We live in incredible times of outstanding technological achievements. This brings a ton of options when it comes to tech and IT purchases. And while most of them seem to be just fine, picking up the best solution is a hard job. Choosing the best web hosting service falls in the same category.
We all know the qualities of great hosting plans: excellent uptime, fast servers, and websites, all this at a reasonable price. Excellent web hosts would add unlimited storage, studio press themes, a money-back guarantee, or a free domain name.
If your business depends heavily on your site, then choosing the right web hosting company is vital because the wrong one may cost you a lot more money in the long run. This article is going to help you with a fine-grained web hosting comparison between two of the biggest on the market. We talk about WP Engine vs. Bluehost.
WP Engine was founded in 2010 in Austin, Texas, and provides services focused solely on WordPress hosting. As of 2021, more than 455 million websites are built using the popular web CMS platform – WordPress, making WordPress’s market share 35% of all sites globally.
Bluehost was founded in 2003 in Orem, Utah, and is currently owned by Endurance International Group. The last one is one of the top 20 largest web hosting companies in the world.
WP Engine Vs. Bluehost – Uptime Report
As we mentioned having decent uptime is vital for every business, and our Bluehost vs. WPEengine hosting comparison starts just there. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, uptime is the amount of time that a web hosting company has its servers online and running.
Both Bluehost and WP Engine are very reliable and have had excellent uptime over the last months. When it comes to the WP Engine managed WordPress hosting, this is achieved by several valuable features they offer, such as daily backups and snapshots of your site, which can be restored in times of technical crisis.
WP Engine provides a staging area for your test site, where customers can try out new themes and plug-ins without bothering the live site. A caching system, known by the name EverCache, speeds uploading large files that would usually load a couple of seconds.
We gathered statistics going six months back to see the average uptime for the two web hosting providers. We tested ten sites, which had to be based in various parts of the world, and the results are:
- WP Engine – 99.99%
- Bluehost – 99.98%
This means that your site could be down for around four hours over the six months of service, which is quite a good result compared to some other web hosting companies. So we could say that WP Engine is the winner in this category by just a millisecond.
WP Engine Vs. Bluehost – Speed Test
The modern person does not have a lot of spare time, and when it comes to waiting for a website to load, this is one lost cause. Your business site must provide fast load times. Recent studies showed that a web page should load for 1-2 seconds when it comes to mobile sites because 53% of users would ditch the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Furthermore, websites that load slowly would get a negative Google ranking factor. This is why, when searching for hosting services, you should take site speed very seriously, and our Bluehost vs. WP Engine comparison will do the same.
As we said, WP Engine’s focus is mainly on WordPress, meaning that their system is specially optimized for anybody with a WordPress website. Back in the days, WordPress was mainly used for blogs, but today you can use this CMS for all mainstream business cases you can imagine.
On the other side of the coin, Bluehost offers its popular SimpleScript installation system, which will allow you to install other favored CMSs like Drupal and Joomla with just one click.
Something that will bother most users is that Bluehost has a CPU throttling scheme, which throttles a site that uses too many resources, e.g., too much ram (10% of the overall capacity of the server). This is done to prevent a critical situation where websites on the server would go down.
If we go through our WP Engine vs. Bluehost comparison numbers, we can clearly see that WP Engine comes first in all locations. We can conclude that the clear winner in this category is WP Engine, as their services are optimized for WordPress hosting needs, which is noticeable.
Server Quality Test
In the web hosting scenario, every time a user enters your site, a request is sent to the server (host) to get the needed files. Server quality can be established by sending many requests in a short period to the server. Then, seeing how the server will handle such load impact pressure is a typical scenario nowadays.
WP Engine and Bluehost test results
For our test, we sent concurrent traffic to a site of both Bluehost and WP Engine and evaluated how much time does it take to load. WP Engine showed promising results and fast responses throughout the test. Again, because of its optimized WordPress profile, WP Engine gets the best out of the CMS platform, and its users will be happy even in the most burdened of days.
Despite Bluehost being advertised as a premium service provider, it could not handle the traffic in the same timely manner. It was a bit disappointing that Bluehost began to fail just in the middle of the test, and from that moment, it took the server more than a minute to load a site. It is clear that WP Engine’s servers performed better and is the Austin hosting provider is the winner in this test.
WP Engine Vs. Bluehost – Benchmark Test
Our benchmark test involved ten websites hosted on different servers, preferably in different continents even. All servers received a large number of requests, and we measured their performance.
As the results showed, WP Engine beats Bluehost in most of the criteria. The company has many data centers worldwide and is much faster when it comes to median connect, processing, and loading times. Also, WP Engine failed just a small part of Bluehost’s failed requests.
Contrasting WP Engine and Bluehost cannot go without going through their hosting plans. The two companies deliver a wide gamma of shared and managed hosting plans.
WP Engine offers four user-friendly managed WordPress hosting plans: Startup, Growth, Scale, and Custom. Here are the details of each plan. The Startup hosting plan is suitable for 25 000 visits per month, provides 10GB storage and 50GB bandwidth/month.
The Growth WordPress hosting plan is suitable for 100 000 visits per month, provides 20GB storage and 200GB bandwidth/month.
The Scale hosting plan is suitable for 400 000 visits per month, provides 50GB storage and 500GB bandwidth/month. The Custom WordPress hosting solution is suitable for millions of visits per month, provides 100GB – 1TB storage and 400GB+ bandwidth/month.
Bluehost offers shared hosting, VPS, and Dedicated hosting options, all of them in a couple of pricing ranges. Shared hosting is available in four price/scale ranges:
- Choice plus
All of them include a free CDN and SSL certificate and a free domain name for the first year and a 30 day money-back guarantee. Let us remind you that it does not provide you will not find a free domain name as part of the WP Engine WordPress managed hosting offers. You will not find a shared VPS option on both Bluehost and WP Engine.
The VPS and dedicated hosting solutions are available in Standard, Enhanced and Premium plans, so that everybody can benefit from their services, no matter their scale and business needs.
Bluehost also provides a WordPress hosting plan, but its most popular offer is the economical shared hosting plan. Adding the Plus plan of Bluehost with unlimited bandwidth, webspace and subdomains secure the win in this category.
Steps to High Performance
This evaluation step between WP Engine and Bluehost focuses on the relation between stability and performance…because most web hosting providers cannot support them both at a superb level.
While we may think that WP Engine sacrifices its performance for stability, we determined that WP Engine delivers excellent uptime with no speed setbacks whatsoever during our research and concrete tests. We could say that they are pretty close to the perfect package.
Bluehost is far more fitting and attractive to small clients looking for options under a reasonable price tag.
Unfortunately, their low prices for entry-level plans manage to keep their rates because many sites are hosted on the same server. This can lead to big problems if one site falls behind the CPU throttling scheme because all sites on the server will suffer thanks to it. This would impede many potential customers who start small but want a reliable provider to scale up.
Our Bluehost – WP Engine comparison cannot go without going through their customer support. The good thing is that both hosting firms provide 24 / 7 support from a qualified team of experts that will help you no matter the use case.
WP Engine has testimonials from very notable brands such as AMD, SoundCloud, Maxcon, and GeekWire. They have experienced improved customer support in comparison to their previous hosting services. Bluehost offers a wide selection of support methods such as email support, a user forum, video tutorials, and a vast knowledge base.
When testing out their live 24 / 7 support chat, WP Engine’s customer service was just a minute faster, which could put them in front just enough.
Last Two Years
Companies build their reputation and customer base with sweat and tears, but sometimes, they stop their development there and rely only on their name after all the hard work. This is especially important for the IT sector, where technology changes overnight and a good company has to implement new features all the time.
We made a list of the new technology that both Bluehost and WP Engine have included in their offerings.
Bluehost, for example, pushes much exciting and innovative technology in their upper-level hosting packages. These include instant provisioning, RAID storage, the option of adding storage on the fly, and modern open-source software such as OpenStack.
The most impressive new technology in WP Engine’s portfolio is their project Mercury, which will provide ten times faster WordPress website server speeds. Even now, Engine WP provides incredible server speeds but imagine what an improvement project Mercury will bring, which is proof of their constant strives for improvement.
When hesitating between Bluehost vs. WP Engine, a user should review their control panels. No matter if we are talking about a shared WordPress or a dedicated hosting plan, a decent control panel will always serve you well.
With every WP Engine managed WordPress hosting plan, you also get an adequately functional control panel. Users who switched to WP Engine from another hosting service often need a bit of time to get used to their panel even though it is rather plain.
On the other hand, Bluehost provides the most used control panel out there, the cPanel. Bluehost has customized the cPanel design concerning the needs of its users. Just a simple sign-on separates all Bluehost clients to their billing, domains, email, and everything else. If a functional and straightforward control panel is vital for you, then Bluehost is definitely the best choice.
WP Engine Vs. Bluehost – My Recommendation
This concludes our Bluehost vs. WP Engine web hosts comparison. We evaluated their hosting plans, load time, support, innovative technology, uptime and other valuable criteria. It is hard to determine which is the best, but if we take the average result of our tests, then WP Engine should be the winner.
If you are looking for a managed WordPress hosting solution, then WP Engine is the best possible choice. In addition, you receive better speed, server quality, reliability, innovative features, and customer support.
Nevertheless, if you do not need managed WordPress hosting and want to find something at a reasonable price (Bluehost is much cheaper than WP Engine), then you should probably go with Bluehost, which is still a great web hosting provider.
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