WordPress is undoubtedly an easier way to create your website. With little or no knowledge of coding you can easily create a static website from scratch. It has numerous themes, templates and plugins that make the entire process seamless. However, when creating a website, an important consideration would be hosting.

Two popular web hosts for WordPress sites that immediately come to mind are WP Engine and SiteGround. They both offer specialized shared WordPress hosting that makes managing your site easy. WP Engine was created especially for WordPress hosting and is widely used. SiteGround, on the other hand, has been in existence since 2004 and it offers a variety of web hosting services. They only recently launched a WordPress centered plan which is increasingly popular.

What then are the differences between both web hosts, and which of them should you opt for? Read our discussion below of their differences and features.

SiteGround vs WP Engine Comparison

Hosting Plans

They both have similar shared hosting plans as well as higher server options. The only difference is that SiteGround also offers enterprise hosting to its customers and is not limited to WordPress hosting. WP engine has a total of 5 hosting plans with three being WordPress hosting plans and two, ultra-performance hosting options. SiteGround also offers five plans, three are shared WordPress hosting, one higher-performance server, and lastly enterprise hosting option

However, for better comparison, we will be using the GoGeek from SiteGround and Personal Plan from WP Engine as a case study throughout the article. This is because they are almost similar in price and equally good for WordPress users.

SiteGround GoGeek

Number of websites supported – Unlimited

Visitors supported/month – recommended visits of 100,000

Web Storage – 30GB

Data Transfer – Unmetered

WP Engine Personal

Number of websites supported – One

Visitors supported/month – maximum visits of 25,000

Web Storage – 10GB

Data Transfer – Unmetered

Looking at these features asides the difference in the web storage of both plans, another thing to consider is the number of websites supported by each plan. With GoGeek, you are availed to numerous websites while WP Engine Personal allows you only one live website and one staging site for development. Also, the number of visitors is different in both with GoGeek having a recommended amount of 100,000 and WP Engine maximum of 25000.

What happens when too many people visit your website?

These plans are one of the cheapest and ideal for a personal blog with low traffic. But what if all of sudden you gain popularity on social media and everyone is visiting your site at the same time to know more about you? For WP Engine’s personal plan, the most likely option when your visitors surpass 25,000 per month is that you would have to pay extra charges. SiteGround GoGeek plan has no clear maximum visitors, however, the performance and speed of the site may reduce drastically or you are contacted by their support team to discuss possible options.

Both shared hosting plans are fairly reasonable and are highlighted below

  • Personal Plan (WP Engine): $29/month with a bonus of two months free if you pay per annum.
  • GoGeek (SiteGround): $29.95/month lowered to $11.95/month if you choose to pay per annum.

They also offer a money-back guarantee with WP Engine offering 60 days full refund and SiteGround 30 days’ full refund from purchase.

Features

Website Backups

Both sites offer automatic backups of your website, usually done daily, and this is an immense relief to users. You can also backup new data and restore backups yourself from the control panel. Or better yet, contact their support team to restore your data if you are unable to do so yourself.

Support

Both WP Engine and SiteGround offer 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and ticketing. Typically the higher your plan the faster you receive a response to your complaint.

Here’s an overview of both plans:

Personal Plan – Supports only 24/7 live chat, does not support enquires via phone and ticket with this plan

GoGeek – Supports 24/7 phone calls, ticket and live chat

Staging Environment

These are versions of your site that you can use to test updates before they go live. This is not unusual and very useful to catch bugs and features that do not work. Both Plans (Personal and GoGeek) offer a staging area for your site and are quite easy to manage. With WP Engine, the control panel is located within the WordPress admin area, while SiteGround requires you to upload your update with the cPanel dashboard.

Migrating your website

Say you have a website already and would like to transfer your website to any of these web hosts, the procedure is fairly easy. With SiteGround GoGeek, you are allowed one free website migration once you subscribe to their plan. It promises zero downtime and quick turnaround during migration. WP Engine, on the other hand, offers a plugin (Automated Migration) that automatically transfers your site data with a few clicks.

Data Centres

Data centers are locations where your website is hosted, and both SiteGround and WP Engine offers you several country options while creating your account. Places where WP Engine has its data center located, are Canada, Ireland, Taiwan, Belgium, United States, United Kingdom, and Tokyo. SiteGround has several data centers located within the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Italy and Netherland.

However, these data centers are also available based on the hosting plan you subscribe to.

Other details

We have also listed other features that can sway your decision between both shared hosting plans.

  • SiteGround allows you to manage server files via its online file manager but is restricted on WP Engine.
  • Both web hosts have their cache system, EverCache, for WP Engine and SuperCacher for SiteGround.
  • SiteGround offers free content delivery network service while with WP Engine, you have to pay an additional $19.95 for CDN access.
  • SiteGround allows you to choose any PHP version while WP Engine supports only 5.3 and 7.1
  • HTTP/2.0 is available for both web hosts
  • SSL certificates (Let’s Encrypt SSL) and SFTP access are offered for free on both web hosts regardless of the plan you subscribe to
  • PhpMyAdmin is available on both web hosts to manage your database.
  • SiteGround offers its users full email service on all plans while WP Engine does not include emails service
  • Both web hosts will automatically manage and keep your WordPress website up to date.
  • Some plugins are banned on WP Engine while SiteGround allows the use of any WordPress Plugin
  • Security is paramount with both services, and they carry out regular DDoS scans and malware checks on your website.
  • WP Engine renders assistance if your website is hacked, while SiteGround does not offer a clean- up service post-hack

Load Times

The time it takes for a page for a page to load is quite critical, and the faster the load time, the better. No one wants to wait more than 10 seconds for a webpage to load its content. And this is also why many web owners opt for a single web hosting plan instead of shared. Despite their immense advantage, price, shared hosting plans are notorious for their slower page load time compared to an unshared one.

Now the question is which of these shared hosting plans is faster? WP Engine has a higher load time than SiteGround, but the difference is almost negligible. And for best results, web owners are encouraged to enable Zip compression, web browser caching, and other performance-enhancing techniques.

Uptime

Both WP Engine and SiteGround promise 100% uptime with quick turnaround in the event of server failure or crash.

Admin panel

A dashboard is where you manage your website and all its data. Both web hosts have an online dashboard for website and account management and have different features on it.

WP Engine dashboard

The overview of the WP Engine is quite intuitive and easy to navigate. You can easily view the total storage used and available, and the total number of visitors on your site. And with this information, you can track or get an estimate of your total billing as they are the determining factor. You can also view bandwidth consumption.

Other activities you can carry out on your dashboard include;

  • Manual backup and restore with just one click
  • Website staging for development
  • Cache settings
  • Contact support via live chat
  • Test performance of pages with its performance testing tool. It also provides a detailed report of page performance and recommends improvements.
  • Depending on the plan subscribed to, you can create and manage additional WordPress installations
  • Manage error and access logs
  • Can allow other people to have access to the control panel and even limit to specific roles
  • Easily create SFTP user accounts
  • View and manage billing details

Overall, WP Engine’s dashboard has a simple design that contains just enough features to manage your website successfully. It is beginner-friendly and easy to navigate.

SiteGround cPanel

SiteGround uses the popular cPanel as its account dashboard. Because it is not custom made, it includes a variety of controls that you can use to manage your website. These controls might seem a lot to a beginner and overwhelming. But do not worry, with practice you will get the hang of it.

The design interface of cPanel is robust, but when compared to WP Engine’s custom dashboard may seem over-bloated. Managing it isn’t as slick as WP Engine’s but the good side is you have greater controls to experiment it and are not limited to WordPress features.

Some of its varied features include:

  • Automatic backups as well as manual backup and restore from the control panel
  • The control panel can be added to WordPress with the aid of SG Optimizer Plugin. Through the dashboard on the SG optimizer tab, you can change the PHP version of your website, enable caching and also force HTTPS.
  • SuperCacher can also be found and configured directly from the dashboard on WordPress.
  • Contact support from the dashboard, via live chats, ticket and even locate telephone number to call
  • Manage all domains and subdomains from the dashboard
  • Install software and scripts such as WordPress and Joomla
  • Manage error and access logs
  • Create and manage several email accounts
  • Access files on the server
  • Allow other people to have access to the control panel and even limit to specific roles
  • Easily create SFTP user accounts
  • View and manage billing details

This is just an overview of SiteGround’s dashboard features. If you explore the control panel, you will find so many amazing functions. Because it is not limited to WordPress, the design is a bit excessive compared to WP Engine. Nevertheless, a professional would appreciate all its features.

Conclusion

Both web hosts are excellent for hosting your website. However, they have some defining features that can help sway your decision. For pricing, SiteGround is quite cheaper (if you opt for the annual plan) than WP Engine. SiteGround GoGeek plan comes to a total of $143.4 per annum while WP Engine Personal plan is $290 per annum.

However, you should also consider load time, which is essential to your users and visitors. WP Engine has a faster load time than SiteGround. If you have more than a website, you should also consider that SiteGround will allow you to host and manage unlimited websites on your plan. WP Engine (Personal Plan) only supports one website and a staging environment.

SiteGround is also not limited to hosting websites as you can create email service and access server files, unlike WP Engine that only supports WordPress sites. Contacting support on WP Engine is only possible via live chat while SiteGround offers email and phone services in addition to live chat.

Overall, if you are on a budget and would like cheaper services, then the SiteGround annual plan is ideal for you. For higher performance and simplicity, WP Engine is a better choice. Regardless of what you choose, both web hosts have sufficient features to manage your website.

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