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A2 Hosting [Reviews]
Incendia Web Works
Pressable (Formerly ZippyKid)
Hosting Agency (German)
Traffic Planet Hosting
Every plan was donated by the company for testing purposes with the strict stipulation that it would be the same as if any normal user signed up. There is a notes section at the bottom that details the minutiae of changes made to plans at the end of this post. Nearly every single company had security issues that I had to get around, so they worked to make sure my testing went through properly. Load testing often looks like an attack and it's the only way I can do these tests.
This year is a bit different than years past where every company and plan competed against one another. When I started the price gap was from $5/month to $29/month. Last year the gap was $5.95 to $299. I was only testing entry level plans but the market has dramatically changed since I first got started. Today, there is demand at many different price points and lots of companies have gone upscale with WordPress.com VIP at the top of the price bracket starting at $5,000/month. The only logical way to break things up was by price brackets. So below you will see the brackets and which companies participated. Specific details will be included on each bracket's write up.
|A2 Hosting||A2 Hosting||LiquidWeb||A2 Hosting||Kinsta||Kinsta|
|DreamHost LLC||Lightning Base||Cloudways (AWS )||Conetix||Pagley||Pantheon|
|Incendia Web Works||Pressjitsu||Lightning Base||Pressable||Pressidium||WordPress.com VIP|
|Lightning Base||SiteGround||Media Temple||Pressidium||Presslabs||WP Engine|
|Media Temple||WP Engine||Pagely||Pressjitsu||SiteGround|
|Hosting Agency.de||Cloudways (DigitalOcean)||Pressable|
|Traffic Planet Hosting||WPOven||SiteGround|
See The Results
The question I tried to answer is how well do these WordPress hosting services perform? I tested each company on two distinct measures of performance: peak performance and consistency. I've also included a compute and database benchmark based on a WordPress plugin.
All tests were performed on an identical WordPress dummy website with the same plugins except in cases where hosts added extra plugins. Each site was monitored for approximately two months for consistency.
LoadStorm was kind enough to give me resources to perform load testing on their platform and multiple staff members were involved in designing and testing these WordPress hosts. I created identical scripts for each host to load a site, login to the site and browse the site. Logged in users were designed to break some of the caching and better simulate real user load. The amount of users varies by cost.
I used Blitz again to compare against previous results. This tests the static caching of the homepage. I increased the number of users based on monthly cost this time.
Consistency matters. I wanted to see how well these companies performed over a longer period of time. I used two separate uptime monitoring services over the course of a month to test consistency.
WebPageTest with 9 runs, first view only, native connection. I tested from Dulles, Denver, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, South Africa, Singapore, Shanghai, Japan, Sydney, Brazil.
5. WPPerformanceTester (free plugin on WordPress.org)
I created a WordPress plugin to benchmark CPU, MySql and WordPress DB performance. The CPU/MySql benchmarks are testing the compute power. The WordPress component tests actually calling $wpdb and executing insert, select, update and delete queries.
Notes - Changes made to Hosting Plans
A2 - VPS Servers can't install WordPress out of the box without extra payment for Softaculous. Disabled recaptcha.
Conetix - disabled WordFence and Stream plugins.
SiteGround - fully enable SuperCacher plugin
GoDaddy - 24 database connection limit increased if you notify them of heavy load
CloudWays - disabled WordFence