Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Ed Featherston

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

How to Compare Hosting Companies’ Speed & Reliability

In an 'always-on' world, there’s never a time when someone isn't surfing through your website

What do you look for when you choose a Web hosting provider? These days, it seems difficult to compare the differences between each service, whether you're talking about supported languages, databases or bandwidth. You might be tempted to pick the cheapest provider and plan in hopes of saving a few dollars. However, you should not overlook the importance of speed and reliability.

Take a small business for example - if its website is down or under-performing, the host is actually hurting the business. Even if the hosting were $1 per month, losing $100 in revenue because of unreliable performance means the customer loses $101. At that price, they could afford to grow their business to a dedicated server.

For the past year, my Hosting Performance Monitoring team at GoDaddy has scrutinized our environment and made some changes to make sure we are offering best in breed web hosting. Offering your customers a reliable, stable and fast platform is the most important feature you can provide. But that means more than just "Is the site up?" or "Is it fast?" You need to ask, "Is it up and fast all the time?"

In an "always-on" world, there's never a time when someone isn't surfing through your Website. Therefore, you want to double check that your Web hosting provider is fast and has great uptime, consistently. Outlined below is our tried and true performance and reliability measurement method, and a sample of results from studies that we've conducted.

The Hosting Reliability Measurement Method

1. Identify Your Providers
Make a list of the hosting companies you want to compare. It can be two for a head-to-head comparison, or hundreds to get an understanding of the entire industry.

2. Get Accounts
Purchase a Web hosting account from each company. Depending on the provider, this step can be daunting - some companies' sites make it incredibly difficult. For example, certain providers asked us to email or fax in our driver's license or credit card to buy an account.

3. Deploy the WordPress Sites
Load a cloned WordPress site to each hosting provider. This site should be completely single-sourced, which means the site only loads from its own resources, i.e. it doesn't reference any third-party scripts, images, etc. This makes the tests purely about the server's performance.

4. Audit
After setting up all the sites, make sure they're identical before you start testing. One way to do this is through webpagetest.org. Load each of your sites, then compare the Bytes In, Requests, and make sure there's only one domain listed in the Domains tab.

5. Measure
There are plenty of measurement techniques. You can pick any combination you see fit. We recommend trying a combination of the following:

Once you have all of the data on file, you can share it with the world! If you want to take your observations on a longer term, you can use APIs from the sites you used to perform the tests that automatically updates daily, weekly or monthly.

Here's a sample output from our own trials using two of the techniques we've outlined here. It compares GoDaddy cPanel to 6 of its closest competitors from January 1 2014 through March 1 2014.  The competitors listed here (A through F) are real competitors.

Pingdom, Response Time*                                            Pingdom, Downtime*

(Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014)                                   (Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014)

*Disclaimer: based on one site per product. It is not necessarily representative of the provider's product as a whole.

Analysis: In 60 days, 99.9% uptime means ~90 minutes down. Anything more should be unacceptable and likely violates the provider's uptime guarantee.

Competitor C and D had respectable response time averages at 0.804 seconds and 0.857 seconds, but should be disqualified for having worse than 99.9% uptime with 5,853 minutes (that's 4d 1h 33m) and 199 minutes of downtime.  Doesn't matter what the speed is, this much downtime should not be tolerated.

GoDaddy cPanel performed exceptionally well, with the lowest response times and better than 99.9% uptime. GoDaddy cPanel is the clear performance winner in this 60-day study.

Gomez Results

Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014

*Disclaimer: based on one site per product.  It is not necessarily representative of the provider's product as a whole.

Analysis: This is full-page load, in this case 15 page objects (i.e., CSS, JS, images) totally approximately 750KB. Gomez test nodes are sitting on high bandwidth connections on the edge of their networks in top tier data centers. This is not the typical home user on wifi sitting 100 feet away through 4 walls, it's fast. Gomez nodes have latency to tend with, however. Whichever Gomez node location is fastest for a provider is very likely the closest node to the provider.

GoDaddy cPanel performed under 1.0s on avg, at 0.743s, throughout the 60 day period. Competitor D was close at 1.001s

Conclusion
There are very few, if any, Web hosting performance studies available to help consumers make the right choice. We urge industry review analysts to adopt the method described in this article because we believe it provides a comprehensive view of how hosting companies perform. It's straightforward, too. Just set up a cloned WordPress site on a few different hosts, and then use a tool like Pingdom to monitor performance.

If we can get trusted, third-party sources to publish information like this on a continual basis, customers will have all of the information they need to make informed decisions.

More Stories By David Koopman

David Koopman is Principal Engineer, Hosting Infrastructure Performance Engineering Team at GoDaddy. He leads the Hosting Performance Team at GoDaddy and is responsible for measuring and monitoring performance of thousands of servers, hosting millions of websites. His team works closely with product and infrastructure teams to ensure consistent performance across the GoDaddy web hosting product line.

Since joining GoDaddy in 2002 as a software developer, David has helped transform the company’s Web-based email product into a multi-million account operation. During his tenure at GoDaddy, he has held several development positions including Dedicated and VPS Hosting Development Manager, Architect, Sr. VP of Product Development, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Scientist and Principal Engineer.

Prior to joining GoDaddy, David was the Technical Director of The Web Mark, a medical Internet services company. He attained a BS in Computer Science from Southwest Missouri State University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

When not developing new product ideas at GoDaddy, David enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, off-roading and boating.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, added the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor analytic...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager - it's starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.