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It’s no secret that WordPress is one of the best web content management systems with millions of users around the planet. That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise that many web hosting services will focus exclusively on WordPress.
WP Engine is an ultra-quality host with a wide variety of remarkable and unrivaled features. As a result, their enterprise-class plans don’t come at a cheap price.
In this WP Engine review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the managed WordPress hosting service.
This way, you’ll get a better idea about its strong and weak points, so you can build a better picture of what you’re signing up for. So without further ado, let’s dive in to see what it’s all about!
What Are the Pros and Cons of WP Engine?
If you’re in a hurry, or you’re looking for an easy way to grasp a quick idea about the host, this section will come in handy.
In the following list, I’ll state the best advantages and disadvantages of the managed WordPress hosting service.
- Optimized for WordPress hosting
- Flashing speed
- Outstanding customer service and expert staff
- Advanced security features
- Daily and free data backup and restore
- Remarkable uptime
- Impressive development and staging environment
- Free access to a huge selection of amazing themes
- Excellent guarantee on quality for a worry-free purchase
- Doesn’t force a long-term commitment plan
- Premium price tag
- Doesn’t offer email registration and email hosting
- Has a list of disallowed plugins
- Limited support for phones in startup plans
About WP Engine
WP Engine is a U.S. based privately owned company that specializes in managed WordPress hosting.
About 10 years ago, WP Engine started in Austin, Texas. Today, WP Engine is one of the biggest names in the industry with about 18 data centers to serve the entire world.
The company has a strong belief in the power of open-source technologies. In fact, they built their own platform with multiple open source technologies.
One of the strongest assets of WP Engine is its top-notch infrastructure network. They also partnered with a lot of big names in the technology industry, such as Google, New Relic, and AWS.
As of today, the successful company continues to prove itself as one of the best players in the field.
What Are the Best Features of WP Engine?
There are many reasons that make WP Engine one of the best in the market. Let’s have a quick look at some of the features it boasts.
WordPress Optimized Hosting
Since WP Engine is a hosting service specifically developed for WordPress hosting, the service is known for its excellent specialized hosting.
Being exclusive to one model makes everything optimized for it. This makes WP Engine an excellent example of speed, security, and reliability. Everything is made according to WordPress, so you won’t find any problems with compatibility.
This makes professional WordPress websites rely on WP Engine as their hosting service of choice. This adds to the convenience of the hosting service.
If you opt for WP Engine, you won’t have to do complex installs or updates. Additionally, you won’t have to surf the plugin libraries for the best options for your website. You also won’t have to worry about security patches for WordPress.
Instead, you only need to perform a simple one-click installation to have your WordPress website ready.
This protects you from falling into technical jargon where a lot of mistakes might be made. Meanwhile, WP Engine will be responsible for all the optimization needed to get you up and running.
WP Engine customers won’t have to go through technicalities, as the entire service is optimized to offer all their services with a single click.
This saves a lot of time and unnecessary stress while creating your WordPress website, leaving you to focus on improving your business.
Solid Service Infrastructure
As I previously mentioned, WP Engine cares a lot about its infrastructure. The reason behind that is the fact that a strong infrastructure and partnering is the reason behind its success.
The company has formed strong alliances with multiple tech companies to offer the best experience to its users.
Such connections helped the service to offer an excellent level of availability and scalability without compromising on speed and security.
According to Robert Kielty, the Affiliate Manager of WP Engine, having quality partners allowed them to improve their data centers. The company currently has 18 different data centers spanned around various locations in the world.
This gives the company a “global presence”, which allows them to serve customers from all over the world. However, the user will have a sense of support on a local level because his data center is always is never far. All that adds to the speed and performance of the service.
One of the best features of WP Engine is that it gives you the freedom of choosing the hosting datacenter.
When you complete your registration on the website, you can choose the country where the datacenter you want is located. Currently, WP Engine has operating data centers in:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
However, in some countries, you’ll need to pay for these data centers as an extra fee. In other words, you might have to pay a bit more to choose some of these locations as your website’s host.
A Wide Variety of Hosting Plans
WP Engine offers 3 standardized plans to choose from. These plans are Startup, Growth, and Scale. However, you can also customize your own plan to tailor it according to your needs.
Startup is the most basic plan that WP Engine offers. WP Engine regularly offers discounts and coupons on their plans, so the price of the plan isn’t constant. However, it’s usually under $30 a month.
This plan supports one WordPress website with 25,000 monthly visitors. Also, it has a maximum size of 50 GB of data transfer every month, plus a 10 GB storage space.
The next list moves things up a notch. Similar to all WP Engine plans, this one has a range of pricing throughout the year. While it’s usually priced at $115 per month, it can go as low as $77 a month.
The plan supports up to 5 WordPress websites with a higher number of monthly visitors at 100,000 visitors. It provides a storage space of about 20 GB with up to 200 GB of monthly data transfer.
The highest-end standard plan that WP Engine offers is the Scale plan. Despite being usually priced at $290, WP Engine offers decent discounts that can be as low as $193.
The top tier plan offers generous installations of WordPress, allowing it to support up to 15 WordPress websites. The plan also supports up to 400,000 visitors every month.
WP Engine recently boosted the maximum bandwidth of the plan. It currently supports up to 500 GB of monthly data transfers, updating it from 400 GB. Moreover, it also updated the total storage from 30 GB to 50 GB.
In addition to all the standard plans, WP Engine also offers a specialized plan that you can customize yourself. According to WP Engine, this plan is ideal for mission-critical sites and large businesses.
With this plan, you can host up to 30 different WordPress websites. Additionally, the plan can support up to millions of visitors per month.
You can also adjust the maximum local storage between 100 GB and 1 TB according to your needs. The monthly transferable data can be more than 400 GB.
For the Custom plan, pricing isn’t listed. Instead, you need to call a WP Engine sales representative to inquire more about the plan along with the pricing.
It goes without saying that this plan is more expensive than the other ones and may cost you a premium price. However, it puts everything WP Engine has to offer between your hands.
Ease of Use
Some web hosts pack their plans with tons of features. However, these features are highly complicated to the point they’re overwhelming and possibly useless.
WP Engine is a top-tier host that serves a lot of large and busy businesses. That’s why it puts the user-friendly experience as a top priority.
The WordPress host combines the abundance of features and the simplicity of utilizing them. Once you sign up for your plan and log in to the WP Engine portal, you’ll be able to create your WordPress website in no time.
All you have to do is to enter the name of the site and WP Engine will do all the leg work for you.
During the creation process, WP Engine will let you choose between starting from scratch or importing your WordPress settings from your existing site. This feature is extremely beneficial and saves a lot of time for those who have existing websites.
It takes a few minutes for your website to be ready. Once everything is done, you’ll be able to connect this website to your domain name through the WP Engine user portal.
The only downside to that process is that WP Engine doesn’t offer domain name registrations. In other words, you’ll have to buy the domain from another domain provider.
Similarly, you’ll need to find a third-party email provider, so you can send emails from your WordPress website. This is useful for sending bulk emails as a part of your newsletter or marketing campaign. Unfortunately, WP Engine doesn’t offer this feature.
Wide Variety of Themes to Choose From
Recently, WP Engine acquired StudioPress. This allows all WP Engine customers to get access to Studiopress’ genesis framework and its 35 premium WordPress themes. The great news is that this feature is included in all the plans.
The themes are easy to set up and users often don’t find any difficulty to set them up. Additionally, they launch quickly. The themes are professional, secure, and search engine-friendly.
To apply any of the themes to your WordPress website, you only need to download it from the user portal in WP Engine. After that, simply upload it to your WordPress dashboard and enjoy the new theme on your website.
When you sign up for WP Engine, you’re usually paying a hefty premium. However, in return, you get an excellent for-end technology that gives you excellent loading speed.
In fact, thanks to their powerful infrastructure and cashing features like CDC and EverCache, their hosted websites run up to 6 times faster than most competitors. The best thing is that all these speed-boosting features are offered in all their plans.
No matter how fast your website is, it’ll be useless if the website is down. WP Engine promises to deliver up to 99.95% uptime throughout the year. A lot of users claim that it has even better uptime than that.
According to WP Engine, if your website gets less uptime than what you’ve agreed, you can apply for Service Level Agreement (SLA) credit on your monthly fees.
Advanced Security Features
Since WP Engine hosts big names in the market, they need to meet the highest standards of internet security. Fortunately, all their plans enjoy the advanced security features.
Among these security features, they offer real-time threat detection. WP Engine developed technology to detect and prevent DDoS attacks before they happen.
The security system also detects and blocks all kinds of odd behaviors. For example, it has a set rule to block the IP address that belongs to popular spammers and hackers.
WP Engine Security isn’t only protecting you from foreign attacks but also protects you from other customers on your server.
They separate each user on the network on a kernel level, keeping each one of them on a separate file system.
WP Engine runs one of the strongest modules of cybersecurity in the business. However, if your hosted website gets compromised, they still promise to fix it for free.
Expert Customer Support
WP Engine staff isn’t only made of skilled cybersecurity experts, but they also have some of the best customer care teams in the field.
If you sign up for any of their plans, you’ll enjoy live chat support that’s available around the clock every day of the week. The live chat response is super quick and is easily accessible through your control panel.
Unforntaley, telephone support isn’t currently available on the basic Startup plan. Yet, the live chat support is usually more than enough for all your needs. However, if telephone support is crucial to you, you might want to look for a higher plan or try out other options.
A Deeper Insight into WP Engine’s Unique Features
One of the special highlights of WP Engine is the staging and developmental area. This feature is available in all their plans and it’s among the strongest factors of WP Engine’s success.
The staging area is a virtual website that’s basically a cloned version of your actual one. In this area, you can carry out various tests regarding the website design and content as well as developmental features.
All kinds of users can benefit from this feature differently. For example, if you’re a WordPress developer, you can prototype your work on the staging area.
On the other hand, if you’re a website owner, you can learn and apply all the website managing skills in this safe area. This way, you can avoid errors in your live version. Also, you can try out different plugins and custom codes in the staging area.
What makes the staging area ideal is that you can set it up locally or online. Additionally, once you’re satisfied with the result, you can transfer the data easily and with no complications.
Free SSL Certificates
If you’re planning to sell products on your website, a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is essential for you. This feature ensures the safety of the data sent between the website’s server and the customer’s computer.
Moreover, the presence of the certificate makes Google give your website a small boost in its rankings.
This made using an SSL certificate almost mandatory for all websites, as many web hosts will make you buy it. However, WP Engine offers an SSL certificate for free. You’ll also be delighted to know that all WP Engine plans have free SSL Certificates.
You should know that only high-end plans allow you to use a single or wildcard SSL with a proprietary IP address. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available in the Startup plan.
WP Engine has a huge customer base around the globe. Additionally, their customer list contains several multinational entities. These companies might need to display different content based on the geographic location of the visitors.
For that, WP Engine offers the GeoTraget tool. This tool accurately detects the location of the visitors, so it can display the most relevant content to them.
An ambitious website should expect a sudden influx of website visitors at any time. However, there’s nothing worse than a failing server due to overloading, especially at such a critical time that decides your website’s future.
One of the keys that gives WP a strong lead in the loading stability and speed race is their EverCache technology.
Evercache utilizes the website cache data in a super-scalable way. This allows your website to handle the strongest spikes of traffic without affecting the website’s performance.
WP Engine developed its caching to be aggressive but highly responsive. This way, it can combine stability without compromising on loading speed.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
WP Engine comes with a strong CDN in all its hosting plans. a CDN means that hosting servers are connected through multiple relay stations around the world. These data are previously cached and stored, so they can be displayed quickly.
Whenever a visitor connects to your website, the nearest server to the user will respond to his request and loads up in an instant.
Automatic Software Updates
Since WP Engine is a WordPress Specific hosting service, they’re always up to date with WordPress updates and bug fixes.
WP Engine offers to update your WordPress application automatically when WordPress releases minor patches and updates. However, if WordPress releases a huge update, WP Engine’s team tests it for you to make sure that it works flawlessly.
This way, your website will always include the most recent and functional software version of WordPress. All that without causing any interruptions or hiccups.
Why WP Engine Has a Maximum Visitor Number a Month?
You might have noticed that WP Engine hosting plans have a limited number of visitors per month. This might sound a bit confusing, as WP Engine is one of the biggest website hosts.
Additionally, some hosts that come at a cheaper price might offer an unlimited number of visitors and even monthly bandwidth. So, why would it have such limits? Should you be worried? Let’s find out.
The first thing you need to know is that nothing is unlimited no matter how much a hosting service might promise.
In fact, in many cases, hosting services put a limit to the resources you use every month. If you exceed this amount, the service will ask you to either upgrade or limit your bandwidth.
This counts as a transparency point for WP Engine. The service wants to give you what it promises, so it sets the record straight even before you sign up.
If you choose a plan that’s suitable for your needs, this wouldn’t be a problem for your website. WP Engine’s excellent experience allows them to size their plans according to everyone’s needs.
The limits it sets on the plan are usually more than enough for you. For example, the Startup plan is always sufficient for the amount of traffic a small business or a startup website will make a month.
There you have it, a complete WP Engine review with everything you need to know about the hosting service.
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