to worry about then with a WP install is just putting in your new content, the rest is like having a systems admin and DBA on staff 24/7. Just shoot a ticket in with changes you need 30 min or less its done. I know many businesses that rely on such services and could not be more happy.

      Just the ramblings of a very happy Amazon user

      • Kevin Trye

        The CDN/S3 side of amazon is just fine and I use it for most sites. My AWS has around 30 WordPress sites running in the education market, There’s erratic I/O and response times vary a lot. Database performance is terrible, although some of the databases are now quite large (50MB not unusual). It’s only the extensive page, browser and CDN caching that keeps the sites live. I suspect it could be ‘fixed’, but calculated the added monthly costs prohibitive compared with other host options.
        My experience mirrors what James Golick found in a famous presentation given last year. http://youtu.be/Nswo-4ZIXkI

        i guess too I’m inherently against contracts being the only way to get decent AWS pricing. Rackspace play the same game.

  • http://clickwp.com/ David Wang

    Just wanted to chime in to give you props for the excellent research and legwork :)

  • http://www.gypsystreasures.com/ Kimberly “Gypsy” LoSavio

    I went from Crap-er-goDaddy to HostGator to Dreamhost and I am now at Site5. I left godaddy because they did not play nice with WordPress installs and their Customer Service was HORRIBLE. HostGator did not impress me with their customer service, however beyond that, I did not have any issues with WordPress installs. I had been with DH since 2010 – but something happened just around Thanksgiving 2012. I TRIED to stick it out, but 4 server moves later, one including a VPS move, did NOT fix the bog down, server fails and other issues my site was having. And I was NOT happy with their customer service near the end either.

    I must say that I was totally surprised with Site5. Moved my entire site, and tested it for over a week as it was in Dreamhost and guess what??? NOT one issue! no error logs, no server drops, no slow speed — actually it was almost 75% faster just moving it to Site5 as it was … every excuse used with the other hosting service (DH), Site5 totally blew out of the water. I was much relieved to know that the issues were NOT plugins, files, and modules as was told to me by DH after the VPS did not solve ANY of my issues. Site5 has a AAA rating, 2 thumbs up and 5 stars or tacos from this VERY HAPPY Customer!!!!

    • ron

      Unfortunately I am a customer of Site5. I moved to Site5 after being with Blue Host for almost two years. I had many problems with Blue Host and their service was horrible. I decided to move to Site5 and everything was just great along the first 6 months or so. When the traffic started to increase to about 150 visitors per month I started to hear about server crashes and the upgrade request arrived rather quickly. From about $20 a month I needed to upgrade to a VPS plan of $72 a month. The website was brought up to live for a few more months and then crashed again. Now they want me to upgrade the VPS plan again. They refuse to bring my website up till I
      upgrade the plan. They seems to be nice and usually quick in their
      response but I am paying more than $70 for a website which has about 200 visitors in average.

      • BenSite5

        The only reason we would ever tell someone they have to upgrade is if they need it :), I wish you the best of luck with your new host and if I can help in anyway please let me know!

        Thanks, Ben
        CEO, Site5.com

        • http://savyagency.com/ The Savy Agency

          Not true, Ben. We’re an agency with hundreds of clients signed up on their own accounts with you. I’m pulling my hair out due to all these ‘over resource points’ calls, with the stated reason being that ‘we use wordpress’. Well, that’s why we use site5. There should be no reason why some of our small sites are being moved to VPS and their old accounts deleted stating ‘resource use’. Service is definitely bumpy not to mention the server blacklisting thing with spotty communication through it – the reason I found this post, searching other providers.

          • BenSite5

            If you are hitting your Resource Point limits it is time to upgrade, or optimize. Simple as that. And what our team explains to customers. Shared hosting plans have a limit, and once you hit that limit you would need the next plan up, or a VPS. Every host has a limit, only some of them don’t tell you about it and just start dropping traffic.

            Small sites would never hit this limit, the only sites hitting this would be receiving thousands of page views a day. Otherwise the reason would be an incredibly intensive script or plugin configuration. Our team is always happy to recommend tools so you can dig into the cause.

            The blacklisting thing was blogged in real time on our emergency forum, and Spamhaus apologized after 48 hours when they finally returned emails and fixed the bug in their system to cause it. Our CTO posted a lot of updates in that thread as well:

            http://forums.site5.com/showthread.php?t=39946

            We take transparency very seriously and that is why we have such an open communication policy. Anytime there is more than 5 to 8 minutes of downtime we post to the emergency forum along with updates every 20 minutes or less on the emergency. Plus a post summary email with details if it is a specific service that has been down for more than an hour.

            Let me know if you have any questions,
            Thanks, Ben

          • BenSite5

            We also have 24/7 chat and email support for any issue, especially during an emergency as they can link you to the status updates if you forgot the forum link (or its in backstage next to the real time server status dashboard).

            Phone is during US business hours but in the process of expanding to 24/7, and on any tickets you can ask for a manager or a member of management too,
            Thanks, Ben

          • http://www.leaguefanart.com/ Haunt

            Just letting you know I will never be going to Site5 because of this. Your standard “politician rebuttals” here are very generic and don’t directly address any of the points.

            “Thanks Ben. We still have 8 page wordpress sites moved without help as to why they would be over resource points, except that “they’re on WordPress” and “should upgrade” or “use CloudFlare”.”

            It’s clear you need better business practices because that’s shady.

          • http://savyagency.com/ The Savy Agency

            Thanks Ben. We still have 8 page wordpress sites moved without help as to why they would be over resource points, except that “they’re on WordPress” and “should upgrade” or “use CloudFlare”. Regarding your emergency response, the forum wasn’t provided until late in the game after chats and calls – all pushed to a ticket. Also you should know, the amount of chats transferred mid-chat is maddening …

            Thanks …

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            I hope that the two of you can resolve any issues that you’ve been having, but there are probably less disruptive, and more efficient channels than our company blog comments :)

          • http://savyagency.com/ The Savy Agency

            Sorry : ( agreed..

  • http://www.webflipcowboys.com/ Daniele Besana

    Very interesting article!
    I think hostgator result is affected by their limitation to 30 concurrent processes per account.
    You just can’t get above that, internal for 500 is returned above that threshold :(

    It would also interesting to test the same from Europe.
    I use hostgator and it doesn’t seem that fast from here compared to others.

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.technivo.com/ Ankit Singh

    thanks dude this was really really helpful.I was very confused but now i think i can reach to a conclusion

  • http://drewsymo.com/ Drew

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the post,

    Just wondering if you’ve had any exp. with Fastdot.com?

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  • eightocta

    Hi ryan, thanks for such a unbiased and true comparison, i am pretty much impressed by “ASmallOrange” they are almost showing performance and stability equivalent to a Low End VPS.

  • RonLum

    Ryan, thanks so much for taking the time to do this thorough analysis. It must’ve been quite boring. And also, this is probably the only post out there comparing hosting performance that doesn’t have affiliate links.

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  • http://www.strikespots.com/ Adam

    I have a question about the test as well…can you add hosts to it, or review some of the other hosts that people have mentioned in another post? In particular, I’d like to see how Sectorlink’s Cloud Hosting offer plays out in comparison to the others. Since you’d be dealing with both cloud web servers and cloud DB servers, in theory a cloud host should perform more effectively.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey Adam,

      We do have more reviews coming down the pipeline but sectorlink hasn’t been on our radar yet. We’ll see if we can get to them some time in the future. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  • Melanie

    now someone just needs to do this test with reseller hosting providers that offer end user support. i’d pay to see that.

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  • Michael Stone

    Thanks for this bench marking as I haven’t seen anything
    like this before. I’ve always been a fan of Bluehost, even with the bad
    results. Service and commutation has always been important to me and bluehost
    has never failed me. Even refunding money on old websites that have failed to
    production results

    • Kerrie Redgate

      I’ve just had a dreadful experience with BlueHost after their signup form jumped the gun and registered me, took the cash, before I’d finalised the sale with all the “extras” they were offering for me to consider. After my first email reporting the Form issue, their prompt reply told me their was a sale in their records. End of story! So in other words, I was simply wrong! Next email I was told I was being shunted [my wording] to the Billing Dept. Nothing more for the next 3 days until I had to threaten them to get attention. And even then the call was from someone Activating my account rather than refunding me! Total mess. No faith in their customer service at all, I’m sorry. Very disappointing. Did finally get a notice of a refund.

  • Vik

    Hi Ryan, great post, but why not add more hosting to this like kahuna, wpoven and wpwebhost.
    keep up the great work

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  • http://www.tourabsurd.com/ Katrina

    Cannot recommend Site 5. They used to be great, but now they measure CPU usage with some internal standard that they refuse to correlate to anything in the real world. Coincidentally, they also launched new tier levels at the same time and try to bully you into upgrading. I left and switched to MDD Hosting and am much, much happier.

    • BenSite5

      Hi Katrina,

      Actually it is entirely open source :), and uses CPU Time which is a core part of linux. Entirely open source and explained in detail on this page as well in super tech detail:
      http://kb.site5.com/policies-and-information/resource-points/cpu-time/

      We don’t bully anyone into upgrading, but we do have resource point limits on a per plan basis and if you go over your limit you would need to move to a plan that fits your needs. Shared hosting has limits and that is part of how we deliver some of the best hosting in the entire industry.

      thanks, Ben

    • ron

      I couldn’t agree more with you. Unfortunately I am a customer of Site5. I moved to Site5 after being with Blue Host for almost two years. I had many problems with Blue Host and their service was horrible. I decided to move to Site5 and everything was just great along the first 6 months or so. When the traffic started to increase to about 150 visitors per month I started to hear about server crashes and the upgrade request arrived rather quickly. From about $20 a month I needed to upgraded to $72 a month. The website was brought up
      to live for a few more months and then crashed again. Now they want me to upgrade the VPS plan again. They refuse to bring my website up till I upgrade the plan. They seems to be nice and usually quick in their
      response but I am paying more than $70 for a website which has about 200visitors in average.

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  • http://rahulchowdhury.com/ Rahul Chowdhury

    Thanks for this detailed post. I am thinking to go with “A Small Orange” hosting for my photoblog. :-)

  • http://liquidio.net/ Thomas

    Awesome comparison! I know hosts use other throttling technologies as well. Like CloudLinux for example, it has the ability to limit resources. Many datacenters use DDoS protection as well that the host may not be using directly. There are also throttling techniques used by security addons for WordPress that detect if a single user is loading resources too often. I know http://liquidio.net uses those security addons which can make it seem slow from a test standpoint, but in the end features like GoDaddy’s DDoS protection and the throttling software can make the service faster for all the other users. So essentially it only slows it down for the one user hammering the server =)

  • https://plus.google.com/108934443202217392497/posts Brian Park

    Not hearing much discussion about MediaTemple? Are they not the first choice when considering WP hosting? Anything I should be aware for MediaTemple?

    Thank you
    Brian

    • olivernielsen

      Media Temple (gs) is a good choice for WordPress hosting, but not the fastest around. Though not bad. Read a review on my site!

      =)
      Oliver

  • Sabih Ahmed

    Surprised that you didn’t count WPEngine in the performance test. It is among the best host available. Also, no sign of Zippykid and Payely? Another addition which you can add here is Cloudways.

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  • Leave Comments

    You need to redo this test. Bluehost, Hostgator, Small Orange, are all owned by EIG and almost all now moved to the crappy overcrowded Ace Data Center in Provo. HG wants all their accounts over there by Jan 2014. So those should all test out similar. And it will not be pretty. I just moved 100 reselller clients to Site5. But that has not gone so great either. I am having issues with load times and getting emails from clients about why their site is loading so slow. I am feeling pretty uptight about it. But it has only been 2-3 weeks and some of them had their DNS changed in the last 2-6 days so they may be having their own ip/dns issues. I will reserve judgement until more time has passed. Though the server I am on keeps showing a yellow check for load issues.
    I hope I do not have to move somewhere else. It has been hell to do.

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  • Kerrie Redgate

    Very insightful, Ryan! Thank you for all your hard work on this. Must have been time-consuming to set this up. Really appreciate it.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      It took quite a while but we like to think it was worth it :)

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  • http://rallyways.com/ Danny Cruz

    Hi! Amazing post! I’m fed up with all the affiliate junk hosting recommendations! Just subscribed to the site and I’m waiting eagerly for the test on the specific hosts.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Sounds great! Thanks for stopping by Danny :)

  • Sam Dreadthug

    I have hosted my site with bluehost. seems like i have made a close to good decision.

    • http://texrat.net/ texrat

      I’m not happy with bluehost for a key site, http://tarrantmakers.org. Having too much trouble trying to configure it for BuddyPress. I get over ten plugins and completely lose the ability to configure what I have or install more (404 issues emerge). No such problems at other sites where I run on 1and1. I’m going to try SiteGround for this one.

      • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

        Let us know how it goes! I think you’re going to be pretty happy with that move.

        • http://texrat.net/ texrat

          Thanks. Bluehost is drastically throttling PHP performance, and limiting our ability to work around it. NOT happy.

      • Bartlett

        I am leaving BlueHost — downtime too frequent

        • http://texrat.net/ texrat

          Same here. I think we’ll be moving next month. Still trying to determine where. May not be Siteground.

  • http://avgjoegeek.net/ avgjoegeek

    Thanks for the post. I wouldn’t recommend any hosting company owned by EIG. Host Gator has tanked after they migrated their server to Provo,UT. I would love to move to a VPS or WP Engine but the prices to run are pretty extreme if your still not getting a steady income from your site to justify the costs.

    Price of doing business I guess.

    • Mary Struck

      I agree. I switched from Siteground to Hostagator and now I wish I hadn’t. It’s gotten so slow it’s extremely annoying. Hostgator support tells me it’s my website, but I have a much more demanding WordPress site (with an older theme) still remaining on Siteground and it’s screaming fast.

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  • David Mortaz

    did u guys review WPEngine?!

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi David,

      We have reviewed WP Engine’s performance, and it’s better than any of the hosts listed here. That said, it didn’t really fit in with this post since these are all shared hosting providers at lower price points.

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  • John Peterson

    Fantastic article. I really like how you tried to eliminate all of the variables and you told us what you did to achieve this. Too many blog articles aren’t very scientific and only add to the confusion. I knew shared hosting was pretty bad in general, but I didn’t realize just how wide the difference in performance could be.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Awesome! Glad it was useful for you John. These type of in depth, well researched articles are the type we like to read, so we like to publish them too :)

  • John Peterson

    Also, I see alot of discussion around traffic and how the host wasn’t serving them well with the minuscule amount of traffic they were receiving. With shared hosting you really need to watch your resources too. Some WordPress installs are loaded up with every plugin under the moon. In this case, your RAM and CPU utilization can go through the roof. I recommend the P3 Plugin Performance Profiler and Debug Bar plugin to see how your site is doing. Recommend disabling it when not using. I’ll admit we’re a little plugin heavy with some of our sites. However, our clients typically use Managed WordPress Hosting (like wpEngine) or run on our Amazon servers. In this case, the servers can easily handle the extra functionality.

  • Tricia Francis

    Timely article! So much is changing in the hosting world, and it’s become hard to know who to recommend to clients. I was with HostGator for eons, but since they were bought by EIG, they’ve gone downhill. I’ve worked with clients on many different servers and can definitely say stay away from EIG holdings, as listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group In fact, I’ve ranted about HostMonster. Buzz in the WordPress community seems to confirm my thinking… Recently GoDaddy has come out with a new WP offering, and I’d really like to hear from anyone that’s tried it. Buzz is their customer service has improved, but speed reports aren’t encouraging. WPEngine is most awesome, but expensive – especially for some of my mom-pop clients. So what’s the best option? Looking forward to your posts on customer service and other stuff.

  • Brettrospective

    This post is incredibly interesting and helpful! I found it interesting that with almost all of the hosts the first page load took longer than subsequent page loads. Is that an expected behavior for WordPress? And, if so, are there ways to diminish that initial page load time?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey there, it’s not specifically a WordPress issue, but generally is caused by a couple of different factors. Domain latency, slow disk drives, limited CPU, and plugin bloat. You’ll see that with hosts that use SSD drives, that isn’t as noticeable. The best way to combat it is by 1) making sure you’re using fast DNS hosting. 2) Use a web host with SSD drives and decent CPU resources, and 3) caching.

      All that said, that latency is hardly noticeable for people surfing the web, but us performance junkies hate to see it :)

  • Administrador del Portal SIREG

    What about Amazon EC2 micro tier?

  • John Rogers

    This was a nice and thorough look at WordPress hosting. It would be nice to see a couple of other WordPress hosts like Nexcess and A2 Hosting on this list to see how they would have compared.

  • http://MVMediaWebSolutions.com/ Mary-Ellen McAllister

    Awesome article Ryan, I have several of the plans on hostgator for various purposes and have seen a drastic decline in service. I guess I will be moving over to one of your recommended hosts. Thanks so much.

  • http://www.theitguys.ch/ THE IT GUYS

    We are looking for a faster hosting solution for our Europe based website – http://www.theitguys.ch. Does anyone have any insights to add to the report above?

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  • Sheikh Ovais

    You did a nice case study about these web hosts Ryan, thumbs up!

    But because of being not particularly great at understanding all of these technical hassles, I just got confused when you mentioned this in the beginning of the post, “I’ll be the first to admit that having the fastest servers doesn’t make a company the best host”

    I understand that you were only focusing on the response time of all these hosting companies (for which I was keen to know about), but can you say that these hosts, particularly, siteground can be considered the best, based on their overall performance (not just the response time)?

    And can we expect these results to be the same with their basic hosting plans?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      The results from above are from the plans listed at the top, which are the most basic for each host. So what you see above are the results you should anticipate with any of the hosts.

      Support and overall performance is a lot more difficult to benchmark with raw data, but I will say that our best experiences with overall support have come from Siteground, Site5, and MediaTemple.

  • http://techsmaz.com/ ASHRAF KAMAL

    Wpengine is not bad, but its costly. BlueHost is my favourite one. Thanks for honest reviews.

  • Chris Feix

    I think it’s shady at best to have a non-biased review only to link to the host sites via affiliate links. So you’re getting paid to send me to the hosts you reviewed? I’m guessing SiteGround pays the most for referrals.

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      They actually don’t. You’re welcome to run the benchmarks yourself. You’ll find the results are completely unbiased. We had this post running for over 3 months with zero affiliate links, and a friend convinced me that it was a useful resource and that a few dollars in referrals was fair compensation for the amount of time and research I put into it. If I was trying to be shady, I’d just delete your comment and call it a day. Not my style…

      • Chris Feix

        #1. While I appreciate the timeline of events, it seems your friend doesn’t seem to care about the ethics involved in reviewing services. In addition it also seems you are unaware of how this makes you look.

        #2. If I wanted to be shady I’d write a review of your review with screenshots of your affiliate links and a comparison chart of your “results” vs. who pays what for referrals.

        Thanks for the quick and appropriate response.

        PS: I don’t think you’re shady, just not totally transparent in your review.

        • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

          That’s fair. Still not sure why “results” is in quotation marks though. Do you think I’ve altered the outcomes somehow? The tests are linked to live results on loadimpact. I’m not really sure how I could skew the results… Like I mentioned, you’re welcome to purchase all of the hosting accounts and run the tests yourself. I think you’ll find the results are pretty consistent.

          • Chris Feix

            I’m just saying the criterion for running a non-bias review is that you’re NOT IN ANY WAY partnered with, hired by, affiliated to, or getting paid by the subjects you are reviewing. It’s a business / journalist / science ethics thing.

            It’s like a politician saying, “Hey I know the gun lobbyists gave me money; but I really do believe in the right to bear arms and I have empirical data to prove it’s a good thing.”

            There are certainly hundreds of ways to skew results: Caching, CDN, minimalized CSS and JS, etc. You can install 100 plugins (even deactivated or unused, they can cause WP sites to grind to a halt.) I’m not accusing anyone of this; but these things are possible and there is motive if one wanted to get more referrals to say… SiteGround.

            That’s the very specific reason why legitimate reviewers (like let’s say Mashable) DO NOT get referral links back to the companies they review.

            I’m just saying that I would have NO DOUBT to the legitimacy of your claims if you would remove the affiliate links. Someone did a lot of hard work to get these results. Why negate them with horseplay?

            If you’re hard up for operational cash, put up a PayPal Donate button. I’ll be the first to send you $10. If I could trust your data it would save me a shit-ton of time and money.

            PS: Actually, we have run (and are running) similar tests on most of these hosts.

            Site5
            BlueHost
            GoDaddy
            MediaTemple
            Dreamhost
            HostGator
            1and1

            MediaTemple was the worst by far and only “coincidentally” ran fast when we called for support. We would see 2 days of timeouts, then place a support call and viola, within 5 minute we were at 2 sec.

            The second worst was 1and1. They would just lie to us like we were some grandma transferring from a Wix account.

            Anyway, this is good stuff. I just want to see it without the subterfuge.

            We are testing SiteGround now to see how they fair.

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            Well. I’m definitely going to add a disclaimer. So you accomplished that.

            The data is real data though. I stand by it firmly. Look closely at the reports. The files are all exactly the same sizes and the exact same numbers of files on every single install. The tests were run exactly as described and I’d be happy to send you any type of proof you want (beyond the obvious raw data there).

            I also know we invested a lot more than a few hundred bucks into these benchmarks, so while I get your point about a donation button, if a “shit ton of time and money” is worth 10 bucks to you, and you’re probably one of the few that would give anything, that kind of proves the necessity for generating at least some revenue from these articles. I’ll update the site with an affiliate disclaimer.

          • http://about.me/mikeschinkel MikeSchinkel

            Hi Ryan,

            FWIW, reading your initial post a while back when I did, and all your follow up replies since then, it’s very clear to me that the data you are publishing is the most valid data you are aware of so if it helps to get someone else’s perspective, I have absolutely no issue with you putting affiliate links; I think you’ve earned them.

            -Mike

          • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

            Really appreciate that Mike. Chris did have a good point about the transparency though, so I’m going to make that adjustment.

          • http://about.me/mikeschinkel MikeSchinkel

            I was going to mention the transparency, but decided against it because I didn’t want to caveat the part when I said that I thought you had earned it. :)

          • Chris Feix

            Thanks. Sorry to be a trouble-maker, especially since YOU went through all the trouble. I can tell you that we would’ve paid someone at least $2k to do this testing had we not already invested approx. $860 + $2k in man hours doing the same work.

            So I do understand and appreciate the need to earn from it. Hopefully it came from your marketing and R&D budgets respectively (as it should have). This testing will make you better consultants and give you better insights when serving your customers. Plus earn you some earned SEO thus increasing hits by qualified leads.

            I really wouldn’t have bothered saying anything but the affiliate link was from the best result. And I my “I don’t have to test SiteGround now!” buzz was crushed when I spotted it.

            Thanks again for not deleting my post. Kudos.

          • http://about.me/mikeschinkel MikeSchinkel

            Hi Chris,

            FWIW, SiteGound has recently started very actively promoting hosting directly to WordPress users by sponsoring WordPress conference like Pressnomics and I think numerous WordCamps. That doesn’t mean they are any good, but it does mean that are actively aware of WordPress as a market and so I think the chance they are doing a good job is reasonably high.

            OTOH, I’d really like to see Ryan review Pressable, Page.ly and WebSynthesis. I’d really like to know how they stack up.

          • Chris Feix

            We’re firing up tonight. I’ll let you know how they do. I used to have my personal blog there in 2007. Had to move because they were over their head with custom WP site with custom posts and fields. Also CDN failed miserably.

            I’m excited to see how they so.

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  • HeatherY

    Anxiously awaiting the managed host comparison. Is there an ETA?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi Heather, we’re hoping very soon. The main reason we haven’t publish anything yet, is because there are so many variables that come into play, so giving a fair comparison across the board is extremely tough. There have also been some pretty significant changes in what hosts are offering lately too, so it’s the kind of thing where you have to benchmark, and then publish very soon thereafter for the content to be relevant. We’re anxious to publish it too!! :D

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  • Fernando Scheps

    Thanks for these great tests. I love it and its very useful as I am changing hosting provider.

    For many years Ive used two providers: Dreamhost for linux (WordPress) hosting and AlpsHost reseller plan for Windows ASP hosting and a nice Webmail interface.

    Now its time to change, Dreamhost is pushing me to spend more and more money, already had to switch to a VPS and although I more than duplicated the assigned RAM they still ask me for more. I am moving out, downtimes have been crazy after they decided to migrate all my sites to another server and all they had to say about this was “Oh, maybe it was just a coincidence with the server change”. No coincidences here, 5 years working fine and now this? No way. Besides their support stinks bad, even if you ask for support with their highest possible priority they replied 3 days later.

    Now I am reading a lot of good reviews about Site5, I am about to open an account and test them.
    I still need an ASP host and I think I will test Arvixe.com services, anybody had any experiences with them?

    Thanks again for this great post!

    Fernando
    ITCentralPoint.com

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  • Robert Weiss

    I have good experience with siteground, they have good Control panel to use. For domain registration, I use godaddy. As siteground doesnt support for windows hosting, finally I find other hosting provider that support windows hosting. I can host my blog (wordpress) and main site for asp.net. Finally I found http://asphostportal.com from Microsoft site and I decide to use them. Till now, I’m very satisfied with their service.

  • pcescato

    Well, you’re right, Siteground is very fast and very… even if they have a very good support for casual issues you can have hosting a wordpress website, I don’t recommend them if you need very advanced support: I just have a technical issue, and after asking them for a couple of day, the answer is the same: ‘This is not a common issue and it beyond the scope of our services’. even if they recognize that ‘it is clear that the issue is related to the functionality of the server.’

    So for advanced support, I can’t recommend Siteground.

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  • Carlos

    Hi! did you test a small orange shared hosting company?

  • Vid-How

    You talked about speed and performance but didn’t mention anything about customer service. I’m currently using 247Zilla and even though they have everything I need in a shared hosting company, their customer services and technical support leaves more to be desired.

    There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get the job done because of hosting issues. Have you tested these sites from a customer service aspect?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi Vid, we work with all of these hosts on a day in and day out basis, and none of them have been really bed when it comes to support. SiteGround has gone above and beyond when it comes to their support. You can read more about that on this article http://s7102.p20.sites.pressdns.com/siteground-wordpress-hosting/ Hope that helps!

  • Vid-How

    Thanks for your fast response, I’ll check them out….

  • Vid-How

    Also will you be doing any test on 1&1 web hosting plans? They offer WordPress, they have some good price points, and the customer service has been excellent when I used them in the past…

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      We’ll look into that! Thanks for the suggestion.

  • http://www.womenlovetech.com/ Frederique Bros

    thank you so much for this useful article. I use Dreamhost for 2 business sites (and using WordPress) and I am quite disappointed with their speed performance (plus I paid extra money to have a vps server) no mention the hours I spend with their support. I am seriously thinking of changing the hosting of my sites. I will bookmark your page, many thanks. Which one would you recommend for a top performance?

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hi Frederique. From a performance standpoint, both Site5 and Siteground have done the best.

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  • Bryan Smith

    I’ve been with Godaddy for many years now and host multiple sites on a shared account. I have had more than 50 concurrent connections without any problems. I just had a problem once during peak times but that was caused due to load on all my sites. Called up support and they moved my account to a different server which resolved the problem. Good post but I disagree with Godaddy’s performance.

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  • https://hostawesome.com/ HostAwesome.com

    Interesting! Thanks for introducing me to LoadImpact. Prices are a bit steep, but I’ll certainly be using it to benchmark my sites. I’m rather surprised at Godaddys final speeds, as I’ve had experience with them and had nothing but slow and bad. Perhaps they allocated more resources to your ip for the re-test lol, just possibly speculating =d

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  • Dave

    Hostgator, Blue Host and Site ground are exactly the same company (EIG). I never been with site5 but I have been with EZPZ, Hostgator, blue host and after being tired of changing companies for downtime and slow websites. I researched and found mininimbus.com highly recommended. Very personal support!

  • http://www.ReginaldChan.net/ Reginald Chan Xin Yon

    This is a good review to be honest. I have SiteGround and a premium WP hosting as well.

    Only one problem with SiteGround is that it doesn’t work well with MaxCDN. That’s rather annoying to be honest :)

    Other than that, everything seems to be pretty good and the support team are good too.

  • Mark Besh

    Ryan, Ever tested “WPEngine”? They are crazy fast! We use it for our ‘portfolio’ site ( http://VisualImpactSystems.com ) that has A LOT of images and pages:
    http://wpengine.com/

    • http://www.wpsitecare.com/ WP Site Care

      Hey Mark, we have. But they don’t really fit in with this category of web hosts since they’re at a higher pricepoint, and are a different product really.

  • https://helgesverre.com Helge Sverre

    I personally use MDDHosting, I switched to them from Hostgator, which was increasingly getting on my nerves and just… throwing ads in my control panel, wtf?

    Glad i switched, here is the whole review: https://helgesverre.com/blog/mddhosting-review/

  • László Tavaszi

    Thanks for the great test! I’m so interested in Managed WP / Cloud WP / Managed VPS tests too for a larger site. Can you test hosts in Europe too please?

  • http://www.getlifetips.com/ Indira Priya

    I would say that you should include asmallorangeshared web hosting in the list,as they work very well for wordpress. I just posted my personal review here do check out http://www.getlifetips.com/2014/06/asmallorange-shared-web-hosting-review.html

  • http://www.sharanyan.com Sharanyan Sharma

    Eleven2 servers seems somehow ok! But their technicak knowledge and response speed is really worst. If you place any urgent support ticket then , that’s it! I never received any single response within less than 2 hours from then and resolution time not less than 1 day.

    I’m gonna try siteground and will post my review here soon . Btw, Appreciate your detailed review about best WP hosting providers.

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  • http://www.sinelogix.com Shashikant Chauhan

    thanks sir this is great info for buying hosting services i must say host gator was quite good which is help me in low price.

    PHP Web Development
    Company Bangalore

  • Jorge Diaz

    Hi, this is a very interesting post, I am looking for a hostign that has High WPperformance/accetable support and I found the Managed WordPress plans from GoDaddy and the difference in perfomance between GoDaddy and my previous hosting provider is really huge. So my point is that it would be really awesome if you try their managed WordPress hosting to see some changes.

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  • http://www.sideprojectprofit.com/ Shane Labs

    This is awesome! I ran similar tests using Blitz.io instead of LoadImpact: http://hostbenchmarker.com/load-test
    I found Yahoo Small Business to do surprisingly well, being able to handle 300 concurrent users without glitch. Would be curious if the results were the same using your method of testing!

  • http://webhostpilot.net Mads Nygaard

    Excellent writeup with interesting results – thanks. I am doing a review on GoDaddy’s webhosting services on http://webhostpilot.net as we speak. However as I have ended the hosting service I cannot benchmark the site by now – so I will reference your results (with due notice and reference of course). Hope that’s okay – if not please just let me know. Cheers!

  • FBA;

    For some reason these ideas did not work for me can someone tell me why my site is so slow still, http://bragnews.com/

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