Updated: August 1, 2019
Choosing the right web hosting service is an important step in the success of your new website. The negative consequences of selecting the wrong service include loss of income, negative SEO rankings, and the constant fear of malware and security attacks on your important data.
Today, WP Engine vs HostGator review will be looking at two popular web hosting companies and determine which one is the best choice. The two companies are WP Engine and HostGator:
- WP Engine is a popular premium web hosting service that concentrates solely on the WordPress platform. If you are not familiar with WordPress, consider that it is the software that runs 18% of the world’s websites and blogs.
- HostGator is a company that offers shared, VPS, reseller and dedicated web hosting options. Started in 2002 by Brent Oxley in his dorm room at Florida Atlantic University, it is now headquartered in Houston with more than 7000 servers in its employ. The company was recently acquired by Endurance International which also runs other web hosting companies such as HostMonster and BlueHost.
HostGator Vs WpEngine –Uptime Report
“Uptime” is a web hosting term that refers to the amount of uninterrupted service a web hosting company provides their clients. When web hosts are down, the service may have been interrupted due to a myriad of possible situations including maintenance, security attacks, technical problems, and power outages. Of course, as a customer, you want a company with a strong uptime percentage.
Along those lines, WP Engine has one of the best uptime percentages in the industry. At 99.99%, they have an envious uptime record which few companies can match. They are able to achieve such an impressive number due to a combination of an advanced caching system and a worldwide system of international servers. Likewise, HostGator also enjoys a 99.99% uptime record. They guarantee this percentage for shared and reseller hosting customers. For VPS and dedicated server customers, they offer a similar but separate Network Guarantee. Here are their respective results for a typical six-month time:
- Average 6-month uptime for WP Engine (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world): 99.99%. That means your site could possibly be down almost 4.4 hours over 6 months of service.
- Average last 6-month uptime for HostGator tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world: 99.99%. There were many months when they were successful in providing 100% uptime, which is quite amazing for any web host.
You can plug-in various details in the following interactive graph to examine various outcomes. These graphs demonstrate uptime of around 150 websites hosted under these hosting companies.
WP Engine and HostGator have similar uptime percentages. The difference between the two companies will become more apparent in the following sections as we more closely examine website speed, customer service, and server response.
Winner:- HostGator and WP Engine.
You can also go through our HostGator Vs Bluehost comparison, where we tested these features extensively.
Recently, Bing did a study where they examined the impact of a slight delay in site speed. They slowed test websites down by only 1.5 seconds and the results were dramatic. There was anywhere from 3.8% to 4.4% reduction in:
- Revenue per User
- Click Count
- Satisfied Users
Clearly, speed is an important component of good websites. Slow sites can rob you of new customers and added revenue. WP Engine maximizes the speed of their client websites by continually reviewing and tweaking the database management of WordPress including the library of plug-ins used to extend the core software.
HostGator relies on its massive amount of server arrays to deliver good website speed numbers. Here are the specifics:
Speeds of Site Hosted On WP Engine
|Testing Location||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3|
Speeds of Site Hosted On HostGator
|Testing Location||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3|
Wp Engine delivered better speed from all the tested location. HostGator speed was good too, but not as fast as WP Engine. This can be explained from the fact that WP Engine makes use of 9 server locations all around the world. So, whenever someone visits a web page hosted on them, they server the website from the nearest available server. This increase the speed as there is less distance for the data to travel.
In addition, both WP Engine and HostGator are some of the best web hosting services for providing traffic outside the United States. Because they both have strong international data centers around the world, they can provide speedy service in many locales.
Winner:- WP Engine. HostGator speed was good too, considering the high price difference between both these hostings.
WP-Engine Vs HostGator – Server Quality Test
“Server response time” is an industry phrase which refers to the amount of time it takes for a server to organize all the various parts of a webpage. When a web user clicks on a website, this site sends a request to the server to send all of the images, themes, videos, graphics, text and other assorted elements and then assembles them for the user to read as it was designed to be presented.
Server response time is highly influenced by both the number of servers and the distribution of servers and their quality. WP Engine is a young company that was able to invest in the latest technology in servers. As a result, they can provide exceptional server response time.
At the other end of the spectrum, HostGator relies on their sheer size to create the necessary capacity to deliver fast server response times for a large number of clients.
We tested the server quality of both these hostings by sending a high number of concurrent visits to the web page hosted under these hosting. This way we could how these servers responded to these high stress of high requests.
The green line indicates the number of visitors and the blue line represents the adjacent response time as the traffic increases.
WP Engine test results
HostGator test results
Both these hosting companies response time was very good. WP Engine was more consistent and offered better speed compared to HostGator throughout the test.
HostGator recorded a very good response time of 400ms until 50 visits, after that, response time was inconsistent and high. This is due to the fact that server resources are limited for a hosting plan which costs only $3/mo. The Wp Engine plan starts at $29/mo, so they offer more server resources and this can be seen in their results.
As you can see, both companies are very close in terms of server response times.
Winner:- WP Engine is the clear winner. But for a price of $3/mo, HostGator performed exceptionally well.
Prices, Plans And Features
WP Engine has four hosting plans: they are named the Enterprise, Business, Professional and Personal plans. Personal plans are oriented toward individual bloggers, micro-businesses and startups with small staffs. The Professional level is geared toward more established businesses and companies that have been able to establish themselves in the marketplace. The Business level is for big businesses and corporations, educational institutions and organizations. The Enterprise level is for larger corporations, international organizations, and governmental agencies.
As mentioned, HostGator offers shared, VPS, reseller and dedicated server hosting. The most economical way to start a new website for a growing concern is shared hosting. That means that you share a server with potentially thousands of other websites. Reseller hosting is really for entrepreneurs that want to resell HostGator services as part of their own business offerings. VPS and dedicated servers are for larger organizations that need tighter security and fine-grained control over the maintenance of their servers.
The breakdown below is a closer look at the current features, prices and plans of each service.
|Features||Wpengine Personal Plan||Wpengine Professional Plan||HostGator Hatchling||HostGator Baby|
|Disk Space||10 GB||20 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Control Panel||Its Own Panel||Its Own Panel||cPanel||cPanel|
|For 1 Month||$29.00/mo||$99.99/mo||$6.27 or get it for $0.01 by using coupon: HGHOSTING99||$6.27 or get it for $0.01 by using coupon: HGHOSTING99|
|12 month Plan||$29/mo + 2 month free hosting.||$99/mo + 2 month free hosting||$4.83||$6.96|
|2 Year Term||Nil||Nil||$4.12||$6.25|
|3 Year Term||Nil||Nil||$3.33 (Best Price*)- Use coupon HGHOSTING30 for 30% more discount on final cart.||$5.15|
|Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!|
Steps to High Performance
WP Engine has a smaller number of clients than many other services. Because of their focus on a single platform, WordPress, and their smaller size, they have been able to take the time to build a solid, robust system of international servers.
Several large events, including a music festival and a popular American television music show severely tested their server quality and durability by sending millions of visitors over a short period of time. WP Engine’s servers handled both events admirably.
HostGator has state-of-the-art data centers in both Houston, Texas and Provo, Utah. They have taken care to purchase the best electrical, network and HVAC technology available to support these facilities. In Houston, they have over 300,000 square feet of redundant systems designed to “pick up the ball” in case any server goes down at any time. In Provo, they have 750 kW battery backups, diesel generators, and dual segregated transformers which all contribute to their enviable uptime percentage record.
WP Engine is able to point to multiple testimonials by satisfied customers that tout the company’s speed, stability and support. One customer stated that their page load dropped to below 1 second, and became even faster once they added a content delivery network (CDN). Another mentioned the solid security they receive from WP Engine as opposed to their previous host where they were hacked not once but twice. These testimonials are good examples of the loyal following WP Engine has developed over the last several years by providing outstanding customer support.
HostGator has a myriad of support options:
- Knowledgebase with over 200 articles dealing with different technical issues.
- Hosting forum with more than 20,000 members offering advice and guidance.
- Chat support which is ideal for fast answers to simple questions.(Not Usually as Fast as it used to be)
- E-mail support is available at support@HostGator.com. Issues are immediately put into the support queue, and confirmation e-mails are sent to users.
- Phone support is also available for basic issues and simple questions. Highly technical problems are issued a support ticket.
We tested the support of both these hosting companies by actually contacting them and seeing their response. Here are the results.
WP Engine Support
HostGator and WP Engine support were fast, knowledgeable when reached out. It was easily accessible and took me only 2 minutes to connect to both of them. That’s really fast!
Last Two Years
WP Engine has grown rapidly and yet continued to innovate in its web hosting technologies. Recently, they introduced a new WordPress platform that was partially inspired by the technologists on Facebook. While it is still in the beginning stages, the platform called Mercury promises incredible speeds for WordPress websites.
HostGator has met the challenge of keeping their vast array of servers up-to-date and competitive. In Houston alone, they cool their servers with 70-ton CRAH units and 70,000 gallons of available on-site water tanks. They have early-morning smoke detection services and a 500-year floodplain. In Provo, they have 60-ton cooling units providing over 700 tons of capacity. All of this cooling and backup technology demonstrates their huge investment in maintaining their enviable uptimes and server speed.
Early versions of the WP Engine control panel were found lacking by various customers. It was “Plain Jane” and didn’t offer the same look and feel of some of the more popular control panels like cPanel and Plesk. While the control panel is still focused on functionality, recent updates have made it more user-friendly and graphically appealing.
HostGator offers a number of control panels depending on the plan you choose. For example, shared hosting plans use cPanel, while reseller plans use the WHM control panel. VPS setups on Windows Shared, Windows Dedicated (and VPS with Plesk) plans all use Plesk.
HostGator Vs WP-Engine – My Recommendation
Talk about a tight horserace! Comparing these two web hosting services is like watching two world champion boxers go at it for 10 rounds. However, after breaking down all of the details of each service in terms of speed, support, and server response, I recommend HostGator and WP Engine. The final decision will depend on your budget. If you could afford $30/mo, I would absolutely recommend WP Engine as it will give you better features, performance than HostGator.
However, for a price of just $3/mo, HostGator provide top of the industry performance. What put me over the top was when I realized that they were able to deliver 100% uptime response for several months during my monitoring. This is a rare and enviable achievement. It speaks volumes about HostGator’s commitment to excellence. The company has worked hard to overcome some support delays in its chat system and other challenges. They are “running on all cylinders” and are the champions over other hosting plans of this price range.
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Noor is a well-known webhosting blogger and industry analyst. Since 2006, he has tested a wide variety of web hosting services and posted the results on his popular blog, InlineHostBlogger.com. For each review, he extensively tests each web hosting company personally, or with his hand-picked team of technicians.