Hosting Tutorial & Guide

WPEngine VS Synthesis – Which Is the Better Provider for WordPress Hosting

updated on Feb 28, 2016
WPEngine VS Synthesis – Which Is the Better Provider for WordPress Hosting As 2 providers well-known for managed WordPress hosting, WPEngine and Synthesis both claim to offer a fast and secure platform that is tailored for all kinds of WordPress sites. In view of the situation, we have made detailed reviews on them and then worked out a comparison with attentions paid to several aspects including plans, features, uptime, speed and technical support.

According to the 2 companies' performance in the important factors in judging the service quality, the following ratings are given to them. Read statistics in the following table.

Plan in ComparisonPersonalStarter
Loading Speed
Read MoreWPEngine ReviewSynthesis Review

Plans & Pricing

WPEngine has a total of 4 upgradable plans named Personal, Professional, Business and Premium, among which the first 3 plans come with a certain amount of allotted resources and strictly limited WordPress installs while the last one is a custom choice with everything customizable including price. The price of Personal, Professional and Business is $29/mo, $99/mo and $249/mo respectively. In addition, all plans come with a 60 days money back guarantee.

Synthesis also has 4 plans. Named Starter, Professional, Advanced and Enterprise, the plans are priced at $27/mo, $97/mo, $147/mo and $200/mo. Besides, there are custom corporate plans available for corporation, university and government agency use. Synthesis guarantees a money back period of 30 days so that customers can have a worry-free try on its services.

WordPress Hosting Features

WordPress Hosting Features WPEngine offers a bunch of useful features for WordPress users to manage and optimize their websites. For developers, the company prepares Git for version control, 1-click backup and restore of database and files, and staging area for testing plugins and updates before determining changes.

Besides, for enhanced site security, customers can make use of WPEngine advanced firewall to block both known attacks and the new ones. Malware scanning is also available to protect websites from being badly affected for even hacked by malicious codes or software.

In terms of Synthesis, it also provides a large number of features for boosting speed, simplifying management and improving security, such as malware scanning and removal, personal backups, caching, and so on. The plans from Synthesis all give support to CloudFlare CDN, but the content delivery network service is not included in them by default.

The features of both companies' services are rich and helpful, while the limitation is that WPEngine Personal plan and Synthesis Starter plan only support to host 1 WordPress website and no multi-site install is allowed. For the server resources and some other features offered by the companies, read the table below. Note that we have also taken the Blogger plan of BlueHost into consideration, just for a more comprehensive comparison.

Free Domain
Dedicated IP
WordPress Install115
Disk Storage10 GB3 GB30 GB
Monthly Data TransferUnlimited50 GBUnlimited
Daily Traffic2,500About 830About 3,333
CDN Included
Regular Price$29/mo$27/mo$24.99/mo
Discounted Price$29/mo$27/mo$12.49/mo
How to Claim--Link Activation

Data Backups

Both of WPEngine and Synthesis offer automated daily data backups and they take the tasks seriously. Through their control panels, customers can restore their WordPress sites and databases easily if there is an unexpected disaster. They are both reliable in this aspect.

However, when comparing them deeper, we find the former wins the latter a little because it is more considerate. The company not only creates complete backups for all the hosted sites daily, but also prompts the users to make a backup every time a new plugin or theme is installed. This guarantees the hosted sites will not be harmed by a new installation of a bad theme or plugin. Besides, WPEngine allows users to download the backup files as a zip for better security.

Disallowed Plugins

It is somewhat a disadvantage of WPEngine that this WordPress hosting provider sets many restrictions on the plugins that customers can install on their websites. When a disallowed plugin is installed, WPEngine will detect it immediately and then email the customer asking him/her to remove it. If the user does not remove the plugin actively within 7 days, the provider will do it even without permission.

Most caching plugins (including WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache), backup plugins, server thrashing plugins and those plugins with duplicate behaviors are not allowed. This ensures that WPEngine hosting platform can run optimally, but it indeed causes inconveniences for those who need some specific features of the plugins. The advantages and disadvantages of managed WordPress hosting both lie in these restrictions.

Theoretically, Synthesis would not allow the install and use of many backup plugins, cache plugins, etc, too. However, the company does not offer a detailed list of the disallowed plugins. Instead, Synthesis provides a list of the recommended plugins. Users who have problems or questions with a specific plugin can contact the support team for help.

Uptime & Speed

Both WPEngine and Synthesis have made large efforts in keeping customers' websites online. For example, they use first-rate data center facilities and software, partner with many large companies, and monitor their systems consistently. Therefore, to clarify real figures, we have been monitoring their services personally for months. The results show that WPEngine surpasses its competitor slightly. Read the real-time statistics of WPEngine in the following chart.

Speed As for speed, WPEngine ensures fast page loads by offering custom-built EverCache technology. In this case, customers are able to enjoy fast speed without installing any cache plugins. In addition, they have complete access to a CDN which accelerates websites with several times faster speed.

Every Synthesis account has the Pro version of W3 Total Cache installed by default, which can certainly bring a large boost to site speed. Besides, for people purchasing CloudFlare plans, they are able to integrate the CDN into their accounts with simple configurations to maximize the effects of the technology.

According to our monitoring, WPEngine wins a little over its competitor in server response speed. The monitoring statistics of Synthesis average 489ms in the past month, approximately 20% slower than those of WPEngine which are clearly shown in the chart below.

Technical Support

Technical Support WPEngine offers support via phone, email and live chat. 100% focusing on WordPress issues, the support team manages backups and security updates without requests. For any problems on website speed, security or hosting accounts, the team is ready to give accurate answers. Note that support via live chat is available from 9am to 6pm CST.

Synthesis also provides highly professional support for all WordPress related issues. For people making requests via Help Desk, there is always a quick answer sent back. The support from this company is reachable 24x7, but customers can only get in contact with an expert via Help Desk because no other way like phone or chat is provided.

Which Is Better?

Both companies are good choices for corporations and large businesses due to their professionalism in managed WordPress hosting service. But for small businesses requiring more cost-effective services with rich features, BlueHost managed WordPress hosting should be a better choice. Available from $12.49/mo for people going through this promotional link, the service comes with the following advantages.
  • 2 GB RAM, 30 GB disk storage, 30 GB backup storage, 5 WordPress installs & 100 million visits/mo.
  • Free domain name & 1 dedicated IP address.
  • Enhanced cPanel control panel, SiteLock CDN, SiteLock Pro & W3 Total Cache.

Learn More About BlueHost Managed WordPress Hosting