Onyx by Krystal Hosting

Krystal published some Ads on Facebook claiming that Onyx is the FASTEST WordPress hosting. I decided to take a closer look. Below you can read a review of Onyx hosting platform and results of GTmetrix performance tests.

The way how Onyx is setup is quite distinctive from any regular web hosting platform. When you buy shared web hosting you typically get some space on an Apache HTTPD web server and a MySql database.

With Onyx you get enterprise-grade technology stack:

  • HTTP load-balancers
  • NGINX web server running as a highly available cluster where each node is an LXC Container
  • Enterprise grade storage system using NVMe SSD drives
  • Maria DB database cluster
  • Redis object cache cluster

Together this combination allows Krystal Hosting to claim they are the fastest WordPress hosting platform.

Onyx Delivers

I have setup an account with Onyx to try it out with a website that is reasonable simple but still presents some challenges for performance minded.

Once I had two copies of the same website running, I turned to GTmetrix to analyse performance.

It took Onyx just 0.9 second to deliver a page of 1.39Mb that required 12 HTTP queries

Great performance overall and also very impressive performance in relationship to individual image download. The only problem Onyx platform encountered was with serving a large image that wasn’t sufficiently optimised for fast download. Multiple layers of caching allow Onyx to start delivery of static files to a client nearly instantly.

Baseline Performance

Onyx is certainly fast. But Onyx claims they are the fastest. Is that TRUE?

I ran exactly the same GTmetrix test against our London server and the result was 0.6 seconds with slightly smaller overall page size at 1.38Mb.

Let’s look at timings and waterfall chart:

And anecdotal evidence shows that Onyx is somewhat slower.

During some tests Onyx was slower than 1 second.

Blue Star London is focusing on solving challenges small business face and our platform has this particular type of customers in mind. Details of our platform:

  • No load-balancers and high-availability – visitors go to our server directly. Although In some cases we use Cloudflare as a proxy and CDN.
  • NGINX web server as a reverse proxy – it enables native cache of static files
  • Apache HTTPD as a web server with PHP 7.2 or PHP 7.3
  • MySql database running locally on the host

Where customers of Blue Star London get the most value is in level of attention to each and every website – keeping every website updated and optimised rather than relying on a smart platform.

Our Recommendations

Onyx platform is certainly a robust choice. However at £14.99 it is not cheap. And on top of this price one needs to add cost of WordPress website maintenance. Blue Star London only offers managed WordPress hosting, we take care of plugin upgrades and website security besides providing fast and efficient web hosting solution.

Anyone with a busy website (thousands visitors every hour) go for Onyx WordPress hosting.

For smaller businesses that have less busy websites Blue Star London can offer better value for money and equally fast web hosting 99% of time.

If you are undecided, contact us. We may be able to offer you ONE MONTH of free hosting after review of your requirements and your website current state. In some cases website would have to be upgraded to WordPress 5 and PHP 7.2 before we can onboard it.

Editorial by Mikhail Krivoshein, published on 4th April 2019

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