This post is over 3 years old, and the data is no longer accurate. I have since switched all my sites to SiteGround, and the performance is excellent.
GoDaddy does have a much improved product called Pro WordPress Hosting, which is definitely worth checking out. It is just as fast, if not faster, than WP Engine’s entry-level plans, but for a fraction of the cost.
I recently moved my personal blog from WP Engine’s hosting to GoDaddy’s new WordPress hosting. I was looking to lower my cost (for a single site, GoDaddy is considerably cheaper), and I wanted to see how their performance compared to the existing, bigger-name players already in the managed WordPress hosting space.
Here’s where the performance comparison comes in. Let’s see how GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting compares to WP Engine. First, let’s explain the parameters of the test.
Hosting Speed Test Details
- I’m using the exact same WordPress site (same files, theme, database, plugins, etc.). The site is currently located on two different servers:
- analternateroute.com is on GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting
- davewarfel.wpengine.com is on WP Engine’s hosting
- The type of plan (starter, pro, business, etc.) shouldn’t matter. Both services use the same servers, caching settings, etc. for all plans.
- For both sites, I’m not using a third-party CDN
- It is worth noting, however, that I’m using the Jetpack Carousel module, which loads images from
http://i0.wp.com(for both sites, though)
Pages to Test
- I’m testing the homepage, as well as one individual blog article
- The homepage contains the 8 most recent articles in their entirety, minus comments
- The individual article contains 1,254 words, a featured image, and 3 other images within the post
Page Speed Testing Tool
- I’ll be using one of the most popular page speed testing tools out there:
- The location of the host server, as well as the server making the requests, could impact page load speed.
- GoDaddy’s server is located in Arizona
- WP Engine’s server is located in Texas
- I’ll run tests using two computers: one requesting files from New York, the other from Texas
Aside from a hosting provider, there are an infinite number of ways to setup a WordPress website. Thus, millions of factors will affect the speed at which your site loads. Here are some basic details of the site I’m using for this test.
- 151 posts, 4 pages, 142 comments, 214 images uploaded (spread out across all posts)
- Theme: Twenty Thirteen
- Plugins (18 active), including: Jetpack, Google Analytics for WordPress, WordPress SEO, Advanced Custom Fields, AdRotate, Swiftype Search, Akismet
- These are all very standard plugins, updated recently, maintained by experience developers. Most other plugins only affect the admin area.
- Running WordPress 4.0
Hosting Speed Test Results
No drumroll necessary.
|Web Host||Requests||Load Time||Full Results|
|GoDaddy (New York)||101||4.09s||View|
|WP Engine (New York)||84||2.94s||View|
|WP Engine (Texas)||84||2.02s||View|
|WP Engine Average||2.48s|
Individual Article Page
|Web Host||Requests||Load Time||Full Results|
|GoDaddy (New York)||111||2.63s||View|
|WP Engine (New York)||89||1.97s||View|
|WP Engine (Texas)||89||1.69s||View|
|WP Engine Average||1.83s|
Hosting Speed Results Explained
I think the tables above speak for themselves, really, but let’s dig just a bit deeper to annotate the results.
- WP Engine loaded both pages faster, saving 1s with the homepage, and less than 0.5s with the article page
- WP Engine’s setup required fewer requests for assets
- I’m not entirely sure why this is, but my guess would be more aggressive caching. They likely bundle several requests together and send them in one, unified request.
- Both hosting platforms load pretty fast. For not using a CDN, or making any special changes to improve load time, I’m happy with both results. This is part of the idea behind managed WordPress hosting: the hosting company is supposed to do a lot of the work for you.
- Keep in mind the difference in price between the two (comparing smallest plans below)
I’m not going to say flat out that one is better than the other. There are many other factors you should consider when choosing a WordPress host. This just looks at one of them.
Bottom Line: When it comes to page load speed, both hosts are a solid choice for personal blogs.
Our WordPress hosting comparison matrix lets you search features & compare pricing side-by-side amongst popular WordPress hosts. Give it a try.
I’m going to take this test a step further and activate CDNs for both. If you’re curious how much speed improvement a CDN could give you, check out: