Speed: Which Web Hosting Brands Are Best For Your Site?

This test is performed by submitting a typical web page served on the host to WebPageTest and recording how long it takes to load. This test web page is 56 KB of HTML, 287 KB of JavaScript, 51 KB of CSS, and 1,128 KB of images (these are typical according to the HTTP Archive). WebPageTest (a 3rd-party, vendor-neutral organization) uses servers located in Virgina and California to measure the page load waterfall in the latest version of Chrome, on a very fast internet connection. The test is ran 5 times each, and the middle (median) result is what is counted from each location. Then the east coast and west coast times are averaged, which should eliminate any bias due to server location. We're interested in first page load, not the repeat/cached view. If you're really interested, I use the 'Load Time' measurement that's returned from WebPageTest for ranking page speed. I still collect other metrics such as TTFB (time to first byte), fully loaded time, and the speed index, in addition to server setting scores which are translated to grades. You can see these detailed values in the "Raw Results." This test is important if your site resembles a typical website and you're concerned about speed (which you should be!)   In September 2014 I updated this test to be more accurate, and you'll notice page speeds were a bit higher before then. The test used to be run only 3 times from one location using a simulated cable internet connection on Internet Explorer 11. The new method provides much more consistent results.

HostAverageBestWorst
StableHost2.75 s0.00 s12.29 sTest Results
HostGator2.76 s2.00 s15.02 sTest Results
GoDaddy2.87 s0.31 s37.97 sTest Results
DreamHost2.88 s0.00 s21.25 sTest Results
Bluehost2.97 s0.00 s9.17 sTest Results
MDDHosting3.01 s2.00 s74.96 sTest Results
InMotion Hosting3.02 s0.00 s14.12 sTest Results
Namecheap3.13 s2.00 s72.71 sTest Results
Site53.20 s0.25 s46.29 sTest Results
Yahoo Small Business3.94 s2.00 s60.96 sTest Results

StableHost performs stellar in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.75 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 12.29 s. StableHost most recent result on Jan 23 was 0.00 s. 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.

HostGator performs impressively in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.76 seconds. It's best result was 2.00 s but it has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. 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 performs great in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.87 seconds. It's best result was 0.31 s but it has been as bad as 37.97 s. GoDaddy most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. 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.

DreamHost performs incredibly in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.88 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 21.25 s. DreamHost most recent result on Jan 23 was 0.00 s. 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 performs great in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.97 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. 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.

MDDHosting performs great in the Speed Test, with an average result of 3.01 seconds. It's best result was 2.00 s but it has been as bad as 74.96 s. MDDHosting most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. I had heard great things about MDDHosting, and I thought their speed would be on par, but it has proven to have some hiccups. Lately they've been alright, but back in October I was seeing load times of 10+ seconds - wow that's poor! Yet, they are one of the few hosts that has all their server settings optimized.

InMotion Hosting performs stellar in the Speed Test, with an average result of 3.02 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 14.12 s. InMotion Hosting most recent result on Jan 23 was 1.00 s. InMotion proves to be stable in its page speed results, usually showing no spikes or erratic performance. While they do optimize connections, they could be making things faster by compressing images and setting the cache headers properly.

Namecheap performs incredibly in the Speed Test, with an average result of 3.13 seconds. It's best result was 2.00 s but it has been as bad as 72.71 s. Namecheap most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. Namecheap proves that they have consistent, low page load times. While I bet it could be improved if they enabled compression and caching headers, their stats are something other hosts strive for.

Site5 performs okay in the Speed Test, with an average result of 3.2 seconds. It's best result was 0.25 s but it has been as bad as 46.29 s. Site5 most recent result on Jan 23 was 2.00 s. For the most part, Site5 has decent response times. They could make things load faster if they compressed resources and set caching headers, but at least connections are efficient.

Yahoo Small Business performs mediocre in the Speed Test, with an average result of 3.94 seconds. It's best result was 2.00 s but it has been as bad as 60.96 s. Yahoo Small Business most recent result on Jan 23 was 3.00 s. Yahoo is not someone I'd expect to do well, but they're nothing to laugh at when it comes to speed. Their performance headers could be optimized a bit, but overall they're not going to leave you waiting for your site to load.

Recent Raw Results from Jan 23

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
Bluehost Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
InMotion Hosting Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
HostGator Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
GoDaddy Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
Namecheap Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
StableHost Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
Yahoo Small Business Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
DreamHost Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
Site5 Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F
MDDHosting Dulles, VA 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s 0.0s F F F