Hosting Challenger 2

Hosting Challenger 2

For this comparison, we made an identical copy of the customer website content and database and then loaded it into our hosting platform for testing.  The only file we changed on the site was the WordPress config file to use the new database server and site name.  All stats were recorded using Pingdom’s page speed and site uptime testing.

“Challenger 2” is hosted on a very large hosting company, probably in the top 5 largest website hosting companies in the US.  You have probably heard the name, but we won’t say it here.  The test ran were the same as Challenger 1.

Round 1 – Network Uptime

Network testing happens once every minute.  It determines the latency between the network paths from Point A to Point B.  Throughout the day, this typically varies by how congested your connectivity is through the network paths, but getting a few second delay in any case is a sign of a problem.  And in a worse case, getting a connectivity loss event (30 seconds without a reply) is really bad.

Challenger 2 – Network Response Time

Overall, a 1-2 second delay in network response isn’t horrible; it’s just an indication that the network links are a bit congested.  The outages are more of a problem, as that indicates that the remote server didn’t respond in a 30 second time frame.

Mindpack Studios – Network Response Time

Note that the scale on the above images differ. A few minimal spikes, but we keep the network response within a few hundred milliseconds.  Also, notice that this test is performed once a minute, so there is far more clarity of network stability than with the page speed testing.

Round 2 – Page Speed Tests

Page speed tests connect to the remote site and download the full content of the page, then process the content and display for review.  This test happens once every 30 minutes, and the graphs display the response time to download the full page.

Challenger 2 – Page Speed

Notice the highly inconsistent response times, indicative of overloaded servers and little to no server performance tuning.  We didn’t do any site tuning to get these numbers, we just moved the site from Challenger 2 to the Mindpack Studios hosting platform which took a grand total of 13 minutes to complete.

Mindpack Studios – Page Speed

Note that the scale on the above images differ. Notice the overall consistency of the hosting platform keeping page responses very level. Pingdom overall average shows 2.95 seconds response time for page download.

Page Speed Comparison

Click the image to zoom for a clear comparison on how much this client’s site was improved by using business class hosting by Mindpack Studios.   The green line represents the average response times with Mindpack Studios vs the blue competitor hosting they were previously located on.   Again, all testing was performed by a 3rd party provider (Pingdom), which has no affiliation to Mindpack Studios.

Round 3 – Concurrency

For our concurrency tests, we used ApacheBench to simulate 20 people attempting to visit the website continuously until 500 requests were made.   A fairly simple command line of ab -n 500 -c 20 http://domainname/ yielded us some pretty quick results.  To try to keep things fair, we ran this test 3 times for each host, and took the median result.

Challenger 2 – Concurrency

Concurrency Level:      20
Time taken for tests:   81.999 seconds
Complete requests:      500
Failed requests:        137
   (Connect: 0, Receive: 0, Length: 137, Exceptions: 0)
Non-2xx responses:      137
Total transferred:      11907357 bytes
HTML transferred:       11709410 bytes
Requests per second:    6.10 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       3279.953 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       163.998 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          141.81 [Kbytes/sec] received

Connection Times (ms)
              min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
Connect:       38   46   6.7     45     104
Processing:    77 1813 6346.7   1053   60051
Waiting:       77 1727 6339.8    967   60051
Total:        120 1859 6347.0   1097   60094

Challenger 2 executed the requests in 82 seconds.  Of those requests, 137 actually failed with a non-200 error code.  Basically, 1/3 of the clients attempting to get to this site while it’s under load would have seen a white page or a 500 error message.  Of the ones that did make it, another 2% of them would have left before the page loaded.  Overall response rate: 6.1 requests per second.

Mindpack Studios – Concurrency

Concurrency Level:      20
Time taken for tests:   16.157 seconds
Complete requests:      500
Failed requests:        0
Total transferred:      15344500 bytes
HTML transferred:       15119000 bytes
Requests per second:    30.95 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       646.282 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       32.314 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          927.45 [Kbytes/sec] received

Connection Times (ms)
              min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
Connect:       13   22  10.8     20     129
Processing:   440  615  57.4    610    1019
Waiting:      350  521  44.5    522     718
Total:        458  637  59.3    632    1039

Pretty simple to see the value by comparison. Basically, the short of it is that the Mindpack Studios average delivery time was between 467 and 1039ms to download the entire page we specified.  All 500 requests completed successfully in 15 seconds at an average rate of 30.95 requests per second.


The Challenger’s hosting company was pretty slow in this comparison.  Not only did they consistently perform at 6+ second response times, but they had a handful of full-stop outages in that week of analysis.

We speak with customers about situations like this weekly, as we try to show them the differences in hosting and how a few bucks can really help them drive more sales.  The overall consensus is that they typically just don’t realize how bad their current hosting platform actually is, and how much traffic they are likely losing from this type of response time.

We’ll get more comparisons online here shortly, and continue fighting the good fight against the corporate hordes and their lack of pride. Stay tuned!

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