We’re excited to say that we’ve been classed as a ‘Top Tier’ WordPress web host, by Review Signal (and the UK’s only Top Tier host to boot).
Their WordPress Hosting benchmarks are carried out every year, but this is the first time we entered which makes it even more special for us.
What sets the Review Signal benchmarks apart is that they’re unbiased. The problem with other web hosting review sites is that many hosting companies run affiliate programs, so reviews are often skewed towards companies that pay the most.
Kevin Ohashi from Review Signal tests different hosts by using an ‘example’ WordPress website, which is the same across the different hosting companies. This site is then subjected to a battery of independent performance tests. This way, the benchmarks are comprehensive and impartial.
So that’s why we’re so pleased to be shown as having the best WordPress hosting by Review Signal! Here’s how the tests went down…
Like it sounds, the tests by this company batter servers! LoadStorm is designed to simulate real users entering the site, when nothing is cached. But the 20i servers handled everything they could throw at us, thanks to our unique autoscaling tech.
They made a total of 405910 tests with an error rate of less than 0.014%. Our average response time for a web page was 651ms – amazing under high load – and for the wordpress_login page it was 908ms.
Kevin said that we ‘handled the test without issue’, while other hosting was subject to limits or prone to errors.
Unlike LoadStorm, K6 (FKA Load Impact) is designed to test caching, by requesting the same page again and again. It would be putting StackCache – our NGINX WordPress caching plugin – through its paces.
They made 432887 requests, with no errors at all. It was the highest number of requests out of all of the companies tested. Our average response time was a remarkable 41ms! Other companies’ hosting experienced spikes and slowdowns which affected their results, while again, 20i ‘handled the test without issue’.
Ditching the downtime
When it came to uptime, our WordPress hosting again performed really well. The figures were taken from two monitoring companies: HetrixTools and Uptime Robot. For Hetrix, we managed 99.999% uptime, and for Uptime Robot it was 100% across the board. Gone are the days when you had to put up with frequent service outages. Downtime is virtually non-existent with 20i.
Another two tests were done by WPPerformanceTester. WP Bench is used to test how many queries can be handled at once, and we got a great score of 490 per second.
The other benchmark involves the language WordPress uses. PHP Bench performs computational and database operations. Again its measured in seconds, and we got a low score (which is good!) of 10.4. That must be due to the way our team optimise PHP on our hosting platform.
The example WordPress website was also put through some security tests. First was an examination of our free SSL certificate quality, by Qualys. They check the certs’ support for protocols, key exchange and ciphers. Our SSLs received a grade of ‘A’.
Next was a test by Internet.nl which covers the implementation of modern internet standards. Kevin said he’s ‘not sure how much value there is in this metric’ but even so, we got a decent score of 48.
The final check was Mozilla Observatory. Most companies (including us) failed this check, as it tests security headers on websites. We don’t set security headers by default as that could potentially ‘break’ our users’ websites, and presumably Kevin didn’t set them for his test site, hence the failures. As he suggests, security headers are ‘beyond the hosting provider’s scope and more on the user’.
Then came a test of our international performance, where our free CDN was appraised by having the test website’s homepage loaded from 12 different geographical locations. The tests were carried out by WebPageTest.org.
While all our other results were positive, I think it’s only fair to highlight one issue we had: an excessive loading time in Sydney, Australia. We were disappointed by this, since we don’t usually have any complaints from Australian users.
We haven’t been able to reproduce the problem ourselves, unfortunately. Regardless, we’re already making changes to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Truly ‘top tier’
We’re thrilled that we received ‘Top Tier’ status at Review Signal! It shows that we have a ‘solid product’, as Kevin said.
Of course, performance alone isn’t the be-all and end-all of web hosting – but it is something that can be tested objectively. So the tests are definitely something to take into account if you’re considering changing your WordPress hosting provider. You can try our hosting now for £1!
As the Review Signal tests are focused on performance, they don’t cover all the features of the package (like our WordPress Tools suite, for example). They also don’t take account of less tangible benefits like the quality of support: something we’re well-known for. It’s things like that make 20i WordPress Hosting the best overall.
I hope that if you’re already a 20i customer you appreciate more than just the great performance: our support, the free features, the user experience, our ongoing development and overall value.
It’s the combination of all those things that makes 20i hosting truly ‘top tier’, and the best hosting available.