WordPress is one of the most popular website and blogging platforms in the world, which is why it’s not surprising that a company has decided to create a web hosting service dedicated entirely to WordPress users and websites. It has become a very popular choice among WordPress users, but is it really the best choice? Take a look at the comparison to another popular host, SiteGround, and decide for yourself.
WP Engine Hosting
To begin with, WP Engine is a very costly host, coming in at $29/month for their most basic plan. For so much money, it is surprisingly limited. It allows for only one WordPress installation, it will only support up to 25,000 monthly visitors, and it gives you only 10GB of storage. It is also completely Linux based, so Windows users will have to look elsewhere.
WP Engine does not provide email services, and it doesn’t sell domain names either. You will have to go through a third party for each of those, if you want/need the services.
WordPress comes preinstalled with WP Engine, which is handy. It minimizes your setup and allows you to get started right away. It is compatible with most WordPress plugins, excluding a plugin only if it is low quality with negative performance, or a duplicate of a feature already offered with WordPress. This is an excellent thing as WordPress offers many wonderful Plugins that will enhance your site greatly.
WP Engine protects your site with daily malware scans, and a firewall that is constantly updated to protect against even the newest threats. They even promise that if your site is hacked, they will repair any damage done free of charge. Their uptime is excellent, often consistently 100%. They also offer free unlimited backups of your site, with easy, one click restore should you need to go back to an older version.
Their customer support has received somewhat mixed reviews, some saying the reps were helpful and quick, others reporting long wait times and unhelpful responses. They do offer a telephone service, but it is limited to Monday-Friday for only a certain number of hours per day. While they don’t leave you completely in the dark, if you are unable to call during their phone hours, you have to use their email or ticketing. They offer a pretty decent 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
SiteGround is a lesser known, although still very popular web host with about 450,000 websites. Much cheaper than WP Engine, their service costs you only $3.95/mo. The great thing about SiteGround that is also very unique, is that they allow you to pay however you like. They offer 12 month plans, but also allow you to pay monthly if you would like. A monthly plan does charge a one-time setup fee of $14.95, which is annoying but easily justified if you really prefer paying month to month rather than for an entire year all at once.
SiteGround has a really great customer support system, offering telephone, online chat, as well as a ticketing service. The phone lines and chat rooms will give you an instant response, but they still guarantee a very fast response time for their ticket service. The general user experience on SiteGround is that their reps are very knowledgeable, friendly, and have been able to fix their problems very quickly.
While not a WordPress dedicated host like WP Engine, SiteGround does offer some benefits to its WordPress users. They auto-update your site for you, they provide server level maintenance, and they do automatic daily backups of your site. Non-WordPress users are offered free backups as well, but the data limit on them is somewhat limited compared to many other hosts out there.
One of the biggest benefits to choosing SiteGround though is the amount of free stuff they include with your account. If you are looking to start an e-store to sell your products, they have some e-commerce tools available to you. They offer free domain names and will transfer your existing domain names over for you if you wish, free of charge. The also offer free add-ons which will provide your site with protection against hotlinks, leeches and spam. Their uptime is also very impressive, with a promise of 99.99%.
So Which One is Better?
In this case, that’s a more difficult question to answer as each service will meet different needs for different people. For a WordPress user, WP Engine really isn’t a bad choice, the problem is that it is just so pricey. The reality is, for a simple blog or business, even on WordPress, you can quite likely find a cheaper service like SiteGround which will provide you with hosting that is just as good quality and just as satisfactory, without as many limitations as WP Engine. For users that do not use WordPress, WP Engine is out of the question anyway.