Kevin Ohashi has published his 2021 WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks report. The annual report is broken down into six different hosting tiers, from the most economical <$25/month, to the $500+ enterprise level. This is the second year the stats include WooCommerce-specific hosts as a separate category.
After eight years of measuring peak performance and consistency for WordPress hosts, Review Signal has relaunched benchmarks on wphostingbenchmarks.com, a WordPress-powered site.
Review Signal started using sentiment analysis to capture consumer reviews of hosting companies on Twitter in 2011 and launched in 2012. Ohashi added a WordPress blog but said it never really integrated well with the code and design of the rest of the site. He launched the benchmarks in 2013, publishing the first handful of tests via a simple blog post.
“In 2020 it was dozens of companies, 6 full price tiers of competition, and a separate WooCommerce group as well,” Ohashi said. “It really has become its own product, and creating a dedicated site for them at WPHostingBenchmarks.com is recognition of that fact. It also opened the door for a rebranding effort and a much better presentation of the results.”
Results on the new site are much easier to understand at a glance with honorable mentions and top tier companies denoted by a half star and full star. Visitors can click through to get more specific information about each host’s performance on the tests.
Top tier performers in the <$25 tier included 20i, CynderHost, EasyWP by Namecheap, Eco Web Hosting, Green Geeks, Lightning Base, RAIDBOXES, and WPX, with a handful of honorable mentions. In the Enterprise tier (shown above), RAIDBOXES, Scaleforce powered by Jelastic, Seravo, Servebolt, Servebolt Accelerated, and WordPress VIP capture the top tier spots.
Now that the new site is database driven, Ohashi can publish faster and reduce the amount of work it takes going forward.
“It also lets me auto generate pages from the data – for example company profile pages,” he said. “I attempted to write a blog post in the past about companies that did well, but it was never really a success. Now, I can display all their historical results, pull up analysis, compare them all by year, etc. So I am happier, companies are (hopefully) happier, and most of all – consumers get better insight into the results.”
WooCommerce Benchmarks Expanding
WooCommerce benchmarks have expanded since their first time to be included separately last year. Five out of the 11 companies tested scored top tier results, including Lightning Base, Pressable, Servebolt, SiteGround, and WordPress.com.
Servebolt scored 99.999% Uptime and the fastest Load Storm average response time, along with the fastest wp-login, Buyer and Customer profiles and second fastest Home profile. Pressable reprised its top tier status with perfect uptime and the second fastest Average Response Time on WebPageTest. WordPress.com posted perfect uptime, the second fastest K6 average response time, and a solid Load Storm test. On the WebPageTest results WordPress.com took 10/12 of the fastest response times and posted the fastest WP Bench scores Ohashi has ever recorded and the second fastest PHP Bench.
In 2021, SiteGround slipped to honorable mention status in every other tier where it was tested, with the exception of WooCommerce. Lightning Base maintained its top tier status with a 99.99% uptime rating, very good flat Load Storm and K6 results, and no problems with the tests.
“For WooCommerce I had seven companies participate last year and this year had 11 companies, which is a 57% increase,” Ohashi said. “The traditional WordPress benchmarks grew from ~29 companies last year to 35-37 depending on if you differentiate Automattic brands (VIP, WP.com, Pressable) which is at least a 20% growth in participation.”
Ohashi said he is pleased with the mix of new entrants and companies that have participated for years, but the pandemic has slowed Review Signal’s business.
“It’s been a bit slow revenue wise,” he said. “I don’t sell any products and don’t think I’ve found any advantage during the pandemic to make what I do stand out relative to what’s happening to the world. That is another motivating reason for creating WPHostingBenchmarks.com, I wanted to take that extra time I have and make the biggest change for Review Signal in years.”
Review Signal’s benchmarks are one of the most thorough and transparent evaluations of hosting products in the industry. This is because Ohashi doesn’t accept any hosting sponsorship. Each company pays a small, publicly documented, fee for participation to cover the costs of the tests. These fees are standardized based on the pricing tier of the product entered into the testing. Consumers in the market for a new hosting company will find WPHostingBenchmarks a solid resource for comparing how companies perform at different pricing tiers.
Such an interesting read, particularly for those in the industry. I would also say it’s the only web hosting review site that can be trusted.
That said, there are so many factors in play beyond the hosting stack that affect performance and that no test can really tell the full story.