Last year we have performed series of speed, security and support tests on all of the hosting providers featured in our directory. Our initial idea was to make those test every three months. Unfortunately, due to the complexity and time those tests required we couldn’t keep this promise. However, we believe that those tests are crucial for choosing the best Joomla hosting provider. This is why, we have repeated them in the beginning of 2014. Below, you will find information on how we made those tests and how the providers performed this year and an year ago.
Joomla hosting companies speed tests
HOW DID WE TEST: To determine the speed of a host, we tried to recreate a real-world environment where the host server is under stress load. We tried to create a situation with a normal to high load and see how quickly the host server will process hits in a two-minute period, what will be the average time per transaction and would the server remain available or return an error, meaning it couldn’t bear the load generated.
During the year, four of the top 6 hosting providers remained the same. Here’s a comparison table showing their results in the beginning of 2013 and 2014:
|Company||Hits in 2013||Hits in 2014||Uptime 2013||Uptime 2014|
|SiteGround||7000 hits||13192 hits||100%||100%|
|Rochen||2070 hits||1578 hits||99%||100%|
|Arvixe||700 hits||1346 hits||62%||99.12%|
|Bluehost||250 hits||244 hits||100%||87.14%|
In addition to those, we have two new members of our top ranking Joomla hosting providers list:
|Company||Hits in 2014||Uptime 2014|
|Cloud Access||1215 hits||100%|
|A2 Hosting||1031 hits||99.90%|
Joomla hosting companies security tests
For the security tests, we have used the same criteria we did last year – we checked the level of account isolation. We’re happy that we couldn’t find serious security issues in any of the hosting providers listed in our site. All of them seem to take security seriously and apply the necessary patches and filters to have you covered.
Joomla hosting companies support tests
HOW DID WE TEST: To measure the level of Joomla customer support, we tested the response time and the quality of the responses given by the hosts. Two types of inquiries were made – basic and advanced Joomla issues. Basic ones were simple cases as “Reset my Joomla admin password” or “install a fresh Joomla on my account”. Advanced issues required more tweaking on our end so we could break a Joomla and see how the host would react. For example, we broke the template on our installation and asked for a fix.
Support is one of the most important criteria you should take into consideration when choosing a Joomla hosting provider for your site. Here’s how the providers that were listed last year performed:
|Company||Basic question in 2013||Basic question in 2014||Advanced question in 2013||Advanced question in 2014|
|SiteGround||5 min||5 min||15 min||15 min|
|Rochen||6 hours||22 min||8 hours||2 hours|
|Arvixe||26 min||30 min||1 hour||1h 10 min|
|Bluehost||8 min||15 min||12 min||1 hour|
Here’s how our new entries performed. It took Coloud Access 16 min to send their first reply and a total of 31 to have a basic Joomla issue fixed. Unfortunately, they didn’t manage to reply to the advanced Joomla ticket correctly. It took A2 Hosting one day to answer the initial ticket with a very basic Joomla question and another 24 hours to close it without resolution. At this level of support, we decided that there is no need to test with advanced Joomla questions.
|Company||Basic question in 2014||Advanced question in 2014|
|Cloud Access||8 hours||2 hours with NO resolution|
|A2 Hosting||48 hours (no resolution)||No advanced support|
Innovations and additional features
There isn’t much that most of the hosting companies have added to the value of their packages except for SiteGround. The folks from SiteGround have completely redesigned their site making their Help Desk system even better. In addition to that, on the higher shared hosting plans, they’ve added some Joomla-specific features like an in-house developed caching solution that can be enabled with a single click and even easier to use staging functionality that allows you to make development copies of your website in seconds.
Another hosting that changed a lot during the year is A2 Hosting. First, they have switched their servers to use SSD hard disks which should improve the speed of their service. Unfortunately, they weren’t listed top 6 last year so we can’t really compare them.
We have combined the results from all the test and ordered the hosting companies by what we believe is a very trustworthy criteria. Again, SiteGround got the first position with their incredible support, fast and stable servers and Joomla-specific optimizations. Some of the other hosting providers have improved during the last year too. For example, Rochen have significantly reduced the response time of their support team for basic Joomla questions. Unfortunately, others like Arvixe have become worse. This is why, we’ve placed them after Bluehost.
- Cloud Access
- A2 Hosting