Today, we’ll be examining Hostgator and WPEngine, and comparing their different plans.WPEngine is strictly a WordPress host, and as such, we’ll be looking at Hostgator as a WordPress host as well, simply to facilitate the comparison. If you are looking for a general-purpose web-host, WPEngine is not it.
We will be comparing the plans based on comparable feature sets, and thus we will not be delving into too deeply into the feature sets of each plan. You can also see our full reviews for each host:
WordPress is included as an application on all of Hostgator’s hosting plans. WPEngine offers 3 tiers, a basic “Personal” plan, a mid-range “Professional” plan, and a high-end “Business” plan. They also offer the ability to call them up and get customized plans for power users. However, for this comparison, we’ll be comparing the three WPEngine tiers above to the three shared plans from Hostgator.
For the low-end comparison, we’ll look at WPEngine’s “Personal” plan and compare it to the “Hatchling” plan from Hostgator. At first glance, it seems that cost is really on the side of Hostgator. When we delve deeper, we find that the “Hatchling” plan from Hostgator, their lowest-priced plan at $7.16 per month with no commitment, offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, and even has shared SSL. The “Personal” plan from WPEngine limits your bandwidth to 25,000 visitors per month and caps your storage as a paltry 10GB, and has no SSL whatsoever.
For the middle-tiers, we will compare WPEngine’s “Professional” plan to Hostgator’s “Baby” plan. Again, on price and features, Hostgator simply offers better value. The “Professional” plan from WPEngine doesn’t come close to the features offered by Hostgator’s “Baby” plan. Here, we see WPEngine finally add shared SSL, the biggest appreciable difference from their “Personal” plan, and also add the option of a dedicated IP for $5 per month. Hostgator, on the other hand, retains the shared SSL but offers a dedicated IP for $2 per month. Both hosts also offer the option for private SSL for additional fees.
As was the case in the other two categories, WPEngine simply can’t beat Hostgator on price. Hostgator offers even more features, including a dedicated IP, free private SSL, and a free toll-free telephone number, for minimal increase in cost. WPEngine, on the other hand, throws in a dedicated IP for the extra $150 per month increase from “Professional” to “Business” plans.
Hostgator guarantees 99.9% up time on their servers, while WPEngine doesn’t guarantee anything. Anecdotally, WPEngine claims better than 99% up time on their servers.
Both hosts offer 24/7 US-based support. It should be noted that Hostgator previously outsource their support, but recently completed a move of their 24/7 support centers entirely to Texas.
Both sites also offer various types of FAQS and tutorials, and community forums for free.
Hostgator offers an above average 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas WPEngine offers a terrific 60-day guarantee.
If you look at it from a price standpoint, Hostgator simply offers the better value across the board.