Under $25/Month WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks (2018)

The full company list, product list, methodology, and notes can be found here.

This post focuses only on the results of the testing in the <$25/month price bracket for WordPress Hosting.

Hosting Plan Details

Click the table below to see the full product specifications sheet.

Load Storm Testing Results

This test scaled from 500 to 2000 users over 30 minutes with 10 minutes at the peak.

Results Table

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)
1&1 Internet 296744 21024 231.12 164.86 16366 591 20.3 17.14 11.28
34SP.com 300603 43631 89.77 58.92 15425 1730 3.13 2.49 1.74
A2 Hosting 372156 820 285.55 206.75 9002 657 23.51 18.59 13.06
Bluehost Cloud 290183 96207 249.07 161.21 15091 1553 12.47 14.74 6.93
Bluehost Shared 293146 143830 245.68 162.86 15263 1507 10 11.86 5.56
FlyWheel 249249 77140 189.82 138.47 15623 2415 11.81 10.25 6.56
GreenGeeks 348819 20 266.48 193.79 4708 314 24.49 19.89 13.61
Incendia Web Works 294518 0 222.42 163.62 4070 348 21.29 17.14 11.83
IO Zoom 326189 44784 269.7 181.22 15705 1351 15.13 14.33 8.41
Kickassd 189570 65553 144.65 105.32 18418 6184 9.02 12.6 5.01
Lightning Base 449766 93 365.18 249.87 15096 419 25.38 21.35 14.1
Nestify 230774 5 211.47 128.21 15100 1960 13.79 9.95 7.66
Nexcess.net 278151 438 211.47 154.53 15578 980 20.18 15.02 11.21
Pressable 330412 487 249.85 183.56 10102 268 21.65 17.38 12.03
SiteGround 316826 14 242.02 176.01 5361 445 21.18 16.98 11.76

Discussion

GreenGeeks, Incendia Web Works, LightningBase, and SiteGround [Reviews] all handled this test without issue. A2 Hosting [Reviews], Nexcess and Pressable had some minor issues. A2 Hosting and Nexcess had a couple minor spikes. Pressable had a weird issue with the Tokyo data center for Load Storm which occurred every time on different plans tested. Nestify is interesting because they never failed but definitely started slowing down under load but their server stayed up and errored the second fewest times of any plan.

1&1 [Reviews] Internet seemed to be running into a security related issue - they weren't able to turn off their DDoS proxy for a single site. They kept a relatively constant response time and error rate. Overall it looked pretty decent while having the security issue.

BlueHost [Reviews] Cloud and Shared both ran into security issues we couldn't work to bypass. They were perhaps the most bizarre graphs I have seen during all my years of testing. Hard to say much based on them.

34SP.com, FlyWheel [Reviews], IOZoom, and Kickassd struggled with this test; they showed errors and increased response times.

Load Impact Testing Results

This test scaled from 1 to 1000 users over 15 minutes. Error count capped at 5,000.

Results Table

Requests Errors Data Transferred (GB) Peak Average Load Time (Seconds) Peak Average Bandwidth (Mbps) Peak Average Requests/Sec
1&1 Internet 173410 5000 4.68 2.19 48 322
34SP.com 309130 5000 6.64 1.03 67 532
A2 Hosting 333786 0 17.64 0.481 293.4 677
Bluehost Cloud 78659 5000 1.98 8.31 25.9 126
Bluehost Shared 82052 5000 1.97 8.08 25.2 138
FlyWheel 111199 467 5.83 7.25 57.1 137
GreenGeeks 310129 90 16.11 0.886 220.6 518
Incendia Web Works 339517 0 17.06 0.414 253.9 617
IO Zoom 303212 0 16.39 0.905 223.1 504
Kickassd 338072 0 18.04 0.424 289 660
Lightning Base 339672 0 18.26 0.412 300.6 682
Nestify 192838 181 10.25 3.09 113.8 262
Nexcess.net 320321 0 17.21 0.671 263 597
Pressable 326903 21 17.73 0.486 482.1 1060
SiteGround 318163 4 16.97 0.556 264 605

Discussion

A2 Hosting [Reviews], Incendia Web Works, Kickassd, LightningBase, Pressable, and SiteGround [Reviews] handled this test without issue.

GreenGeeks had a bit of a spike and started to increase in response time towards the end of the test.

IOZoom started to lag slightly towards the end of the test doubling in response time but didn't error once.

Nexcess started to show a little load towards the end but managed to not error at all and stayed below 800ms response time.

1&1 [Reviews], 34SP.com, BlueHost [Reviews] Cloud/Shared, FlyWheel [Reviews], and Nestify struggled with this test; they showed errors and increased response times.

Uptime Monitoring Results

Results Table

UptimeRobot StatusCake
1&1 Internet 99.98 99.97
34SP.com 99.98 99.96
A2 Hosting 99.95 98.86
Bluehost Cloud 99.97 99.97
Bluehost Shared 99.98 99.94
FlyWheel 100 100
GreenGeeks 99.98 99.97
Incendia Web Works 99.99 99.97
IO Zoom 95.18 95.39
Kickassd 100 100
Lightning Base 100 100
Nestify 99.83 99.92
Nexcess.net 100 99.72
Pressable 99.99 99.99
SiteGround 99.99 99.99

Discussion

Most companies maintained above the 99.9% threshold on both uptime monitors.

A2 Hosting had some issues with UptimeRobot showing 99.95% and StatusCake 98.96%.

IO Zoom had a major downtime issue with UptimeRobot showing 95.18% and StatusCake 95.39%. What happened was a server upgrade and my account wasn't upgraded to a new PHP handler. Beyond that event was fine, but that caused the low numbers being reported.

Nestify had some issues with UptimeRobot showing 99.83% and StatusCake 99.92%.

Nexcess had a strange phenomena where UptimeRobot recorded 100% and StatusCake showed 99.72%. StatusCake showed multiple relatively short downtimes across two days in August which were the cause of this low number. UptimeRobot which was checking far more frequently didn't experience any of these issues, so I suspect it might have been issue more with StatusCake being able to connect than Nexcess being actually down.

WebPageTest.org Results

Results Table

WPT Dulles WPT Denver WPT LA WPT London WPT Frankfurt WPT Mauritius
1&1 Internet 0.595 1.306 1.066 1.366 1.483 3.033
34SP.com 0.814 1.636 1.651 0.442 0.455 2.059
A2 Hosting 0.398 1.091 1.172 1.558 1.291 2.78
Bluehost Cloud 0.525 1.466 1.389 1.271 1.32 2.38
Bluehost Shared 0.605 1.45 0.924 1.697 2.552 3.493
FlyWheel 0.348 1.149 1.193 0.746 0.827 1.866
GreenGeeks 0.356 1.043 0.829 0.841 1.18 1.993
Incendia Web Works 0.366 1.21 1.094 0.791 0.894 1.988
IO Zoom 0.607 1.207 0.695 1.365 1.51 2.217
Kickassd 0.35 1.503 1.449 0.818 0.919 2.642
Lightning Base 0.429 1.212 0.843 1.169 1.091 2.435
Nestify 0.347 1.186 1.211 0.801 1.02 3.86
Nexcess.net 0.401 1.342 1.163 0.983 1.197 2.796
Pressable 0.468 1.366 1.008 0.862 0.947 2.347
SiteGround 0.432 1.489 0.909 0.937 1.087 1.945
WPT Singapore WPT Mumbai WPT Japan WPT Sydney WPT Brazil
1&1 Internet 2.553 2.971 1.783 2.514 1.597
34SP.com 1.634 2.339 2.1 3.177 2.22
A2 Hosting 2.52 3.407 1.77 2.824 1.796
Bluehost Cloud 2.484 2.527 1.746 2.152 1.706
Bluehost Shared 1.845 2.341 1.364 1.608 1.756
FlyWheel 2.085 1.811 1.75 2.091 1.266
GreenGeeks 2.228 2.422 1.699 1.932 1.395
Incendia Web Works 2.243 2.432 1.713 2.081 1.207
IO Zoom 1.847 2.478 1.11 1.375 1.786
Kickassd 2.967 1.92 1.733 2.398 1.375
Lightning Base 1.863 2.33 1.292 1.762 1.511
Nestify 3.634 3.036 3.244 2.666 2.317
Nexcess.net 2.402 2.82 1.608 2.425 1.498
Pressable 2.436 2.59 1.698 1.923 1.389
SiteGround 2.088 1.957 1.617 1.781 1.392

Discussion

There isn't a whole lot to say since this is a non-impacting metric in terms of the results. Nobody had huge issues.

One interesting thing I compared was the average response time from 2016's benchmarks in the 9 locations that were the same. The best average improvements were Dulles going from an average of .809 to .503 and Frankfurt going from 1.698 to 1.270. The worst change was LA by a wide margin going from 0.72 to 1.404. In aggregate 2018's results were 0.471 seconds slower on the same 9 locations as 2016. Could just be the testing location that day. I don't use these as an impacting measure for a reason.

WPPerformanceTester Results

Results Table

PHP Bench WP Bench
1&1 Internet 10.069 574.7126437
34SP.com 10.995 510.4645227
A2 Hosting 11.246 560.5381166
Bluehost Cloud 10.411 1043.841336
Bluehost Shared 10.854 960.6147935
FlyWheel 9.731 554.9389567
GreenGeeks 10.946 1312.335958
Incendia Web Works 6.63 749.6251874
IO Zoom 12.916 761.0350076
Kickassd 10.721 1477.104874
Lightning Base 8.678 1388.888889
Nestify 11.284 181.356547
Nexcess.net 12.094 484.496124
Pressable 10.87 562.7462015
SiteGround 10.49 1157.407407

Discussion

Incendia Web Works led the way with the fastest PHP Bench score. Kickassd had the fastest WP Bench.

Compared in aggregate to 2016's results we see on average we are seeing higher speeds. 2016 had an average PHP Bench of 11.573 while this year had an average of 11.281. WP Bench had an average of 684 in 2016 and this year had of 877.

One thing to note is that WP bench scores can vary tremendously based on the database architecture. You'll often see faster scores on architectures running the database locally compared to ones that run separately or have redundancy built in.

Conclusion

Top Tier

Incendia Web Works, LightningBase, Pressable and SiteGround [Reviews] all earned Top Tier status this year for going through all the tests without any issues.

Honorable Mention

A2 Hosting [Reviews], Green Geeks and Nexcess earned honorable mention status.

A2 Hosting [Reviews] had a borderline uptime performance that kept it out of the top tier. Green Geeks had some response time issues on the Load Impact test where it started to slow down. Nexcess had a strange uptime monitor and was borderline on the load tests but never errored out.

Individual Host Analysis

1&1 Internet

1&1 [Reviews] was a new participant this year and they were interesting. While they didn't win any awards, their tests were having issues because of a DDoS proxy they couldn't turn off on an account specific level. I wish we could have gotten a clean test through to see how they really stacked up. 1&1 kept a solid uptime above 99.97%

34SP

34SP.com was another new participant; based in the UK. They were by far the fastest to connect to London and Frankfurt on WebPageTest which is nice to see. On the load testing front 34SP just couldn't quite handle the stress of so many visitors. They did manage to keep a good uptime during tests though with above 99.96%.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting [Reviews] earned an honorable mention this year. Their performance was quite good but there were a few issues. Their uptime was borderline with one monitor showing below 99.9% but the average of the two monitors above 99.9%. The LoadStorm test had a minor spike issue but nothing serious. LoadImpact was good with no errors. It was a huge improvement over last year where they failed the load tests. Nice to see such a big improvement.

BlueHost Cloud + BlueHost Shared

BlueHost [Reviews] were grouped together because I was hoping to see a meaningful difference in performance between the different offerings but it really wasn't very clear that either offering was the obvious better choice. The Shared plan outperformed in LoadImpact while Cloud outperformed in Load Storm. They had similar uptimes, both averaging 99.97%, which was perhaps the highlight of their results. We were unable to work around some security measures in their network and get clean tests through. It led to some of the strangest looking LoadStorm tests I've ever seen.

FlyWheel

FlyWheel [Reviews] while still maintaining the best score on our review site at 81% at the time of writing, continues to underperform on the performance tests. It's just a reminder that peak performance isn't everything for everyone. They didn't do well in either load test but managed a perfect 100% uptime on both monitors.

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is another new entrant who put up a stellar first performance earning themselves an honorable mention. The only test they had a little bit of issue with is the Load Impact test where they had a spike and started to show a bit of increased response times towards the end. Very happy to have another strong offering in the mix for people to choose from.

Incendia Web Works

Incendia Web Works had some uptime issues last year which marred their results. This year no such thing happened. IWW continued to have great load testing results and earned itself Top Tier status. They had flawless load test results being the only company with 0 errors on both LoadStorm and LoadImpact. It's nice to see companies improve their consistency and earn a higher ranking.

IO Zoom

IOZoom was another new entrant this year. The uptime issue was really unfortunate and in the future I hope their upgrade process is now better equipped to make sure things like that don't happen. They had a good Load Impact test with just some minor increase in response times. Unfortunately IO Zoom did poorly on the LoadStorm test. These tests are difficult and companies sometimes take years to manage them, I hope IO Zoom comes back next year swinging with better results.

Kickassd

Kickassd was yet another new entrant who impressed in some tests. Kickassd had perfect uptime at 100%. They also had a perfect LoadImpact test with a flat response time and zero errors. Unfortunately, the Load Storm test was a bit much for the server and it didn't do as well. Overall, really impressed with a new entrant who can manage do well on a lot of the tests. I also know a lot of improvements were deployed customer wide because of the testing. Next year I hope to see those improvements earn Kickassd an award.

Lightning Base

LightningBase. Another year, another near perfect run. 100% uptime. Great load tests. This is the 4th year in a row LightningBase has earned top tier recognition. It seems almost expected at this point.

Nestify

Nestify was a new entrant this year. Their LoadStorm test was a decent start. It definitely started to slow down, but they had the second fewest errors of any company. Their Load Impact test went similarly, increased response times with some errors but not an overwhelming number. Nestify's uptime left something to be desired with an average below 99.9%. This was caused by a block storage maintenance/failure at Vultr according to them. During testing we realized one of the potentially limiting factors was the 100Mbps connection to the server being saturated during the load tests. There are the makings of a very solid competitor if they can figure out a few issues.

Nexcess.net

Nexcess returned to the tests this year after not participating last year. They brought in the person responsible for A Small Orange's WordPress stack that did so well in early versions of these benchmarks. This resulted in Nexcess earning an honorable mention status. Their results were pretty good in all the meaningful tests. Their uptime was a bit strange with one showing 100% and the other 99.72%. The LoadStorm test had a couple spikes but nothing major. LoadImpact had some increased response time but stayed under 800ms which is quite good. Glad to see their return and they're making at mark at the entry level.

Pressable

99.9% was Pressable's uptime and pretty much sums up their results as a whole. Another Top Tier award for Pressable. The only strange issue which consistently happened on all their plans is a weird issue with LoadStorm's Tokyo data center having some errors. It really didn't have much impact with an error rate at 0.15%. Another great year for Pressable.

SiteGround

Another Top Tier award for SiteGround [Reviews]. They had the second fewest cumulative errors at 18 for Load Storm and Load Impact tests (14+4) respectively. Combined with a 99.99% uptime, they continue to look great.

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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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