This post of Bluehost Vs WP Engine compares both Bluehost and WP Engine in terms of performance, features, pricing and support.
Bluehost entered the industry in 2003 and is one of the most reliable hosting services.
The service is pretty easy to use and comes with good features. Further, Bluehost has ideal solutions for all kinds of customers.
WP Engine is an excellent managed WordPress hosting platform that offers a full spectrum of digital experiences on WordPress for all types of businesses comprising small businesses, creative agencies, and enterprises. The service offers the right blend of creative agility, integration, enterprise performance, and actionable intelligence.
In this post, I will walk you through the various aspects of the two services, which will help you understand both the services better and decide which one of these services is the right for your project.
Bluehost vs WP Engine: Data Center Locations
Bluehost has just one data center located in Utah in the USA when it comes to data center locations. If your audience is USA-based, you shouldn’t really have any problem.
On the other hand, WP Engine is partnered with Google Cloud Platform and AWS, which gives you the advantage of choosing from a vast number of data center locations across the globe. Hence, WP Engine has got a leading edge over Bluehost in terms of data center locations.
Bluehost vs WP Engine: Performance
Server Response Time
The success of a website these days depends a lot on performance, and this is why we must closely monitor our sites' performance. There are just so many ways to do it, and one of the effective ways is, of course, measuring the server response time.
I monitored the server response time of the two services, and while my Bluehost site had an average server response time of 460 ms, my WP Engine site recorded an average server response time of 374 ms. We can see there is a wide difference, and WP Engine has a better server response time.
Uptime is another crucial aspect of performance, and based on our monitoring, both WP Engine and Bluehost recorded 100% uptime in the last month. There is a single downtime in WP Engine which is due to the DNS configuration error from our side.
Load Testing is another effective way of testing performance and it gives us a pretty clear picture of the performance. I performed Clients per test (1000 clients in 1 minute) load test.
Bluehost reflected a response time of 54 ms in Clients Per Test. In the case of WP Engine, the Clients per test and recorded a response time of 40ms. Lower the response time, faster is your server. Thus WP Engine handled the load test in a better way than Bluehost.
Global TTFB is a test to measure the response time from different global locations, and the test is beneficial if your site is receiving traffic from multiple global locations. I performed the test by pinging my sites from 10 global locations.
Bluehost had a good Global TTFB for New York, Dallas, and San Francisco. However, for places outside the USA, the TTFB is more than 400 ms. WP Engine also had a decent Global TTFB for New York, Dallas, and San Francisco. However, the Global TTFB for Singapore and Bangalore was more than 1s.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are going to have a huge impact on rankings from May 2021 onward. I tested the core web vitals of both services.
My Bluehost site reflected 2.8 s of Largest Contentful Paint, 140 ms of Total Blocking Time, and 0.028 of Cumulative Layout Shift. In comparison, my WP Engine had 2.5 s of Largest Contentful Paint, 0 ms of Total Blocking Time, and a Cumulative Layout Shift of 0.
Summary: When it comes to performance, WP Engine outclasses Bluehost in most tests. The power of Google Cloud, WP Engine provided consistent results in load testing, Core Web Vitals and response time than Bluehost which are the vital characteristics of good web hosting. Overall, WP Engine is the winner over Bluehost.
Bluehost vs WP Engine: Features
Bluehost has a customized cPanel with a better theme and has all the cPanel features presented in a much more organized way. The interface is pretty clean and easy-to-use. Even if you are a cPanel user, you will find the Bluehost cPanel more user-friendly since things are uncluttered and it is easy to navigate through the features.
To use the Bluehost cPanel, you need to login to your Bluehost account. Besides, you can easily access the databases, domains, files, logs, and emails right from the control panel.
WP Engine also has a custom control panel called the User Portal, accessible from the URL, https://my.wpengine.com/. The User Portal allows you to manage your websites, access SFTP login details, database, create sites and environments and view billing details.
Besides, it comes with collapsible navigation and provides you with many more important tools such as CDN, Git push, Site Migration, and various environment stats. To me, the WP Engine has more options and tools than cPanel or Plesk has.
If we compare the two services' control panels, both are good, but the control panel of WP Engine is comparatively better with more tools.
Bluehost offers free Cloudflare CDN on all plans, which helps you deliver your content faster to your audience, making the most out of Cloudflare’s reverse-proxy network, auto minification, and over 152 global locations.
WP Engine also offers StackPath CDN for free on all plans. The CDN enhances the content delivery speed by converting the site content to static content and delivering it from the closest server. Customers can enable it from the user portal.
However, the Cloudflare CDN from Bluehost is not exclusive and one can get it even without a Bluehost account. However, WP Engine use StackPath CDN which cost $10/month and WP Engine includes it for free.
Automated daily backup plays a vital role in web hosting, and these days, you can’t afford to miss out on this feature at any cost. Bluehost offers automated daily backup only on Choice Plus and Pro plans. However, you can get the Bluehost backup add-on, CodeGuard, for an extra price for automated backup if you are on a low-tier plan.
WP Engine offers automated daily backups on all plans, and besides, the provider has a perfect backup system for all environments comprising production, staging, and development. All the backups are stored offsite on Amazon S3 and encrypted in transit. Restoring a backup is also pretty easy in WP Engine.
Bluehost allows you to create staging sites, and you can do it by getting to the Bluehost tab on your WordPress dashboard first. Next, you can click on the Staging tab and click on create a staging site.
You must wait a while until the environment is created and once created; you can start experimenting. After you have finished testing, you can deploy the changes to your live site if you want by choosing any of the 3 deploy options.
Creating a clone of your production site for testing and experimenting is pretty easy with WP Engine, and the feature is free on all plans. You can create a staging site right from your WordPress dashboard. Creating a staging site with WP Engine takes just a single click, and pushing the changes to the live site is also equally simple.
Bluehost security is characterized by resource protection, traffic encryption, automated malware scanning, and expert monitoring. The provider has add-ons such as SiteLock and Domain Privacy for better security, but they are only available at an additional price.
On the other hand, WP Engine has a rock-solid security system in place with code reviews, managed core updates and patches, Multi-Factor Authentication, Traffic Encryption with SSL, Threat Detection & Blocking, and Disaster Recovery.
Bluehost has a decent support service in place with the most competent executives. The company provides excellent support through 24×7 chat, phone, and ticketing alongside having a comprehensive knowledge base for a quick reference.
WP Engine support teams are one of the best support teams in the industry. The team has WordPress experts from Ireland and the U.S to assist the customers through 24×7 live chat and phone.
I have tried to give you a comprehensive picture of Bluehost and WP Engine in this post, and I have discussed the various important aspects of the two hosts. If you have followed the post well so far, you should now have no problem choosing between the two services. Even though the services may have their pros and cons, what you require for your project is what matters the most.
To choose between the two, you have first to consider your project requirement and then see which one of the two services fulfills your requirement better. It should not be difficult now that you are familiar with all the aspects of the two services.