SiteGround Vs WP Engine: Which is better? (2021)
Find out whether SiteGround is better than WP Engine or not Below!
Table Of Contents
- SiteGround VS WP Engine
- Solutions offered by SiteGround
- Solutions offered by WP Engine
- Data Centers
- Solid State Storage (SSD)
- PHP7, HTTP/2, and CDN
- Websites and Subdomains
- Email Accounts
- Other Features – WordPress
- Is SiteGround or WP Engine faster?
- Website Transfer
Today you can find many reliable web hosting companies to host your websites, and what differs between them are usually the features. However, this does not mean that one web host is more superior than the rest, as it depends on what the individual client is looking for.
For example, one web host might offer solutions that you require more than the other one that is ranked number 1 in the industry, but that does not mean they are not reliable. Therefore in this review, we will compare two popular web hosting solutions on the market, which are SiteGround and WP Engine. Have you been on the market for a new web host? Or maybe you’ve been considering between SiteGround and WP Engine? Then today is your lucky day.
SiteGround VS WP Engine
Right off the bat, SiteGround already seems more superior to WP Engine in terms of the types of hosting offered, such as your standard hosting, WooCommerce, and also WordPress hosting. Whereas for WP Engine as the name suggests, only has WordPress hosting. Nevertheless, there are still many other features that matter at the end of the day. So which host is better?
We’ll find out today as we’re putting these two hosting companies against each other to measure their speed, uptime, customer support, and all the elements that make an excellent hosting company a fan favorite.
These criteria will be tested using analytical tools on both solutions’ shared hosting plans. As for dedicated hosting, no definitive conclusions can be made; however, we can probably assume that the general findings can also be extended for the other plans offered.
Solutions offered by SiteGround
SiteGround offers a variety of shared hosting solutions, including your regular web hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and WordPress hosting. For these three types of hosting, you get three different types of packages with tier pricing going from the lowest, which is StartUp, to GrowBig, and then finally GoGeek. With the cheapest StartUp, you can host one domain, but it offers the least storage space. But if you pay more for the GrowBig and GoGeek plans, you get unlimited domains, ample storage space, and extra features.
SiteGround also has cloud hosting with dedicated resources, servers, and enterprise hosting, where you can arrange custom infrastructure for your business.
Solutions offered by WP Engine
WP Engine mainly focuses on WordPress hosting for small to medium-size businesses, agencies, or enterprises. They offer four-tier plans, including Startup Growth, Scale, and Custom. All four tiers begin at the cheapest and progress to the most expensive. What varies between them are the number of sites, storage, bandwidth, and also some unique additional features. For instance, the Startup plan does not have phone support, whereas the tier above that has a 24/7 phone service.
The custom plan offers extensively advanced features such as geotargeting, consultative onboarding, WordPress multisite, and launch readiness assessments. If you have integrated DevKits, CDN setup, Genesis Framework, or a Performance Intelligence Suite, WP Engine can also support you.
So, who does the general public prefer? It seems that SiteGround is more popular than WP Engine, which is something new because usually when SiteGround is compared with any web host, SiteGround is generally the second choice. We can know this by referring to the Google Trends illustration, where SiteGround is always above the WP Engine by 30 to 40 interest points. It is also important to note that ‘WPEngine’ and ‘WP Engine’ on Google Trends show varying results. It seems ‘WP Engine’ shows even less of an interest. However, it is nothing too surprising since WP Engine offers the only WordPress hosting anyways.
Additionally, SiteGround also hosts over 2,000,000 domains and counting as compared to WP Engine’s mere 500,000. Nevertheless, a small customer base does not equal lousy quality or features.
In terms of technologies, we will compare three criteria, which are data centers, speed, and uptime. SiteGround proudly showcases the technologies they use on their website. With WP Engine, you can also find information on their technologies in the Help Center.
Overall, six main criteria were compared, including data centers, solid-state storage, NGINX, CDN, HTTP/2, and PHP7. Both SiteGround and A2 Hosting have all of these, and the only difference is that SiteGround has five data centers in 3 continents, whereas WP Engine has ten in 3 continents. Now let’s take a deeper look at each of them.
Data centers are urgent because the speed and reliability of your website depend on the geography and features of your closes data center. Therefore, hosting solution companies will always work to provide multiple high-quality data centers spread out in a variety of different countries and continents.
With SiteGround, you can clearly see their five data centers in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
As for WP Engine, you would be surprised to know that they have more than two times the number of SiteGround data centers around the world. They have 10 data centers to handle the shared plans and additional 8 AWS servers for the dedicated plans. Where are these data centers located? You can find then in one in Canada, three in the US, three in Europe, two in Asia, and another in Australia. It’s safe to say that no matter where you are in the world, your site will have high speed and stability.
Solid State Storage (SSD)
A regular hard drive won’t cut when it comes to hosting, and you need to use Solid State Storage Drives instead as it will have a significant impact on hosting performance. You get SSDs for both SiteGround and WP Engine. However, WP Engine goes one step further to prevent RAM saturation by absorbing any additional loads without swapping.
NGINX is your best friend, especially when you encounter stagnant content on your site. If this occurs, NGINX is the high-performing HTTP server and reverse proxy that works to boost the speed of any static content. SiteGround has NGINX setup for all shared and cloud plans. With WP Engine, they use a custom NGINX extension that prioritizes individual requests to give an overall better experience.
PHP7, HTTP/2, and CDN
So many abbreviations, but what do they mean? These technologies all play crucial roles in ensuring that your site loads fast wherever you are. All three technologies are offered by both SiteGround and WP Engine but differ slightly. For example, SiteGround has free Cloudflare CDN, while WP Engine offers both MaxCDN and CDN for free on your first 1,000 GB of usage.
Additionally, SiteGround has uptime technologies like the Linux containers (LXC) and anti-bot AI while WP Engine doesn’t.
Web hosts often offer a myriad of features on top of their general cloud solutions. Depending on your business, you might have specific features that you are looking for. Let’s go through each of them.
Storage is defined as the space your site can take upon the servers. With SiteGround the amount of storage you get increases with the tier pricing plans. It begins with 10GB SSD if you’re on the StartUp plan, 20GB SSD if you get the GrowBig plan and 30GB SSD for the
WP engine also offers similar storage packages, including 10GB SSD with StartUp, 20GB SSD for their Growth plan, and 30GB for the Scale Plan.
Based on my experience, your site will barely hit these limits unless you upload many high-resolution pictures and videos, or if you use your hosting to store files which you shouldn’t.
Backup is something you might not think of now, but having backups is crucial for your site. Just in case anything happens, that results in you losing ALL your data. Yup, let that sink in.
SiteGround offers daily backups, which will be kept for 30 days for shared hosting and seven days for cloud hosting. SiteGround’s backup feature is surprisingly reliable despite its low price tag. You can quickly recover your backups via the Backup Tool in the cPanel. Moreover, with SiteGround, you can also get up to give premium on-demand backups if you’re on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. You also get premium on-demand backups on the StartUp plan, but a fee will be charged.
Backup with WP Engine is also equally reliable. They get backed up automatically every night, or if you want, manual backups can also be created on-demand. Your account can store up to a maximum of 40 backups at one time, and even up to 60 if you reach out to customer support. You can manage backups via the User Portal where you can create, restore, and download backups easily.
Websites and Subdomains
At some point, you might need more than one website, so the number of sites and subdomains your web host covers is crucial to know. Overall SiteGround trumps WP Engine as they cater for unlimited websites on all WordPress plans except for the lowest tier StartUp plan that only allows one website.
WP Engine gives one website on the StartUp plan, similar to SiteGround, five websites for the Growth plan, 15 sites for the Scale plan, and over 25 websites on the Custom plan. As you can see, there’s a website limit for all WP Engine plans, which makes it less flexible than SiteGround’s unlimited plans.
Both web hosts give unlimited subdomains and parked domains on all their plans.
So far, it seems like WP Engine is pulling a little behind SiteGround already as they always have a limit on their plans even when it comes to bandwidth. WP Engine has monthly limits on their bandwidth of 50GB, 200GB, 400 GB, and 400GB+ for all plans.
If you use SiteGround, you won’t have a problem, and you can grow your site as much as you want as they have unlimited bandwidth on all plans so you can keep the traffic coming. You only have to worry if an ‘unreasonable’ amount of traffic is detected as it could signify something fishy is going on with your site like spam.
So overall, SiteGround beats WP Engine in the data transfer category due to their limitations.
Email services are another thing to look out for in a good web host. With SiteGround, you get email services plus unlimited email accounts. The only thing they limit is the storage that’s limited to 2GB, 4GB, and 6GB from their cheapest StartUp plan to their most expensive GoGeek plan, respectively. As for their email providers, you can select between SquirrelMail, Horde, and Roundcube. I only have experience with Roundcube, and it’s been pretty sound using it so far.
With EP Engine, you don’t get email services, which means you can’t create mailboxes. However, since WP Engine offers more specialized solutions for WordPress only, it’s rare they offer email solutions in their package. What this means is that you need to search for a third-party email provider.
Other Features – WordPress
SiteGround can accommodate between 10,000 to 100,000 visits a month. And if you think this is good, check out WP Engine’s 25,000 to 1,000,000 visits per month! So it’s obvious that WP Engine takes the win in this category!
As for the additional features, both hosts offer pretty similar storage limits, backup policies, and of course, WordPress features. However, WP Engine is more limiting in terms of bandwidth, the number of websites you can have on one plan, and also email solutions.
So I guess the winner in terms of more robust features is SiteGround, which is expected. However, it doesn’t mean that WP Engine is any less good, they just have more restrictions.
The importance of speed
One thing we all hate is slow loading websites. Don’t you just hate it when you are looking for something, but the page isn’t loading correctly as you expect it to? Well, so does your customers. In fact, it has a more negative effect on your site and can even affect your image.
Customers have been known to turn to competitors’ sites whenever they experience a slow loading website. For example, a loyal customer will easily turn to your competitors’ site if they can’t find what they’re looking for on your site, and you might lose that customer permanently.
Other than that, search engines will also favor your website and rank you more visibly.
Is SiteGround or WP Engine faster?
Speed tests can be done to compare the speed of SiteGround and WP Engine. So far, most of the speed tests indicate that WP Engine is slightly faster than SiteGround. Only on infrequent occasions does SiteGround beat WP Engine but nonetheless, the discrepancies only vary slightly. Both web hosts also beat other hosts like DreamHost, HostGator, and BlueHost.
But from my personal experience from being on the SiteGround Standard plan, their speed has always been reliable. And if you perform a GT Metrix test, the results come out pretty comparable if you ask me. Sometimes SiteGround is faster, and other times WP Engine is faster, so they both pretty much average out.
If you have been following SiteGround since before 2016, then you will know that this has not always been the case. But from listening to their customers, they have since up their game to become one of the fastest hosting solutions on the market at affordable prices too.
Long downtimes also cause your customers to turn away. Whenever your site goes down for any reason, traffic stops coming in. While your customers become frustrated they can’t find your website, search engines are also making a note, and your rankings will be affected. Several factors can cause downtime, such as power outages, hardware malfunction, maintenance of servers, etc.
But what is the acceptable downtime? Obviously, you want to avoid all downtimes and should keep at least 99% uptime and above. You’ll be happy to know that both SiteGround and WP Engine have 99.9% and 99.95%, respectively. Therefore, you can already see that while the discrepancies are little, WP Engine takes a slight lead.
Again with my personal experience using SiteGround, I’ve never had any problems with downtime so far. Furthermore, with their exceptional customer service, you won’t even have to worry because you can guarantee that it will be resolved ASAP.
Should downtime occur, hosting companies usually offer some type of compensation that comes with several terms. For example, they might offer a discount if your uptime dips below a certain percentage.
If you’re with SiteGround and your uptime dips between 99% to 99.9%, SiteGround offers free hosting plus free months if the uptime continues to decline.
WP hosting gives 5% off monthly hosting fees for downtime that occurs outside of any scheduled maintenance or other such events that might affect your site’s uptime. But to receive the credits, you must reach out to the support team within 30 days. This extra hurdle to receive compensation puts SiteGround in the lead, in my opinion. Simple because if it was me, I’d probably skip asking for the credit since it’s not much anyway.
Customer support is essential because you want someone to talk to if you encounter any problems with your site. We all know the frustrations that can come from a malfunctioning or slow loading site.
SiteGround’s support team is terrific. You get 24/7 live chat, ticket, and phone support, which are flexible options to suit your schedule. Other than that, you also always know who you’re talking to because they display their support team’s personal profile while you’re on the line. I’ve tried reaching out to SiteGround customer support just to see how they are, and they responded immediately to my ‘requests’. They were also very polite and ensured my issue had been entirely resolved.
WP Engine also offers flexible support that comes in the form of their Help Center, where you can get a ton of information like tutorial videos, tips, and more information about their services. You can also contact them via phone or their live chat widget and get specialized support all year round. WP Engine has headquarters in several locations like Australia, the US, and the UK, so you can actually contact each of them separately. I have also tried contacting their support team, and they do respond quickly. The only thing is that you can only get unlimited phone support with the Growth plan and unlimited ticket support with the Enterprise plan.
With SiteGround, you must be on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans for access to free professional web transfer. You can also get it on the StartUp plan, but there is a fee of $30. So far, I’ve found there to be no limits on the number of accounts or websites you can transfer with SiteGround, which means you can move from one site to an entire cPanel consisting of several websites.
On the other hand, WP Engine does not have professional web transfers, but they do have something called the WordPress migration plugin. You will get this plugin with your WP Engine hosting account, and you just have to install it on your old site and follow some instructions to complete the migration. You can also do it manually by backing up all your data.
Both SiteGround and WP Engine have excellent security measures that protect against hackers, bots, and other cyber attacks. You will feel secured using either web host.
I personally would pay more for a service that I know is reliable. After all, my business is what brings in the bacon, so I’m willing to invest if the returns are high. Overall, SiteGround’s prices seem to be more worth it because you do get a lot of flexibility.
Overall I prefer SiteGround over WP Engine. WP Engine just has too many restrictions, which you might be okay with now, but it does restrict growth should your site expand. Of course, you would want your website to expand because it translates to more sales! So it’s better not to limit yourself. With SiteGround, it is affordable, fast, and, most importantly, reliable. Once you use SiteGround, you won’t look back ever again.
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