HostGator and WP Engine are two big names in the web hosting sphere, known for their long histories of reliable service.
HostGator is a fan favorite among bloggers and freelancers for the variety of package options available.
WP Engine, on the other hand, offers exceptional services, especially for those who have heavy websites and receive a lot of traffic.
While both providers are great web hosts, the “better” one will depend on what YOU are looking for.
And because of this, we’ve created a Hostgator vs WP Engine comparison review. This will help you know which one best suits your needs and preferences.
So without further ado, let’s compare both providers!
I’ve evaluated each provider based on the factors below:
- Uptime and performance
- Ease of use
- Migration services
- Pricing and products
- Customer Support
Here’s a quick comparison chart for you:
Uptime and Performance
99.98% uptime average
99.99% uptime average
Website Building + Ease of Use
One-click WordPress install, Drag and drop theme functionality
WordPress optimized, Drag-and-Drop Feature, one-click plugins
1 free site migration
Free migration plugin
Full catalog of web hosting service + SSL certificates, email, domain, and more with their basic plan
Full catalog of web hosting service + SSL certificates, and more with their basic plan
SSL certificates, Weekly Back-ups
SSL Security, Site malware scan, Daily Back-ups
Starts at $2.75/mo
Starts at $25.00/mo
Now, let’s take an in-depth look.
Uptime and Performance
Both hosting providers boast exceptional uptime that is well above the industry standard, with both promising a minimum of 99.9% uptime.
WP Engine takes pride in the exceptional reliability it provides and offers clients almost no downtime with its near-perfect uptime average score of 99.99%. HostGator doesn’t let you down either with an uptime average score of 99.95%.
This shows that both of these options are a great pick if you’re looking for reliable hosting.
With regards to performance, both hosts come with a CDN that’ll ensure that your users get fast loading speeds no matter where they’re located.
However, while WP Engine provides you with lightning-quick SSD support, HostGator only supports HDD storage on its basic plan.
While HDD storage is good enough, this could mean that content may take a bit longer to load as compared to having SSD support.
It’s also worth mentioning that WP Engine supports site caching and bot identification. These improve the loading speeds even more by prioritizing actual users when it comes to resource allocation.
Ease of Use
Both providers offer easy-to-use website builders that make life so much simpler when creating your site.
For example, they both offer cPanel that allows for easy access to all site management tools and options such as security, site analytics (and email management with HostGator).
You’ll also get one-click easy software installs. Just click download and you’re done!
WP Engine goes a step further in giving you some of the best WordPress-optimized hosting services around.
While HostGator doesn’t offer WordPress optimized support on their basic plan, you’ll still be prompted to download WordPress when you log into your Shared Hosting account.
WP Engine doesn’t offer migration services per se, but they do offer an easy WP migration plugin.
Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple to use. You won’t need to get your hands dirty with the technicalities.
However, this plugin only supports WordPress. If migrating a non-WordPress site, you should know that it’s a bit technical to do so.
HostGator, on the other hand, supports more than just WordPress and will even manage the site migration for you. You’ll also be able to access more free site migrations depending on the package you select.
Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the best features offered by each web host:
- Storage and bandwidth - With WP Engine’s Managed Hosting Startup plan, you’ll get access to 10GB of SSD storage and 50Gb of bandwidth.
That’s pretty low considering the unmetered storage space and bandwidth that HostGator provides.
That said, WP Engine does have a variety of different package options if you’re looking for more space. They even offer completely customizable Dedicated hosting to suit your specific needs.
- Domain - Unlike WP Engine, with Hostgator, you’ll get a free domain that’ll save you around $12 on your first year of use. Plus, you’ll get a free email account.
- Developer Tools - WP Engine has greater flexibility when it comes to developer tools, offering more hands-on control.
What’s more, you get a greater amount of site analytics information that’ll keep you posted on how your site is performing, bounce rates, visitors, updates, etc...
- Refund - With WP Engine, you’re given a full 60 days to apply for a refund, which is a bit more than the 45 days you get with HostGator. But unlike HostGator, it isn’t a complete refund as you’ll be charged for the number of days you’ve used their service.
When it comes to security, both hosting providers offer free SSL certification. These certificates keep your user’s sensitive information encrypted, which is a must-have if you want to build trust.
You’ll also get DDoS protection with firewalls in place to prevent any hackers from trying to take your site down.
Backup power and secure servers ensure that you won’t have to worry about power outages causing downtime.
It doesn’t stop there. Both providers keep your data secure with backups - WP Engine offers it daily to ensure that you’ll always have the latest site version to restore (should anything happen).
As usual, WP Engine goes even further, offering greater site scanning and malware detection services that keep your files safe at all times.
Pricing and Products
WP Engine’s Managed Hosting plans range from $25 to $241 a month, while their Managed Hosting Plus plans range from $28 to $258 a month.
Then, there are the eCommerce Hosting plans which range from $30 to just shy of $300 a month. Note: this is the best option if you’re looking to start an online shop.
To top it all of, WP Engine offers a customizable Dedicated Hosting option that’ll be priced depending on the number of resources you select.
Meanwhile, HostGator’s Shared Hosting plans range from $2.75 to $5.25 a month.
If you’re looking for a WordPress hosting experience comparable to WP Engine’s, Hostgator’s WordPress optimized plans range from $5.95 to $9.95 a month.
The VPS Hosting plans range from $19.95 to $39.95, while the Dedicated Hosting costs $89.99 to $139.99 a month.
HostGator also provides Reseller Hosting perfect for managing your clients’ sites. These plans start from $19.95, going up to $24.95 a month on the premium package.
Last but not least, customer support.
Thankfully, both hosts offer 24/7 live chat and phone-based support to handle every issue you may need help with.
While HostGator does provide great customer support, WP Engine offers exceptionally fast issue resolution with their experienced and knowledgeable customer service reps.
Both providers also offer you knowledge hubs filled with a variety of different informative guides and support articles that’ll help you deal with routine issues without having to wait on customer support.
Hostgator vs WP Engine - Conclusion
It’s no secret.
However, when it comes to reliability, support, speed, and heavy traffic, WP Engine may be a better option. Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s worth it for the reliability, security, and features offered.
HostGator is great for bloggers and small businesses with its affordable price point and variety of package options to suit every budget.
So in the end, the choice will depend on what you’re looking for.
Have we missed anything?
Tell us in the comments below.
And good luck with your site!