Pantheon Review (2018)

Pantheon participated for the fourth time in our WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks (2018). Last year Pantheon earned two Top Tier awards. This review is based off the results of this years test.

Pantheon stepped up their game this year and earned three Top Tier awards and one honorable mention. Pantheon also has the honor of being the highest rated company on Review Signal for reviews based on customer opinions (84%).

The Products

Plan Name Plan Monthly Price Plan Visitors Allowed Plan Memory/RAM Plan Disk Space Plan Bandwidth
Plan Sites Allowed
Personal Plan $25 10,000 (with no overage charges) 1024MB 5GB Unlimited 1
Professional $100 100,000 2048 20GB Unlimited 1
Business $400 500,000 8192 30GB Unlimited 1
Elite $1,667 Unlimited Unlimited 100GB+ Unlimited 1

Performance Review

Load Storm

Plan Tier Total Requests Total Errors Peak RPS Average RPS Peak Response Time(ms) Average Response Time (ms) Total Data Transferred (GB) Peak Throughput (MB/s) Average Throughput (MB/s)
$25-50 292,393 5 220.72 162.44 4,287 162 22.79 17.5 12.66
$51-100 445,581 37 336.4 247.54 15,086 172 33.78 26.65 18.77
$200-$500 702,823 7,065 544.27 390.46 11,462 455 52.65 43.64 29.25
Enterprise 1,370,325 88 1,088.48 761.29 7,147 154 106.71 85.72 59.28

The Load Storm test is designed to simulate real users coming to the site, logging in and browsing the site bursting some of the caching mechanisms typically found on managed WordPress hosts.

Pantheon overall did very well. The only issue was in the $200-500 price range it started to show signs of load. It wasn't a huge issue and the plan still earned an honorable mention in the price tier.

Load Impact

Plan Tier Requests Errors Data Transferred (GB) Peak Average Load Time (Seconds) Peak Average Bandwidth (Mbps)
Peak Average Requests/Sec
$25-50 426896 0 23.73 0.159 401 880
$51-100 847397 0 47.26 0.196 773 1650
$200-$500 1257940 0 69.92 0.173 1020 2240
Enterprise 2046874 0 113.47 0.181 1660 3650

The Load Impact test makes sure static caching is effective so that if a page gets a lot of traffic the site will keep responding without issue.

Pantheon aced the LoadImpact tests across every price tier. Zero errors on all four tests and maintained a sub 200 millisecond response time average. Couldn't ask for a better performance.

Uptime

Plan Tier UptimeRobot StatusCake
$25-50 100 100
$51-100 100 100
$200-$500 99.97 100
Enterprise 100 100

Not a whole lot to say here other than excellent. 100% uptime across the board except one monitor out of two showing 99.97%.

WebPageTest / WPPerformanceTester

Plan Tier $25-50 $51-100 $200-$500 Enterprise
Dulles 0.355 0.354 0.353 0.374
Denver 1.57 1.493 1.236 1.322
LA 0.797 0.804 0.804 0.712
London 0.448 0.446 0.45 0.474
Frankfurt 0.369 0.356 0.375 0.428
Rose Hill, Mauritius 1.093 1.074 1.088 0.912
Singapore 0.433 0.449 0.045 0.426
Mumbai 0.692 0.64 0.662 0.522
Japan 0.419 0.39 0.393 0.366
Sydney 0.528 0.503 0.516 0.497
Brazil 0.405 0.408 0.4 0.384

The WPT tests were pretty phenomenal, I rarely comment on these because it's rare a company stands out so much. Once you left the US, Pantheon was often the fastest amongst their peers. Their global coverage appears to be top notch out of the box.

Plan Tier PHP Bench WP Bench
$25-50 9.914 163.2120124
$51-100 9.229 276.2430939
$200-$500 8.723 294.55081
Enterprise 8.708 235.9046945

The WPPerformanceTester results were pretty consistent. Since it's supposed to be the same platform that scales up, the results looking similar seems to make sense. The slight improvement in PHP bench scores as you scale is nice, but without a lot of repeated testing, unclear if that's by design or just a happy coincidence.

Conclusion

Another year, another fabulous performance from Pantheon. Not only are they the highest rated company on Review Signal's reviews - they consistently earn top tier performance awards in our testing. They stepped up their game from last year and earned an extra Top Tier performance award and an honorable mention. Their global response times were maybe the most impressive feature. They earned fastest average response time in 3/4 tiers on Load Impact and 2/4 on Load Storm, along with often having the fastest response time in their price tiers on WebPageTest. Overall, it was a pretty impressive performance from Pantheon this year.

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Kevin Ohashi is the geek-in-charge at Review Signal. He is passionate about making data meaningful for consumers. Kevin is based in Washington, DC.
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