Review Signal Publishes 2022 WordPress and WooCommerce Hosting Performance Benchmarks

Kevin Ohashi from Review Signal has published the 2022 WordPress and WooCommerce hosting performance benchmarks. These benchmarks are some of the most trusted review sources in the hosting industry due to Ohashi’s transparent methodology. No hosting company sponsors the work. Instead, Ohashi charges a standard, publicly documented fee for participation that covers the cost of the tests.

In 2022, Ohashi tested 33 companies with 79 different plans across seven different price tiers, including the WooCommerce tier.

If speed is one of your chief concerns when selecting a hosting company, these performance reviews may be of interest. The benchmarks include a Load Storm test designed to simulate real users visiting the site, logging in, and browsing (uncached performance). They also test cached performance, SSL, WP queries per second, performance on some computational and database operations, and a WebPageTest that fully loads the homepage and records how long it takes from 12 different locations around the world.

The results are easy to examine at a glance. Top Tier (Full Star) status is given to hosts that perform well under the battery of tests:

Top Tier WordPress Hosting (Full Star)

This is awarded to companies who maintain 99.9% uptime throughout the entire testing and show little to no performance degradation during load testing, primarily focused on error rate and consistent response times. Error rates above 0.1% and response times above 1000ms* will keep a company away from achieving Top Tier marks.

In the budget <$25/Month category, the 2022 Top Tier winners included 20i, 34SP, EasyWP by Namecheap, Eco Web Hosting, GreenGeeks, HostXNow, ICDSoft, LightningBase, MechanicWeb, Pressable, SiteGround, and WPX.

On the other end of the spectrum, in the Enterprise tier ($500+/month), there were far fewer participants but the majority of them achieved Top Tier status, including Performant Websites, Presslabs, Scaleforce powered by Virtuozzo, Servebolt (Scale + ACD), Servebolt, and WordPress VIP.

This is the second year Ohashi has performed WooCommerce hosting reviews. The tests are performed on a WooCommerce dummy website with Storefront set as the theme and sample products loaded.

Top Tier winners for WooCommerce hosting include GreenGeeks, Pressable, Servebolt, and WordPress.com. Two others achieved Honorable Mentions – ICDSoft and SiteGround.

Clicking on “View full results” for any of the tiers will show a detailed breakdown of all the tests with comparison charts and summaries for each host participating.

WordPress Hosting Is Getting Faster

“I think the most remarkable trend is how fast things are getting,” Ohashi said. “For example if we look at the enterprise tier from 2021 vs 2022, the fastest average response time (Static test) was 9ms and 6.4ms and p95 was 41ms to 20ms. The 3rd fastest p95 last year was 65ms which would be 7th (out of 9) fastest this year if you moved it.

“Despite the numbers already being staggeringly fast already, the whole cohort accelerated even faster.

“And it’s not just at the high end, at the <25 tier, on the Static test there was 1 company with under 100ms p95 last year (CynderHost – 61ms). This year you have three – Pressable (18ms), SiteGround (67ms), WPX (89ms).

“At the slow end, the slowest <25 Static average response time was 267ms, last year there were 5 companies with equal or slower averages (max being over 1200ms).”

Ohashi said there may be some selection bias as companies who do badly may not want to participate again and filter themselves out.

“But some of those companies improved quite a bit like GoDaddy was 295ms to 234ms which is a 61ms improvement,” he said. “I want to call out the companies who have sometimes struggled on these tests, and keep participating. I respect them and it makes me happy to see them making continuous improvements.

“While I do give awards for companies who do well, I think it’s important to recognize that not doing as well isn’t a failure, it’s about what the companies do with that information and how they improve their services. Overall, it seems everyone is improving and that’s a win for hosts and consumers alike.”

Ohashi said one of his goals for 2022 is talking with the companies to explain the value of participating. Beyond the value of the benchmarks themselves, these reviews help the ecosystem push for better performance. One of Ohashi’s testing policies is a big driver for this:

“The hosting packages are as close to default as possible. In some circumstances where turning on performance enhancements is very simple, e.g. clicking an option to turn on caching, this will be done. These changes must be obvious or communicated clearly in the welcome email so that every user is guaranteed to at least be presented the option. Otherwise everything is as-is for new customers upon sign up to avoid, as much as possible, the extra benefit of companies knowing they are being tested.”

Companies that do well in these tests are those that have embraced performance by default, so that any performance improving technology is already turned on or presented proactively to customers.

“One of the things I got a degree in is economics and we talk about opt-in vs opt-out policies like organ donation and how defaults can drastically influence outcomes,” Ohashi said. “By forcing opt-in performance improvements, I don’t know how many thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of sites have been positively impacted by these benchmarks without ever being aware because hosting companies are forced to enable better defaults.”

Ohashi also works with the companies on things that do not make it into the benchmarks, such as pointing out issues with onboarding/UI/UX experience and reporting bugs.

“I’ve probably used more different WordPress hosting companies than anyone else in the world at this point (I have to be in the top 10 doing these benchmarks for a decade right?),” he said. “If I cannot figure out how to do something in your system, it’s probably your system, not me. I truly want to see everyone do better, because everyone wins in that scenario and I will try to help as much as I can to make that happen.”

Check out the 2022 WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks for a more detailed breakdown of all the different pricing tiers and a full explanation of the testing methodology. Past years’ benchmarks are also available on the website. This year Load Storm went out of business, so Ohashi replicated the tests into k6. All of his load testing scripts are open source and available on GitHub, so others are welcome to use them for testing their own sites or building their own testing suites.

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11 responses to “Review Signal Publishes 2022 WordPress and WooCommerce Hosting Performance Benchmarks”

  1. I can definitely attest to WP hosting speeds increasing over the last 2 years in particular – especially with very large BBPress and BuddyPress installations (also due to the recent burst of new development activity and optimization). Overall, the ecosystem continues to deliver delightful new options.

  2. By some miracle, the first platform I looked at (WPCycle) has a blank homepage and the blog was last updated in 2020.

    Seems a bit strange to include this in their review, even if the homepage did have any content on it.

    • WPCycle has participated a couple times. I don’t know what’s going on with their homepage, that is very strange. All the companies who participate opted in to be tested. I didn’t select a random group. If a company isn’t listed they either a) decided not to participate or b) didn’t know the tests exist.

  3. Not sure why Performant Host is in that list. Their website seems half done, footer links don’t work, their FAQ contains 2 rows of the same questions, no Privacy Policy, no Terms of Service on their website, no Cookie Policy, contact details are lacking and/or plain wrong on their contact page, Case Studies page is filled with garbage… They should be removed from that list.

    • Jasper, this was brought up in the WordPress Hosting facebook group and it’s a valid question and started a discussion there. I will post my response that I posted there:

      “It definitely opens up an interesting can of worms this discussion. I was aware from the start they are a GridPane (partner? client? not sure what the right word is here). Since it was the enterprise tier, it’s very flexible in terms of offer and setup (the only tier where default setup isn’t a requirement). So I don’t need to go through a signup process, they can stand up whatever they like.
      As far as who can participate, I’ve always been a bit flexible and stressed these are performance benchmarks and nothing else. They should be used in conjunction with other information about the quality of a company you’re dealing with. I can count on one hand the number of companies I would refuse to do business with because I try to be open and transparent to provide the best data. To provide the best data means working with almost anyone, even companies that have generally negative perceptions (EIG, GD, etc). I’ve received a lot of pushback about working with some of those companies but my response is, I deal with data. If you refuse to collect data on a company, how can you honestly measure it? How can you see if they are improving?
      Now should a brand new company that is probably still organizing things be allowed in my benchmarks? Obviously I said it was ok this year because we’re having this discussion. I also let in Sailed.io which isn’t a company either. It’s an open source tool to setup Digital Ocean instances for WP. Konstantin Kovshenin and I talked about it and he wanted to see how Sailed.io stacked up against full hosting companies. I made a note about them but allowed it.
      Next year, what would be the fair criteria for eligibility? I want to encourage as many companies as possible because I think more participation is better for everyone. I’m also open to non traditional participants given they are on somewhat fair footing (ala Sailed.io).
      I don’t have an answer by the way, I am just putting my thoughts out loud and curious to hear what others think.”

      I will reach out and see if they want to comment.

      • Yeah cool, but I hope you understand that a website selling goods to customers without a TOS is just plain illegal. Unlike sailed.io who has that all needly lined up in their footer.

        Next year, what would be the fair criteria for eligibility?
        Not operating illegaly.

        Also that’s a lot of words for a reply that has nothing to do with what I said.

    • Hi Jasper,

      I’ve commented over on the WP Hosting group in FB and can add my comments here – https://performant.host is my project and also it was my oversight that the website wasnt presentable when Kevin published the results.

      The webhosting business is an offshoot from our digital publishing business – at this point we are still mostly hosting our own portfolio of websites, but plan to cater for more enterprise clients in the future since we believe we’ve hit the sweet-spot of solving the problems with serving high traffic websites that we wrangled with ourselves in the past.

      We entered Review Signal to “prove it” – basically to provide credible third party validation of our hosting capabilities that we could discuss with future prospective clients, and thanks to Kevin’s hard work, we’ve now got an eminent case study to refer to. I look forward to improving on our performance in future years.

      We’re very much a boutique operation and our clients thus far have been business who already knew us, or were referred to us, but we plan to serve more clients in the future, and obviously our website will be developed to play a part in that going forward.

  4. If I am not mistaken, WPCycle is on of active members at WebhostingTalk forum. Using “search” form, I found that the member still active on the forum (July 2022). Maybe they are doing the maintenance to their homepage I guess.

  5. Thank you for this most useful benchmark survey.
    It would perhaps benefit even more if there was stated the number of active websites on each hosting service in order to difrentiate the smaller hosting companies from the major ones.

    • I tried to add a little information about when the company was founded and ownership. In the future adding more detailed company info about all the companies in the benchmarks (and in the entire hosting space) may happen. I definitely agree with you on the value.

  6. I love Kevin and Review Signal, all other sites list the same Hosts because they pay the most for referalls, always liked the transparency Kevin has, which more sites would do this.

    Great benchmarking for people looking to change hosts or pick a host

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