Best WordPress Reseller Hosting – WP Engine vs HostGator


By Web Designers Academy

Who Offers The Best WordPress Reseller Hosting?

While there are several WordPress reseller hosting options on the market, two of the most popular options are HostGator and WP Engine servers.  We personally have reseller servers with both companies and have had them for several years.  And with hosting over 100 sites between both companies (while I think both companies are good), I have a very strong opinion about which one offers the best WordPress reseller hosting package.

WP Engine Reseller VS HostGator Reseller Pricing

Currently HostGator offers three reseller plans and WP Engine has two.  Technically WP Engine offers three but the third plan is a custom “call for pricing” plan that’s geared towards very large companies. So unless you’re going to be hosting websites for huge companies like GM or Costco, the custom plan is most likely beyond what you’ll ever need.

Here is a comparison chart to help you determine which is the best WordPress reseller hosting plan for you.

Compare PlansHostGator ResellerHostGator ResellerHostGator ResellerWP Engine ResellerWP Engine Reseller
Plan Name AluminumCopperSilverGrowthScale
Domains Allowed Unlimited*Unlimited*Unlimited*5 (However, you can add on additional domains for $20 each / month)15 (However, you can add on additional domains for $20 each / month)
Bandwith600 GB900 GB1400 GB200 GB400 GB
SSL Certificates IncludedNoNoNoYesYes
Automatic Daily Website BackupsNoNoNoYesYes
Utilizes A Content Delivery NetworkNoNoNoYesYes
Designed Specifically For WordPress SitesNoNoNoYesYes
Price**$29.95 / month$41.95 / month$59.95 / month$115 / month$290 / month
Money Back Guarantee 45 Days45 Days45 Days60 Days60 Days

*Unlimited domains is not actually unlimited: Unlike WP Engine, HostGator doesn’t limit how many domains can be hosted on any of their reseller servers.  However, they do limit bandwith and disk space. So over time, the more sites that you host on one of their reseller servers, the more collective traffic they’ll have and storage space they’ll take up on the site.  So it is possible to max out what HostGator advertises as “unlimited.”

**HostGator Pricing:
The monthly rates that HostGator advertises can be a bit misleading.  If you take a look at the monthly prices they advertise you’ll see that they are lower than the prices I’ve listed in the pricing chart.  The reason that there is a difference is because HostGator uses a tiered based pricing system.  The prices that I listed in my chart accurately reflect the price if you are paying by the month. See below to learn how much you have to prepay in order for it to come out to the monthly costs they advertise.

**HostGator Aluminum Reseller Pricing:  In order to get the advertised rate of  $19.95 / month you need to prepay for three years of hosting.  If you are looking to pay one month at a time the monthly rate is actually $29.95 / month.

**HostGator Copper Reseller Pricing:  In order to get the advertised rate of  $24.95 / month you need to prepay for three years of hosting.  If you are looking to pay one month at a time the monthly rate is actually $41.95 / month.

**HostGator Silver Reseller Pricing:  In order to get the advertised rate of $24.95 / month that you need to prepay for three years of hosting.  If you are looking to pay one month at a time the monthly rate is actually $59.95 / month.

**WP Engine Pricing:
Unlike HostGator, the monthly prices that you see in the pricing chart match the monthly prices that WP Engine advertises on their website.  That’s because the prices that WP Engine displays on their site accurately reflect the cost to pay by the month.  They too offer a discount if you prepay, but unlike HostGator they don’t advertise the lower rate as the true monthly rate.  If you do prepay for a year, WP Engine will give you two months of reseller hosting for free.

**WP Engine Growth Reseller Pricing:  If you pay by the month for this plan it’s $115 / month.  However, if you prepay for 1 year you’ll receive two months free.  Which comes out to $95.83 per month.

**WP Engine Scale Reseller Pricing:  If you pay by the month for this plan it’s $290 / month.  However, if you prepay for 1 year you’ll receive two months free.  Which comes out to $241.67 /per month.

How To Figure Out What’s The Best WordPress Reseller Hosting Plan For You:

When trying to determine what’s the best WordPress reseller hosting package for you, it’s important to take into consideration more than just the cost.  You need to figure out how much you can reasonably expect your clients to be willing to pay you for the service.  Initially this can be a bit tricky to determine…but a good rule of thumb is that the more beneficial features a reseller plan includes, the more value you’ll be able to provide to your client which makes it easier to be able to charge a higher dollar amount each month for web hosting.  Once you have a good idea how much you can charge per month you can then deduct what HostGator and WP Engine charge per month from that number and have an idea of the income generating potential.

WP Engine VS HostGator:

How Much Can You Earn On Their Reseller Servers?
best wordpress reseller hostingYou probably noticed in the pricing table above that WP Engine sets a limit on the number of domains that are included in their reseller packages. While that may seem like a negative, because of how high performing and feature rich their hosting plans are, we’re actually able to earn more money for hosting the same number of sites on WP Engine than we can on our HostGator server. 

I’m not gonna lie…the priciness of a WP Engine reseller server combined with the fact that they limit the number of domains initially kept me from signing up for a reseller account with them.  However, when I took a second look at what’s included with their server I started to realize that I’d be able to provide a lot more value to my clients which I’d be able to charge for.

HostGator reseller hosting Prior to our WP Engine reseller server we had reseller servers with HostGator for years (and were more or less happy with them.)  However, because HostGator doesn’t include a lot of features on it, we were limited in what we could charge clients.  All of our clients that are on our HostGator server only pay us $39 / month.  Once we got our WP Engine reseller server which is jam packed with beneficial features we started being able to charge $75 / month for hosting.

Simple Math To Help You Determine The Best WordPress Reseller Hosting

As mentioned above we have both WP Engine and HostGator reseller servers. Below is a comparison of how much profit we earn each month for the same number of sites on each server.

When reviewing the numbers below, it’s important to keep in mind that while WP Engine does limit the amount of domains they also will allow you to add host additional domains on that server for $20 each per month.  So if you’re charging your clients $75 / month to host, you’ll still be profiting $55 per month, per site for those additional domains.

While HostGator reseller plans do not limit the amount of domains you can host, you need to keep in mind you will eventually max out your bandwith and disk space limits.  We have personally done that with one of our reseller servers.

Our WP Engine reseller servers:
We’re currently on WP Engine’s Scale plan which is $290 / month.  We charge our clients $75 / month to host on this server.  The Scale plan allows 15 sites to be hosted on it.  If you multiply 15 times $75 it equals $1125.  Subtract the $290 that WP Engine charges per month and our profit from this server is $835 / month. 

Our HostGator reseller servers:
We’ve had our HostGator reseller servers for so long that the plan we’re on is no longer available to new customers.  The closest plan to it that HostGator currently offers would be their Silver plan which is $59.95 / month.  Due to the lack of features on this server we only charge our clients $39 / month to host on it.  While this server can hold more than 15 sites, for comparative reasons I’m going to base my calculation off of 15 sites (like we did with WP Engine).   If you multiple 15 times $39 it only comes to $585.  Subtract the $59.95 that HostGator charges per month and our profit from this server is $525.05 / month. 

So from a profit stand point, for us WP Engine is the clear winner for the best WordPress reseller hosting option.

WP Engine Reseller Server In A Nutshell:

WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting

As mentioned above, when you’re trying to decide what’s the best WordPress reseller hosting plan, it’s super important to take into consideration the features that it offers.  A few of the features that I love about our WP Engine server is that you can get free SSL certificates, you can enable a CDN to help keep sites running fast, it automatically creates complete, daily backups of sites and they have outstanding customer service. I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than two minutes to speak with a member of their support team.

Migration Tool:
Another feature that’s awesome is their site migration tool.  As someone who has a ton of experience using backup plugins such as Backup Buddy to migrate sites (which I still think is a great plugin) I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything as simple or more intuitive to use than the  WP Engine Automated Migration plugin. 

WP Engine’s migration process couldn’t be any easier. You start by simply downloading the plugin and then install it in the admin area of the site that you want to migrate to WP Engine.  From there you enter in a few fields of info in the plugin’s settings (and WP Engine literally gives you all of the info to copy and paste into the settings).  Then simply click on start migration button and that’s pretty much all there is to it.  It’s a major time saver.

The Downside:
In my opinion there aren’t really that many downsides to WP Engine.  However, below is a couple of things that some people may not like.

The (initial) down side is that unlike most of the other popular hosting companies, WP engine doesn’t offer a standard cpanel interface. Prior to our WP Engine server we had only dealt with servers that provided a standard cpanel, so at first it took a little getting used to.  But once we did it was like “how did we exist without this?” Seriously it’s a very awesome interface that is designed specifically for WordPress sites.  And if you at any point in the process you find yourself getting stuck live support will guide you through and get your site up in running usually within minutes.

Depending who you ask, one other downside of WP Engine is that they do ban some WordPress plugins.  The plugins that are on their disallowed plugin list aren’t really a big deal for me as I don’t routinely use any of the plugins on their list, but is something for you to take into consideration when selecting a server. 

Like I said in my opinion what I listed as the downsides of WP Engine, I personally don’t think is a big deal so it’s more of what works for you.

WP Engine Reseller Pros & Cons

WP Engine Reseller ProsWP Engine Reseller Cons
Free SSL Certificates Limited Number Of Domains (However, you can add on additional domains for $20 each / month)
Automatic Daily Backups Additional Monthly Cost For Multisites
Content Delivery Network Prohibits Some WordPress Plugins
Provides Site Migration Tool
Excellent Customer Support

If you decide that one of WP Engines plans is the best WordPress reseller hosting option for you, be sure to Save 20% off your first payment

HostGator Reseller Server In A Nutshell:

The overall reliability of HostGator’s servers is really good.  In all of the years of my experience with HostGator reseller servers, experiencing any major down time has been rare.  I’ll give them that.

HostGator reseller servers also include a standard cpanel interface.  Their cpanel includes a Quick Install features that allows you to install WordPress on a domain within minutes…which is pretty handy.  However, because HostGator isn’t specifically designed just to host WordPress sites there are a ton of other items included in cpanel (many of which you don’t need to do anything with) so until you get familiar with a standard cpanel interface it can be a bit overwhelming. 

The upside is once you get used to that type of interface it’s very similar in terms of what other popular hosting companies offer.  For example both Bluehost and GoDaddy have standard cpanel interfaces.  While there not identical to HostGator’s, there are a lot of similarities.  So once you get the hang of cpanel at any one of those companies you’ll essentially know how to work with all of them…which is handy.   WP Engine on the otherhand has a control panel that is unique to them so if you’re only familiar with their system you’ll likely be confused with the standard cpanel interfaces other popular hosting companies provide..

HostGator also gives you the ability to host email directly on the server.  So you’ll be able to tell your clients that email is included in the monthly fee they pay you for hosting.  I know this may sound appealing, however have to disclose that I do not recommend hosting email on the server.  If you’re wondering why, it’s because if for some reason the server goes down (which happens to all servers at some point in time), your clients email will be down as well.  And if you think a client will freak out if their website is down, see what happens when both their website and email are simultaneously down.  Believe me…it isn’t pretty.

The Downside:
 It’s pretty much bare bones hosting in the sense that the main thing that’s included in the monthly price you pay them is hosting.  They don’t include much else.  SSL certificates cost extra, they don’t provide daily website backups or the benefit of a contend delivery network.

Another downside is their customer service.  A few years ago I wouldn’t have had anything bad to say about it, but sadly it’s not what it used to be.  It isn’t always bad, it’s just consistently inconsistent.  Meaning sometimes within minutes you get awesome customer service and other times you wait almost an hour to speak with someone, get transferred to multiple different departments, only for the last person that you talk to say that they need to open a support ticket for your problem…which doesn’t end up getting resolved for days.  Which translates into angry clients.

HostGator Reseller Pros & Cons

HostGator Reseller ProsHostGator Reseller Cons
Unlimted domains Doesn't include free SSL certificates
Multisite hosting included Doesn't create daily website backups
Email hosting included Often slow upgrading PHP and MySQL
Provides Site Migration Tool Quality of customer support is unpredictable
Excellent Customer Support

If you decide that one of HostGators plans is the best WordPress reseller hosting option for you, make sure you don’t miss out on getting $30 cash back when you sign up.

So Who Offers The Best WordPress Reseller Hosting?

By now you most likely already know which company I think offers the best WordPress reseller hosting 🙂  And if you guessed WP Engine, you’d be 100% correct.

While no hosting company is perfect, I can honestly  say with WP Engine I’ve experienced little to no headaches and because of all of the features their server includes we’re able to earn a significant amount earning more money on a monthly basis

Hands down WP Engine is my top choice for the best WordPress reseller hosting.