After 12 months of live testing in 2019, let’s compare Flywheel vs Lightning Base and find out which WordPress host has performed best.
Flywheel vs Lightning Base – Testing Method
- Prior to testing, I have setup identical content on all 6 Live Test Sites
- Each week over 60,000 speed & uptime tests are run using independent tools, GTmetrix & Pingdom
- Test results below are from 07 Jan 2019 to 04 Jan 2020
Test #1: Speed
The GTmetrix Speed Test checks how long it takes for a website to fully load using a desktop internet browser. This test is then repeated every hour throughout the week (1,080 times).
- Flywheel was solid in USA testing across Weeks 1 to 10 with a 3rd place finish. When we moved our servers to Canada & UK, Flywheel experienced a step improvement in speeds along with 2nd place finishes. Then in the latest results in India & Australia, Flywheel jumped up again to be the fastest host across Weeks 31 to 50.
- Lightning Base’s average speed has typically been off the pace compared to our other hosts. Their USA & Canada results saw them finish 5th & 4th fastest respectively. Performances in the UK were disappointing, with Lightning Base being the slowest host due to erratic results in Dallas & Vancouver. The roller coaster continued in India across Weeks 31 to 40, as Lightning Base picked up their best results of 2019, being the 3rd fastest host. The final 10 weeks in Australia saw them finish 4th, with a particularly poor performance in Dallas.
- Flywheel is currently in 2nd place, while Lightning Base is 5th in our Speed Rankings.
2019 Results – USA Server
2019 Results – Canada Server
2019 Results – UK Server
2019 Results – India Server
2019 Results – Australia Server
Test #2: Uptime
The Pingdom Uptime Test confirms that the website is actually accessible to visitors. This test is then repeated every minute throughout the week (60,480 times).
- The uptime performance for Flywheel across 50 weeks has been exceptional. With only 29 minutes of downtime across that time, they have successfully avoided long outages.
- Lightning Base has performed extremely poorly when it comes to Uptime so far in 2019. In Week 143 of testing, 119 minutes of downtime was experienced by Lightning Base, which is very uncharacteristic. Over the last 2 years of testing I have conducted here, Lightning Base only had 65 minutes of downtime. The good news is there hasn’t been any repeats of this, with no downtime at all across Weeks 11 to 30, and just 16 minutes in Weeks 31 to 50.
- Flywheel is sitting in 2nd place, with Lightning Base 5th in our Uptime Rankings.
Flywheel vs Lightning Base – Overall ranking
The Overall Ranking accumulates the results from the speed & uptime tests to determine the #1 Host.
- Flywheel have recorded consistently impressive uptime throughout. And after a solid start with their speed results early in 2019, things have really taken off in the last 45 weeks, consistently taking out top 3 finishes. Being the fastest host in India & Australia has propelled Flywheel into the coveted #1 ranking.
- Lightning Base has been let down by their extremely disappointing downtime of 119 minutes in Week 143. Outside of this one off poor week, their uptime performance has been exceptional. But when you combine this with erratic speed results, Lightning Base has finished 2019 at the base of the field.
- Flywheel is currently 1st and Lightning Base is 6th in our Overall Rankings.