With the performance test plugin you can test the CPU and MySQL speed on your webserver and your MySQL server.
CPU performance testing: This plugin does various calculations and string manipulations on your PHP webserver and your MySQL database server. To further test the MySQL server, a sequence of MySQL inserts, selects, updates and deletes are performed in a separate custom database table (we do not use your WordPress tables for this).
Network testing: The network is tested by fetching directly from Google's CDN / apis network. Fetching from the Google apis network gives you the nearest server, and will give more accurate results. We also fetch a small 1Mb file from our servers as well in case the Google apis is down. The network tests are not yet shown in the graphs, we are working on this :-)
Results: After the sequence of tests has finished, the results will be displayed for you to evaluate. MySQL results can vary depending on the type of connection your webserver has to the MySQL server. If a "local socket" connection is used a typical result for the MySQL query test is 0.05-0.25 seconds. Web hosting providers with dedicated MySQL servers will show a slower time/queries per second, as a TCP/IP connection to the MySQL server is made instead of a local socket connection.
There are many factors that will determine how fast your website will run. This plugin does not test for how many hits/requests per second your provider allows to your website, file system performance is not tested either. Use it as a performance test to assess how fast a CPU your provider has allocated to your webserver and your MySQL database backend.
Share with your friends, let's start a competition and see who's got the fastests servers (hint) :-)