Web Hosting Reviews Driven by Data, Not Dollars

I'm disgusted with fake webhosting "reviews." Since 2014, I've been tracking the results of real-life performance tests for downtime, speed & support at the world's most popular web hosting companies. You'll be shocked by the results...

I Secretly Test Web Hosting Companies...

...by signing up for hosting plans at the world's most popular brands. Since 2014, I've been testing them behind their backs, so I can expose the truth about which hosting companies are most reliable, speedy, and helpful.

If this is your first time here, learn more about me and why I run these performance tests. Otherwise, check out the results of my most recent benchmarks below.

The Best Web Hosting - updated Jul 20, 2017

Here are the running averages of the tests I perform showing the overall winners. I've been testing uptime and support response since July 2014, and page speed since October 2014.

The 3 "Must Haves" of Web Hosting

What are the top 3 things I look for in a web hosting company?

  • #1. SPEED. If a host can't serve your pages quickly, your visitors are going to leave. Studies have shown that internet users are very impatient (I know I am), so if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load, everyone's going to abandon it.

  • #2. RELIABILITY. Who cares how fast your site loads if it isn't up? Not only does a down site ruin your reputation with your visitors, it also kills your search engine rankings. Strive for a host that has an uptime of 99.99% (that's a maximum outage of 5 minutes per month).

  • #3. SUPPORT. I need help with my sites all the time. And who's going to help me resolve my problems? The host's tech support team. There's nothing worse than waiting more than a day with a broken site until your host's support can get back to you. Pick a host that responds quickly and has reliable customer service.

#1. Best Web Hosting for Speed

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

HostGator (full benchmark) performs impressively in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 2.88 seconds. Its best run was 2.38 s, but has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator's most recent result on Jul 21 was 2.67 seconds. Back in the day HostGator used to share a datacenter with SoftLayer - and they were lightning fast. Now that they made everyone transition to their own datacenter (after the EIG buyout), page speed has been worse, although not as bad as some other hosts here.

GoDaddy (full benchmark) performs above average in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.05 seconds. Its best run was 0.31 s, but has been as bad as 37.97 s. GoDaddy's most recent result on Jul 21 was 2.64 seconds. GoDaddy consistently has very fast page load speeds. I'm attributing this to the fact that they have a stellar Hosting Optimization team, headed by Dave Koopman. He actually reached out to me after seeing this site to not only give me kudos for doing this, but offer additional testing resources (which at the moment I am not using). Regardless, he's pretty passionate about their hosting performance and their stats prove it.

StableHost (full benchmark) performs above average in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.08 seconds. Its best run was 2.39 s, but has been as bad as 12.29 s. StableHost's most recent result on Jul 21 was 3.09 seconds. Stablehost is one of the few hosts that routinely has page load times under 3 seconds - that's awesome. They have all headers optimized for performance (compression, caching, connections), and their stats back it up.

DreamHost (full benchmark) performs impressively in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.10 seconds. Its best run was 2.24 s, but has been as bad as 15.73 s. DreamHost's most recent result on Jul 21 was 2.99 seconds. I expected Dreamhost to have poor performance, but they're not that bad. There are faster hosts out there, but you're not going to be disappointed with them.

Bluehost (full benchmark) performs above average in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.10 seconds. Its best run was 0.30 s, but has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost's most recent result on Jul 21 was 3.48 seconds. Bluehost is usually pretty inconsistent with its page speeds - sometimes quicker than other hosts, sometimes slower. Its slowest times are usually when accessed from the east coast. While they do optimize connections and compress images, they fail to set caching properly for repeat views.

#2. Best Web Hosting for Uptime

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

DreamHost (full benchmark) performs great in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.98 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 94.93 %. DreamHost's most recent result on Jul 20 was 100.00 percent. Dreamhost has had a few significant outages, but I've seen worse. Their ping response time is pretty impressive, faster than most hosts, showing they have a decent network.

HostGator (full benchmark) performs incredibly in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.97 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 97.50 %. HostGator's most recent result on Jul 20 was 100.00 percent. Back in 2013 HostGator had several outages that lasted days. While I wasn't recording detailed stats at the time, I can vouch that it was a miserable experience. Many blame the lack of reliability on their new data center, which they made everyone move to after they were bought out by EIG. To be honest, HostGator's downhill performance was the reason I created this site (I was too annoyed by them to let them get away with it).

#3. Best Web Hosting for Support

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

MDDHosting (full benchmark) performs great in the Support Response test, with an average result of 0.1 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 0.2 h. MDDHosting's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.1 hours.

GoDaddy (full benchmark) performs stellar in the Support Response test, with an average result of 0.1 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 0.3 h. GoDaddy's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.1 hours. GoDaddy is the only host that doesn't offer email support. At first I thought this horrendous - I waiting on hold on the phone. But from the times I've called, they're usually pretty quick to get to me. I'm okay with their customer service.

Site5 (full benchmark) performs great in the Support Response test, with an average result of 0.3 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 0.8 h. Site5's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.3 hours. Site5 has always responded to my support tickets in under an hour. That's pretty awesome. They're also one of the only hosts that emails you ahead of time about planned outages, and I appreciate being informed.

StableHost (full benchmark) performs great in the Support Response test, with an average result of 0.4 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 1.7 h. StableHost's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.2 hours. Stablehost's tech team is top notch not just in their speed and uptime knowledge, but in their response time too. You can count on the fact that Stablehost will get back to you within a couple hours - and most likely a few minutes.

InMotion Hosting (full benchmark) performs incredibly in the Support Response test, with an average result of 0.9 hours. Its best run was 0.2 h, but has been as bad as 2.3 h. InMotion Hosting's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.2 hours. Typically InMotion's tech support will get back to you within 3 hours, regardless of the time of day. That's key when you need assistance with your site.

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FTC Disclaimer

Yes, I do use affiliate links on this site to help cover the cost of testing and $1000+ per year in server charges. Results are 100% unbiased and never skewed to favor a higher commission. Thanks for understanding :)

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