WP Engine Evaluation
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WP Engine is one of the best managed WordPress hosting services for website owners who want a hands-on approach to website management. With great availability, a powerful hosting environment, real-time threat detection, and loads of premium hosting features, WP Engine is the best WordPress hosting service for managed hosting.
WP Engine compared to the best web hosting for WordPress
WordPress web hosting services are a dozen, and WP Engine has been criticized as one of the most expensive in the range. If, like us, you believe the saying that time is money, it's easy to justify WP Engine's relatively expensive plans. WP Engine is one of the best managed hosting services that effectively takes care of the three tabs of the web apocalypse: downtime, internet safety, and page load speed.
We've also reviewed six other candidates for best web hosting for WordPress. Each of the seven is great in certain categories. Before you sign up for WP Engine, be sure to check out all of our top tips and let us advise you on choosing the best ones.
Who is WP Engine best for?
WP Engine is a managed hosting service, so people who want a hands-on approach to web hosting come to mind right away. However, if you run a small blog or website with a few thousand visitors a month, there are much cheaper alternatives that work just as well as WP Engine.
However, if you are interested in the technical aspects of web hosting but don't want to get your hands dirty, WP Engine is for you. If factors like site performance, security, backup, cloud platform flexibility, migrations, and optimization keep you updated at night, WP Engine could be the partner of your dreams.
Due to the rather high (but justified) price, we recommend this web host especially for:
- Medium to large publishers
- WordPress websites based primarily on online sales
- Fast growing startups
- Professional web designers and developers
For professional WordPress developers, this managed hosting service allows you to create websites from scratch or make changes to an existing website. Developers can create, launch, and submit the site in the WP Engine staging environment.
WP Engine only does one thing: managed hosting for WordPress websites. No need to choose between dedicated servers, VPS, shared servers, etc. If you want a hands-on approach to website hosting and server management for a medium to high traffic website, you can hardly think of a better solution than WP Engine.
WP Engine: the pros and cons
WP Engine focuses on managed WordPress hosting, a business model that has enabled the company to offer unrivaled services in many ways. With access to tons of e-commerce tools, email marketing tools, over 35 Studio Press themes, and tons of WordPress plugins, it's easy to scale your online business or presence.
WP Engine has a 97% customer satisfaction rate and it's easy to see why. The company accepts customer feedback and has a dedicated development team that implements suggestions for changes and new functional ideas. In short, you can expect your experience with WP Engine to improve over the years.
However, WP Engine can have a steep learning curve. This web host is aimed at customers with at least some technical experience. To help the less tech-savvy customers, the web host has an extensive self-help support center. Get detailed step-by-step instructions with screenshots, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), in-depth articles, and other resources to help simplify the learning curve.
In addition, WP Engine has multiple data centers worldwide to serve content to your visitors based on their location. This function takes the load off your server and makes all the difference in peak times or in the case of unexpected peaks in traffic. The data centers are located in:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Exceptional loading speed: If website loading speed is your top priority, WP Engine is well placed in this regard. The combination of custom NGINX extension, integrated content delivery network (CDN) and SSD technology of the host ensures that your web pages load quickly. The NGINX extension prioritizes human requirements over robot requirements and provides load balancing to provide a better experience for your visitors. CDN, in turn, delivers website content to your visitors based on their location to increase your website speed and reduce latency. You get this feature for free on all WP Engine plans.
High performance: It's hard to beat WP Engine's performance, which is why people keep paying a premium price for this service. WP Engine guarantees a server availability of 99.95%, approximately four and a half hours of downtime per year. With the extended SLA, you can further increase your availability to 99.99%, resulting in downtime of just under an hour per year. WP Engine compensates you with hosting credits if your availability falls short of the guarantee.
Good customer support: WP Engine has received significant backlash due to poor customer support, and the company appears to have got the hint. The hosting service has a transparent and traceable ticket system with which you can contact customer support via chat. The support team has an excellent knowledge base and can help you resolve issues quickly. You will get 24/7 phone support for all plans except the growth plan, as well as 24/7 live chat support for all plans.
Useful staging environment: In the staging area, you can clone the live version of your site and make changes or test new plugins and themes. Anything you do in the staging area doesn't affect your live site. This feature allows developers to work on websites without affecting the functionality or user experience of the live site.
Transferable installations: This feature is also aimed at developers and allows you to create a website from your WP Engine account. You don't have to wait for the client to add you to their WordPress website. When done, you can push the site to the client or host the site on WP Engine. This functionality saves time if you regularly create websites for customers.
WordPress-only hosting: If you're using any content management system other than WordPress, you're out of luck. WP Engine only works with WordPress. From a business perspective, it makes sense to focus on a single market and offer exceptional services in this area. However, this model locks out many people who might otherwise benefit from WP Engine's services.
No domains or email hosting: If you'd prefer to host your email account and register your domain through your website host, you'll need to look elsewhere. You need to use third party services for domain registration or email accounts.
Inflexible prices: WP Engine has a tight ship, which is reflected in the price structure. You will be penalized for exceeding the visitor limits on your plan. This might not be a problem if you have predictable traffic and can update your plan whenever your website grows. However, significant traffic spikes during product launches or seasonal deals can create significant overhead costs.
WP Engine Pricing
There's no other way to put it: WP Engine is expensive. Is it worth the cost? The answer is to find out what you are paying for.
You can get shared hosting that can handle the same traffic as WP Engine for a fraction of the price. You can even get dedicated hosting for the same price as WP Engine. What you are really paying for here is safety, performance, speed, and most importantly, peace of mind. The final question is how much are these things worth to you?
With that in mind, let's take a look at WP Engine's pricing plans.
The startup package is the most basic plan and will bring you back $ 25 a month. With this package you get:
- 25,000 visits per month
- 50 GB of bandwidth per month
- 10 GB storage space
- One side included
WP Engine is targeting small websites and blogs with this plan, but we believe this can be overkill for most of the people in this category. With shared hosting, you can get a far better deal at Bluehost.
However, if you don't want to take any chances with availability or need a guarantee that your website can handle 25,000 visitors per month, WP Engine is a safe choice. We recommend this option to small businesses, affiliate websites, and blogs that are making good money, and want the reassurance that nothing will change.
You can save $ 60 a year or two months for free if you pay annually.
The growth plan is aimed at growing businesses and will cost you $ 95 per month. Here you get:
- 100,000 visits per month
- 200 GB of bandwidth per month
- 25 GB memory
- Ten websites contain a while
This plan is a great entry point for a growing company. It may take a while before you need to upgrade. With this plan, in addition to 24/7 chat support, you also get 24/7 phone support. This addition is useful when you have a complex problem that you need to solve quickly.
Annual billing can save you a cool $ 230 or two months for free.
WP Engine is promoting its scaling plan as the best value option. This costs $ 241 per month. Here you get:
- 400,000 visits per month
- 500 GB of bandwidth per month
- 50 GB storage
- 30 websites included
We recommend this option for a rapidly growing blog or business. In addition to the support center, you get 24/7 live chat and phone support around the clock.
The annual prepayment can save $ 580 or two months for free.
If you have a mission-critical website or a large company, the custom plan might be appealing. With this plan you will get:
- Millions of visits per month
- 400 GB + bandwidth per month
- 100 GB – 1 TB storage
- 30 websites included
You need to speak to a sales rep to get your personalized quote that suits your needs. This plan also offers proprietary support in case something should go wrong.
WP Engine product offerings
WP Engine divides its product range into four categories:
- Creative agility (site building & management)
- Ecosystem integration (open source flexibility)
- Business performance (location speed, scale and security)
- Actionable Intelligence (Site Analytics)
Local development of the WP Engine
WP Engine provides a full-featured on-premises environment that gives developers more freedom and flexibility. You will still get access to your favorite debugging tools including Xdebug, WP-CLI, and MailHog.
With the one-click WordPress installation, you can start building your local WordPress site right away. You can also work in your preferred environment including MySQL and hot-swap PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.3.
Automatic migration of the WP Engine
Fortunately, you don't need any technical steps to migrate your existing website to WP Engine. The hosting service has a painless WP Migration plugin that allows you to migrate your site, import your database, and replace domain values on your behalf.
WP Engine environments
WP Engine offers three environments including development, deployment, and production. Access to all environments is included in your plan at no extra charge.
In the development and staging environments, you can make changes or modifications without affecting your live website. By creating a replica of your live website, you can check for bugs without losing website functionality. You don't need to go into maintenance mode to make changes.
Automated backups of the WP Engine
Aside from the more development-oriented features, WP Engine automatically backs up your website every day to keep your data safe. You can also manually back up your site. Up to 40 savepoints and up to 60 current savepoints are available when you contact support.
Rolling back your website to a previous version is as easy as choosing a savepoint and clicking restore.
WP Engine CDN and SSL Certificates
With a single click of a button, you get free access to the global content delivery network (CDN). This feature allows you to distribute large static assets such as images to different server locations around the world. Your users enjoy faster download speeds even during peak traffic. CDN is available in all WP Engine plans.
You will also receive a free SSL certificate that can be used to add an extra layer of encryption to your site.
WP Engine Proprietary EverCache®
With EverCache, you don't have to worry about the impact of increased traffic on your page speed. This function automatically caches static content on your website. In addition, the system evaluates all of your incoming data traffic and determines which ones to serve and which to block.
EverCache is an integrated caching system that you can adapt to your individual caching rules.
Core updates and patches managed by WP Engine
The main attraction of managed web hosting is the hand-off approach to running your website. WP Engine automatically adds new options and features to the WordPress core to improve the functionality of your website. The host also automatically updates security and maintenance releases.
WP Engine rigorously tests all WordPress updates and you have the option to postpone some of the updates.
WP Engine Threat Detection & Blocking
One of the best features of WP Engine is its proprietary approach to security. The host logs all attempts to write to the disk and can quickly identify malicious and non-malicious code. Other security measures include unauthorized plugins (those known to have security flaws), a proprietary firewall that can automatically detect malicious traffic, and automatically blocking requests that attempt to look for author ID information.
WP Engine side performance
WP Engine lets you track your website's performance right from the dashboard. You get access to performance and speed data for all of your websites, including historical data. You can keep an eye on your performance over time. It is not always easy to see the effects of new site features or plugins. WP Engine allows you to see the performance and impact of changes in real time.
WP Engine WordPress Plugins
WP Engine gives you access to 55,000+ WordPress plugins, including popular options like Yoast SEO and Classic Editor. The WordPress Plugin Directory gives you access to the largest library of free WordPress plugins.
WP Engine 24/7/365 support
Websites are prone to all kinds of emergencies, and WP Engine provides support around the clock. The average response time for live chat support is 3 minutes. You can reach customer support via live chat or phone call. The host also provides numerous resources that you can use to solve problems yourself.
The best web hosting for WordPress
WP Engine is just one of many great web hosting services for WordPress. You can find more options in our top offers. Find the perfect web host for your needs.
- Bluehost – Best WordPress New Website Hosting
- DreamHost – Most Versatile WordPress Hosting Plans
- Nexcess – The best for customized managed hosting solutions
- SiteGround – The best for scalable traffic
- WP Engine – Best Managed WordPress Hosting
- A2 Hosting – Best for Site Migrations
- IONOS from 1 & 1 – The best for pro users
The main thing you hear from reviewers of WP Engine is its high cost. Few people have real concerns about the host's actual product offering. If you run a small website or blog, you probably won't need most of the WP Engine features and functionality. However, if you have a medium to large website with tens of thousands of monthly visitors and you are growing rapidly, then you should seriously consider WP Engine. With this host you can concentrate on your core business and at the same time have the certainty that your website is available, fast, secure and ranked on Google.
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