WP Engine — Overview
WP Engine specializes in managed WordPress hosting. Their plans include a free SSL certificate, daily backups, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
If you use WordPress, this is certainly one of your best hosting options. Over 40 of our users have reviewed WP Engine, and they’ve given this provider especially high ratings for quality, features, and support.
We’ll review everything else you need to know about WP Engine below.
1. Pros and Cons of WP Engine
Before we go into more detail, let’s take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages to using WP Engine:
- 24/7 customer support
- Easily create a WordPress site with one click
- Excellent performance due to highly-scalable caching system
- Automatic backup and disaster recovery included for free with every plan
- Pricier than other hosting options
- Hosting for WordPress only
2. WP Engine Hosting Plans
WP Engine offers three standard plans, and you can also have a custom plan created to suit your specific needs.
|Storage||10 GB||20 GB||50 GB|
|Price (per month)||$30||$115||$290|
All of these WordPress hosting plans are managed by WP Engine, so you won’t need to worry about installs, updates, or security patches.
And you can create your WordPress website with just one click. WP Engine takes care of all the technical stuff for you.
Having enhanced technical support and one-click features allows you to focus on your business, eliminating unnecessary stress.
In addition to convenience, WP Engine also provides enhanced performance for WordPress users.
Their architecture is built on WP Engine’s proprietary EverCache. This is one of the most scalable systems for caching WordPress available, which means that your website will be able to handle traffic spikes without experiencing performance issues.
And this is not just reserved for higher-paying customers. Every WP Engine user benefits from their exceptional server architecture.
A staging area is provided with all plans. This lets you test a copy of your website instead of making changes to your live site.
As a result, changes made in the staging area won’t interfere with your visitors’ ability to use your website.
WP Engine’s staging server dashboard
All plans also include an SSL certificate. This improves security, and it gets your site a small search ranking boost with Google.
Higher-tier plans allow you to use your own single or wildcard SSL with a dedicated IP address. But you cannot do this with the Startup plan, so keep that in mind before signing up.
WP Engine includes a content delivery network (CDN) with all hosting plans as well.
When someone accesses your website, they’ll receive cached content from the server that is closest to them. This significantly shortens the loading time of your website for people who are farther away from the data center where your website is hosted.
Unlike many other providers, WP Engine puts a hard limit on the number of monthly visitors you can serve with each plan. If you go over your limit, you will be charged extra.
So, if you decide to choose WP Engine for your hosting needs, remember to keep an eye on your website statistics and consider upgrading your plan if you regularly get close to reaching your traffic limit.
3. Customer Support
All WP Engine users have access to 24/7 live chat support. You can access this support from your control panel.
Not only will their customer service team help you out whenever you have an issue, but they can also identify performance roadblocks in order to prevent issues before they occur.
All you need to do is make a request, and then a WP Engine team member will review your website and find ways to make it run faster.
WP Engine has a specific team of people dedicated to improving customer experience.
This team takes feedback from customers and shares it with the product development team. They help the company implement suggested changes in order to better meet the needs of their user base.
This shows how strongly WP Engine values their customers. The company boasts a customer satisfaction rate of over 97%.
Self-Help Support Center
A lot of people like to solve problems on their own. So, the knowledge base of a hosting company is an extremely important asset.
When I’m looking through a hosting company’s support pages, I want to see a clean design, a search function, FAQs, and long, detailed articles including step-by-step directions.
WP Engine checks all of these boxes. Their support page is organized into sections such as:
- How to set up your website
- How to troubleshoot problems
- Tips on managing your account
Guides and tutorials in each of these sections will help you complete these tasks. The help articles also include relevant screenshots and videos where appropriate.
WP Engine has a resource center with many helpful blog-type articles to browse through.
For example, you can select e-commerce articles for website owners. This will give you articles such as the one that compares WooCommerce and Shopify.
You can also sort their knowledge base by videos or infographics if you prefer a more visual approach. Overall, their content is well-written and informative.
When you sign up for an account, you can choose the country where your datacenter is located. WP Engine gives you the following options:
- United Kingdom
- United States
However, some of these countries will be considered as an add-on to your plan. You’ll need to pay a little bit more to host your website in these locations.
WP Engine provides both snapshot backups and automatic daily backups for your websites.
A snapshot is what WP Engine calls a quick backup of your website. These backups allow you to make changes to your website without any risk of losing data.
Downloadable snapshots in WP Engine’s dashboard
These snapshots are downloadable, so you can back them up to different locations. These backups include all of the content on your website, your themes, and your plugins.
WP Engine conducts daily backups automatically for you. They’ll also ensure that a backup is created before they update WordPress, just in case the new WordPress update wreaks havoc on your website.
To roll back your website to a previous version, WP Engine gives you simple one-click restores. The restored version will be ready to go in under a minute.
Where Are Backups Stored?
WP Engine’s automatic daily backups are stored in a separate location from your website — not just on a separate server in the datacenter, but in a whole separate geographical location.
This adds another layer of protection for your data, making it nearly impossible to lose.
Security is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a web hosting company. If your host doesn’t make security a priority, that’s a huge red flag.
WP Engine hosts large brands, so they need to meet top security standards. And users of their cheapest plan enjoy the same security measures offered to the big guys.
WP Engine automatically upgrades your WordPress application when minor patches are released. And when WordPress releases a major update, they will test it thoroughly before giving their customers the recommendation to upgrade.
You can work with WP Engine’s experts to install a major upgrade to your WordPress application. This will ensure that the process is painless and you don’t lose any valuable data.
WP Engine’s security features include real-time threat detection, and they’ve developed rule sets specifically for WordPress to prevent attacks before they can happen. They log millions of threats on a daily basis and block DDoS attacks.
To keep account users protected from other people on the same server, WP Engine separates them on the filesystem and kernel level.
And the company engages in malware scanning, continuously monitoring their networks for malicious behavior from within. They also run firewalls to protect against outside attacks.
Even though WP Engine’s security measures should be enough to keep you safe from hackers, they’ll fix your site for free if it is compromised.
In the admin portal, you can see all of the WordPress installs you have on your account. You can also add additional workspaces to keep them organized.
WP Engine plans start at $30 per month. All plans include a staging environment.
For example, if you were hosting multiple WordPress websites, you could create a separate workspace for each of them. Another option would be to make a workspace for all WordPress websites of the same type. This would be useful for people hosting client websites or managing multiple projects.
You can select a WordPress project and view general information about it in the overview tab. This will show you up-to-date information about the number of website visitors, bandwidth usage, and how much storage space you’ve taken up on the server.
You’ll also be notified of core WordPress updates that you can install with one click.
7. Page Performance Tests
Customers also have access to page performance tests, which allow you to check on the load times and page speed of your websites.
WP Engine will give you a score representing how well your page is caching its content.
They’ll also show you how long it takes for the page to start loading, how long it takes until the page is fully visible to the site visitor, and how long it takes for the page to be completely loaded.
View of a WP Engine performance test
Based on the results of your performance test, WP Engine will provide some recommendations to optimize content caching and help your pages load faster.
Performance and Stability
Based on my tests with Pingdom over the last year, WP Engine’s performance and stability has been excellent. You can see the data in the following screenshot:
Uptime data and server response times for WP Engine
As you can see in the previous image, the performance grade was almost perfect: it gave me an A and a score of 99…that was an astonishing result!
The page load speeds were just as good with an average of 301 ms (more recently, the speeds have been even better, with an average of less than 289 ms). This is better than just about every other web host I’ve tested.
Frequently Asked Questions about WP Engine:
What is WP Engine?
WP Engine is a hosting company that focuses completely on WordPress. They provide many tools that make running a WordPress site easier, and their uptime and page load speeds are better than almost every other host.
How is WP Engine optimized for hosting WordPress sites?
WP Engine has a proprietary front-end system designed to work with WordPress. This layer has security features that protect your website from hackers. It also reduces server load and can handle traffic spikes without slowing down your site.
What unique features does WP Engine have?
One of WP Engine’s most popular features is its staging area, which you can use to create a new development environment for testing themes, plugins, and other changes before incorporating them into your live site.
They also offer one-click restore points, unlimited data transfer, a CDN, proprietary caching technology, malware scanning, managed WordPress updates, and daily backups.
Is WP Engine worth the price?
For those who would need to pay someone to maintain and optimize their hosting backend, it is clearly worth the cost.
Will WP Engine transfer my WordPress website for me?
Yes, WP Engine does provide a WordPress website migration service free of charge.
Can I use WP Engine’s services without an existing WordPress website?
Yes, you can sign up for their hosting plans even without an existing WordPress website. Then, you can use their platform to build your site.
Can I use e-commerce or membership plugins?
Yes, there are no limitations on e-commerce or membership plugins.
Does WP Engine allow multisite installs?
Multisite features are allowed on all plans.
Does WP Engine provide SSL certificates?
Yes, a Let’s Encrypt certificate is available on all their plans.
Which payment methods does WP Engine accept?
WP Engine accepts all major credit cards. Monthly and yearly plans are available.
WP Engine Review Summary:
The best things about WP Engine are their speed and security. With servers built to meet the requirements of large organizations, WP Engine can handle almost anything thrown at it.
The company’s expert WordPress support team is another great reason to consider this provider for your projects.
And WP Engine customers also get the Genesis Framework and StudioPress theme library for free — that’s over $2,000 in value.
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