After 12 months of live testing in 2019, let’s compare Lightning Base vs SiteGround and find out which WordPress host has performed best.
Lightning Base vs SiteGround – 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).
- 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.
- SiteGround’s speed started off very poorly, recording the slowest speed of all our hosts across the first 5 weeks of testing. The good news, however, was they were able to totally turn that around once WP Rocket was installed. They charged to 3rd during this time, outpacing 2 premium hosts in the process. A similar trend occurred across Weeks 11-50, with slow speeds initially then significant improvement with WP Rocket on board.
- Lightning Base is currently in 5th place, while SiteGround is 6th 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).
- 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.
- The uptime results for SiteGround have been very impressive across the 1st 30 weeks of testing. The last 20 weeks have seen a bit of an increase in downtime. But having only recorded 58 minutes of downtime places them above some premium hosts and well above their budget host competitor in Lightning Base.
- SiteGround is sitting in 3rd place, with Lightning Base 5th in our Uptime Rankings.
Lightning Base vs SiteGround – Overall ranking
The Overall Ranking accumulates the results from the speed & uptime tests to determine the #1 Host.
- 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.
- SiteGround’s uptime performance has been impressive, while some improvement is needed to their speed to move up the rankings. They are ahead of Lightning Base in the preferred budget host category, and not far off the performance of some of the premium hosts, especially when their speed with WP Rocket results are isolated.
- SiteGround is currently 4th and Lightning Base is 6th in our Overall Rankings.