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  1. #1

    Accurate way to measure host speed?

    I've decided to move away from HostGator due to their performance and instability lately. I had narrowed my new host down to 2 choices: stablehost and mddhosting. Price and support seem comparable, so now I just wanted to test server speed. I figured if I found a page that both sites host, I can compare accurately. So I found out some server names and ran some tests against their cpanel login page.

    Here's my test. I'm going to and running a full page test, selected from the New York location. For stablehost, I'm using For mddhosting, I'm using . Both were pretty consistently completing between 500-1000ms.

    Just out of curiosity I tried my current server at hostgator: It's getting between 300-500ms.

    The results are making me second guess whether I should be switching off of hostgator. So my question is: Is this an accurate way to measure host speed, or am I forgetting something?

    (I know host location matters, and stablehost and mdd are in arizona and colorado, compared to hostgator's utah, so I figured New York would be a reasonable server from pingdom)

    Thanks for all your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    In the Internets
    Howdy! Measuring the cPanel login page isn't going to give you real world results sadly, mostly because

    - That's not your website, your website may be more or less depending on content.

    - The cPanel login pages runs it's own web servers, which aren't Litespeed, nor optimized.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Indeed that will not be an accurate measurement.
    The only way to truly test would be to have 2 identical sites hosted on each server your are testing even then it still would not be accurate as one server not have as direct route to pingdom.
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  4. #4
    Good to know that cpanel is not optimized. Although still the hostgator server is downloading 2x as much content in half the time. Does lightspeed really have a 4x effect?

    I wish I could host the same site on each server but as you said that's unrealistic. Is there anything else I can use as a benchmark? Just pinging the server or downloading a large file won't showcase what a real website with lots of resources is like.

    How am I supposed to choose between hosts based on speed, other than claims?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    You can't without signing up and putting a real-world site up there.

    What makes a site slow is if the database processes its queries slowly, or the PHP of a complex page on a CMS takes too long to put together.

    Neither of those has anything to do with Litespeed, and neither of those can be tested by loading anything other than a page from a fully setup website. To compare two hosts, you'd need the same website on each.

    You can't compare in this way. Pick the one you feel most comfortable with on other fronts (support, prices, location, etc.), and sign up. As long as your site is faster than it was with Hostgator, you're fine. If you could have shaved 5% off by switching to the other host on your short-list, you'll never know and you probably won't mind.

    Interested in which hosts I'd recommend? Unmanaged VPS Reviews | Managed VPS Reviews

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Long Island, NY

    Benchmarking Hosting

    You would need hosting accounts with the two companies you want to compare. then install wordpress or some script on both (clean identical installs).

    There was a article a while back where somebody did that with a few hosts:

    That guys method is a pretty good way to gauge performance.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    As mentioned above, the best way would be to sign up & test out an account. Take advantage of the money back guarantee that most hosts use.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    yeah what kingfish85 said is true ..sign up trail accounts or use coupon codes for heavy discounts

  9. #9
    Thanks for the link, that was helpful. Alright, I guess I'll just sign up and try it out.

    Thanks all!

  10. #10

    An update

    Just wanted to give everyone an update on this situation. I ended up switching to StableHost and saw great increases in speed and reliability compared to HostGator.

    I've written more detailed stats, as well as provided graphs. Looks like I can't link to a url due to my account being new, but it's the most recent post on my blog: <<snipped>>

    Thanks everyone for the help!!
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 07-15-2014 at 05:57 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    The main two ways that I measure web server performance:

    1. Install a WordPress with everything set to the defaults. Edit the theme so that the very end of the footer shows the page execution time. I want this to be as low and as consistent as possible. This takes network latency, etc out of the equation so you can see exactly how fast your server is pumping out pages.

    2. Use Chrome's developer tools to measure the latency of requests, not just one at a time but also to see how the server copes with dozens of items being loaded at once.

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