One of the most important decisions you make with your website is who to host it with. A web host plays an important role in optimizing you site. Most people don’t consider speed, when it comes to picking a web host, but in this article you will see why you might.
In this article I picked 100 different websites and tested the speed of their web hosts server.
Web Hosts And Server Speed
There are a lot of web hosts out there, some good, some bad, some you may know already, but some you may not.
In a recent article of mine, How To Increase Your Website Speed In 5 Easy Steps, I mentioned as the first step to speeding up your site was making sure you had a good web host.
What I didn’t mention in that article, was a tool you could use to test the speed of your host server. This tool is called bitcatcha.com
All you need to do here is put you website URL where is tells you to, and it will show you how fast, or slow, your web host is performing from eight locations around the world.
This test shows the response time of the web host. This is not the same as the load time of your webpage.
The load time of a web page can depend on different things, such as the code, caching, database size, images, and other factors. All of these I talked about in my article, How To Increase Your Website Speed In 5 Easy Steps.
The speed results are in milliseconds, which can show you how close in speed some of these hosts are. The locations tested are:
- US (west)
- US (east)
- Sao Palo
- Pune (India)
It also grades the host and tells you, in a percentage, how well the server is responding among the 10 million tested website that bitcatcha has tested.
When checking the speed of your host, the idea rating is A or A+. Minimum should be B+. If yours is lower, then check at different times of the day. If it doesn’t improve, you may consider going with a faster host.
100 Websites Tested With Bitcatcha
Because I am also a numbers guy, I took this one step futher for you and tested 100 ramdom websites using bitcatcher.com. All of these websites were self-hosted.
As this tool also identifies who the web host is, I was able to come up with the top 20 performing hosts.
Top 20 Web Host Server Speeds
- Colo4, LLC 94%
- ipHouse 94%
- Amazon.com, Inc. 93%
- Peer 1 Network (USA) Inc. 93%
- Hurricane Electric, Inc. 92%
- EBL Global Networks, Inc. 90%
- Indonesia Network Information Center [ID-NIC] 88%
- Rackspace Hosting 85%
- Media Temple 83%
- Liquid Web,Inc. 83%
- A Small Orange 83%
- Telecitygroup International Limited 83%
- GoDaddy.com, LLC 82%
- JustHost 81%
- Choopa, LLC 80%
- Dreamhost 79%
- SUREFIRE COMMERCE 79%
- Latisys-Denver, LLC 78%
- Singlehop 78%
- Steadfast 76%
As you can see from the table, some of the hosts are big names and others not so much. Some, I had never heard of before.
The top one was Color4, LLC with a score of 98%. ipHouse came in second with a score of 94%. Some other notables were Amazon at number 3, Rackspace at 8, LiquidWeb at 10 and DreamHost at 16. Hosts like HostGator, or SiteGround were not in the top twenty but were the most poplar ones among the 100 I tested.
It is possible that some of these hosts may be resold under a different name. The actual hosting company is what comes up when you run the bitcatcha test.
Content Delivery System
I do want to mention that some of the sites I tested came up with a host name of CloudFlair, and this was by far, the fastest web server with a score of 99%
CloudFlair is a content delivery system (CDN) and offers a free as well as a paid service. CloudFlair suppresses the host name with its own, so I did not include it in the rankings with the other self-hosted sites.
If you are looking to really speed up your site globally, then a CDN service, like CloudFlair may be an option for you. Check with you host to see if they offer this service for free. I know that SiteGround is a host that does. See this video below that will show you how to set up CloudFlair.
Another popular CDN service is MaxCDN. They do not offer a free service however, they are widely poplar. Their service is slightly different then CloudFlair and they do not suppress the host name, so It was not known, from my testing, if anyone was using MaxCDN. Read more about these two CDN services in this article, MaxCDN vs CloudFlare: Which CDN is Best For You?
How Well Is Your Host Doing?
Did you test your host yet? How well did yours do? Would you consider changing hosts based on these results? I would love to hear how your host tested in the comments.