On the comparison block today we’ve got SiteGround vs WP Engine. These companies offer two different approaches to web hosting. One of them is better suited for budget-oriented webmasters and business owners, and the other one offers a higher-end solution.
Is it worthwhile to go with the cheaper one, or should you definitely spend more for the premium option? We’re going to compare these two hosts, we’re going to go over the pros and cons of each one, and finally we’ll help you make an informed decision as to which one is right for you.
Both WP Engine and SiteGround and great at what they do. What they do might sound similar on paper, but below the surface there are some big differences in what they’re offering that are crucial for us to highlight before we can make you an informed recommendation.
So, without further ado, let’s just dive right in and by the end of this page, we’re confident you’ll know exactly which of these two hosting options is best suited for you and your upcoming website project, or to move an existing site.
Introduction to Siteground
Siteground has been a major player in the hosting world since 2004, they’re a very established company who have managed to stick around in an incredibly competitive field. We’ve seen countless hosting companies come and go, failing for a variety of reasons, and often leaving their customers high and dry in the time that Siteground has been around and been able to weather many storms that have caused lesser hosting companies to fold.
They have some of the best support we’ve come across, which is hugely important and sets them apart from a lot of other companies in their price bracket. All around, Siteground is great, very reasonably priced, very transparent, and generally a customer-friendly company.
Introduction to WP Engine
WP Engine are all about WordPress hosting. WordPress is one of the most popular ways to create a website, and they’ve truly mastered the fine art of managing WordPress sites. They’re what you might describe as a boutique webhost. They’re very focused on what they do, and they charge a premium for their services.
They’re absolutely obsessed with WordPress and getting as much out of it as possible. They’re all about optimization, monitoring the performance of your content, and just really digging in deeper than you’d ever see with most hosting companies.
WPEngine vs Siteground: Comparing Their Hosting Plans
Now we’re going to take a look at an overview of each host’s most popular packages, options, and features.
Siteground offers a handful of different hosting plans and packages, we’re going to be looking at their shared WordPress hosting plans.
First things first, here are Siteground’s WordPress hosting packages:
The first ting to consider is how many sites you plan to host. If it’s just one, you can save some cash with StartUp. If you need to host additional sites, choose accordingly.
Remember, simply comparing the numbers doesn’t tell you the full story, but the main takeaway here is that Siteground is considerably less expensive than WP Engine. Does that mean it’s no good? Definitely not, Siteground is GREAT. Does it mean that WP Engine is miles better than them? In some areas, perhaps, in other areas, not necessarily.
In the world of hosting, sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes you don’t. In this case, both of these hosting companies offer a very valuable service, they’re just geared towards different audiences. If you’re not sure which one to pick and you want to get right to the point, you can skip right to the last section of this post.
Here are some additional features of Siteground’s shared hosting options StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek:
- 1 click installers to launch your site super quickly
- WP-CLI if you want to use the command line to manage your site
- Git comes pre-installed and ready to roll
- All of the plans except StartUp coming with SuperCacher, which includes 3 levels of cache to speed up your site
WP Engine Packages
WP Engine offers a variety of tiers to choose from, which you’ll want to select based on how many visitors your site gets and what your needs are as far as resources go.
Beyond the three we’re going to be analyzing right now, they also offer enterprise solutions on a custom-quoted basis, so if you have a very popular site, or a business website where uptime and performance are mission-critical, you can simply give them a phone call to discuss your options.
Let’s start by going over WPEngine’s introductory “Personal” plan, which is their most affordable option:
As you can see, the price starts at $29, and the specs aren’t all that much different from Siteground’s $3.95 StartUp plan. We’ll talk about this a bit more later on in this comparison, but basically – there’s a lot more to how good a host is and how well your website will perform besides just looking at the specs on paper.
Different servers can be optimized differently, or have better hardware, or simply not have as many other websites taking up space on them. Does that mean that more expensive hosting is always going to be faster? No. But, there is definitely a difference between a premium offering of 1 site, about 25k visitors per month, with 10GB storage, and having those same specs on a more traditional shared server.
Moving up the scale, here’s a look at WPEngine’s Professional and Business packages:
The first difference you’ll notice here is that these plans allow you to have more than one website, and it’s roughly an additional $10 per month for each extra site that’s allowed under your account’s umbrella.
With the $100/mo plan, you get 10 WordPress installs. With the $250/mo business plan, you get 25.
This is in comparison to the 1 WordPress installation you get with their Personal plan. Do you need more than one install? Well, for one website, you only need one WordPress installation. If you plan on having more than one site, you can either purchase multiple Personal plans, or look at the Professional package, depending on how many and what makes the most sense financially. For example, if you need 2 installs, then buying two Personal plans is still cheaper than one Professional plan.
In addition, these plans allow for a lot more visitors to your site, which is more or less like having a bandwidth cap. Even hosts that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth will still cut you off at a certain point, so we certainly appreciate WP Engine being upfront about when you’re starting to reach your limits, rather than having invisible walls that you’ll hit without even realizing it.
Their plans also offer increasing amounts of storage. It’s unlikely, unless you’re hosting a lot of large files, that you’ll ever come anywhere near 10GB, let alone 30GB, with your website.
For a more in-depth look at WP Engine’s features, here’s what else is included:
- 24/7 chat support across all of their plans.
- Using a CDN costs an additional $20 per month on the Personal plan, but is included in Professional and Business.
- All of their plans offer automated SSL certificates, but only Pro and Business offer the ability to import them.
- 24/7 phone support is available for all of their plans except the Personal plan.
- For additional media storage, you can seamlessly integrate your Amazon S3 account with all of their plans.
- Their Premium and Enterprise servers also include features like a launch readiness assessment, strategic account management, application performance, and more.
Which Host has Better Support?
Support is something that sets the good hosts apart from the great ones, and also sets the great ones apart from the terrible ones. At the end of the day, it’s the support staff you’re going to be dealing with when something goes wrong with your webhosting, and when things are on the fritz, that’s when you need an expert who is ready and able to fix things.
Both companies offer an extensive library of documentation to help you with just about everything you’ll encounter while running your site, from getting started to improving performance.
If you already have a site and you’re moving it to a new host, WP Engine offers a migration plugin that helps with the process, and Siteground will just do it for you. Website migration plugins can be good when they work smoothly, but they can still be confusing to people who aren’t the most tech savvy. On the other hand, having Siteground just take care of it all for you is a nice perk.
Both hosts offer around the clock support, because you never know when your site could run into an issue. Website issues are a universal aspect of having a site, it just happens, but having a host that’s going to get you back in action quickly and effectively is nearly priceless.
Both hosts have support ticket systems that you can access by logging into your account. WP Engine has a phone number clearly displayed on their site for sales, and offers phone support for customers with certain tiers of service. One of the perks of buying a higher-tier plan from WP Engine is the phone support.
WP Engine has made some recent changes to their support workflow, and now tickets are only available to their highest-tier customers, and everyone else is directed towards live chat (or a phone call if your plan supports it.) They’ve said that the move from tickets to live chat has been highly requested, but it’s not always ideal, and many customers have spoken out that they’re disappointed by the move.
If you want to initiate a ticket but don’t have time to sit on a chat, or if you want to initiate a support ticket via email isntead of through their live chat platform – you’re out of luck. This makes things trickier for dealing with website issues when you’re out and about and not at your desktop able to launch a chat window.
Overall, we’re giving the nod to Siteground when it comes to support. WP Engine offers some great additional services that you don’t always see with hosts, but they lack a basic support ticket system after discontinuing it, much to the disappointment of many customers. WP Engine still offers good support, but it’s less versatile, especially if you have the $30 plan and not a more expensive one. Siteground, on the other hand, offers numerous ways to get in touch when you most need the help, regardless of which plan you’re using.
Conclusion: Which Host to Invest In?
|Siteground StartUp||WP Engine Personal|
|Price of basic plan||$3.95/mo||$29.00/mo|
|Monthly visitors allowed||10,000||25,000|
|Storage space||10 GB||10 GB|
|Support||Live chat, support tickets, phone, email||Live chat only|
|Money Back guarantee||30 days||60 days|
|Website migration included||Yes||Kind of (They give you access to a migration plugin, but you have to do it yourself.)|
Make no mistake, hosting is an investment. Whether it’s a website for a hobby, a personal blog, an online resume, or a massive eCommerce store that’s doing hundreds of thousands a day in sales, it’s important to choose the right hosting option.
Generally speaking, you can get away with spending less on smaller personal sites that aren’t going to get a ton of visitors, and for business sites, or magazines, or anything that gets a lot of regular visitors, you’re going to want to go with a higher-end option.
Siteground is perfect for many different types of sites, but if you have a business that’s relying on your site to pay the bills each month, and you get a decent amount of traffic, we’d give the edge to WP Engine. For everyone else, Siteground is a great option and will save you a decent chunk of change.