The website was taking an average of 3.9 seconds to load on United Hosting. (This is according to the Pingdom page speed test.) Then we re-tested the page load times immediately after migrating the website to WP Engine. We were impressed to see that the average page load time was now 1.6 seconds - less than half! This was exactly the same website. Literally all we changed was the host, so this is a direct comparison between the two companies.
I know that optimized WordPress hosts such as WP Engine will inevitably be faster than a standard shared host. The benefits of using optimized WordPress hosting are already well documented. We have directly seen the difference many times in our own work as a WordPress agency. For example, check out my speed comparison between WP Engine, SiteGround and TSO Host.
When you visit the United Hosting website, the banner headline says 'Lightning Fast'. I don't know how it compares against other standard shared hosts (SiteGround are the fastest host in this category that we've worked with). However they're certainly not lightning fast compared to WP Engine, and probably other optimized WordPress hosts too.
Page speed is an increasingly important ranking factor for your search engine optimisation (SEO). It's also important to keep people on your site, so this is not an area to cut corners. Starting at just $29 per month, WP Engine are much cheaper than a lot of managed WordPress hosts or other solutions such as dedicated hosting. I much prefer knowing that our clients' websites are fully optimised. WP Engine provides the best possible environment for running WordPress.
I hope this comparison is helpful to anyone who is choosing between United Hosting and WP Engine. Or maybe you're already with United Hosting and thinking of moving.
How to switch to WP Engine
You can sign up to WP Engine directly via their website. They offer a free migration plugin which makes it pretty easy to migrate your website to them. (Read my review of the plugin here). You install the plugin on your website, paste in the details that WP Engine provide and the migration will happen automatically. Once this is complete, you'll need to update the DNS settings for your domain to point to the website's new location at WP Engine.
If you'd like the reassurance of having a UK WordPress agency oversee your website then we can arrange the same hosting on your behalf. With this option, we'll be happy to migrate your website for free. We just need the logins your current website and can take care of the rest.
We charge £25 + VAT per month for WP Engine hosting for websites with up to 25,000 visits per month. This offers extra performance benefits compared to signing up for the Personal Plan yourself. For example our hosting comes with a built-in CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN speeds up your website for visitors all over the world and is only available at extra cost or on their higher plans.