In this WP Engine Review, I will cover everything I know about WPE to help you decide if their hosting is best for your WordPress site. I will also provide you with 2 WP Engine Alternatives that you can use.
For anyone that is starting a WordPress site, choosing the right web hosting provider is more difficult than you thought. There are countless hosting options in the market right now.
A strong hosting candidate for WordPress websites is WP Engine. WP Engine has been around for quite some time now, and has become the leader in managed WordPress hosting. It is the company a lot of webmasters turn to when they need hosting that is optimized for WordPress.
What is WP Engine?
WP Engine (also known as WPE and WordPress Engine) is a managed WordPress hosting provider that is optimized for sites built with WordPress – and it only works for WordPress.
As mentioned above, a managed WordPress hosting provider such as WP Engine is designed for WordPress sites, and does not work with Joomla, Drupal, or any other application script. This type of web hosting increases the overall site performance without having to install performance boosting plugins that most shared hosting providers recommend.
The major benefits of using a provider such as WP Engine include increased site performance, automatic WordPress updates, improved security, and extensive WordPress support. But, all of these added benefits come at a slightly higher cost that I will discuss later in this WP Engine review.
8 key advantages and pros of using WP Engine
There are many pros and advantages of using WP Engine as your primary hosting solution for your WordPress site. WP Engine offers increased security, automatic updates, and improved performance, which is something all site owners need and look for in a hosting provider.
Here are the 7 pros of using WP Engine:
1. Increased hosting reliability and performance
The most important thing a web host can offer you is server reliability and above-average site performance. For instance, if the hosting servers are constantly down and performing poorly, your site will suffer and potentially cost you money.
Well, WP Engine has a solution for that. First, they offer two data center locations, 1 in the United States and 1 in the United Kingdom. You have the option to choose the data center location regardless of where you are at. For instance, if you anticipate that most of your traffic is coming from the United States, a data center location in the United States is what you should consider choosing. The 2 data center locations are chosen strategically for optimal performance and connectivity all over the world.
Second, WP Engine employs and pays a third-party security firm that takes care of both data center locations. This means that the hosting servers are safe and monitored 24 hours a day. For instance, in the rare event that either data center is hacked, the security will know about it right away and begin the process of fixing the problem.
Lastly, as mentioned multiple times in this WP Engine Review, WPE is optimized and geared only for WordPress sites, so you can expect to get the best resources to use to host your WordPress site.
2. 100% server uptime
While it may not be clear in the terms and conditions, WP Engine guarantees a 100% uptime for their hosting servers. And, in the event that you experience any downtime, a credit of 5% for every hour of downtime is applied to your monthly bill. However, for some odd reason, the company does not keep a record of their uptime history. You do not have the option to view the reliability of their hosting servers without trying them first.
3. Enhanced and user-friendly control panel
If you never had the chance to use anything other than shared hosting, you will notice that the control panel interface is slightly different. The initial setup is user-friendly and is completed fairly quickly – you choose a domain name that you want, and WP Engine automatically installs WordPress on that domain for you.
On the WordPress dashboard page (this is on your admin backend on your actual site), there is a WP Engine tab where you can view your hosting details, control key features of the platform, follow the links that will take you to different areas inside of your hosting control panel.
As mentioned above, WP Engine manages the caching for you, so you do not need to install and configure any third-party caching plugins on your site. Here is the primary control panel inside of your WP Engine account:
From the main control panel (this is inside your WP Engine account), you can set up domain redirects, install additional WordPress sites, view hosting statistics, and ask for assistance. WP Engine makes the entire hosting process simple, even if this is your first time setting up hosting on your site.
4. Automatic WordPress updates
The creators of WordPress are constantly working to improve the software, whether it is to release new features or fix security vulnerabilities. On average, they release at least 2 to 3 updates a year. Thankfully, WP Engine updates your WordPress software for you, as soon as a new update is released.
Automatic updates are very important as the chances of hackers exploiting the software vulnerabilities and damaging your website are reduced. Other hosting companies make you update your WordPress software manually, which is not hard at all. To update to the newest version of WordPress, login to your WordPress admin backend, click on updates on the Dashboard tab, and then click on update WordPress.
If you are not accessing your site on a daily basis, the automatic WP Engine WordPress updates are beneficial and convenient.
5. Transferable installs
If you are a developer, this feature will be useful for you. Transferable installs give you the option to get started on a project before your client sets up their hosting account. You can work on a project to completion and then simply “push” or transfer the install into your clients account. In particular, this feature allows the developer to retain complete control of the install until the final bill is paid.
6. Free WordPress migration
You can transfer an existing WordPress site to WP Engine using their free Automated Migration plugin. The process is completed within a few minutes and without any technical knowledge. For instance, if you have a WordPress site that is hosted with a different hosting company, you need to install the migration plugin and start the process.
7. 24/ 7 WordPress support
Whether you have a WordPress blog or store, you need a hosting provider that is capable of assisting you with both minor and complex troubleshooting. Technical support is an area that WP Engine does exceptionally well. The company offers you 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email ticketing.
Their support department is competent and knows just about everything relating to WordPress. If you are building a WordPress website, you need a support structure similar to this – even though WordPress has a support forum that is dedicated to their software.
While looking through other WP Engine reviews on different social networking sites, I found that current WP Engine customers seem to have rave reviews for their support department, which is always a plus.
8. Customers love WP Engine
From the moment you visit WP Engine to the moment you buy web hosting, the process is user-friendly and welcoming. Aside from the exceptional hosting speed and reliability, that is the reason why current customers love WP Engine.
- Who Is Hosting This, a site that allows users to post web hosting reviews, gave WP Engine a 4.1 rating (out of 5) based on 38 user reviews.
- Host Advice, another site that allows users to post web hosting reviews, gave WP Engine a 9.9 rating (out of 10) based on 8 user reviews.
Here is what customers are saying about WP Engine:
- Jonathan Sufi of Shrine of Apple said: “We are absolutely thrilled with WP Engine! The performance is great, and best of all, the support!”
- Kyle Klement, a commenter on Host Advice said: “WP Engine is the perfect WordPress Hosting Solution.”
- Peter Anania said via Facebook: “I love WP Engine. You make managing client sites easy.”
3 cons and problems with WP Engine
Despite all of the advantages discussed above, WP Engine is not a perfect hosting solution. These are the cons and problems that may arise when using WP Engine for hosting your WordPress website:
- WP Engine works only for sites built with WordPress and will not work with any other applications.
- Exceeding the set number of visitors and storage may result in additional monthly charges ($1 per 1,000 visitors over the limit).
- Certain plugins are prohibited and you will not be able to install and use them.
WP Engine plans
WP Engine offers you 3 regular monthly plans – the cheapest plan costs $29 a month and the most expensive plan costs $249 a month. In addition, they offer a Premium and Enterprise plan that are geared towards extremely large WordPress sites, and they offer a custom pricing structure that is built around your WordPress site.
- Personal – $29/month or $290/year
Their most basic plan offers a single WordPress install and up to 25,000 visits per month. A second WordPress install costs you an additional $14.95/month.
- Professional – $99/month or $990/year
The professional plan offers 10 WordPress installs and 100,000 visits per month. This plan is well-suited for users that are managing multiple WordPress sites.
- Business – $249/month or $2,490/year
This plan offers 25 WordPress installs and 400,000 visits per month. This plan is suited for users that manage multiple sites or have a site with a lot of traffic.
If you happen to go over the monthly visits threshold, WP Engine will charge you $1 for every 1,000 visits that you go over your limit.
WP Engine coupon
You can get a 20% discount on your first three months of hosting by using this link and entering coupon code WPE20OFF at checkout.
Step 1: To get the coupon, go to WPEngine.com.
Step 2: Click on “Plans” in the header right next to the WP Engine logo. Choose one of the hosting plans.
Step 3: You are now on the checkout page. Choose the subscription length, monthly payments or annual prepayments. Fill out the billing information.
Step 4: Upon completing Step 3, the plan you choose is on the right and there is a coupon code box right above the total price. In that box, type WPE20OFF and click on “Apply.” The 20% discount is now applied to the price and the price should be lower.
WP Engine Alternatives
If, for whatever reason, you feel that WP Engine is not for you, but you need managed WordPress hosting, here are the best alternatives to WP Engine (I also wrote separate post on the best WP Engine Alternatives that you can read).
Alternative #1: Pressidium
Pressidium is a fairly new managed WordPress provider, but it quickly built a reputation for their great service and hosting performance. The web host uses their own Pinnacle Platform that provides you with enterprise architecture for every hosting plan.
The web host offers you a 60-day money-back guarantee on all hosting plans. Resources include 1 to 50 WordPress installations and 10,000 to 1,000,000 visitors per month depending on the plan you choose. All hosting plans include unlimited bandwidth and in-house Pinnacle Platform architecture.
- Micro: $24.90 a month or $249 a year
- Personal: $49.90 a month or $499 a year
- Professional: $149.90 a month or $1499 a year
- Business: $299.90 a month or $2999 a year
- Business Plus: $599.90 a month or $5999 a year
Alternative #2: Pressable
Pressable is an experienced managed WordPress hosting provider that is used by some big name clients such as Whirlpool, Estee Lauder, and The American Genius. They have a strong partnership with Google PageSpeed, which is why Pressable is able to deliver blazing fast site performance.
Their hosting plans are priced based on the number of WordPress sites you run and your projected level of monthly visitors. You can purchase a hosting plan on a monthly or yearly basis, whichever option fits your needs. Each plan offers a 15-day free trial.
- 1-5 sites: $25 a month or $249.96 a year
- 10 sites: $45 a month or $450 a year
- 20 sites: $90 a month or $900 a year
- Agency: Over 30 sites for $135 a month
- VIP: Over 100 sites for $750 a month
WP Engine Review – Do I really need WP Engine?
WP Engine is one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers and it offers a lot of benefits for WordPress sites. Here is a quick summary of the main benefits:
- Fast hosting servers – thanks to their built in caching technologies.
- Secure, malware protected hosting platform.
- Expert WordPress support.
- Highly scalable hosting.
- Competitive pricing.
The 2 major drawbacks that I found of using WP Engine are restricted plugins and limited traffic levels on all plans. However, their hosting is optimized for WordPress, so you will not need a lot of the plugins that you are using now anyways.
So, should I switch to WP Engine? Yes and no, it depends on the below criteria.
You should switch over to WP Engine only if:
- You are exceeding the resources with your current shared hosting provider.
- You have more than 20,000 visitors a month.
- You already generate sufficient income from your current WordPress website.
- You are going to continue using WordPress in the foreseeable future.
- You do not like handling WordPress errors and optimization techniques.
- You are paranoid about hackers and security.
You should wait before shifting your website over to WP Engine if:
- You have a site with little traffic – generally under 20,000 visitors a month.
- You generate only moderate income from your current website.
- You publish content occasionally.
That concludes this WP Engine Review. I hope that I was able to motivate you enough to switch over to WP Engine – considering that you meet the criteria above. If you are already using WP Engine, please share your experience by posting a comment below.
If you are interested in trying WP Engine today; use the below link to get a 20% discount off the total price (use coupon code WPE20OFF).