WP Engine vs GoDaddy: Which Is Faster For WordPress?

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Trying to decide between GoDaddy and WPengine for your WordPress blog?  There really is no comparison, despite what you might read on those fake web hosting review sites. GoDaddy is great if you’re a small business with an html site and need email hosting. But for WordPress, you’ll want a host that caters to a database driven site, and one that specifically handles caching for you, so you don’t have to learn how to setup a bunch of plugins like W3 Total Cache. I won’t use GoDaddy anymore after my site got hacked on one of their shared hosting plans, and I don’t recommend using them for domains anymore either.


Summary: Which Is Faster For WordPress: GoDaddy VS WPengine

  • This WpEngine Plan will blow anything Godaddy has out of the water, period. WordPress needs specific caching to make it snappy and for you to be able to have faster load times. GoDaddy doesn’t really cater to this, and is more of a broad market service that words for everybody… which is why you see them in the super bowl ads. WPengine caters to WordPress users, and is focused on making it work the best it can with minimal effort on your part.

I recommend WPengine over GoDaddy.  In fact, I stopped using GoDaddy for all my domains now, and use Namesilo exclusively for that.


Online marketing is all the rage for all the right reasons. How else will your business reach a worldwide audience? Ultimately, you know your business is successful when everyone from every corner of the world has heard your name and knows about your products, even if you probably haven’t heard of half these corners and places! However, though online marketing can seem fun and effective, it can take quite a bit of work and knowledge, which is where the hero of our story enters the stage: WordPress!

Don’t get us wrong, this article is definitely a review of WP Engine and GoDaddy, but this comparison wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the need to host WordPress itself! You know, kind of like getting to know the hero’s backstory before you understand why exactly he’s the “American Psycho”. To give you further context, this humble content management system currently has 74,642,825 sites depending on it. In other words, that’s one site for every person in Turkey! Pretty impressive? We definitely think so!

Now that we’ve given WordPress the due it deserves, let’s talk about why we’re really here. Seeing as how WordPress is changing so many lives around the world, users will obviously want the best out of the site and its features, especially in terms of speed. No one wants to wait hours for web pages to open up, do we? Well, this is where a little something called web hosting comes into play.

Web hosts are services that let you publish your site or your web page online by giving you the necessary tools, facilities and technologies, such as managing your site, publishing it on the World Wide Web and storing your site’s data on their servers. Realizing the potential and moolah that web hosting services can rake in, there exist a plethora of options for everyone, from beginners to experts, when it comes to web hosts. Choosing a web host can take quite a bit of time and research, given that you’ll have to explore whether you want free hosting, VPS, shared, dedicated or managed hosting, and whether you prioritize speed, SEO, plugins or saving your dollars!

If you’re only just starting out on your journey of exploring WordPress blogs and web pages, this multitude of options can really get overwhelming, which is why we’re here to make life a little bit easier by comparing two of the fastest hosts for WordPress sites: WP Engine and GoDaddy!

Why Exactly Is Speed Important, Again?

A very logical question and a highly important thing to understand is how and why website speed affects you and your business. So let’s take a minute to understand this.

Page speed refers to the speed in which the contents of your web page load. Also called “page load time” or “time to first byte” (the amount of time taken for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the server); page speed is highly important because the “guru of all things online” has itself said so. Before we get to that, though, you’ll have to understand SEO or “Search Engine Optimization”. Quite simply, these are the factors that affect where a website ranks on any search engine’s results when you type in a particular keyword.

In 2010, Google (remember we mentioned the “guru of all things online”?) indicated that the speed of the site (which is greatly influenced by page speed) is one of the parameters the digital giant uses to rank websites on its search engine, as it believed that faster sites improved user experience, indicated reliable web hosting and reduced operating costs. Given that Google seems to have overtaken most other authorities when looking for answers, you don’t need us to tell you the importance and magnitude of being one of the first few sites when the search results show up. Most people don’t even bother to check the results after the first page! Additionally, all other major US search engines quickly followed in Google’s footsteps, which means that most engines now prioritize speed for website ranking. Ergo, page speed is important.

Also, let’s face it. Patience is a virtue that most of us don’t possess. Given the huge number of alternatives out there, no one is really going to wait 30 seconds, let alone a minute, for a site to load. It’s kind of like how you walk into a store to buy something to immediately notice that there’s a huge line at the checkout counter, which could make you rethink your decision unless you’re one of the few patient gems in the world! Thus, slow sites can negatively affect any business you have and though you could take measures like enabling compression, optimizing images, reducing redirection and using a content delivery network (CDN), an effective web host that does all of this for you is obviously the best answer for increased website speed!

Meet the Contenders!

Founded in 2010, WP Engine is one of the undisputed leaders in the web hosting world. With an impressive 1,500 servers, WP Engine offers managed WordPress hosting, meaning that as hosts, they take care of everything for you when it comes to your page, such as installation, updating, security checks, daily backups and caching, saving you a whole lot of effort and quite a bit of time and money. This is great, especially if you’re running a business because who really wants harrowing interruptions while running a business? WP Engine also offers shared hosting, where multiple websites share one server.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, is quite like the daddy here, having been founded 13 years prior to WP Engine, in Baltimore by Bob Parson. Starting off as solely a domain registrar, GoDaddy, today, offers domains, web hosting, and site-building services, with an impressive estimated 60 million domains! Like WP Engine, GoDaddy also offers shared hosting.

Given the impressive track record of both these web hosts, it can get really confusing, even for experts, to pick between the two for WordPress hosting. Hosting in itself is a confusing subject with its many technical aspects; having to pick out the best host can seem like having to top your vindaloo with an extra dressing of sriracha sauce. Not exactly an ideal situation, unless you’re prepared for it! A tiny tip that could potentially work wonders for you is figuring out your needs and your capabilities. If you’re set to manage every little thing about your website and are confident in being able to do so, go ahead with a host who doesn’t manage your site; if not, managed hosting is for you!

The War of the Web Hosts

Since the aim of this article is to provide you with a review of WP Engine and GoDaddy and tell you which one is faster for WordPress sites, let’s get right into it with further ado!

Pricing

It doesn’t matter who’s faster if they can’t fit your budget, so we decided to get this part out of the way. WP Engine is more expensive than GoDaddy. There, we said it. WP Engine’s plans start at $29 a month, whereas GoDaddy’s plans start at $4.99 a month. Having said that, don’t let price influence you; everything happens for a reason, price difference included.

Speed

No matter how many reviews you read or how many sites you look up, there’s one agreed-upon fact that most reviews will present to you: There’s really no comparison in terms of speed between WP Engine and GoDaddy. Why? Because WP Engine is a clear winner and GoDaddy doesn’t even come in a close second.

WordPress sites run 4 times faster on WP Engine than GoDaddy, with the latter having a page load time of 750 ms. This is because the latter’s server is known to occasionally get overloaded from the amount of traffic flowing out of its data center. Operating your GoDaddy-hosted site can be especially harrowing during updates or site developments. Making changes to your files on GoDaddy sites can also eat up your time while saving the changes and previewing them. Both combined can take you around 4 seconds and before you dismiss that number, think about it on a large scale! A couple of changes may not really annoy you but making around 100 changes can definitely annoy you when it takes away 400 seconds of your time!

Additionally, though GoDaddy does clock an impressive time of its own, users have reported that it hangs every once in a while; an event that seems to be absent with WP Engine. This could be because as a service that offers shared hosting, GoDaddy takes the approach of loading as many sites as possible on one server to reduce overheads (in simple words). This further slows the server down. WP Engine works around this by having a reasonable number of sites share a single server and balancing this with their costs, making them the go-to option for speed.

So now that we’ve discussed speed, let’s take a look at a few other factors that could influence your choice of web hosts!

Backups

Though it is simple to backup a WordPress site, most web hosts don’t offer that service for free. Luckily, though, WP Engine does! Like we said, they’re known for their managed WordPress hosting, which means daily backups of your site data. This greatly minimizes data loss and lets you try out new features and changes without worrying too much about the implications, as you can always just go back to the previous day’s version of your site! Such features seem to be missing from GoDaddy’s menu of services.

Customer Service

When it comes to the digital world, we are of the opinion that customer service is a huge necessity, especially with a field as highly technical and specialized as web hosting. GoDaddy and WP Engine both have efficient customer service; however, WP Engine ensures that it hires experts in WordPress to better understand and solve customers’ issues, and more quickly at that. They also offer a more prompt service than GoDaddy, with you ending up having to wait a couple of minutes on the line before being able to talk to the representative.

Other Features

When it comes to maintenance and security, WP Engine is one of the best options available to you. Additionally, though both are easy enough to use even for amateurs, WP Engine offers interactive tutorials that give you a step-by-step guide on using the service. However, GoDaddy has the slight edge here, giving you an easier DNS and email setup.

Lastly, another important thing to consider is uptime. GoDaddy only gives you an uptime of 99.94%, whereas WP Engine peaks at 99.99%, meaning you don’t have to worry about your website’s performance with the latter.

The Final Word

Ultimately, when it comes to speed, WP Engine is the undisputed winner. With a great uptime, server-to-websites ratio, and better-managed hosting, it isn’t hard to see why many people are making the switch over to WP Engine, despite it being a relatively new player on the block. Having said that, though, GoDaddy is the much cheaper option and gives you many more add-on options for blogging than WP Engine.

A quick tip is that if you’re just starting out with your business, it may seem slightly unreasonable to start off with an expensive service like WP Engine. However, if you’re already established, experience traffic on your site and are actively marketing it, WP Engine is a better option than GoDaddy.

However, if, for some reason, both sites don’t appeal to you, never fear! It’s a wide world out there and the options are numerous. Siteground is one such site that we would definitely recommend as an amazing alternative to both web hosts. With premium hosting starting at $3.95 and nearly the same performance level as both WP Engine and GoDaddy, Siteground is the perfect option for you if you’re just starting out.

In a nutshell, choose WP Engine if speed is your priority for WordPress hosting. Additionally, you’ll need to be a little experienced, only expect to grow, be able to devote more time to your online blogging/marketing/website/webpage and not mind the higher cost. Choose GoDaddy if you’re just starting out and are looking for a cheaper option that gives you great add-on features, making it a better option for small businesses. However, be aware that you won’t get the same amazing speed that WP Engine offers. If you find that both web hosts don’t fulfill your needs, many alternatives exist, such as Siteground.

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Join the conversation on Matt's case studies at CleverLeverage.com as he discovers and tests new ways to earn more income, learn alternative investment strategies to net >10%, maintain good health, and turn passions into online businesses.

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