Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: December 2019
Our Quick Summary
SiteGround wins this comparison. It’s very hard to beat SiteGround these days, it’s like having managed WP hosting at a massive discount.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
Whether you are operating a small business or are a veteran blogger, your website is one of the most intimate associations people have with your brand. Making sure their experience is a smooth and seamless one is vital. That’s why it is crucial to find the right provider to meet your web hosting needs.
WP Engine sits squarely at the “intersection of software innovation and service,” according to its website. Headquartered in Austin, TX, WP Engine offers a managed WordPress host along with the security and speed you need. Their modus operandi has been to handle technical tasks so users can focus on running their business, improving your content, and creating marketing campaigns.
SiteGround has been around since 2003. Since its inception in the dorm rooms of three Bulgarian students, the company has grown rapidly and now services more than two million domains. They have taken the industry by storm in recent years and have been a respected thought leader in the realm of internet security.
Finding the ideal web hosting provider is a vital part of creating a successful website. That’s why we have done the legwork in a head-to-head comparison between WP Engine and SiteGround. You will be better equipped to decide which company suits your needs in the primary areas of pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use.
Pricing – SiteGround Wins
WP Engine’s basic plan, StartUp, retails at $35 per month. The model is significantly more expensive than what a typical WordPress user might have expected. This discrepancy is because WP Engine is primarily marketed to developers, agencies, and designers who want to get the most out of their compatible WordPress features.
The StartUp package comes with a single domain, 10 gigabytes of local storage, and 50 gigabytes of bandwidth. There is also a wealth of features, including Genesis Framework, transferable sites, and SSL certificates. WP Engine’s Growth, Scale, and Custom plans provide many of the same features but award massive upgrades on site quantity, storage, and bandwidth.
Also named the StartUp, SiteGround’s most basic plan starts at $3.95 per month. Users must pay $14.95 as part of a one-time setup fee, which is billed at the beginning of each renewal period. The simplified model offers a single website with 10 gigabytes of storage and the capacity for 10,000 monthly visits.
Designed for people looking to start their first website, SiteGround’s StartUp plan comes with 24/7 support, free email accounts, free SSL certificates, and unmetered traffic. The more advanced plans, GrowBig and GoGeek, expand on these offerings with more websites, space, and other features.
The two tiers, GrowBig and GoGeek, are for customers who want to develop their digital presence and who are “real web geeks,” respectively.
Support – It’s a Tie
SiteGround is one of the best in the industry when it comes to customer support. Thanks to their 24/7 live chats, customers can find prompt assistance whenever a problem appears, or they have an urgent query about the functionality of the site. Testimonials report relatively minimal delays and knowledgeable technical staff.
SiteGround has glowing reviews when it comes to customer feedback. It is no wonder that they boast award-winning technical support.
WP Engine offers dependable customer support services with 24/7 email ticketing. Their live chat service is only available from 7 am to 9 pm EST, and their phone chat is open from 10 am to 7 pm EST. When you do get in touch with WP Engine, however, you can be confident the support technician is an expert in WordPress.
Despite serving fewer customers, WP Engine has earned a respectable reputation among reviewers. They scored highly, with support, quality, and features being their most notable assets.
Speed – WP Engine Wins
When it comes to performance and speed, SiteGround delivers exceptional value. Users can expect above-average page load times consistently to the tune of around 700ms.
SiteGround also offers reliable uptime at 99.99%. They have servers across the globe, including Chicago, Iowa, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Singapore. On their website, SiteGround notes that their data centers have “continuous monitoring, upgrading and securing” to ensure amazing performance.
WP Engine offers a high-performance and high-speed WordPress hosting experience to its users. Average page load time hovers in the mid 600ms range, which makes it one of the more robust options on the market.
When it comes to uptime, WP Engine manages to keep pace with SiteGround, boasting a 99.9% uptime. This speed comes regardless of the plan you select. Their reliable performance comes with data centers across the United States, Belgium, Taiwan, Japan, England, Ireland, Australia, Germany, and Canada.
Ease of Use – SiteGround Wins
Both hosting companies make creating a WordPress site simple for anyone. They each offer single-click installs and a host of plug-ins. Users will also appreciate the cutting-edge security features that allow you to focus more time on what matters for your bottom line.
SiteGround strives to make the user experience as seamless as possible. That includes everything from the comprehensive customer support to the free website migrations. SiteGround is also excellent for a wide range of skill sets. Even first-time website owners can drag-and-drop site features to their desired specifications.
One of the best features of WP Engine is its ability to perform web staging. Users will be able to set up their site quickly, figure out what features work and don’t work, and spot any errors before launching the live version. WP Engine also comes with some of the most reliable security features, automated site migration plug-ins, and daily backups.
That being said, SiteGround support all types of CMSs, while WP Engine obviously only support WordPress…
Conclusion – SiteGround Wins
While the individual needs and preferences of each customer will vary, we recommend that most users go with SiteGround. Users can also flex their creativity by designing sites that are not solely WordPress supported.
SiteGround has consistently scored at the top of our ratings, and is worth your time, regardless of which competitor you pit it against. There are some other reasons you might fall in love with WP Engine, though. These features include their robust security, one-click staging areas, and expertise in WordPress.