Servebolt dominates web performance hosting benchmarks 2019

For the first time, Servebolt got to meet the best of the best in hosting in the largest independent online WordPress hosting benchmark. Eager to demonstrate our capabilities, we signed up in the 4 relevant price tiers, ranging from our $99 entry level plan and up to the Enterprise class.

Compared to last year, a few things have changed in hosting. First, the web is now largely encrypted and everyone runs SSL. The second, and more impacting thing is that we expect the performance of virtual and cloud setups to suffer, because of the CPU bugs Spectre and Meltdown. We were very interested in seeing the impact, and from first glance it looks like those running VPS’es are those that have taken the largest performance hit.

A variety of different hosting types entered the contest. Cloud instances, containers, dedicated servers, setups. We were (of course) the only ones to deliver Bolts.

Bolts are super scalable, stable and deliver unparalleled performance. If you haven’t tried them out already, just sign up and upload your site!

TL;DR

This is the blazing fast summary of all the results

  • Servebolt earned Top Tier status in all tiers
  • We deliver performance, reliability and scalability that outcompetes or is in line with the top few %, across every single category and metric
  • Servebolt is built for WordPress hosting by WordPress experts
  • Scroll right to the results summary

2018 WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks

The Review Signal WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks is designed to create a consistent set of benchmarks showing which web hosting companies offer best in class performance. This year, 27 hosting companies participated in 6 different price tiers.

The two main metrics to earn Top Tier Status are peak performance and consistency. The peak performance tests use load testing services like Loadstorm and Loadimpact, and emulate large numbers of users visiting a website. The final reports show how well the hosting solution responds under these stressful conditions.

Consistency is measured using two different uptime monitoring services over a three month period, to make sure that the servers are always online.

Web performance is all about loading times for website visitors, therefore web page loading times are tested from eleven geographical locations internationally, using WebPageTest.org.

Server speed is also a key metric impacting web performance. The WPPerformanceTester plugin for WordPress does PHP and database benchmarks. It measures how fast the underlying server runs, hence how fast the server can run WordPress.

WordPress 5 was released early in the testing period, and it was decided that all tests would be performed on the latest version of WordPress. Because the internet now largely is encrypted, all tests were run over https, and a SSL Labs metric was recorded for every test.

See how Servebolt stacked up against the competition in each of the tiers below:

$51-100/Month Tier (Servebolt Earned Top Tier πŸ†)

Servebolt entered this test with the standard WordPress High Performance 4GB plan.

New entrant Servebolt.com stormed into the tests this year and earned itself a Top Tier award. They had perfect 100% uptime on both monitors. They also had the fastest Load Storm results of any company in this price tier. It was an excellent performance from a new entrant.

Kevin Ohashi, founder at Review Signal

Test 1: Load Storm

The Load Storm test simulates a real workload by hitting several different pages and posts, with all their assets. In addition it hits some uncachable endpoints like the login page and profile.php. The test hits the site from 10 different data centers world wide, for a period of 30 minutes, starting with 500 users, and scaling to 3 000 concurrent users with 10 minutes at the peak.

Load test of real user workload

Servebolt completely outcompeted all the others by delivering an average response time of 97ms and the highest number of requests.

A2 Hosting, Liquid Web, Dreamhost and Lightning Base all had average response times exceeding 600ms.

Test 2: Load Impact

The Load Impact load test, tests the performance of the cache by hitting only the front HTML page. The test scales from 1 user to 2000 users over a period of 15 minutes.

Cache test results

Servebolt and WPX hosting stand out by delivering a much larger amount of cached pages than the rest, delivering 1570 and 1690 per second at the peak! Kudos to WPX for the fastest cache responses!

A2 Hosting, Cloudways, DreamHost and LiquidWeb all struggled with increasing load times.

Test 3: Uptime Monitoring

We delivered 100% uptime on both monitors, and response times much faster than the rest of the pack, just beaten by WPX Hosting.

Test 4: WebPageTest.org

WebPageTest.org gathers web page load time speeds from 11 locations around the World. The load time is a measure of the loading speed a first time visitor to the page can expect to experience.

Lightning Base delivered the fastest average global load times, with Servebolt following 0.08 seconds behind! We had two locations performing lesser than expected, and we suspect temporary routing issues to be the source of the added load time.

Pressable was the slowest in 6/11 locales. You can inspect the spider web and full results here!

Global average load time

Company Name AVERAGE STDEV FASTEST SLOWEST
Lightning Base1.1905454550.4507137370.5142.042
Servebolt.com1.2717272730.50668315360.4692.156
Incendia Web Works1.2890.6535359210.3932.469
Liquid Web1.3216363640.51729416640.5452.275
Kinsta1.3220909090.53211586230.5222.257
Cloudways1.3460909090.52290409340.6932.542
DreamHost1.5080909090.79688925890.4322.84
WPX Hosting1.6212727271.119294250.3794.081
A2 Hosting1.6220.82747543770.52.795
Pressable2.1310.92301007580.6043.848

Test 5: WPPerformanceTester

The WP Performance Tester benchmarks PHP and database performance. Overall realtime WordPress performance is largely defined by the speed of exactly these two metrics, and in total – these are what make out the most part of the time to first byte for dynamic requests.

Outcompeting everyone in the PHP Bench feels good – 3.8 seconds is 74% faster than the second best. We bet Incendia Web Works entered the competition with some super beefy hardware, because they beat us on the finish line in processing database queries – with 26 qps more. Servebolt and IWW delivered database performance completely in a category of our own.

Test 6: SSL Labs

SSL Labs tests the cipher support, and the security implementation of the https protocol.

Servebolt and IWW earned an A+, the rest earned an A!

$101-200/Month Tier (Servebolt Earned Top Tier πŸ†)

Servebolt participated in this price tier with the standard WordPress High Performance 8GB plan.

Servebolt had incredibly fast PHP and WP Bench scores!

Perfect uptime, 57 cumulative errors on the load tests and the fastest average response times for both load tests made Servebolt.com an easy candidate for earning Top Tier status.

Kevin Ohashi, founder at Review Signal

Test 1: Load Storm

The Load Storm test simulates a real workload by hitting several different pages and posts, with all their assets. In addition it hits some un-cachable endpoints like the login page and profile.php. The test hits the site from 10 different data centers world wide, for a period of 30 minutes, starting with 500 users, and scaling to 4 000 concurrent users with 10 minutes at the peak.

Load test of real user workload

Servebolt completely outcompeted all the others by delivering an average response time of 65ms (!!) and the highest number of requests. While most handled the test fine, Savvii struggled with lots of failures.

Test 2: Load Impact

The Load Impact load test, tests the performance of the cache by hitting only the front HTML page. The test scales from 1 user to 3000 users over a period of 15 minutes.

Cache test results

In the $101-200 tier we yet again outcompeted the rest. We delivered more cached request than any of the others, and also the fastest peak average load time.

Savvii and Liquidweb had serious trouble again with increasing response times.

Test 3: Uptime Monitoring

Yet again, we delivered 100% uptime! Savvii, Pressable and SiteGround did not have perfect uptime scores.

Test 4: WebPageTest.org

WebPageTest.org gathers web page load time speeds from 11 locations around the World. The load time is a measure of the loading speed a first time visitor to the page can expect to experience.

Servebolt delivered the fastest global loading times, averaging 1.26 seconds.

Global average load time

Company NameAVERAGESTDEVFASTESTSLOWEST
Servebolt.com1.2609090910.47293666690.4972.127
Liquid Web1.3073636360.51510470250.5592.234
Kinsta1.3101818180.53978696130.5582.29
Cloudways1.3470909090.5193853010.7282.553
Savvii1.4158181820.64315096490.4472.522
SiteGround1.4546363640.6782797760.5232.538
Pressable2.1486363640.97855150840.6213.823

Pressable is the slowest in 9/11 locales. Check out the spider web and full testing results here.

Test 5: WPPerformanceTester

The WP Performance Tester benchmarks PHP and database performance. Overall realtime WordPress performance is largely defined by the speed of exactly these two metrics, and in total – these are what make out the most part of the time to first byte for dynamic requests.

We’re sure the rest of the pack will improve their performance at some point, but this year – we are completely outcompeting the others in the server speed results.

We run WordPress faster than anyone else, and the PHP Benchmark clocks in at 3.81 seconds. That is 2.6 times faster than second best Cloudways and even more for the rest. WordPress on a Bolt can also runs 34% more database queries per second, than the second best.

Test 6: SSL Labs

SSL Labs tests the cipher support, and the security implementation of the https protocol.

Servebolt got an A+ – the rest an A.

$201-500/Month Tier (Servebolt Earned Top Tier πŸ†)

Servebolt entered this competition with the Servebolt 16B plan including Servebolt’s Cloudflare Business.

Servebolt had the fastest Load Storm response times along with perfect uptime. They also were the fastest in 7/11 locations on the WebPageTest. Easily earned itself Top Tier status.

Kevin Ohashi, founder at Review Signal

Test 1: Load Storm

The Load Storm test simulates a real workload by hitting several different pages and posts, with all their assets. In addition it hits some un-cachable endpoints like the login page and profile.php. The test hits the site from 10 different data centers world wide, for a period of 30 minutes, starting with 500 users, and scaling to 5 000 concurrent users with 10 minutes at the peak.

Load test of real user workload

Like in the other tiers, Servebolt again completely outcompeted all the others by delivering an average response time of 131ms and the highest number of requests.

Test 2: Load Impact

The Load Impact load test, tests the performance of the cache by hitting only the front HTML page. The test scales from 1 user to 4000 users over a period of 15 minutes.

Cache test results

Pantheon delivered the best result in the cache test (that’s what they are know for), with Servebolt close behind. We delivered the second best response time (148ms) and the second highest number of cached requests.

Liquid web struggled, and Pressable showed increasing response time with volume.

Test 3: Uptime Monitoring

We delivered 100% uptime, and the second fasest response time – beaten by Pantheon with 0.002s (yes, that’s two milliseconds)!

Pressable was the only one with not 100% uptime.

Test 4: WebPageTest.org

WebPageTest.org gathers web page load time speeds from 11 locations around the World. The load time is a measure of the loading speed a first time visitor to the page can expect to experience.

If you are looking for fast load times globally for your visitors, Servebolt is the place to be. We outcompeted everyone, and delivered average response times of 0.66 seconds.

We were fastest in 7 out of 11 locations, and second fastest in two more. Pantheon put up some competition, being fastest in 4 locations, and Pressable was the only one lagging way behind, being the slowest in 10 out of 11 locations.

WebPageTest.org global average load times

If you look at the data from a global average perspective Servebolt also stands out as the place to be.

Company NameAVERAGESTDEVFASTESTSLOWEST
Servebolt.com0.660.2809580040.4381.135
Pantheon0.80645454550.34606801750.41.654
Cloudways1.1765454550.43386964950.5431.977
Kinsta1.3090.54734632550.5922.3
Liquid Web1.3301818180.54919483210.5232.299
Pressable2.1896363640.90890607580.5713.721

Test 5: WPPerformanceTester

The WP Performance Tester benchmarks PHP and database performance. Overall realtime WordPress performance is largely defined by the speed of exactly these two metrics, and in total – these are what make out the most part of the time to first byte for dynamic requests.

Servebolt has the (by far) fastest infrastructure!

Our PHP Bench clocks in at 3.814 seconds, with the second best being Cloudways at 9.388. That is 2.46 times faster. Our servers can also handle astonishingly more database queries than the rest, 2.68 times more queries per second than the average of the others.

Test 6: SSL Labs

SSL Labs tests the cipher support, and the security implementation of the https protocol.

Servebolt and Pantheon got an A+ – the rest an A.

$500+/Month Enterprise Tier (Servebolt Earned Top Tier πŸ†)

We were considering our options for this tier. Servebolt is a certified Cloudflare Enterprise Partner and we could have entered the test with our Servebolt Enterprise offering.

We decided to enter this price tier with our entry level Enterprise Starter plan instead, which includes Cloudflare Business. Given the exceptional results we deliver in this category, we are glad we got our $699 Enterprise plan measured against the $5000+ Enterprise plans.

Next year, we’ll consider joining in with our top plan too!

Perfect uptime. Nearly perfect load tests. Third fastest average response times in both load tests too. Fastest WPT test results in 9/11 locales and second fastest once. Servebolt also had the fastest PHP and WP Bench scores. Easily a Top Tier performance from Servebolt.

Kevin Ohashi, founder at Review Signal

Test 1: Load Storm

The Load Storm test simulates a real workload by hitting several different pages and posts, with all their assets. In addition it hits some un-cachable endpoints like the login page and profile.php. The test hits the site from 10 different data centers world wide, for a period of 30 minutes, starting with 500 users, and scaling to 10 000 concurrent users in the Enterprise tier.

Load test of real user workload

Servebolt, WordPress VIP and Siteground were the only three companies to deliver average response times below Google’s 200ms threshold. Yet again, we delivered the highest amount of requests and an average response time of 121ms!

Test 2: Load Impact

The Load Impact load test, tests the performance of the cache by hitting only the front HTML page. The test scales from 1 user to 5000 users over a period of 15 minutes.

Cache test results

Pantheon delivered the absolutely fastest cache responses at 65ms, with WordPress VIP 2ms behind – impressive! We are immensely proud though, to deliver the third fastest response times in the test! It is notable that we’re delivering close to 30% more cached page views than hosts like Kinsta and Flywheel.

Like in the other tests, Liquid Web had issues.

Test 3: Uptime Monitoring

Servebolt delivered 100% uptime and the fastest response time (0.085s).

Flywheel and Pressable were the only ones dropping below perfect score.

Test 4: WebPageTest.org 🎯Servebolt hits the Bulls Eye!

WebPageTest.org gathers web page load time speeds from 11 locations around the World. The load time is a measure of the loading speed a first time visitor to the page can expect to experience.

This is one of tests we are most proud of! We deliver unheard of fast WordPress performance in the Enterprise category, and are fastest in 9 out of 11 locations – delivering a global average page load time of 0.48 seconds (yes, below half a second!).

If it is unclear, our color in this chart is GREY just like the web. Our results are the innermost grey ring! You can adore the full results here, and even play with the spider web!

To put this result in perspective, we are dethroning WordPress VIP with their 2018 results – and from what we know, Servebolt is the first ever to deliver global web page load times in this test – under 0.5 seconds.

The second fastest results were delivered from Presslabs, being 54% slower than Servebolt (still very fast though, kudos!).

WebPageTest.org global average load times

Also in the enterprise tier our global average load time is off the charts. Our slowest location is faster than the average for the bottom half. For Global WordPress enterprise customers the place to be is Servebolt.

Company NameAVERAGESTDEVFASTESTSLOWEST
Servebolt.com0.48081818180.15653869690.3550.888
Presslabs0.74472727270.38645131410.4011.484
Pantheon0.8040.33208974690.4041.607
WordPress.com VIP0.90745454550.35866791430.3551.487
Flywheel1.1509090910.45754550690.5271.984
Liquid Web1.3229090910.53782868170.5352.286
Kinsta1.3287272730.52917068910.562.295
SiteGround1.3784545450.52362875470.5852.522
Pressable2.1643636360.9347902730.5893.876

Test 5: WPPerformanceTester

The WP Performance Tester benchmarks PHP and database performance. Overall realtime WordPress performance is largely defined by the speed of exactly these two metrics, and in total – these are what make out the most part of the time to first byte for dynamic requests.

Do we have the fastest servers? Yes!

It seems we have almost defined a category of our own in these results. We run PHP Bench in 3.8 seconds. That is almost twice as fast as the second best. Our database performance is also completely off the charts, with 69% more queries per second than Kinsta, and 86% faster database performance than WordPress VIP.

Test 6: SSL Labs

SSL Labs tests the cipher support, and the security implementation of the https protocol.

Servebolt and Presslabs got an A+ – the rest an A.

Summary

$51 – 100 Tier – Servebolt earned Top Tier πŸ†

Load StormπŸ†1st Fastest response time, most requests
Load ImpactπŸ₯ˆ2nd Second fastest response time and requests
UptimeπŸ†1st 100% Uptime
WebPageTestπŸ₯ˆ2nd fastest
WPPerformanceTester PHP BenchπŸ†1st Fastest PHP
WPPerformanceTester WP BenchπŸ₯ˆ2nd fastest Database performance
SSL LabsπŸ†1st, A+!

$101 – 200 Tier – Servebolt earned Top Tier πŸ†

Load StormπŸ†1st Fastest response time, most requests
Load ImpactπŸ†1st Fastest response time, most requests
UptimeπŸ†1st 100% Uptime
WebPageTestπŸ†1st Fastest global loading times
WPPerformanceTester PHP BenchπŸ†1st Fastest PHP performance
WPPerformanceTester WP BenchπŸ†1st Database performance
SSL LabsπŸ†1st, A+!

$201 – 500 Tier – Servebolt earned Top Tier πŸ†

Load StormπŸ†1st Fastest response time, most requests
Load ImpactπŸ₯ˆ2nd fastest response time, second highest requests
UptimeπŸ†1st 100% Uptime
WebPageTestπŸ†1st Fastest average global loading times.
(πŸ†7/11 Fastest + 2 xπŸ₯ˆsecond fastest!)
WPPerformanceTester PHP BenchπŸ†1st Fastest PHP performance
WPPerformanceTester WP BenchπŸ†1st Database performance
SSL LabsπŸ†1st, A+!

$500+ Enterprise Tier – Servebolt earned Top Tier πŸ†

Load StormπŸ₯‰3rd fastest response time, highest number of requests
Load ImpactπŸ₯‰3rd fastest response time
UptimeπŸ†1st 100% Uptime
WebPageTestπŸ†1st Fastest average global loading times.
(9/11 πŸ†fastest!)
WPPerformanceTester PHP BenchπŸ†1st Fastest PHP performance
WPPerformanceTester WP BenchπŸ†1st Database performance
SSL LabsπŸ†1st, A+!

Servebolt entered 4 of 6 price tier test. We are proud to have earned a top tier in all test we participated in. Besides the great competition by Incendia in the WPPerformanceTester WP Bench test in the $50-100 tier, all our WP Performance Tester scores were in another league than the competition. This means, we have the fastest hosting platform.

Throughout the tiers and the various tests we see that our infrastructure performs in another league from the competition. This makes us confident that the hard choices we make, are to the better for our customers and the internet as a whole.

We believe in thinking differently, and always attack the root of any performance problem instead of going for the simple and quick solution. That has paid off, as the ReviewSignal.com 2019 benchmark clearly demonstrates.

We are already looking forward to next year, and have already started dripping some technology previews to our selected Partners.

Team Servebolt – thank you for this astonishing achievement!

Erlend Eide

CEO, Servebolt

Erlend founded Servebolt in 2014 (back then named Raske Sider – meaning β€œFast Pages”), and is currently growing Servebolt internationally from the offices in Hilversum, Netherlands. The passion for performance has been growing ever since the web started to get slower. Servebolt is part of the remedy. Erlend is a serial-entrepreneur, loves start-ups and has founded a series of companies the last 20 years. The Internet has always been his domain.

Posted in Performance, Servebolt Cloud, WordPress

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