WP Engine Vs Siteground – Which Is Better?

When it comes to choosing a WordPress hosting provider, doing your research will always pay off. 
Choosing the right WordPress hosting service means you will get better security, more uptime, quicker loading speeds, and a better price.

When it comes to choosing a WordPress hosting provider, doing your research will always pay off. 
Choosing the right WordPress hosting service means you will get better security, more uptime, quicker loading speeds, and a better price.

This translates into a better user experience and improved Google rankings. 

In this article, we’ll compare two hosting providers: WP Engine and Siteground. 

Overview

WP Engine is a managed hosting service. As such, it costs more than Siteground. 

Siteground has some features that are similar to what a managed WP hosting provider would offer.

However, it is not a fully managed WP hosting service, which is why they are much more affordable, especially for young businesses.

1.  Content Management Services

The first major difference between WP Engine and Siteground is that with Siteground, you are able to use other content management systems other than WordPress. 

WP Engine, as its name suggests, is a managed hosting provider that specializes in WordPress sites. They don’t do Joomla, Magento, or any other CMS. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

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This is fine if you want to use WordPress, which the majority of website builders do. However, if you prefer Joomla, Drupal, Magento, an HTML site, or anything other than WordPress, you may want to go with Siteground. 

Following are the most popular CMS used on Siteground:

  • WordPress: WordPress powers 49 percent of websites on Siteground. Siteground’s best features are designed for WordPress sites, so if you want enhanced security and performance, consider sticking with WP. 
  • Joomla: However, Joomla is also popular. It powers 43 percent of Siteground websites. Siteground’s support team was trained by one of Joomla’s founders himself, and they have a lot of expertise with hosting and managing Joomla sites. Siteground offers free Joomla templates and tutorials. 
  • Drupal: Sites that run on Drupal account for only seven percent of Siteground sites. However, there are many resources available, as well as free installation offered. 
  • Others: One percent of other sites on Siteground are powered by other systems. These include Magento, Typo3, e107, and others. Free installation and transfer support are always offered at Siteground. 

2. Getting Started, Installations, and Website Transfers

Getting started with either WP Engine or Siteground is a fairly easy process. 

WP Engine might be a bit more confusing for beginners, however, as they have an additional step – choosing an environment. Environments allow you to create and test sites before any changes go live.

To add a new site to WP Engine, you need to:

  1. Create your site
  2. Choose an environment (each one is a different installation)
  3. Log in
  4. Choose a theme
  5. Create your post
  6. Add plugins
  7. Go live

Adding a site to Siteground is also easy. After purchasing your domain, you will need to point the domain name server settings to Siteground’s servers if they were purchased from another site. 

Installing your website is simple with Siteground’s Softaculous installer.

The Setup Wizard will take you through the process.

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

First, you’ll be asked which CMS you want to install.

You can choose from WordPress, Woocommerce, Joomla, Weebly, Drupal, or other software. 

There is also a sitebuilder tool for those with no previous experience. 

Finally, you can request installation assistance if you are still getting lost. Siteground’s support team will be happy to help you set up the installation. 

What if you already have a website hosted elsewhere and want to bring it over to WP Engine or Siteground? Both have migration options for you. 

WP Engine has a plugin that automatically transfers your site after setting up a few details. Basically, it takes a copy of your site and puts it on the WP Engine server, so you’ll have two copies of your site until you delete your previous one. 

For a guide on how to use the plugin, click here.

Siteground also has a plugin you can install on your existing WordPress site to bring it over to Siteground’s hosting. For a guide on how to do so, click here

However, Siteground has a service in which their team will automatically transfer your site for you. All you have to do is give them some details, such as your login credentials. 

You can request a transfer in the support section. There is also an option to request a transfer while going through the setup wizard. 

What makes Siteground so special is that their migration service is free if you have at least a GrowBig plan. Even if you only have a Starter plan, the migration cost is only $30 per site. 

Compare that with Bluehost, which doesn’t offer free migration and charges $149.99 per site. 

3. The User Portal

WP Engine’s user portal is fairly intuitive and easy to use.


You will see a list of your installations and quick stats, such as visitors, bandwidth, and storage used. There are a number of tabs:

  • Overview: DNS information, visitors, bandwidth, storage, SFTP logins
  • Domains: A list of installed domains and domain redirects
  • CDN: Access your CDN
  • Redirect Rules
  • Backup Points: Access and restore your backups
  • Access logs
  • Error logs
  • SSL
  • Utilities: Tools such as Clear Page Cache and Passwords
  • WordPress Admin: A link to your WordPress dashboard
  • Copy Install: Copy an existing installation
  • Page Performance: See insights into your site’s performance
  • Users: Add and manage users
  • My account

There are other options, but these are the most important ones.

Siteground uses a standard cPanel. In your user account area, you will be able to manage your account, access support, manage your installations, and access the cPanel for each site. 

4. Speed and Performance

Both WP Engine and Siteground have features designed to enhance performance. 

WP Engine has a CDN, which costs a single monthly fee, regardless of usage. A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, retrieves site data from cached versions stored on servers around the world. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

This leads to increased security and faster speeds. 

Siteground includes a free CDN with all installations through the Cloudflare CDN network. 

Siteground is known for quick loading speeds and good uptime. 

IsItWP tested both Siteground’s and WP Engine’s speeds using different tools, such as Pingdom. Siteground came out better than 95 percent of sites, but WP Engine was better than 96 percent of sites. 

In addition, Siteground experienced drops in speed with more users, while WP Engine was more consistent. 

As such, WP Engine wins in terms of speed, though Siteground does guarantee 99.99 percent uptime. 

According to HRank, Siteground is one of the best-performing hosting providers that they tested. This means that although you might get slightly better performance with WP Engine, Siteground will probably be just as fine for your needs, especially if you operate a small website. 

Siteground also has performance-enhancing features such as caching and image upload optimization. 

5. Security

Both WP Engine and Siteground take care of security on the server level. 

WP Engine constantly monitors traffic and blocks suspicious activity. In fact, they block over 150 million bad requests every month. 

When WordPress sites have flaws, WP Engine will patch them as soon as possible. They sometimes even patch a security flaw in a plugin that is installed on their users’ sites before the plugin owners fix the problem themselves. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

Whenever a security patch is released by WordPress, WP Engine will fix all of their customers’ sites immediately. 

Siteground offers their users a free SSL certificate to encrypt their data. 

They also have a wide range of security measures. For example, they isolate each account in its own directory so that even if an account is compromised, it doesn’t affect other users. 

They also monitor all activity and block suspicious attempts. If a flaw is discovered, they will release their own patches before the software developer does. 

Finally, Siteground blocks spam on the server level. This means that you won’t have to resort to plugins such as Akismet to avoid getting your inbox full of spam comments. 

6. Updates

One of the benefits of managed WP hosting is that all updates are done automatically for you. Outdated software can lead to site errors, bugs, security flaws, and slower loading times. 

Core WordPress updates are done for you automatically by the WP Engine team. However, they will first be tested thoroughly to make sure that they won’t cause any problems to your sites. 

Updates are not released while they are still in the beta mode; they must undergo testing first. You will be notified before any updates, and you can defer them if you wish to. 

As mentioned, security updates will be handled for you as well. Even if an official update has not yet been released to address a problem, WP Engine will create its own update. 

Security updates can not be deferred, as not getting them can lead to your site being hacked and you losing your data, which will require a lot of work to fix. 

Did you know that plugin vulnerabilities account for over 55 percent of website attacks? WP Engine has a Smart Plugin Manager to avoid missing a single update. 

Siteground has a useful auto-update tool that will automatically update your site as new releases come out. By default, it is set so that minor releases, such as security patches, are updated right away, while major releases, such as core updates, are updated after 24 hours. 

Siteground’s auto-update tool even lets you schedule automatic updates for plugins. However, this only works for plugins that are listed in the WordPress directory. 

If you download the plugin from a third-party website and upload it to WordPress, the tool won’t work. 

The same goes for theme updates – they can be scheduled automatically. 

You can customize the automatic update tool. For example, if you want, you can disable automatic core updates but keep the automatic plugin and theme updates. 

7. Automatic Backups

It’s important to schedule automatic backups of your site. This way, if anything happens, such as if your site gets hacked, you will have a way to restore it to the way it was. 

With WP Engine, you can do manual backups or schedule them in advance. 

All backups can be accessed from the user portal and restored as needed. You can also download your backups to your hard drive or store them in your Dropbox account so you have them saved. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

If you want, you can also restore only a certain database instead of a backup of the entire site. You will have to do this manually, though, as the regular tool won’t work. 

You can schedule automatic backups before a plugin is updated, for example. This way, if the update causes any problems to your site, you can simply restore the backup version of your site. 

The backups will also run automatically every night, while you sleep. This way, they will save all the changes you made throughout the day. 

For a full list of what the backups contain and the files they exclude, go here

Siteground will also automatically backup your site every night. Many hosting providers will not do this for you. 

You can restore any backup version of your site by choosing from a calendar. 

You can also backup your site manually using the backup tool in the cPanel. 

When restoring your files, you can restore certain files or websites, or you can restore your entire account. This will restore all of your websites hosted in your account. 

Backups are kept for up to 30 days if you have a shared hosting account and up to seven days if you have a cloud account. 

8. Email Marketing

WP Engine recommends that you use a third-party service such as Mailchimp, Aweber, or GetResponse to schedule your emails. They do not allow email blasts to be sent from their WordPress platform. 

This is for a few reasons. First of all, there is the risk that a recipient will flag an email as spam, and this could affect the “good reputation” of WP Engine’s IP addresses. 

In addition, they want to place a focus on quality hosting, instead of using their resources on ensuring deliverability. 

Siteground offers Webmail on the cPanel. There are several applications you can use to access your emails, including Roundcube, Squirrel Mail, and Horde. 

You can also configure your web email so that you can send and receive emails from your Gmail account with your domain address. 

In your email hosting account on Siteground, you can set autoresponders, forwarders, and more. There is built-in spam protection. 

However, for email marketing purposes, it is always recommended to use a third-party system such as Mailchimp. 

9. Other Managed Hosting Services

While Siteground is not a managed hosting solution, it does offer certain features that many other hosting providers do not. 

Here are some additional features of WP Engine: 

  • Thirty-six free Studio Press themes
  • Serviced onboarding to help you get started
  • Staging environments that allow you to test out new features without affecting your site and add them to your site when you are ready
  • Launch readiness assessments – Have the WP Engine team assess your site to determine whether it is ready and what can be improved
  • Multi-site capabilities
  • Assign user roles and permissions and revoke them as needed
  • Ownership transfer – If you’re building sites for clients, you can transfer site ownership to them but still be able to make edits
  • Traffic encryption with SSL
  • Two-factor authentication option
  • Disaster recovery – A dedicated team is available to get your site back in order if anything goes wrong
  • Security engineering team – This team will review your site and conduct security audits 
  • Simplified Google Analytics performance statistics
  • Webpage and speed performance statistics
  • Application performance stats to help your IT team deal with any bugs
  • Integrations with 40+ systems
  • Amazon Web Services partnership for improved performance
  • Google Cloud partnership

Following are some of the features you can expect to get with Siteground:

  • Managed security updates and patches
  • Free caching and CDN
  • Image upload optimization
  • Daily backups
  • Dev toolkit 
  • Staging environments for testing purposes
  • Add users and collaborators
  • Transfer sites to clients
  • Give clients white-label access to a site’s Site Tools

Some of these features are not available on the starter plan, however. 

10. Customer Service

WP Engine has won the Stevie Award three times for their exceptional customer service. 

They have offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. You can call either of these offices during business hours of each respective country. 

However, by logging into your account, you can access customer support 24/7 via chat and tickets. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

There is a separate number for sales and billing, or you can fill out the form on their site. 

Finally, there is the Support Center, where you will be able to find tutorials and guides for all kinds of questions you might have. 

Siteground is also known for having exceptional customer support compared to the rest of the hosting industry. 

There are three ways to contact Siteground’s customer support. For technical support, you can log into the user area. 

There, you can submit a ticket by choosing from a help category. You can also talk to a support rep via live chat. 

Finally, you can always call their customer support team. Siteground is unique in that they offer 24/7 phone support, so you can contact them regardless of where you are in the world. 

You will never have to wait long to get help. The average response time for a ticket is 15 minutes, and any advanced issues will be escalated to the advanced technical team. 

The average wait time for phone support is less than one minute. 

You can also chat live with their sales team. 

Finally, there is a Knowledge Base with answers to common questions and tutorials for WordPress, Joomla, and much more. 

11. Pricing

Finally, how does WP Engine compared to Siteground in terms of pricing?

There is no denying that WP Engine is not cheap at all. Following is an overview of their plans. 

  • Startup, $35/month: One site, 25,000 visits, 10GB of storage, and 50GB of bandwidth
  • Growth, $115/month: Five sites, 100,000 visits, 20GB of storage, and 200GB of bandwidth
  • Scale, $290/month: 15 sites, 400,000 visits, 30GB of storage, and 400GB of bandwidth
  • Custom: Up to 25 sites, unlimited visits, and up to 1TB of storage

For each plan, you can get two months free by signing up for yearly billing. This means that the Startup plan, for example, will cost only $350/year. 

WP Engine - Best Wordpress Hosting

A robust architecture, unparalleled speed, fool-proof security and round the clock engineering support, WP Engine offers the best-in-class Wordpress hosting experience.

We earn a commission when you click this link and make a purchase.

However, phone support is not available with the Startup plan. 

Here is an overview of Siteground’s plans: 

  • Startup, $3.95/month when signing up, usually $11.95/month: One website, 10,000 visits, and 10GB of web space
  • Growbig, $5.95/month when signing up, usually $19.95/month: Unlimited websites, 25,000 visits, 20GB of web space, and all Premium features (including free website transfer, staging environments, on-demand and automated backups, and the Supercacher)
  • GoGeek, $11.95/month when signing up, usually $34.95/month: Unlimited websites, 100,000 visits, 30GB of web space, and Geeky features (including white-label client service, premium support, and more)

As you can see, Siteground is a fraction of the price of WP Engine. For example, for 25,000 monthly visits, you will pay $5.95/month with Siteground and almost $30/month with WP Engine (with yearly billing); you can save hundreds of dollars a year with Siteground. 

If you are just starting out and don’t have a large budget or a large website, Siteground can allow you to start at less than $50 for a year’s worth of hosting. The minimum plan with WP Engine is $350/year. 

The starting price on each Siteground plan (as opposed to the “regular” price) is for your first billing period. You can sign up for up to 2 years of billing in advance to save more money, but as soon as your plan renews, you will start paying the regular price. 

Finally, if you are looking for dedicated cloud hosting with a managed solution, plans are as shown:

Wrapping It Up

WP Engine will give you better performance, additional features, and a more personalized hosting solution. 

However, it is also a lot more expensive, so if your budget is a concern, Siteground would be a better choice.

Author: Benjamin LevinBenjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.

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