|Plan in review||GrowBig||Startup|
|Price before discount||$||$|
|Price (12-mo)||$24.99 / month||$27 / month|
|Price (24-mo)||$14.99 / month||$22.50 / month|
|Special Discount||-||Free 2 months and 10% off when sign up annually|
Extremely reliable – 100% host uptime at most times
Excellent server performance - Test site loads below 200ms
Choice of five server locations in three continents
Free let’s Encrypt Standard & Wild Card SSL
Innovative - Full SSD, HTTP/2, Built-in Cacher, NGINX, etc
Save 60% on your first bill
Best for WordPress and Drupal websites
Positive feedback from other SiteGround users
Good after sales support
Solid server performance - Hosting uptime above 99.99%
Fast server speed - Time-to-first-byte (TTFB) below 250ms
60-day money back guarantee
Good billing practice – Users can refund or cancel account easily
Reseller-friendly - Transfer billing to your clients easily
Agile developer environment – Development and staging sites ready
Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes included
Hosting price increases after first bill
Uptime guarantee does not cover outages in the event of DDoS
Server location only in United States
Expensive addon features
No email hosting - Users have to pay extra to third party email service
No direct access to .htaccess file
Self-help site migration service only
Slightly expensive – Price increased in March 2018
Costly for owners running multiple WP sites
|Data Transfer||Unlimited||50 GB|
|Storage Capacity||20 GB||10 GB|
|Extra Domain Reg.||$15.95/yr for .com domain; prices vary for different TLDs.||No|
|Private Domain Reg.||$12/yr||No|
|Auto Script Installer||Softaculous (incl. 320+ apps)||WordPress is pre-configured at WP Engine.|
|Custom Cron Jobs||Yes||No|
|Free SSL||Let's Encrypt||Yes|
|Built-in Site Builder||Yes, Weebly||WordPress|
SiteGround has had a long and distinguished run in the web hosting business even if they are considered one of the younger companies. Started in 2004, it has come a long way and hold distinction not just in web hosting – but also WordPress Hosting.
WPEngine is even younger, only getting off the ground in 2010. It has still managed to gain significant ground and is known for its premium WordPress hosting plans. Both these hosts are big names in WordPress hosting and reasonably so.
WordPress hosting has become so popular today that hosts such as WPEngine can profitably keep focus only on this niche area. However, being in such high demand I am not even sure if niche is the right word for it.
SiteGround on the other hand has other plans, but still makes an excellent go of things. It has the distinction of being recognized by WordPress.com as one of only three officially recommended hosts.
Both SiteGround and WPEngine offer free SSL certificates with their plan which are extremely easy to install. They both also feature backup utilities and allow quick use of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). These are key assets for any WordPress site.
There is a slight resource difference between two comparable plans WHSR has reviewed from them – GrowBig for SiteGround and Startup from WPEngine. Site4Ground offers unlimited data transfer while WPEngine caps it at 50GB per month.
In more technical differences, WPEnging is more suitable for developers as it offers an agile developer environment, even going as far as to feature stating site readiness. It also has a unique feature that allows developers to bill clients directly from their accounts.
Siteground users also benefit from something which the company labels as SuperCacher and makes available as a plugin for WordPress users on their plans only. This plugin is a specialized caching tool which speeds up website loading times.
On the other side of the spectrum, it may seem that WPEngine is a little tighter fisted, but that is because it has invested in the Genesis Framework and gives its users access to StudioPress themes.
In neck and neck comparison, uptime differences are negligible. WPEngine manages to offer uptime above 99.99% and we manged to observe a 100% uptime from SiteGround in some cases. Given allowances, it is safe to say that both of them should offer very good reliability.
With a choice of server from three continents, SiteGround managed to also demonstrate strong speed test results, often coming in at below 200ms. WPEngine isn’t far behind at sub-250ms – both of which are very good times and hard to beat in a competitive industry.
Whereas the only more significant flaw we found in SiteGround’s performance was occasional erratic speed results, there are slightly more concerns on the WPEngine side. These fortunately don’t involve performance, but cost.
WPEngine has lots of extras you can opt in to but they are horribly expensive. You also don’t get access to your .htaccess file and any site migrations you may want to perform are all on you. Overall, steep prices to pay for a lot of do-it-yourself work.
Rather than the usual ‘X host is better than Y’ the battle between SiteGround and WPEngine is more dependent on the requirements users have. I would say that SiteGround is an excellent opening into the realm of WordPress hosting for most sites including bloggers and small businesses.
On the other hand, if you’re a developer or agency, an account with WPEngine would be much better, especially with their specialized environments and independent client billing features. Still, both are excellent choices – albeit slightly pricey.
Not sure where to start? Here are three "must-see" suggestions:
Also check out: