Which web hosting is better?
The request for Most Popular Web Hostings revealed a number of names that tended to repeat from one review site to another. As a matter of fact, these providers for some reason or other got a lot more publicity than others, usually, thanks to clever promotional and marketing campaigns. Yet, as it turns out, some of them are not so good as they claim to be.
We analyzed 13 major review hosting websites, compared the results with our monitoring data for 2018 and finally drew up the list of 17 most popular web hostings recommended online with regard to how we ranked them (read: what is HRank).
|Hosting Provider||# in TOP||HRANK||Uptime||Response|
Notice: UPTIME makes 80% of our rating!
The same can not be referred to the review websites we analyzed. Most of them simply provide a compiled set of information, a short sum-up or a very detailed review, based on what was gathered on other resources, or they draw their conclusions on the basis of subjective hosting performance results (i.e. evaluate the performance of one (or several) particular domains via some popular website monitoring tool).
Interestingly enough, most other popular providers in the review websites appeared somewhere in the range of 5.0 – 8.0 HRank, the result that speaks very eloquently about their actual performance.
Several popular providers broadly promoted on the Internet failed to score even 5.0 HRank and stayed lower than the 100th position. These are not just popular providers, they are really large hositng companies with lots of websites.
- DreamHost (#101) is mentioned everywhere on various review sites and our robot can see that it hosts more than 80K websites;
- NameCheap (#124) has more than 320K sites;
- A2Hosting (#135) close to 100K websites;
- GoDaddy (#120) is the largest of them, of course, with almost 4 millions sites.
Yet, we are constantly having trouble accessing their hosted websites, which eventually negatively affects the overall rating of the providers.
All in all, though many users and the aforementioned review websites might not agree with us in our approach to these comparisons, it has been provided as food for reflection and an alternative opinion.
However, we don’t aim to either promote or depreciate any hosting provider as it doesn’t have any affiliation to either of them; rather, we strive to provide website owners with another, more objective, angle to look at the providers’ performance. So, choose wisely.
We’ve been monitoring 90% of shared web hosting market since the middle of 2018 and have managed to accumulate quite a lot of interesting information.
The following chart shows daily changes in the number of domains (sites) and shared IPs of all hosing providers on our list (Here a rule that a shared hosting is a set of “servers” with 50 and more domains is applied; and by a “server” we mean an IP where the providers host the customers’ websites).
Taking into account the changes in the number of domains for several months, it is possible to make an important conclusion:
- shared hosting market hasn’t experienced any quantitative change, the number of domains in August 2018 and in February 2019 is practically the same – 11,800,000; one can even observe a decreasing trend.
Equally important is the fact that the chart does not include any parked domains or the ones hosted on website builder platforms.
One can also presuppose that since we exclude the information about the IPs with fewer than 50 domains, we might present not an entirely objective picture. However, this is more the case of VPS, where the number of domains per IP (“server”) is usually lower than the one on shared servers.
If we take the total number of domains from our chart and divide it by the number of shared IPs, we’ll get the average number of domains per 1 IP: 11800000 / 39000 = 307, which is respectively more than our 50 domains per 1 IP limit.
For example, the most common situation revealed from our data is when 1 IP hosts about 100-110 domains (this is true for 9,600 IPs out of 39,000 IPs that we know). Consequently, the chosen limit of 50 and more domains can be considered the most accurate in terms of shared hosting market coverage.
Yet, despite the stability revealed with regard to the total number of domains, quantitative changes do take place locally: each provider shows either a tendency to lose or to increase the domain bulk.
For instance, here are 5 hosting providers that have lost the most number of domains for the monitoring period:
|Hosting Provider||HRANK||Lost Domains|
Interestingly enough, Godaddy, the largest player in this market, is loosing domains. Based on our rating we can add that it hosts a lot of trash on its shared IPs, and thus they are constantly overloaded.
Yahoo, with its high HRank rating, is also losing domains. In case of Yahoo we can make a suggestion that the company neglects its web hosting advertising and, despite stable hosting services’ performance, by doing so it surrenders market share to competitors.
And also the list of 5 hosting providers that have grown the most.
|Hosting Provider||HRANK||Added Domains|
NameCheap has quite unstable upime of its shared IPs, however, it is on the 1st position with regard to domain growth. This phenomenon can be explained by rather aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at new customer engagement.
A2Hosting and FastComet, having fairly low ratings, also attract customers at the expense of high advertising budgets, cheap prices and good positioning in search engines.
The chart demonstrates providers’ speed and quantity distribution. In our case, we took 230 providers (Jan – Feb 2019) and calculated the average speed of each “server” (Shared IP) and we also calculated the average speed of each hosting provider.
Under the term of speed we mean “get http” request to a website (there is also the definition of TTFB – time to first byte).
Judging by this chart, we can notice that the major bulk of providers is in the 400-1000ms zone. There are very fast providers with the average response time of 200ms, and very slow ones with the response time not faster than 1,000ms; the latter group is comprised of more than 30 providers.
Speed (response time) is one of the factors that influences our HRank rating and that is why the providers faster than 700ms get a higher rate.
Here, on the chart (February 2019 data), we can see that the main part of the providers is based in the 99.90-100% range.
Only 23 providers have 100% uptime.
Uptime is the major factor that we take into account in our HRank rating, which makes the latter very sensitive to any slight changes in the former.
For example, the difference between 99.92% и 99.96% (if you round up both, they will be 100%) is essential as it may result in several hours of downtime when websites are non-responsive.
We can take FatCow, on 28 Feb 2019 it had 99,991% Uptime (almost 100%), but if we calculate numbers for all “shared servers” (shared IPs) we will get this information:
Just only 0,009% downtime is 1 hour and 10 min, sum of all downtimes from 11 Shared IPs when 2336 websites were not working there. That’s why so important to measure detailed uptime values.
|Provider||*Uptime, %||**Uptime Change, %|