WPEngine vs. HostGator (2016)

Ryan Frankel Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested WPEngine & HostGator — The winner is WPEngine!”

The question here is simple: Do you plan on using the extremely popular WordPress to customize your new website? If so, you could go with either WPEngine or HostGator, but note that WPEngine specializes in the WP platform. HostGator, on the other hand, offers the flexibility to choose (or choose not to use) any software. Both hosts boast simple, quick setup processes, but let’s break down the features in a side-by-side comparison.

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Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WPEngine »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

We absolutely adore WPEngine as a hosting company, but there's one huge reason we can't recommend it to everyone: it's for WordPress users only. If you are a WordPress user, then read on! If not, you'll... read more +

We absolutely adore WPEngine as a hosting company, but there's one huge reason we can't recommend it to everyone: it's for WordPress users only. If you are a WordPress user, then read on! If not, you'll want to try one of our other recommendations.

If you care enough about your WordPress site — its security, scalability, load time, and uptime — to spend $29 per month on it, then WPEngine should be your web host from here forward. It's really that simple.

While WPEngine's price tag may scare off newbies, those who know WordPress will tell you just how impressive (and necessary) WPEngine's proprietary platform is. Always updated with the latest hardware to maximize server performance, WPEngine boasts a market-leading software layer built exclusively for WordPress users. This includes their own caching system to ensure your site is super-quick for visitors, a 1-click staging area, and constant security monitoring to ward off hackers.

For newbies, installing a WordPress theme and getting a site up and running couldn't be easier. For more advanced folks like myself, things like 1-click development staging areas, integration with Git, multiple server locations, CDN compatibility, and a ton of other niceties can't be beat. These features make that $29 monthly price worthwhile, compared to what the "cheap" hosts give you.

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  • WordPress-exclusive hosting
  • Easy, built-in caching, staging, and security monitoring
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • Use code BESTWPHOST2015 for 50% off first month
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Get started on WPEngine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies... read more +

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale.

HostGator costs a little more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that contributes to their reliability and well-known support. They offer decent features included in their basic offerings, unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. While the feature list is short compared to other hosts, you do get the flexibility to add them as you see fit.

Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is their strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs. For those than need it, root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages is available on all plans.

HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their server, however they require a little more knowledge than beginner-focused web hosts. If you need to host multiple sites, their wide array of offerings make them a great choice.

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  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Unlimited disk space, emails, and bandwidth on all plans.
  • No contract required and 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

N/A

WPEngine does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#3 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to... read more +

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their shared hosting plans.

HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to their vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. Their many hosting options make them a great choice for sites on the rise, in need of options for the future.

For those just getting started and looking for a good, cheap host, HostGator bundles some nice features that hosting newbies can appreciate. A very nice site builder from Weebly is included. Their control panels are also very easy to use and a free domain is a nice touch.

If you are looking for a solid web host, with a ton of flexibility, plenty of power, and great price points, you should consider making HostGator your web host of choice.

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  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Unlimited disk, emails, and bandwidth
  • 24/7/365 premium support
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

N/A

WPEngine does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#5 out of 7 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad core processors and lots of RAM, HostGator is a... read more +

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad core processors and lots of RAM, HostGator is a great balance between performance, quality, and price.

Being one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based OS, those needing trouble-free ASP.net support should take a close look at HostGator.

HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully-redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users will take full advantage of and love. They also offer a ton of IP addresses with each plan.

HostGator has a fantastic support network and 24/7 customer service in the form of phone, chat, or email. Combining that support with plenty of power, they are a very respectable choice for a dedicated host.

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  • Linux or Windows servers available
  • Top of the line, fully-redundant network and datacenter
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
500 GB - 1 TB RAID
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

N/A

WPEngine does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#5 out of 8 in VPS Hosting reviews

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS... read more +

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared host.

Starting at low price points, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IPs and a bunch of storage, however their CPU and RAM offerings could be better for their respective price tags.

HostGator’s strongest point comes from their state of the art datacenter. Featuring a fully-redundant network with no single point of failure and multiple bandwidth providers, uptime should almost never be a concern.

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts. They have more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a very small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

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  • Full root access
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of network security
  • Fully- or semi-managed options
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
25 GB - 3 TB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#6 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

Do you care enough about your WordPress site — its security, scalability, load time, and uptime — to spend $29 per month on it? If you answered "yes," then WPEngine should be your web host from here... read more +

Do you care enough about your WordPress site — its security, scalability, load time, and uptime — to spend $29 per month on it? If you answered "yes," then WPEngine should be your web host from here forward. It's really that simple.

While WPEngine's price tag will scare off many, those who know WordPress will tell you just how impressive (and necessary) WPEngine's proprietary platform is. Always updated with the latest hardware to maximize server performance, WPEngine boasts a market-leading software layer built exclusively for WordPress users. This includes their own caching system to ensure your site is super-quick for visitors, a 1-click staging area, and constant security monitoring to ward off hackers.

For newbies, installing a WordPress theme and getting a site up and running couldn't be easier. For more advanced folks like myself, things like 1-click development staging areas, integration with Git, multiple server locations, CDN compatibility, and a ton of other niceties can't be beat. These features make that $29 monthly price well worth it compared to what the "cheap" hosts give you.

Plus, there's my personal favorite feature: the built-in caching system. This allows WPEngine sites to outperform almost all other WordPress sites without the use of plugins. This means you can focus more on your content and design and let the experts at WPEngine focus on ridiculously great performance.

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  • Enterprise-level WordPress hosting
  • Built-in caching, staging, and security monitoring
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Daily backups and 1-click restore
  • Use code BESTWPHOST2015 for 50% off first month
  • Get started on WPEngine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Rating

N/A

HostGator does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Neither host currently offers this type of hosting. While we do not recommend choosing these hosts for this web hosting category, we do recommend our expert's top pick for 2016's Best Site Builder Hosting. See 2016's Best Site Builder Hosting »

WPEngine vs. HostGator - Our Conclusion

Ryan Frankel Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested WPEngine & HostGator — The winner is WPEngine!”

The winner for WordPress lovers is pretty clear; however, in the interest of full disclosure, we’d like to note that HostGator customers can download and install the WordPress software via cPanel. HostGator just doesn’t specialize in the blogging platform in the way WPEngine does. HostGator does, however, have the reputation for operating thousands of high-powered servers. Many businesses and individuals count on them to support their sites. Will yours be next?

Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WPEngine »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »