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WPEngine VS SiteGround – A Comparison for WordPress Beginners

WPEngine VS SiteGround – A Comparison for WordPress Beginners

Both having been offering WordPress hosting solutions for years, WPEngine and SiteGround have earned some reputation due to good reliability. However, they are quite different from each other. The former has been focusing on WordPress only and offering managed WordPress hosting services, while the latter provides standard hosting solutions which are fully compatible with WordPress and many other open source scripts.

Beginners may feel confusing and hesitated when faced with the differences between the specialized managed WordPress hosting offered by WPEngine and the affordable shared hosting from SiteGround. That’s why we make this WPEngine VS SiteGround comparison.

At this time of writing, we have carefully reviewed and monitored the two companies’ services for some time. According to the information we have collected, we do not think these two web hosts are among the best WordPress hosting providers although they have their own edges in the industry. You can see why in the analyses of their offerings in below. But at first, please read our ratings.

Rating WPEngine SiteGround
Price rating 1.5 of 5 stars rating 3.5 of 5 stars
Feature rating 2 of 5 stars rating 3 of 5 stars
Security rating 4 of 5 stars rating 3 of 5 stars
Uptime rating 4 of 5 stars rating 3.5 of 5 stars
Speed rating 3.5 of 5 stars rating 2.5 of 5 stars
Support rating 2 of 5 stars rating 3 of 5 stars
Read More WPEngine Review SiteGround Review

What Are Good with Both of Them

Ease of use

Both web hosts are experienced in WordPress hosting, and they have made efforts to guarantee the ease of use of their packages. With either of them, you can enjoy:

  • Easy WordPress installation. WPEngine pre-installs WordPress for all users, while SiteGround offers the Softaculous 1-click installer which enables you to install WordPress easily with few clicks.
  • Good account management interface. WPEngine has developed a custom user portal which is rich-featured and tailored with their hosting features. SiteGround offers cPanel to guarantee that even beginners can get started quickly.

Hosting uptime

Both of WPEngine and SiteGround purchase hardware from reliable providers and then optimize the servers by themselves to guarantee the uptime and security. All of their servers are claimed to feature RAID protected storage, sufficient memory, up-to-date software, and no overloading.

Besides, they offer multiple server locations including the US, Europe and Asia to ensure good connectivity for users worldwide. These are important reasons why they have been performing well in our monitoring.

The two web hosts guarantee 99.9% uptime, and they have succeeded in realizing the promise. In the last half a year, the average uptime is 99.91% for SiteGround and 99.94% for WPEngine. Read the statistics of WPEngine in the past 30 days in below.

WordPress tutorials

Both providers have a good knowledgebase which includes extensive tutorials about WordPress, such as WordPress installation, database optimization, theme selection, admin password reset, and user management. These tutorials are great for beginners who need self-help resources to acquire basic skills.

What Are WPEngine Edges in the Competition?

Worry-free experience

Since the WordPress hosting packages offered by WPEngine are “managed”, you don’t need to bother managing the server, installing cache plugins, looking for performance optimization tips, etc. The hosting environment is fully optimized and monitored by the provider, and almost everything you will need to host a WordPress site is already there.

Better security

To ensure the hosting performance, WPEngine has taken many measures to keep their servers and every hosted website safe from data loss and attacks. The security methods include:

  • Accounts hosted on shared servers are separated at the file system and kernel level.
  • Security patches are installed automatically, and major updates are carefully tested before it is recommended to customers.
  • WPEngine partners with security firms for the auditing of their systems.
  • Constant intrusion detection, regular code reviews, and vulnerability scans.
  • Daily backups with 60 copies.

In the unlucky event that your WordPress site is hacked, WPEngine promises to fix it for free.

Faster speed

WPEngine keeps optimizing its servers for the maximum performance. They audit all servers all the time, and build a special EverCache caching mechanism to reduce server loads. The speeding-up technologies have worked as our monitoring shows that the company’s server response time averages less than 400ms.

However, you must pay attention that this speed is not among the fastest in the industry. To take an example, we have compared WPEngine with InMotion Hosting, a web host known for fast speed.

SiteGround promises fast services, too. But the monitoring results turn to be a little disappointing. Although the company says they use account isolation, CDN, SuperCacher, and other technologies, the real speed is not good enough. The server response time averages more than 650ms, and the page loads take over 3 seconds.

Longer refund

WPEngine minimizes the risk by offering 60-day money back, while SiteGround only allows refund within 30 days. Pay attention that WPEngine does not specify the non-refundable fees.

What Are SiteGround Edges?

Much lower costs

The biggest advantage of a normal shared WordPress hosting package is the low cost. For all the good things discussed above, you have to pay a minimum of $29/mo to get them from WPEngine. While with SiteGround, you can get a WordPress site started with a cost of $3.95/mo.

WPEngine offers 5 upgradable packages. 3 of them have a fixed price, and the other 2 are custom packages prepared for advanced users and large companies. Depending on the amount of disk space included, the regular packages named Personal, Professional and Business are priced at $29/mo, $99/mo and $249/mo, which are much too expensive for beginners.

In fact, managed WordPress hosting is not always that expensive. Some providers, such as BlueHost, offer managed services at less than $15/mo.

SiteGround provides 3 WordPress hosting packages which are now available at $3.95/mo, $5.95/mo and $11.95/mo. The regular prices are $9.95/mo, $14.95/mo and $29.99/mo.

Although these prices are much more affordable than those of WPEngine, we must say SiteGround packages are not cost-effective when features are considered. For example, the StartUp package, which costs $9.95/mo for renewal, supports 1 domain only.

Complete support

Both web hosts offer 24×7 free support through their responsive ticket system. According to our experiences, they have been responding to tickets in a good manner – fast and accurate. However, SiteGround still wins due to the following reasons.

  • SiteGround provides free phone support for the users of any hosting package, while WPEngine does not include this service in the expensive Personal package.
  • WPEngine live chat support is available from 6am to 8pm CST instead of 24×7.

They Have the Common Shortcoming – Limited Features

Because WPEngine “manages” a lot of things for users, you are given limited access to the server and very limited features. Besides, as the company’s services are designed for WordPress only, you cannot host other scripts like Drupal or Joomla on any server.

SiteGround services are more flexible, allowing you to host any script you like, and giving you certain access to the server so that you can make your own configurations. However, this web host lacks some WordPress-specific features like WP-CLI.

For a clear understanding of what the two companies offer and do not offer, we have made the following comparison table. InMotion is also mentioned because it has a relatively complete set of features.

Feature WPEngine SiteGround InMotion Hosting
Plan Personal StartUp Launch
Allowed Domain(s) 1 1 2
Disk Storage 10 GB 10 GB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Free Site Transfer yes yes yes
WordPress Multisite no yes yes
MySQL yes yes yes
PostgreSQL no yes yes
SSH no yes yes
WP-CLI no no yes
Ruby on Rails no no yes
WordPress Rollback yes no yes
Daily Backups yes yes yes
CDN $19.99/mo yes yes
SSD no no yes
Refund Guarantee 60 Days 30 Days 90 Days
Regular Price $29/mo $9.95/mo $7.99/mo
Discount N/A 60% 56%
Discounted Price $29/mo $3.95/mo $3.49/mo
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The Verdict

WPEngine and SiteGround are reliable choices for hosting WordPress. But as what we concluded at the beginning of this comparison, they are not the best choices because there are many web hosts doing much better in all of affordability, ease of use, speed and support.

As a matter of fact, we do not suggest beginners use managed WordPress hosting. This kind of service is more suitable for developers, designers and those running high-traffic sites.

If you are starting your first blog or looking for a good web host to transfer your small blogs to, shared hosting is the better option. In case you are wondering where to go, you can take the providers below into consideration.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.