How Do We Setup Our Test Websites When Reviewing a Web Host?

The first thing we do when reviewing a hosting provider is to set up a “dummy” test website on their servers and track its performance over time.

On this page, we wanted to go over the details of how each test website is set up.


All of our test sites use the Twenty Seventeen WordPress theme.

Page size

We aim for the test page to be around 2 MB.

This is based on a recent report which concluded that 2 MB was the average size of a web page in 2018.

We want our test site to be as close to the “average” as possible.

To reach 2 MB, we upload a set of eight (8) high-definition photos to the front page, along with a bunch of text and a few TablePress tables.


We install and activate the following plugins on each test site:

  • Yoast SEO
  • Contact Form 7
  • Akismet
  • W3 Total Cache
  • Smush Image Compression
  • TablePress
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • WordFence

The list above is based on multiple rankings of the most popular WP plugins. Again, the goal is for the test site to be as close to your “average” WordPress website as possible.

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