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WPEngine vs Hostgator – Speed Comparison Test and Migration Tips

Are you looking to improve your websites speed? I have found out the easiest and surest way to do so is to upgrade my hosting(shocker!). This post will show the exact speed increase I experienced going from HostGator to WPEngine and compare both services. Plus if you don’t want to change hosts but want a faster WordPress site I share the procedure I have developed for my team to use to speed up our sites on HostGator or similar shared host.

Several months ago I was struggling with slow load times on my main case study site hosted on HostGator and I was looking for options to improve my speed.

I had done my usual tricks to improve the sites speed including my wordpress speed best practice guide below which my VA’s complete on all my sites to speed them up as much as possible…

I seriously thought about 5 options to speed up at least 2-3 of my most important sites…

(note some of the links below are affiliate links)

In order from worst to best (in my opinion – I have not used all)

  • HostGator VPS
    • Simplify billing having both my bigger and smaller sites all at the same business
    • My Opinion – Unless you require a VPS the speed benefit simply does not justify the price.
    • $44.92 per month for 2 sites
  • WebSynthesis
    • Lot of marketing extras
    • My Opinion – I want a host to focus solely on being the best possible host not on adding in marketing help to justify the price.
    • $147/month 5 sites
    • Highly scalable with Amazon Cloud Computing and offers free migration support
    • My Opinion – Definitely a very interesting offer, the ability to only host one site for $64 above 25k visitors per month makes it a potentially expensive option with several sites. The free migration would make it an easy option.
    • $64/month but only for 1 site
  • MediaTemple with CloudFlare
    • Least expensive
    • My Opinion – A great next step from a shared BlueHost or HostGator account if you don’t want to spend more per month
    • $20/month for multiple sites
  • My First Choice – WPEngine
    • Best all around option for speed, ease of use and scalability
    • My Opinion – WPEngine is not the cheapest but based on looking at the options and reviews it seemed to be the fastest option and was also solely focused on providing the best possible wordpress hosting experience.
    • $99/month for 10 sites and 100k visits per month (the 100k gets chewed up faster than Google analytics tells you it will)

Based on the basic summary above I chose WPEngine to host my most important sites.

Want a Faster Site Without Moving Hosts? Here is the Procedure My Team Uses on My Sites…

Here is the Google Document showing my Speed, Security and Monetization control document which achieves a 50% increase in speed for most sites I have used it on.



How to Migrate from Hostgator to WPEngine

To be honest, my VA handled all of this and it was done in under 24hrs and his feedback was that it was very easy. The only downside to the move is that WPEngine restricts a lot of plugins that we have typically been using to speed up our sites since they have built in tools to handle what the plugins used to do. So that change took a little getting used to.

WPEngine spells out the entire migration process here

WPEngine vs Hostgator – How Much Faster is WPEngine?

The case study site was built on a Genesis Theme – Education. It looks great but can be a little on the slow side to load.

To compare the website speed I ran the migrated site and live site through 3 tests several times and compared the results.

3 of the tests provided times to load the site which is shown below…

WPEngine vs HostGator Speed Comparison

WPEngine was approximately 4x faster/

The 4 tests used were…

Here are screenshots of the results…

Google Website Page Speed Tools

Hostgator - Google Website Page Speed Tools


Hostgator - Google Website Page Speed Tools


Pingdom Website Speed Test

Hostgator - Pingdom Website Page Speed Tools


WPebgine- Pingdom Website Page Speed Tools


Website Page Test

Hostgator - Website Page  Test


WPengine - Website Page  Test



iWebTools- Hostgator


iWebtools- WPengine


Interesting Note…

How many different WordPress Hosting Services can Yoast Provide a Testimonial For?

When I was going back to the different hosts to write this post it seemed like Yoast was providing a testimonial for a bunch of them (well a bunch = 2).

He is clearly an expert when it comes to wordpress and here are his wordpress hosting recommendations in his own words from his site – Yoasts WordPress Hosting recommendations

Websinthysis testimonial

Websinthysis Yoast Testimonial testimonial Yoast Testimonial

Have You Had Experience With Any of These Hosts?

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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