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WP Engine Review: Why I Use This Host For All My Sites

Reviewing

WP Engine

Level Beginner
Category Hosting
Blogging Tips Score
Star Rating
Star Rating
5/5 WP Engine Reviews

Our BloggingTips Breakdown

In my opinion, WP Engine is the best managed WordPress host on the market, which is why I use it to host almost every site I own. In my 5+ years of using it, it has rarely let me down. They've done a great job of building a simple user experience that allows them to handle the complicated tech stuff, and you to focus on building your site.
Overall
Star Rating
Star Rating
5 out of 5.0
Ease of Use
Star Rating
Star Rating
5 out of 5.0
Customer Service
Star Rating
Star Rating
5 out of 5.0
Value for the Money
Star Rating
Star Rating
5 out of 5.0
Features
Star Rating
Star Rating
5 out of 5.0

Cons

  • More expensive than cheaper shared hosts
  • Pushy salespeople that tend to reach out with phantom issues
  • Gets expensive with you break 100,000 monthly visitors

Pros

  • Very powerful hosting that is packed with features
  • Incredibly easy to use - anybody can do it
  • Award-winning support team who is always happy to help
5 /5 User Reviews
Star Rating
Star Rating

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Contact us for Questions

When you’re looking to start a blog, you’ll need hosting. And from the start, the type of hosting matters more than you realize.

That’s where managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine come in.

They not only ensure that your blog runs quickly and efficiently, but they also help to ease the burden of work behind the scenes so that you can do what you do best – focus on building and growing your website.

But the cost of WP Engine can turn some users away. In my WP Engine review, I’ll show you why I think it is worth the cost and why I use it for nearly every single one of my own sites.

An Overview of WP Engine Hosting

When you choose a managed WordPress host like WP Engine, you are doing so with the intention of making your life a little less complicated.

Instead of learning how to do performance optimization, caching, setting up SSL certificates, and other tedious tasks that are hard to learn, you simply sign up for an account.

This ease of use is why I initially signed up for an account. The reliable performance backed by an ever-improving user experience is why I’ve chosen to stay.

We Suggest This

I highly recommend WP Engine. It is the same hosting that I use for the majority of the websites in my portfolio, as well as client sites that I build and optimize.

SUBHEADING:

  • Powerful, secure, and fast
  • Packed with features that are easy to use
  • Great support team that helps troubleshoot issues

Performance and Speed

Performance and speed are some of the things that WP Engine does best, and why they can charge more than normal shared hosting providers.

First, WP Engine has built their hosting to be specifically optimize for WordPress, using cloud-based partnerships with AWS and Google’s Cloud platform.

They have also integrated a ton of features that come standard with every plan, such as a fully-managed global CDN, native caching, and speed monitoring tools.

What’s great about this setup is that it’s dynamic. They’ve built their infrastructure to handle any level of traffic, from thousands to millions of visitors per month.

I’ve seen huge spikes in my traffic when my websites have gone viral, and their systems easily scaled with me to ensure no downtime.

On top of that, the hosting is also secure. They offer enterprise-grade security, constant updates and monitoring, and a dedicated security team that is constantly monitoring your site for threats.

This is all backed with redundancy and disaster recovery services. You never have to worry about whether or not your data is safe – you just know it is.

Key Advantage: Dedicated Servers

One interesting thing worth mentioning about this specific host is that they offer dedicated servers. This helps to reduce costs and offers a huge amount of power and resources at scale.

Most other managed hosts – like Kinsta – don’t offer this.

In short, their proprietary technology ensures that your website loads quickly, and their robust network infrastructure means less downtime and better handling of traffic spikes.

The Core Features I Use The Most With WP Engine

The speed, performance, and security that come with WP Engine are nice, but I sort of consider those “table stakes” when choosing a managed host.

Google and Amazon’s cloud infrastructure have allowed a large amount of hosting providers to offer this performance and security, so those are not really unique selling points like they one were.

However… the simple and efficient user experience that WP Engine offers is what truly sets them apart.

Simple Setup

I my 10+ years of building WordPress sites, I’ve used pretty much every host imaginable. I have found WP Engine to be one of the easiest hosts to use.

It is so easy and simple to use that somebody with even the most limited knowledge of technology will find the process of installing WordPress and launching a website to be within reach.

First, there’s the one-click install, which makes installing WordPress literally as easy as that – clicking a button.

First, you open your dashboard and select “Add site”.

add new site wp engine 1
Image credit: WP Engine

Then, you indicate who will own the site, either you or if it will be transferred to a client or collaborator.

add new site wp engine 2
Image credit: WP Engine

After that, you’ll select what type of site you want to build. You can easily set up a blank site, a site from another backup, or migrate one from a different host entirely.

add new site wp engine 3
Image credit: WP Engine

The installation usually takes between 5-10 minutes. Once complete, you’ll get a notification in your email that the site is ready, and from there, you can start building.

install wpengine 1

Once you install WordPress, the features such as free SSL certificates, simple domain integration, and powerful regex/redirect rules make it super easy to get a blog live.

You can also easily test things on separate Production, Staging, and Development environments. This allows to easily build and configure a website and then push it live with the push of a button.

Setting these up is as easy as installing WordPress initially. Simply select “Add Staging” or “Add Development” and the system will add another environment in minutes.

a screenshot of the wp engine environments

On top of that, it is very easy to build a site and transfer it from account to account. If you have somebody else building, …. TEXT.

Easy Maintenance

It’s not only easy to launch a WordPress site using WP Engine, but it’s also incredibly easy to maintain one thanks to a suite of user-friendly features like the Smart Plugin Manager, simply nightly backups and rollbacks, and automatic PHP (WordPress version) updates.

The Smart Plugin Manager is probably my favorite feature of everything they offer.

I also find myself using the backups feature constantly. What’s great about this feature is that the system automatically creates nightly backups by default. However, you can also manually create them whenever you want.

I know that I should build on a separate staging environment, but I can’t help but to build directly on the production environment with how easy it is to simply roll the site back with the click of a button.

Themes & Plugins

Another unique selling point to WP Engine is just how far they’re going to make starting a WordPress site simple. In fact, they’ve acquired multiple companies in an effort to do so.

With time, I’m sure we’ll see even more tools and acquisitions that make building a website easier.

a screenshot of the Genesis Framework that WP Engine offers customers

This is not something that many other hosts, if any, can offer customers. Think big picture – you’re not just getting a host, but rather, a long-term partner that helps to simplify the entire process of building a website.

Customer Support

WP Engine is very easy to use, but there are issues when you will eventually need some help. Enter the company’s award-winning support team.

The support team can be contacted through live chat, a ticket-based system, and even live one-on-one phone support. I’ve used each, but I personally prefer the live chat as it is the quickest option.

a screenshot showing the various wp engine support options available

The wait time on the live chat can depend on how many requests the team is working on, but it usually doesn’t take more than 2-3 minutes to be paired with a representative.

One I talk to them, they are usually very friendly, very helpful, and have quickly solved my problem almost every time. Only in rare cases were my requests outside the standard scope of support, so they can help with pretty much anything WordPress-related that the average user will run into.

During times of peak demand, especially around Black Friday or Christmas, I’ve noticed that that wait times are a bit longer. This has never been a huge issue, but it is worth noting.

How Much Does WP Engine Cost?

The cost of WP Engine depends on how many sites you’re hosting, how many visitors your site(s) gets, and what type of hosting you’re looking for.

At some point in time, WP Engine updated their pricing page, which is now actually pretty confusing. I’m an existing customer, so that’s saying something.

In general, though, you can expect to pay around $20 a month if you have just one website that gets less than 25,000 visitors per month. As you need more websites, or your site(s) get more traffic, you’ll need to upgrade to the next tier.

a screenshot of the WP Engine pricing table

There are also a handful of smaller features that you must pay in order to use, such as Global Edge security and the WP Engine Plugin Manager.

I wouldn’t even consider getting Global Edge security because I think it’s a bit of a gimmick, but I do highly recommend the plugin manager.

For around $3 per month, you can have the system update your plugins and themes automatically, which actually saves quite a bit of time.

Does WP Engine Offer Discounts?

WP Engine usually offers discounts if you pay yearly. I usually see them offering 4 months of free hosting when a year is prepaid.

In addition, they sometimes run discounts, especially around Cyber Monday and other holidays throughout the year. They’re typically really good sales too, so if you see one, jump on it.

I’ve also had good luck reaching out to the sales chat and directly asking them what the best pricing they can offer me is.

They’ll usually have to go and talk with their manager, but almost always come back with something better than what is advertised on the website.

Is WP Engine Worth The Cost?

Yes, I think WP Engine is worth the extra cost over other hosts. The additional features that you get it well worth the price increase over other hosts, especially shared ones.

WP Engine is my go-to host. I’ve had both dedicated servers and shared hosting plans on WP Engine for years, and it’s the host that I recommend to others constantly to clients as well.

Where I Think WP Engine Could Improve

From time to time a receive emails from WP Engine sales staff that encourage me to upgrade my account. These usually are somewhat pushy and are coming from salespeople who appear incentivized to make a sale.

For example, I oftentimes received emails like this when I was on a shared hosting plan encouraging me to upgrade:

wp engine sales email

What rubbed my the wrong way was not that the company was trying to get me to upgrade, but rather they didn’t take care of the “noisy neighbor” that was impacting my hosting.

The solve to that, in my opinion, would be to upgrade the cause – not the person being effected by them.

I dismissed a few of these until I finally upgraded to a dedicated server once my traffic increased substantially. But, to my surprise, I kept receiving emails requesting that I upgrade the level of servers.

In 2021-2022, these constant upgrade requests were actually so frequent that I ended up seeking other options because I was convinced that my websites were the cause. I moved a few high-traffic, high resource-consuming sites to Pressable and Pressidium, yet I still received the emails.

This was not an isolated instance, either. I had two dedicated servers at the time, and the requests were coming in for both – even though one had a high amount of traffic and the other did not.

After losing my cool with an account manager who was pressuring me to upgrade in early 2023, the requests have seemed to cool a bit. But just keep this in mind as your website starts getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.

Don’t upgrade right away, but instead, ask to see the data before doing so. Otherwise, it seems to me to be a money-grab by the salespeople.

Update: Another Pitch

A few days after I published this review, my WP Engine account representative reached out and suggested that I upgrade my server due to technical issues that my sites were having as the result of the traffic load from them.

wp engine support email 1

The thing is, I already upgrade my server last year, nearly doubling the power that my previous dedicated server had.

Not to mention that my sites are getting crushed by the Helpful Content Update. Across the board, my sites have roughly 75% less traffic at the time of this writing than they did previously after upgrading.

In short, the server should be fine and there shouldn’t be a reason to upgrade.

In previous years, just one of my previous servers alone – far less powerful than the one I’m on currently, easily handled roughly 5X the traffic that my entire portfolio is currently getting.

That is just. one. site. I also had probably 10-15 other high-traffic sites on the same server and it handled the load just fine.

I’m starting to wonder if these account managers are paid a commission. After all, they reach out multiple times per year and continue to try to get me to upgrade.

If not, then that seems like a bit of a technical performance issue to me. I am considering switching to Kinsta because of the constant upsells and second-guessing. Time will tell if this happens again.

Alternatives to WP Engine

WP Engine is a great host, but there are other managed WordPress hosts that are a bit cheaper and offer at least a handful of similar features that WP Engine does.

I don’t think these hosts offer as robust an infrastructure or simple user experience, but they are good alternatives if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper.

1. Pressidium

Pressidium targets designers, SMBs, and agencies with managed WordPress hosting that emphasizes scalability and security. It offers managed updates, enterprise architecture for all plans, and no overage charges, suitable for those needing dependable hosting solutions.

I think Pressidium is the best alternative to WP Engine, especially for high-traffic sites. They also have an incredibly helpful and responsive support team that goes above and beyond normal support expectations.

2. Pressable

Pressable offers managed WordPress hosting focused on scalability and security. It includes features like daily backups, staging environments, and Jetpack Premium, catering mostly to WordPress users needing reliable performance.

This hosting is offered by the same company that built the WordPress CMS. Their hosting isn’t super feature-packed, but it is bare-bones and gets the job done at a nice price point that is cheaper than WP Engine.

3. Kinsta

Kinsta leverages Google Cloud Platform to provide high-performance managed hosting for demanding WordPress sites. It features automatic scaling, free migrations, daily backups, and a custom site management dashboard, making it a top choice for high-traffic sites.

I think WP Engine has Kinsta beat when it comes to low-traffic sites, but when you start getting up into 2-300,000 visitors per month, Kinsta’s price points get more appealing.

However, when you break the 750,000 visitors per month mark, WP Engine once again has Kinsta beat because they offer dedicated hardware that is more efficient than cloud-based at that level.

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User Reviews

Brett Helling
Overall 5
1 May 2024
5.0 Ease of Use
5.0 Customer Service
5.0 Value for the Money
5.0 Features

Review

I highly recommend WP Engine. It is easy to use, very powerful, and the support team is great.