WPEngine vs. HostGator (2020)

Alexandra Leslie Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested HostGator & WP Engine — The winner is HostGator!”

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.

Updated: September 3, 2020
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WP Engine »
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Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has been around for more than a decade and is well-respected for its large number of servers and 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 slightly more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that echoes the brand's reputation for strong infrastructure and helpful support. HostGator offers decent features in its basic shared hosting offerings, such as unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. Plus, you get the flexibility to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit.

Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is its strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs, as well. 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 servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.

  • Familiar and easy-to-use cPanel control panel
  • FREE drag-and-drop custom website builder
  • Unlimited disk space, email, and bandwidth
  • Flexible term lengths with no contract required
  • 62% off your first three years
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

We absolutely adore WP Engine as a hosting company, but there's one huge reason we can't recommend it to everyone: It's exclusively built for WordPress users. If you are a WordPress fan, 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 upward of $20 per month on it, then WP Engine is an ideal choice for you. It'd be tough to make a strong case arguing otherwise.

Although WP Engine's price tag may scare off newbies, those who know WordPress will attest to the impressiveness of WP Engine's proprietary platform. Always updated with the latest hardware to maximize server performance, WP Engine boasts a market-leading software layer built exclusively for WordPress users. This includes the company's own caching system to ensure your site loads super quickly for visitors, a one-click staging area, and constant security monitoring to ward off online threats.

For beginners, installing a WordPress theme and getting a site up and running couldn't be easier. For more experienced folks, such as myself, WP Engine's advanced features, such as single-click development staging areas, Git integration, multiple server locations, CDN compatibility, and a ton of other niceties, can't be beat. These features make the monthly price worthwhile, compared to what the more economically competitive hosts offer.

  • Enterprise-level WordPress hosting
  • Built-in caching and staging
  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Daily backups and 1-click restore
  • 20% discount for HostingAdvice users (was $24.20/month)
  • Get started on WP Engine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#3 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. The company offers unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus one-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on its shared hosting plan.

HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to its vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. The company's many hosting options make HostGator 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.

The Hatchling Plan is perfect for users who just want to create one website, while upgrading to the HostGator Baby Plan unlocks unlimited bandwidth, domains, and email inboxes.

The web hosting company’s custom website builder comes with more than 4,500 drag-and-drop, mobile-friendly templates to help users launch their website, blog, or ecommerce store, while the familiar HostGator cPanel interface helps customers seamlessly manage domains, email, databases, and one-click software installations.

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. Be sure to use a HostGator coupon to make sure you score the best deal!

  • Get 62% off by buying 36 months up front
  • Unmetered disk space & bandwidth
  • Unlimited email addresses & free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress install & free blog tools
  • Free 1-year domain registration on select plans
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

N/A

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

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#6 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator balances performance, quality web hosting service, and competitive pricing.

As one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based operating system, HostGator is an excellent fit for those seeking hassle-free ASP.NET support.

HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users should appreciate. The company also offers several dedicated IP addresses per HostGator server hosting account.

Finally, HostGator has a fantastic support team and 24/7 customer service available via phone, chat, or email. Combining that HostGator support with plenty of power, HostGator is a very respectable choice for a dedicated server host.

  • Linux or Windows servers available
  • HDD or SSD storage plus unmetered bandwidth
  • Fully redundant network and datacenter
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Managed or semi-managed solutions
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
512 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Rating

N/A

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

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#8 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared web hosting options. The company's VPS hosting solution, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared plan.

Starting at low price points and boasting tons of support, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IP addresses and a bunch of storage, and recently expanded CPU and RAM offerings lend a ton of computing power.

If you're not sure a VPS hosting package is a good fit, take a look at the revamped HostGator cloud offerings, which offer additional scalability and redundancy at remarkable price points. For those managing multiple hosting accounts, be sure to consider a HostGator reseller hosting plan, as well.

HostGator’s strongest point comes from its 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. The company has more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

  • Full root access with fully or semi-managed options
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of security
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • RAID-10 storage for data protection
  • Get up to 75% off when you sign up
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
120 GB - 240 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

VPS Rating

N/A

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

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive HostGator cPanel dashboard, wherein users can find a myriad of free apps and scripts to install, including WordPress. You could quite realistically have a WP-powered site up and running in as little as an afternoon.

As is the case with many of our favorite shared WordPress hosting providers, including sister company Bluehost, HostGator offers unlimited emails, databases, disk storage, and bandwidth. The one downfall is the lack of the popular free domain perk, but domain names are easy to obtain for around $10 to $15 bucks with any registrar. You can also select, register, and pay for a domain directly from the HostGator signup page.

If you're serious about your WordPress hosting, we recommend HostGator's new(er) managed WordPress platform, which is optimized for performance with cloud resources, multiple layers of caching tools, and a complimentary CDN. Managed WordPress plan subscribers enjoy up to 2.5x faster page load speeds for their HostGator website or blog. If you're running a business WordPress site, this is an excellent investment.

Once your site is designed and ready for promotion, HostGator helps you kickstart your online marketing efforts with $100 in paid advertising credits. Attract blog readers, potential clients, or online shoppers browsing Google search results.

We wish you the best of luck in your blog or online business hosting endeavors. WordPress is a known favorite in the space, and HostGator has established itself as a trusted partner well worthy of your consideration.

  • Easy-to-set-up WordPress hosting on shared servers
  • Install WordPress with one click via cPanel dashboard
  • Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee means your blog stays online
  • $100 in Google Adwords credits to kickstart marketing
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#7 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

With prices much higher than many WordPress users are accustomed to seeing, we understand that WP Engine may not be for everybody. But for those developers, designers, agencies, and growing businesses passionate about website performance, stability, and cutting-edge WordPress features, WP Engine will be a godsend.

Installing WordPress, setting up a theme, and moving a site from development to staging to production is simple for beginners. The company's 2018 acquisition of StudioPress, the makers of the ultra-popular Genesis theme framework, further solidified customers' design options and WP Engine's involvement in the WordPress community.

More experienced users will appreciate the single-click staging areas, Git integration, choice of server locations, CDN compatibility, and other niceties. Plus, don't forget available add-ons for WordPress Multisite, geotargeting, and edge security. These luxurious features make the higher-end monthly price exceedingly worthwhile.

Plus, the built-in caching system allows WP Engine sites to outperform almost all other WordPress sites without the use of plugins, meaning you can focus more on your content and design and let the experts at WP Engine focus on maintaining your site's ridiculously great performance.

  • 20% OFF your first payment for our readers
  • FREE Genesis Framework & StudioPress themes
  • Fast, scalable, and secure WordPress
  • FREE SSL certificate and CDN ready
  • Upgrade for geotargeting and edge security
  • Get started on WP Engine now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#3 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free experience that pairs the simplicity of drag-and-drop design with the company’s powerful and respected web hosting services.

Signing up is a breeze, and HostGator gives customers an option to add a suite of social media marketing tools. Users are quickly ushered into a gallery of more than 200 modern, mobile-responsive, and visually impressive templates that can be sorted by categories like beauty and fashion, music and entertainment, real estate, business consultant, portfolios, and others. Gator covers blogs and ecommerce stores, even coming with a free domain name and SSL certificate.

Once you choose your basic look, Gator ushers you through a 15-second tour to show you the basic features of the editor — and it’s all you need. Clicking on any element opens a menu that gives you options to change styles, whether it’s a section’s complete design or something simple like font or color.

We especially appreciate how Gator’s drag-and-drop interface gives users pixel-perfect control while still suggesting guides and grids for appropriate spacing. Throughout the customization and design phase, users can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile views to understand how your site will appear to all visitors.

Adding a blog or ecommerce store takes just a click. We wish Gator would suggest a select few designs that matched the current site’s template instead of the dozen or so options that reflect a wide range of categories, but we were impressed that the in-depth previews covered both the blog page and individual posts, for instance.

All in all, HostGator can be incredibly proud of its proprietary site builder — and customers can sit back and enjoy the confidence in having such a well-rounded tool at their design disposal.

  • Drag-and-drop design with the Gator™ site builder
  • Hundreds of mobile-friendly templates
  • FREE hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate
  • Easily add a blog, store, and social media
  • Analytics portal helps gauge site performance
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

N/A

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

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HostGator vs. WP Engine - Our Conclusion

Alexandra Leslie Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested HostGator & WP Engine — The winner is HostGator!”

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 HostGator »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit WP Engine »