Updated: August 1, 2018
Are you in the market for a web hosting company? Confused by the myriad of options out there on the Internet? It’s understandable because your website is your connection to the online and off-line world. It connects you to your community, company, clients and customers.
This comparison of WP Engine vs SiteGround, two popular web hosts, will help you make the best choice.
WP Engine will be a good fit if you are a WordPress user. That is because WP Engine only hosts WordPress sites. Because of this focus, they offer a unique value proposition in combination with aggressive customer support. SiteGround is a web hosting company that began operations in 2003. They have been known for their progressive approach to Internet security. When they recognize that an attack is in progress, their custom security team works quickly to create patches to ensure security of their client sites.
Let’s take a closer look at these two firms.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround – Uptime Report
Uptime refers to the percentage of time that a web hosting company is able to keep their servers online and serving websites properly. If a server is down, either all or some of the client websites are down as well. This is not good, because many people rely on their websites to generate sales and leads. Any amount of down time is lost revenue.
WP Engine has a fanatical desire to try to achieve a perfect uptime record. While this would be almost impossible, they come very close at 99.9%.This is partly due to their No Overselling Policy which makes sure they have enough server space to properly service their customer base.
SiteGround has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which applies to all of their plans, even the more inexpensive ones. They have real-time detection technology which alerts them to any downtime and quickly works to find a solution. They have customized software that automatically repairs any errors that would usually cause downtimes.
Here are the statistics:
- Average 6-month uptime for WP Engine (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world): 99.99%. That means your site would possibly be down almost 4.4 hours over six months of service.
- Average last 6 month uptime for Siteground (tested for 10 sites based in different parts of the world): 99.99%. Like a WP Engine, this level of service means that your website could potentially be off-line for just over four hours over six months of service.
It is clear both WP Engine and SiteGround have strong uptime performance numbers. They both clock in at 99.9% uptime.
Below is an interactive graph that will allow you to plug-in different sets of data to see various outcomes for each company.
★ Winner Tie.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround –Speed Test
In the past, website surfers were more patient with slow loading sites. Those days are in the rearview mirror, however, and fast loading sites have become a common expectation. Site speed is becoming so important that Google has incorporated how fast your site delivers webpages as a contributing factor to how well they rank your pages.
WP Engine has servers in the United States, Great Britain and Japan. Customers can choose which server they want to keep their data on. More importantly, the international network of servers ensures that there is strong redundancies and stability.
SiteGround also has fairly fast-loading websites. This is partially due to their Supercacher which uses custom computations to cache items like images and theme elements that are used repeatedly.
Here are some specifics:
- Average speed of website running with WP Engine (Optimized 10 sites): 1.3 seconds.
- Average speed of website running with Siteground (Optimized 10 sites): 1.3 seconds. This number was 1 second just six months ago when we last tested it. They have slowed slightly due to an influx of new customers.
WP Engine has the edge on SiteGround when it comes to site speed. With over 250,000 customers, it could explain why SiteGround is slightly slower than WP Engine who only has to accommodate 20,000 customers. However, SiteGround does have servers in other countries like Singapore and the Netherlands, so this may be a temporary condition for the company. As mentioned, it may be due to an influx of your customers bogging down the system.
Refer the below images to check the speeds for both companies over time.★ Winner WP Engine.
Server Response Time
Server response time refers to the speed it takes for a web hosting company to deliver all of the various elements of a webpage and present them in your browser. Several factors influence server response time, and quality of servers is a primary one. WP Engine has enterprise-quality servers and, unlike some competitors, they also have enterprise-quality system administrators managing their servers. That means you get high level technology and support no matter which package you purchase.
SiteGround makes a point to keep the load on their servers below industry standards, so there is plenty of power and space to accommodate both temporary bandwidth spikes as well as long-term growth. Because they support a number of open-source software packages, they provide server optimization tutorials for a number of content management systems including Drupal, Joomla and vBulletin.
Here are the average server response times for both companies:
- Average server response time of WP Engine for last 6 months (10 Optimized sites): 200 ms.
- Average server response time of SiteGround for last 6 months (same 10 Optimized sites): 190 ms.
As is the case with many other web hosting services, SiteGround beats WP Engine in server response times. WP Engine is no doubt helped in this aspect by their focus on WordPress, while SiteGround accommodates multiple software packages from content management systems to bulletin board programs.
To get a better idea, you can alter the data in this interactive graph to display several different response times over a number of date ranges:★ Winner SiteGround.
For each web hosts, I’ve identified a set of 10 websites all hosted on different web servers. A total of 825 requests were then sent to each host in order to measure the performance of their servers.
|Requests per sec.||6.9||6.46|
|Time per request||179.07 ms||165.09 ms|
|Average transfer rate||62.8 Kbytes/sec||61.8 Kbytes/sec|
|Median connect time||13.3 msec||12.8 msec|
|Median processing time||148.56 msec msec||144.49 msec|
|Median waiting time||138.75 msec||145.77 msec|
You can clearly see that SiteGround Engine is faster in Time per request, average transfer rate, median connect time, median processing time and median waiting time. In addition, WP SiteGround has less than half the amount of failed requests.
★ Winner SiteGround is the performance winner compared to WP Engine. With a better record on failed requests, more impressive statistics in all relevant speed measurements and possibly the most committed team to customer service in the business, SiteGround is the clear performance leader.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround – Hosting Plans
WP Engine has a number of hosting plans that range from $29 a month for a Personal plan to enterprise-level plans that accommodate large corporations and organizations. While the entry-level plan is higher in cost than some competitor’s beginning plans, WP Engine offers tremendous value due to their level of service, customer response time and quality of server uptime and speed.
SiteGround has Linux-based hosting offers for shared, VPS, cloud and dedicated servers. They have very basic introductory shared plans starting at only a few dollars per month, making them one of the more affordable web hosting companies at this level. Cloud hosting is available in the United States, Asia and Europe and begins around $70 per month. Their GrowBig feature allows you to restore a website from a backup quickly and easily.
The following table outlines the relevant features, prices and plans available from both services.
|Features||SiteGround Start Up||SiteGround Grow Big||Wpengine Personal Plan||Wpengine Professional Plan|
|Disk Space||10 GB||20 GB||10 GB||20 GB|
|Control Panel||cPanel||cPanel||Its own panel||Its Own Panel|
|For 1 Month||$3.95||$7.95||$29.99/mo||$99.99/mo|
|12 month Plan||$3.95||$7.95||$29/mo + 2 month free hosting.||$99/mo + 2 month free hosting|
|2 Year Term||$3.95||$7.95||Nil||Nil|
|3 Year Term||$3.95||$7.95||Nil||Nil|
|Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!||Sign Up Now!|
★ Winner SiteGround, It has more affordable plans with choice of CMS other than WordPress.
Steps to High Performance
Enterprise-level companies are finding that with WP Engine they are able to lower their overall spend on technology while increasing their company’s website speed and uptime. WP Engine, while focusing on customer service, has also developed solid, stable technology. For example, during a recent Country Music Association Awards television show in the United States WP Engine delivered over 71 million page views in less than a day easily and effortlessly.
They have a good customer satisfaction level, although their overall performance lags behind SiteGround.
SiteGround has a good performance record in the open-source CMS and bulletin board worlds. They have quality server response load times as well as an easy-to-use control panel.
WP Engine has established a rapid reputation for customer service. They are able to do this based on a singular focus on the WordPress content management system. By focusing on one CMS, and not spreading their attention to Drupal, Joomla and other products, they have become experts in WordPress hosting and troubleshooting. That concentration helps them answer questions quickly and accurately. Customers can contact them via online knowledge base, e-mail support and a toll-free telephone service. In addition, clients can access a chat box that is available on every page of their site.
WP Engine’s customer service goes well beyond their customer support options. For example, their security systems include disk write protection, disk write limitations, script protection and “disallowed plug-in” monitoring. Backups are separate from databases and are stored as tarballs on the Amazon S3 platform. This level of care and secure handling of data shows the level of customer support the WP Engine provides their clients.
SiteGround has a quality support staff that can be reached by telephone, chat or through the ticket system via e-mail. Customer support is adept at handling redirects, security questions, database installs and other common technical questions related to open source software programs.
Because of their singular focus on WordPress, and their unparalleled concentration on security, WP Engine ties with SiteGround for the title of best customer support.
★ Winner Tie.
Last Two Years
WP Engine has enjoyed remarkable growth since they exploded on the market four years ago. Just last year, they hired their 80th employee, asign of rapid maturity and development. They have a stellar reputation of customer service based on speedy response, helpful personnel and attention to detail.
Other web hosts may charge less, but for entrepreneurs that want a service that is reliable and fast, and backed up by a highly trained support team, WP Engine is the way to go.
WP Engine has continued to innovate since they splashed on the scene in 2010. In only a short period of time, they expanded their employee count to accommodate over 20,000 customers.
Recently, WP Engine announced a new WordPress hosting platform called Mercury. It uses a new technology called HHVM which is an open source project developed mainly by the gearheads at Facebook. In terms of speed, it is like comparing a regular family sedan to a NASCAR race car. While this technology has yet to be implemented, it shows WP Engine’s continuing commitment to pushing the boundaries of their value proposition for their clients.
SiteGround enjoys a strong reputation for quality they have developed slowly since they began in 2003. With a focus on Drupal, Joomla and similar content management systems, they are well-known as a quality host for those platforms. They have created their own custom-made programs for accounts isolation, speed optimization and server monitoring, all of which indicates an ongoing focus on innovation.
WP Engine elected to make their control panel very simple and plain. It allows clients to manage their own websites with a minimum of technical knowledge. WP Engine is unique in that they have created a staging area so that customers can plan and test their website changes before going “live.” They have taken a professional web developers technique and made it available for every day clients.
Compared to well-known control panels, WP Engine’s custom-made Control Panel is simple and direct. You not need to be a web technologist to do fairly involved manipulations of your WordPress database and file structure. For example, you can set up and test new plug-ins and themes without affecting your live website. This “pre-staging” is a high-level function of web developers and WP Engine has made it available to normal users.
SiteGround, on the other hand, is more suited to open-source aficionados who know the ins and outs of their particular software packages fairly well. Whether they are Drupal fans or Joomla followers, they will find SiteGround is a good home for their particular software needs.
★ Winner SiteGround.
WP Engine Vs SiteGround – My Recommendation
This review has covered the extensive details of WP Engine vs SiteGround in the areas of server times, page load speed, site speed, customer support, control panels and overall performance. Looking at all the data, I recommend WP Engine for WordPress users at WordPress level who can afford their high prices. SiteGround along with HostGator can be an ideal choice for other type of hosting with reasonable price.
I would recommend you to have a look at this SiteGround Vs Bluehost review if you are planning for Multiple CMS hosting.
This company has dedicated their entire organization to optimizing WordPress hosting. This is particularly apparent when you look at the development of the WP Engine Mercury platform. This high-speed WordPress hosting environment is the result of WP Engine’s innovative approach to web hosting services.
If you have plans on creating your own site, SiteGround is the complete choice for web hosting.