After 12 months of live testing in 2019, let’s compare Lightning Base vs WP Engine and find out which WordPress host has performed best.
Lightning Base vs WP Engine – 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.
- The speed WP Engine showed in USA across the 1st 5 weeks of testing was impressive, good for 2nd fastest of our hosts. Unfortunately, they dropped to the slowest host when WP Rocket was introduced across the 2nd 5 weeks. This trend continued across Weeks 11-30 in Canada & UK, initially 3rd fastest, but falling to slowest or 2nd slowest with the addition of WP Rocket. The latest results in India & Australia have been the worst for WP Engine, recording just the 2nd slowest without WP Rocket, then the slowest with.
- WP Engine is currently in 4th 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).
- 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.
- WP Engine performed extremely well when it comes to Uptime across the first 40 weeks of testing, recording only 13 minutes of downtime. The landscape changed dramatically in the last 10 weeks of testing, with a very disappointing 111 minutes of downtime.
- WP Engine is sitting in 4th place, with Lightning Base 5th in our Uptime Rankings.
Lightning Base vs WP Engine – 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.
- WP Engine’s performance across the first 40 weeks was very impressive when it comes to uptime. However the last 10 weeks were horrendous, with multiple weeks of disappointing outages. When this is combined with the continued dropoff in speed, WP Engine has plummeted down the rankings.
- WP Engine is currently 5th and Lightning Base is 6th in our Overall Rankings.