Comparing Two Great Web Hosts: Worlds Apart But Worth Comparing

One of the things that many site owners take for granted is finding a good web hosting service they can stick with. There are just too many of them who stick with the first host they ever signed up with and never move on from there. Instead, they choose to stay with the same host to keep things simple but never find out just what can be made possible if they considered other web hosting options. However, no two web hosts are the same. Even if two hosting services are competing within the same price points, they won’t necessarily have many of the same features. Comparing between the two can help you find a service that is best for you.

Diagram 1 - WP Engine Logo

I’ve recently had the luck of doing just that by trying two of the most popular web hosting services out there. I can’t say that they compete within the same price point, but they do generate a lot of buzz when the discussion is about choosing a good web host. Hostgator specializes in shared hosting services that give you the most for bang for buck so to say, while WP Engine has been designed to serve a more specific need. I have a few important WP sites that I’ve got hosted on WP Engine while a bunch of my other smaller blogs are hosted on Hostgator’s baby plan, which is a shared hosting plan ( I also use their VPS hosting, but that’s off topic). Although both offer features that are great for both newbies and pros alike, the two of them are different enough that they are worth comparing. So which one is the best?

Diagram 2 - Hostgator Logo

Comparing Cost of Entry and Trial Periods

Both Hostgator and WP Engine offer a number of hosting plans, however, the cost of Hostgator’s entry level plan is significantly more affordable compared to WP Engine’s. Shared hosting on Hostgator’s Hatchling plan starts at $7.16 for the first month and $8.95 for each month thereafter. Comparatively speaking, WP Engine’s Personal plan starts at $29 a month. However, Hostgator only offers a 45-day money-back guarantee period while WP Engine offers a 60-day trial period.

Hosting Your Site with the Best Web Host

Both web hosting services offer very attractive features even with their entry level plans. However, WP Engine is more specialized for WordPress installs while Hostgator can cater to a wider variety of customers and isn’t limited by the platform they use. Choosing the one that is best for you is dependent on a number of things but mostly on how much you can afford and which platform you use.

Diagram 3 - T-Shirt

For example if you use any other platform aside from WordPress, WP Engine is automatically not an option for you. On the other hand, Hostgator supports WordPress, Joomla, Magento and Wiki hosting. That doesn’t mean Hostgator is better though. While WP Engine is specialized in WordPress, this actually works in their favor since 18% of all sites use the platform. It is the most installed CMS platform in the world and specializing in WordPress means WP Engine are experts when it comes to all the issues that a WordPress site has. Hostgator’s support isn’t as specialized, meaning at any one time, you can get in touch with a support specialist who might not necessarily know how to fix your problem.

Before even deciding which one is best for you, you need to ask yourself some questions though.

  • What CMS do you plan to use?
  • What can you afford?
  • How many websites do you plan to have hosted?
  • How large are they?

These questions aren’t necessarily asked by a lot of the web hosting services, which is why it falls on you to ask them of yourself. Answering any one of these questions can instantly make your decision a lot easier for you.

To be honest, WP Engine and Hostgator aren’t the best web hosts to compare with each other. Why? Because they cater to different customers. Many of the features might appear to be the same on paper, but the quality between the two can be different as well. For example, Hostgator might boast of its award winning support, but those on a shared hosting plan don’t get full support since all Hostgator would be responsible for is bandwidth and hosting issues. If it was an issue directly with the site itself, support just wouldn’t step in. Comparatively, WP Engine’s support is better equipped to deal with issues. In fact, there is no such thing as tiered support. Everyone you get in touch with is an expert in WordPress and should be fully capable to handle any concern you might throw at them.

In addition, WP Engine offers fully-managed hosting while Hostgator offers both semi-managed and fully-managed support, depending on your web hosting plan. Hostgator might offer cheaper hosting, but for the same services, they cost just about the same, but WP Engine is just consistent with the level of their support regardless of which plan you choose.

While I plan to compare the two web hosting services with each other and give you my full verdict, identifying the questions to these answers should help you learn what your needs are so you can decide for yourself as well. After all, my assessments will be based on how both hosting services were able to address my needs. At the end of this comparison, you may or may not agree with my assessments of Hostgator and WP Engine, but I will be laying out all the information that helped me decide so you can decide for yourself based on the same information as well. Hopefully, my experience with both web hosting services will help you choose the best one for you. They aren’t the best services to compare with each other since they are so different, offering a different set of features and price points, but if you are ever faced with a similar choice between web hosts, at least you won’t have to wonder why the pricing is so different between Hostgator and WP Engine.

Read The WP Engine Review First

Mike Pereira is the founder of CTC Ventures LLC, the parent company of, as well as a whole host of other businesses. Mike is a regular contributor to blogs such as and to name a few. Mike is best known for his affiliate marketing prowess and has an extensive Internet marketing and e-commerce background dating back to 1996. Follow Mike at Google+

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