But does that mean that WPEngine is better than Hostgator? Surely not. I’ve personally been using both these companies for well over 2 years now and decided to do this “Hostgator vs WPEngine Review” to share my honest opinion with you, mixed with a few useful facts about the two web hosting companies.
WPEngine PlanFirst off, if it’s your first website and you’re just testing the ground or maybe just want to get a personal website up for friends and family, WPEngine should be perfect for you. However, if you’re looking to make money from your site, possibly starting an online career or want to expand your business, then I highly suggest staying away from WPEngine and rather lean towards Hostgator.
Both Hostgator and WPEngine have the following:
Unlimited Disk Space
Unlimited Domains (except for Hostgator’s “Hatchling” package)
Shared SSL Certificate
Free Website Builder
99% Uptime Guarantee
Let’s look at some comparisons that actually matter…
Customer Service: In all honesty, WPEngine’s Customer Service is terrible. I’ve had numerous problems in the past, and even though they have a 24/7 “live” chat system it’s all automated responses. They take forever to answer questions and even after 30 minutes of frustration (9/10 times) you will still have no solution for your problem. Half of the time they say that they will forward your support ticket to another department and you have to wait 24 hours for an email. WPEngine loses some serious points here if you ask me. Hostgator on the other hand have speedy service and always sort out your problem, their technical skills are 100 times better, this is what web hosting companies’ customer service SHOULD be like.
Pricing: WPEngine will win this one, priced at a low $3.67 per month. Hostgator’s “baby” package (which also included unlimited domains) is priced at $5.96 per month with a 25% off Hostgator Coupon. Although if you’re like me, wanting excellent service the slightly higher price tag of Hostgator is worth every penny!
Packages: Another big WPEngine flaw, they only have 1 package available where Hostgator’s got several plans to choose from. The standard WPEngine web hosting plan cannot be upgraded as your site’s popularity grows, so you’ll be stuck with a “shared” hosting account and get left behind by competitors eventually.
Website Loading Speed: This is another problem for high traffic sites, with Google very focused on website loading speed it’s crucial that your site can handle a bit of traffic, otherwise you’ll never see the first page in organic search results. WPEngine loses here BIG TIME! I’ve had a site pull in 200 visits per day on a WPEngine domain and had an average loading speed of 10+ seconds, that’s TERRIBLE! As for Hostgator, using a very similar site with no fancy Java scripts or anything of the sort and pulling in 300+ visits per day, had an average page load speed of 2-5 seconds. This is a vital part in selecting web hosts, and WPEngine simply doesn’t compare to Hostgator in this regard.
Bonus Ad Credits: WPEngine wins this one; giving you $75 Adwords Credit, $25 Yahoo & Bing advertising credit (U.S. Only) as well as $50 Facebook advertising credit! Hostgator only gives $100 Google Adwords Credit which is only available to customers from the U.S.
Control Panel: Now I have to say that if this is your first website, you’ll find WPEngine’s very own control panel much more user friendly, however Hostgator uses the popular cPanel platform which is technically a whole lot better. Not having cPanel can really complicate some features and plugins, especially when using a WordPress blog. Once again, my vote goes to Hostgator.
Website Downtime: Another BIG issue with WPEngine websites and blogs. I’ve had numerous downtimes with these guys, once I’ve had 3 in a single month (that I’ve noticed) and my Google rankings suffered severely. That’s NOT good for doing business on the internet and customer support can’t help you here (I’ve tried several times). Once my site was down for 2 whole days, that’s unacceptable. As with Hostgator, I’ve had ONE occasion where my site was offline in the last 2 and a half years and it only lasted for about 30 minutes.
So what’s the score? WPEngine 2, Hostgator 5. If this was a football match it would be a ridiculous scoreline!
WPEngine Review – Conclusion
Before ending this Hostgator vs WPEngine Review, let’s run through a couple of advantages and disadvantages of owning a WPEngine domain.
Easy to Use Interface
Huge Advertising Bonus Credits
Free Shopping Cart ($20p/m value)
Wind Powered Eco Friendly Servers
Only One Package Available
Terrible Customer Support
Terrible Page Loading Speed
Doesn’t use cPanel
Needless to say, Hostgator is a much better option in nearly every possible way