WordPress Hosting Benchmarks 2022
This post is a continuation of our Fastest WordPress hosting list.
Our WordPress hosting benchmarks provide an unbiased, data-driven way to compare different WordPress hosting providers.
While our main post discusses the top list of hosting companies, this post gives a details discussion of each performance test.
WordPress Hosting Benchmarks – Test site setup
Our WordPress test sites are developed to simulate an accurate site and are built with a standard setup. The setup consists of
- Default WordPress theme
- PHP 7.4 on all sites
- The plugins on site are Akismet, Contact Form 7, Caching*, and Rank Math.
Here is the list of sites with URL, Caching used, and Price:
List of Tests to find Fastest Web Hosting For WordPress
Below is the list of tests I used to measure the performance.
- Server Response Time (TTFB) – Using Pingdom, the demo sites are monitored every 60 seconds from 20+ USA locations. Each demo WordPress site is pinged 10,100 times a month, and then the average server TTFB is calculated.
- Load Testing – We do three load tests: one simple and two advanced load tests. You can learn more about this in the respective section.
- Global TTFB – The sites are pinged from 10 international locations through this test. The values are averaged to find which WordPress host has the fastest TTFB globally. If your site has visitors from multiple countries, then these results will be helpful to you.
- Uptime – We use the same Pingdom data. Each site is checked 10,100 times monthly, and then the uptime is calculated.
- Core Web Vitals (CWV) – The test was done using WebPageTest.org. If you're focusing on CWV, here is the data you should look into it.
Test 1 – TTFB
Server Response Time (TTFB) is the most critical factor for any WordPress hosting company. The lower the TTFB, the faster the server is. The site should have a fast server TTFB to provide a good user experience to visitors.
Our Pingdom tool monitors the sites from 20 locations in the United States for 60 seconds, averages the data, and then calculates the average server response time. Check out the results in the table below; the screenshot is next.
Rocket, Cloudways, GreenGeeks, Templ, and A2 Hosting are the top five fastest hosts in our server TTFB test.
Shared hosting services like GreenGeeks, and A2 Hosting comfortably beat WP Engine and Kinsta in terms of TTFB.
HostGator is the only host to secure a 723ms, while all other hosts recorded a TTFB of less than 450ms. One can avoid HostGator.
|Hosting||Average Response Time|
Test 2 – Uptime
No matter in using the fastest hosting that comes with poor uptime. This test ensures the fastest hosting for WordPress is also reliable. I used the same Pingdom data to calculate the uptime; one can refer to the above screenshots for uptime data.
Out of all hosts, Templ.io is the only host to secure 100% uptime in the last 12 months. That's quite impressive. Other hosts with 99.99% uptime are WP Engine, Rocket.net, Cloudways, Kinsta, and DreamPress.
None of the WordPress shared hosting companies offered 99.99% uptime. GreenGeeks and Bluehost provided 99.98% uptime, while A2 Hosting secured 99.98%.
Test 3 – Load Testing
I've done three types of load testing with the help of loader.io
- Clients Per test (1000 clients in 1 minute) – Through this test, the 1000 clients are evenly distributed throughout the test duration.
- Maintain Client Load (500 clients in 1 minute) – A 500 users client load will be maintained throughout the test duration.
- Maintain Client Load (1000 clients in 1 minute) – The same test with high 1000 users client load to measure premium WordPress plan performance.
The “Maintain Client Load” test is vital as the load will be maintained throughout the duration, wherein “Client Per test,” the load will be placed at random times and not for the whole test duration.
I faced a few challenges while doing the load test. The starter plans of shared hosting don't have the resource to handle high client load, and a few managed hosting services don't allow for performing maintain client load tests. So, I've settled for this combination.
- Clients Per test (1000 clients in 1 minute) – Works with all hosting.
- Maintain Client Load (500 clients in 1 minute) – Works on shared and selected managed WP hosts.
- Maintain Client Load (1000 clients in 1 minute ) – Tested on Premium WordPress hosts.
Load Testing 1 – Clients Per Test (1000 clients in 1 minute):
Cloudways (9 ms), Rocket (14ms), GreenGeeks (25 ms), A2 Hosting (26 ms), and WPX (28ms) secured the top positions in Clients per test.
GreenGeeks (25ms) and A2 Hosting (26ms) again beat Kinsta (33ms) and WP Engine (40ms) in simple load testing. If your site receives low to moderate traffic, then shared hosting itself is enough for most users.
Hostinger is the only host that failed in this simple load test. One can avoid the Hostinger Starter plan if the site gets concurrent visitors.
|Hosting||Average Response Time|
|A2 Hosting||26 ms|
|WP Engine||40 ms|
Load Testing 2 – Maintain Client Load (500 clients in 1 minute):
Templ (32 ms), GreenGeeks (35 ms), and ChemiCloud (43 ms) secured top spots in Maintain Client load (500 clients in 1 minute) test.
Templ and GreenGeeks are the only two hosts that performed well in both (load tests 1 & 2).
The A2 Hosting, Cloudways, and WPX performed well in simple load test 1, but their results were quite average in this advanced load test 2.
Due to security limitations, I can't able to run this test on Kinsta and WP Engine.
|Hosting||Average Response Time||Response Success||Timeout error||400/500 error||Network error|
|A2 Hosting||163 ms||85917||0||0||0|
Load Testing 3 – Maintain Client Load (1000 clients in 1 minute):
Templ (43 ms), Rocket (48ms), DreamPress (173 ms), and Cloudways (268 ms) secured the top hosts in Maintain Client load (1000 clients in 1 minute) test.
Templ is the host that recorded well in all three tests. Rocket.net comes second with 48ms.
This advanced load test 3 comes with a high client load. Thus, GreenGeeks, which performed well in load test 2, failed here.
|Hosting||Average Response Time||Response Success||Timeout||400/500 error||Network error|
Load Testing Takeaways:
- For most high-traffic sites, I can recommend Templ hosting as they're the only host that offers superior performance in a high client load test.
- If you're on a budget and the site gets low to moderate traffic, then you can rely on GreenGeeks and A2 Hosting.
- GreenGeeks is again impressive and secured top positions in tests 1 & 2. GreenGeeks blow away competitors like SiteGround, HostGator, and Bluehost with 5x faster performance.
- WP Engine and Kinsta might also be able to handle similar client loads but due to security limitations, I can't able to run load tests 2 & 3.
Test 4 – Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals is the new performance metric, and one cannot simply ignore it. It's the new standard in WordPress website optimization, and Hostingstep.com is the first site to measure hosting companies' CWV scores.
The demo sites are tested using WebPageTest, and the CWC metrics like Largest Contentful Paint and Cumulative Layout Shift are calculated in this test. The First Input Delay is field data; hence, it can't be measured in tools. However, Google recommends considering Total Blocking Time as a proxy measurement; therefore, we include it.
Honestly, I was unsatisfied with my test because the results were inconsistent. I'm working on a new solution to track the scores. However, there is a clear outcome that I got through this test.
- If you care about getting a “Pass” in Core Web Vitals or care about delivering a fast site for all visitors, you should use managed WordPress hosting. To get the best score on each host, I did 5-7 repeated tests, and sites hosted on shared hosting showed many fluctuations were the Largest Contentful Paint loads from 2.4 seconds to 3.5 seconds.
- However, Managed WordPress Hosts provided consistent results after running 5-7 tests. The LCP loads only between 1.4 seconds to 2.6 seconds and is consistent in all tests.
Test 5 – Global TTFB Test
The site is tested from 10 global locations to measure the server response time (TTFB). If you have a site audience from multiple countries, watch these results to test the server's global network performance.
Based on the average data, Templ (353 ms), GreenGeeks (354 ms), and FastComet (371.84 ms) are the top three hosts with fast global TTFB.
|A2 Hosting||418.08 ms|
|WP Engine||462.05 ms|