Today I am sharing my thoughts about a popular, premium web hosting service, in this WP Engine Review.
WP Engine is an example of a specialized managed, WordPress-centered hosting service.
Opting for managed hosting services is an ideal choice if you are a website owner who doesn’t want to be that involved in website management.
That, and additional criteria like adding more speed or security to your website or if you want a website that does automatic backups and software updates, are points to consider if you need a managed WordPress hosting.
This article is a review of WP Engine, arguably one of the best managed hosting services for WordPress out there.
Here, we will cover what WP Engine brings to the table, what plans they offer, and the value they offer for the price you pay.
Overview of WP Engine
WP Engine has been around since 2010 and ever since has been building towards becoming what is now one of the world leaders in managed WordPress hosting platforms in the space.
WP Engine offers fantastic uptime and is a high-performance and high-quality hosting service with WordPress-focused security which has real-time threat detection capabilities and a whole array of premium hosting features to make managing your WordPress Website a breeze.
WP Engine Offers These Features
WP Engine is a WordPress-based shared and exclusive hosting for WordPress and its associated themes, plugins and installations, with WordPress (the content management side of things) pre-installed already which creates a great user experience off the bat.
When you create content, WP Engine works in the same way as any self-hosted WordPress installation, and it is really easy to create pages and other website features.
A lot of functions are automated depending on which plan you choose.
Additionally, each plan puts limits on the number of visits your website can receive per month, storage, speeds and the number of sites it can manage. The comparison of plans will be looked at later in this review.
WP Engine offers unique features that other hosting providers do not offer.
Some of these include the ability to use Git version control, the ability to stage sites for testing instantly so that you can iterate any changes that need to be made quickly and effectively.
WP Engine also offers transferable WordPress installation from free to paid accounts, as well as free SSL and SSH certificates and access, respectively.
There are a number of advanced and premium security features that WP Engine offers.
For instance, WP Engine always thoroughly checks their core updates before upgrading your site as a customer.
They have their own exclusive threat detection and prevention facilities to prevent any DDoS attacks, malware and a whole host of other potential attacks that may occur on your site.
Additionally, they also have third-party security firms with whom they conduct code reviews and security audits to ensure that everything is safe and running smoothly.
Customer is Key
The WP Engine team is filled with dedicated support experts who are available to support you 24/7 either through live chat or phone support (depending on the plan you choose).
For more complex issues, there will be a support ticket generated for your query and will be fixed as soon as possible.
They are continuously improving on their already fabulous 97% score for customer satisfaction and apart from directly interacting with their support team, WP Engine offers a huge resource library which allows you to get to grips with how the software works.
Speed and Uptime
The uptime of a website is a critical aspect of a hosting service.
If your site is down, potential visitors will not be able to find your site or access any of your products or services which is a serious detractor for potential clients and you may never see their business.
When using WP Engine, you can expect your uptimes to remain at levels of at least 99.95%. This is incredibly stable and can probably count on them to provide you a solid web hosting service experience.
WP Engine partners with MaxCDN to offer a content delivery network or CDN which makes hosting superfast.
The loading times of a site hosted with WP Engine can load in less than half a second without any additional performance optimization tools installed.
E-Commerce and Email Marketing
Apart from web hosting and management, WP Engine has e-commerce hosting plans where you can create one-click stores, and optimize store themes, templates and plugin updates.
The plugins are from Shopify and Mail Flow as just some of the many examples of companies that allow you to gain access to your customers’ email addresses for email marketing.
One thing to note regarding emails is that WP Engine does not offer emails or domain names-you will have to sign up for this with a third-party company.
Premium WordPress Themes
With WP Engine, you can access over to all StudioPress themes from the Genesis framework for free – this is after the recent acquisition of the theme company Studio Press.
The themes offered under Genesis are known to be SEO friendly and their coding is optimized for loading page times quickly without loss of functionality.
If you find an issue with their service in any way, shape or form, WP Engine offers an unbelievable 60-day money-back guarantee for a full refund.
Please note that this generally only applies to annual billing plans and not month-to-month billing plans.
WP Engine Pros and Cons Summary
- A definite pro in our books is the advanced security features offered, no matter the plan.
- Speed and reliability are next on the list. The load times and the uptimes that are guaranteed when using WP Engine as a host. The front-end layer of WP Engine can handle a lot of traffic at any one time.
- The support offered by WP Engine is of an extremely high quality and filled with expertise.
- Not being able to create an email address or register a domain is a downfall to this service, as it means you cannot just use one platform for everything you need to do.
- It is pricey! In comparison to shared hosting options, WP Engine is super expensive.
Pricing And Value For Money
WP Engine offers four different set pricing plans, which are detailed below. For more information on their pricing options, visit their website.
This is the most basic plan you can get with WP Engine and will cost you (at the time of writing this article) $25 per month if you buy it annually or $30 if you do a month-to-month subscription.
You will have limits to 25,000 visits to your site per month, 50 GB of bandwidth per month, 10 GB storage and only be allowed to manage one site.
This package is supposed to be suitable for small businesses and bloggers starting out, but it is still quite expensive and may offer much more than what you need.
Realistically, a blogger just starting out will not ever reach 25,000 visitors. This option is more viable if you have a steady flow of this volume of visitors and blogs that make good money.
The professional plan is in the middle between entry-level websites and huge websites.
With this plan, you will get hosting caps on 75,000 visits per month, 125 GB bandwidth per month, 15 GB storage, and you will be able to manage three different sites.
If you are a well-established business, and you are getting a lot of traffic on your website, this plan may be suitable for you and since you are only paying $49 per month on the annual billing plan, it may be worth the investment considering all the pros of the hosting software.
This plan targets fast-growing businesses and is capped to 100,000 visits per month, 200 GB bandwidth per month, 25 GB storage and 10 sites are able to be managed by WP Engine.
It is a good option as you will also be able to access 24/7 phone support and live chat support, which comes in handy when complex issues come up.
At the time of writing, this plan costs $95 per month on the annual subscription plan.
With a massive 400,000 visits per month, 500 GB bandwidth per month, 50 GB storage and an incredible 30 websites included, the Scale plan is good for a business that is upscaling from an SMB style business to a corporation.
It will set you back $241 per month on the annual billing option (at the time of writing this article).
Additionally, there is a Custom plan which is recommended when you have a multinational business or a website that needs to be put together rapidly.
With this plan, you are allowed millions of visits per month, over 400 GB bandwidth per month and up to a terabyte of storage as well as 30 sites to manage.
To access the Custom plan, a salesperson will generate a personalized quote for you for WP Engine to make sure that all your requirements are met.
Furthermore, for an additional $20 per month per site, you can access additional websites on the plan.
One thing to remember if you do this is that you will still have the same resources in terms of bandwidth and storage allowances.
There are also a whole host of other paid extras you can add to your plan depending on your needs.
Regardless of the plan you choose to use, you will receive the same performance levels across the board, which is the most important thing.
For more detailed information on their pricing plans, check out their website.
Is WP Engine Good Value For Money?
WP Engine is expensive, especially when compared to shared hosting services.
Some shared hosting platforms can take on just as much traffic as WP Engine for much less money, and you can get dedicated hosting for the same price.
The monetary investment you are making when you decide to use WP Engine is for security, speed, performance and reliability reasons.
So it comes down to what you value more when looking for a web hosting service, is it budget or security?
Alternatives To WP Engine
WP Engine Review: Final Verdict
We find that WP Engine is a fantastic managed hosting service for managing your websites.
It offers technical functionalities like none other which include optimal site performance, security that is of extremely high quality and more.
For a professional site with substantial traffic, WP Engine makes a great hosting solution.
However, given its price tag and all that it does offer, it may not be for everyone just based on the fact that if you are a small business or a new blogger with only a couple of thousand visitors a month, you won’t need all the functionality that WP Engine offers.
Additionally, there are much cheaper alternative options that work as well as WP Engine does.
Regardless, what WP Engine offers is exceptional and makes for an excellent web hosting service. You, as the website owner will need to decide if it is the right type of investment for you.