Racing Horses with Photo Finish

16-minute read

Is ClassicPress Faster Than WordPress?

A lot of people have been saying that ClassicPress is faster than WordPress. It is true? Or, is it just wishful thinking? Here’s what I found.

Word on the street is that ClassicPress performance is better than WordPress. So, is there anything to actually back that up? Now, I must admit, ClassicPress did seem faster when I installed it, but, was it really faster? Or, was I just another notch in the belt of the placebo effect? Not satisfied with random anecdotal evidence, I decided to find out.

The Environment

The current versions of ClassicPress (1.0.0-beta2) and WordPress (5.0.2) – both of which are the current versions at the time the tests are run – will be installed on an Apache server and tested against a variety of settings. Both platforms will be installed fresh and the well-known Theme Unit Test data will be imported to provide site content. The TwentySeventeen theme will be used for all tests. Each installation uses a dedicated subdomain and database. Images are used as-is, without optimization.

The Process

The online test suites at GTMetrix and Pingdom will be used to gauge site performance. Each ClassicPress and WordPress installation will be run through both suites three times and the best result recorded for each. Yes, I realize this isn’t scientific. After tests are conducted with a given PHP version, the PHP version will be bumped to the next version, and the tests re-executed on those same CP/WP installations. Links to all tests are provided at the end of the results.

The Results

Shared Hosting – GTMetrix Results

Default WordPress and ClassicPress Performance
ScoreSize (kb)Time (secs)Requests
PHP 5.674737617941.81.92629
PHP 7.074777617942.01.92629
PHP 7.174737617941.61.82629
PHP 7.274737617941.71.92629
PHP 7.3not yet tested

Shared Hosting – Pingdom Results

Default WordPress and ClassicPress Performance
ScoreSize (kb)Time (secs)Requests
PHP 5.679764927991.451.512629
PHP 7.077767677991.351.52629
PHP 7.177767667991.151.52629
PHP 7.277767667991.071.452629
PHP 7.3not yet tested

VPS Hosting – GTMetrix Results

Default WordPress and ClassicPress Performance
ScoreSize (kb)Time (secs)Requests
PHP 5.674737597951.82.12629
PHP 7.074737597951.52.12630
PHP 7.174737597951.72.12630
PHP 7.274737597951.82.62630
PHP 7.3not yet tested

VPS Hosting – Pingdom Results

Default WordPress and ClassicPress Performance
ScoreSize (kb)Time (secs)Requests
PHP 5.677757657993.553.562629
PHP 7.077757647983.553.792630
PHP 7.177757647983.733.672630
PHP 7.277757647983.463.072630
PHP 7.3not yet tested

An Observation

In the VPS hosting table for Pingdom results (immediately above), the page load time seems unusually high. It may be that there was a spike in something when I did these tests, however, the trend is identical to the other results, so I used them for continuity. Note that the numbers here represent the bests and are not averages. The links below will take you to the actual test results, so you could figure the averages if you are so inclined; I may (or may not) do this.

A Quick, Fun Project

With all the default testing out of the way, now for something more fun. How good can I get these numbers within a few minutes? Well, let’s just see. First, I’ll install a few plugins and tweak some server settings. Then, I’ll re-run three new tests for each platform (CP and WP) on each of the performance suites (GtMetrix and Pingdom) and list the best outcomes, as before.

VPS Hosting + PHP 7.2 + Smush + Autoptimize + .htaccess

Optimized WordPress and ClassicPress Performance Results
ScoreSize (kb)Time (secs)Requests
Pingdom93925315351.081.922223
GTMetrix95955305351.51.72223

Obviously, I was able to get the performance scores for both platforms into the Grade-A realm with a little footwork. This, again, points out that the difference in performance between the platforms (at least in these tests) is marginal.

Wrapping Up

I think it’s fairly clear that ClassicPress came out on top in terms of performance. That said, WordPress was only beaten by a very slim margin, and did even rank higher on a few scores. After optimization, both domains reflected the same trend: ClassicPress ranked slightly better than WordPress. But, again, only ever so slightly. So, yes, it appears to be true: ClassicPress is a tiny bit faster than WordPress.

Sources

Note that some of the links below have been unlinked; GTMetrix apparently doesn’t keep the results forever.


Shared Hosting – PHP 5.6

ClassicPress
WordPress

Shared Hosting – PHP 7.0

ClassicPress
WordPress

Shared Hosting – PHP 7.1

ClassicPress
WordPress

Shared Hosting – PHP 7.2

ClassicPress
WordPress

VPS Hosting – PHP 5.6

ClassicPress
WordPress

VPS Hosting – PHP 7.0

ClassicPress
WordPress

VPS Hosting – PHP 7.1

ClassicPress
WordPress

VPS Hosting – PHP 7.2

ClassicPress
WordPress

VPS Hosting + PHP 7.2 + Smush + Autoptimize + .htaccess

ClassicPress
WordPress

2 thoughts on “Is ClassicPress Faster Than WordPress?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *