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There’s no shortage of web hosts who cater to websites on WordPress, but none go as far as WP Engine.
After all, they’ve made their entire business about WordPress hosting.
Read our extensive WP Engine review below if you’re looking for a versatile host that offers several different plans with premium features.
Price: Ten monthly plans are available from $24 to $280. Enterprise solutions are available.
Discounts Available: Yes
Lifetime Plan: No
WP Engine Pros:
- Unbeatable uptime and reliability
- Responsive and knowledgeable customer service
- Built from the ground up to serve WordPress sites
WP Engine Cons:
- One of the most expensive hosts on the market
- Only offers dedicated server hosting on enterprise-level plans
- Doesn’t include email
Overview of WP Engine
There are dozens of web hosting options on the market in a race to the bottom, undercutting prices and providing bare-bones services to deliver customers with the most affordable hosting possible.
Meanwhile, if you’re more concerned with quality, reliability, and security than the allure of a bargain price, there are far fewer options.
Fortunately, a few choices prioritize service over affordability, including WP Engine, which is purpose-built to handle WordPress sites.
As we dive into this WP Engine review, let’s examine what WP Engine is and what separates them from the competition.
What Is WP Engine?
WP Engine provides managed hosting for sites that run WordPress as a CMS.
Rather than casting the widest net possible and trying to attract a broader customer base, WP Engine focuses on delivering the best possible service to WordPress users.
Most competitors offer shared hosting at a bargain price with little concern for speed, reliability, or security.
However, WP Engine provides a managed solution that ensures consistency and quality so you can focus on managing your site instead of worrying about your web host.
Is WP Engine Different From WordPress?
If you’re preparing to get your first website off the ground, the distinction between WordPress and WP Engine can be a bit confusing.
In short, WordPress is a content management system you can use to build, manage, and update your website.
WP Engine is a web hosting platform exclusively for WordPress that will allow people to visit your website.
WP Engine History
WP Engine started in 2010 when founder Jason Cohen identified a need in the market for dedicated hosting exclusively for WordPress-powered websites.
WordPress customers quickly caught on to the fast, secure, and scalable solutions WP Engine provided.
They promptly raised funding from various VC investors, including Silverton and Northbridge Partners.
The company was founded in Austin, Texas and now maintains offices in Austin, San Francisco, San Antonio, and London.
Today, over 40,000 customers rely on WP Engine, and the company continues to grow, powering over 1.5 million websites.
WP Engine has been recognized multiple times as one of Austin’s best places to work by Fortune magazine.
Pros of WP Engine
- Excellent page load times anywhere in the world
- Superior security compared to nearly all competitors
- Industry-leading customer service
- Most intuitive and user-friendly setup for WordPress sites
Cons of WP Engine
- Doesn’t include email
- Doesn’t offer domain sales
- More expensive than almost all competitors
How Much Does WP Engine Cost?
WP Engine offers two plans, one for general websites and one for eCommerce.
Each plan type offers four different pricing tiers, and the company also provides enterprise solutions for midsize and enterprise-level businesses.
Here’s how WP Engine pricing breaks down monthly.
The company also offers deep discounts for annual subscriptions.
$24 per month
$29 per month
$47 per month
$60 per month
$92 per month
$112 per month
$232 per month
$280 per month
Contact WP Engine
Contact WP Engine
IS WP Engine Worth the Cost?
It’s clear that WP Engine delivers industry-leading features and performance, but it’s also considerably more expensive than the competition.
So, is the added expense worth the benefits WP Engine provides?
Whether or not WP Engine is worth the premium depends entirely on your website’s needs.
If you’re launching a passion project with no intention of growing the site, reaching a large user base, or offering items or services for sale, you may find that you can get the hosting you need from a more affordable service provider.
Why WP Engine is Worth the Cost
While not every website needs a managed host with excellent customer service and industry-leading speed and security, there are plenty that do.
If you aren’t willing to sacrifice your website’s performance or security for a low price, then a provider like WP Engine is perfect for you.
From the start, it’s clear that WP Engine is different from most hosts.
Since this host is exclusively for WordPress, the CMS comes pre-installed and ready for use.
Many of the day-to-day operations associated with running a site are automated by WP Engine, including plug-in updates and daily backups.
The host also offers dedicated solutions for regular websites and eCommerce, providing additional features for web stores that streamline setup while providing bulletproof security and lightning-fast load times.
Cutting-edge security features are also baked into all hosting plans, including a free SSL certificate, daily malware checks, and a dedicated firewall.
WP Engine also boasts unbeatable site uptime and fast load times anywhere in the world.
Lastly, WP Engine already provided excellent customer service, which they’ve recently bolstered even further.
Should you need technical support, their experienced team is available by phone 24/7 to deliver the help you need.
The Problem WP Engine Solves
The hosting space is more crowded than ever.
However, for all the choices that users have regarding site hosting, there are very few services that deliver excellent service, features, and reliability. Instead, most hosts focus on delivering the lowest prices possible.
WP Engine brings premium hosting services and adds additional value by tailoring its offerings exclusively to users who have WordPress as their CMS.
Why Would Somebody Want to Use WP Engine?
WP Engine is the ideal host for users who are okay with paying a premium price to ensure top-of-the-line performance, security, and service.
However, it’s far from the cheapest offering on the market, so if you’re hoping to host your site as inexpensively as possible, it won’t be a good fit.
Who Is WP Engine Best For?
WP Engine is the ideal choice for WordPress sites, especially eCommerce sites running Woo Commerce.
One of WP Engine’s strengths is they offer a wide variety of plans for both sites and stores that allow your hosting needs to scale with your budget, so it’s also a wise choice for customers concerned with the scalability of their hosting solution.
Why WP Engine is Best for WordPress Users
Since WP Engine has been purpose-built from the ground up to serve WordPress websites, your host and CMS can interface on a much more seamless level.
Faster page speeds and tighter security make WP Engine a clear choice for powering WordPress sites.
Who Should NOT Use WP Engine?
Users looking for a host that can deliver an excellent bargain for their hosting costs will want to steer clear of WP Engine.
WP Engine is positioned as a premium solution for site owners needing the best performance, service, and support.
WP Engine delivers the goods across the board, and they command a premium price to do it.
If hosting from WP Engine isn’t in your budget, plenty of other options will fit your needs financially.
However, you’ll need to consider your options to ensure the host you select fits within your budget without compromising too much in areas like performance or service.
Why Budget-Conscious Sites Should Not Use WP Engine
It’s all a matter of the bottom line.
WP Engine delivers in spades by every measure, and they’re arguably the top-rated host in the industry.
As we’ve established, they’re also one of the most expensive, which will be prohibitive for sites that are bootstrapping or trying to run as inexpensively as possible.
What to Think About Before Buying WP Engine
Before you pull the trigger and begin hosting your WordPress website with the WP engine, there are a few critical considerations you’ll need to make.
- Intuitiveness: The WordPress CMS is pre-installed into the WP Engine dashboard and is ready to go as soon as you log in to WP Engine for a seamless and pain-free site deployment.
- Customer Service: WP Engine’s experienced service team is available by phone 24/7, regardless of the hosting plan you choose.
- Price: This host is among the most expensive options on the market, and you’ll have to consider how hosting costs will affect your bottom line.
- Performance: WP Engine consistently delivers high marks across every performance measure, from page speeds and caching to security to service.
- Scalability: While this host is expensive, they offer different hosting plans, allowing smaller businesses to increase their hosting plan as the business scales.
Features and Benefits of WP Engine
What separates WP Engine from the sea of other hosting options on the market?
This host sets itself apart from the competition with loads of class-leading features and benefits.
One area where WP Engine stands above the competition is with its automation tools.
WP Engine offers several automations that can help you save time while ensuring your site is as secure and fast as possible.
The automatic site migration module is intuitive and easy to use, allowing developers to quickly migrate existing WordPress sites from a different host to WP Engine.
The Smart Plug-In Manager is another indispensable automation tool that can save you loads of time while ensuring your site performs at its best.
Updating plug-ins is time-consuming and tedious, but if you don’t do the work to manage them properly, you can invite critical security vulnerabilities into your site.
The Smart Plug-In Manager is another example of an excellent time-saving feature that’s unique to WP Engine.
WP Engine also provides daily virus and malware scans and daily site backups to safeguard your site further.
Both tasks are fully automated and provide peace of mind knowing your site is being monitored for safety and speed.
Premium Themes from StudioPress
WordPress users can choose from well over 100 different themes as they design their site.
Depending on how beautiful and intuitive the site design is, these templates can cost hundreds of dollars.
With WP Engine, your plan includes a selection of gorgeous premium themes from StudioPress.
These Gutenberg-enabled themes are expertly designed, optimized for SEO, and provide excellent security against any threats your site may face.
WP Engine users can select from ten different premium themes at no additional cost as part of their hosting plan.
Perhaps the most compelling feature that WP Engine provides is its bulletproof site security.
The company goes to great lengths to deliver the safest and most reliable hosting possible.
They have several initiatives that make their offerings among the safest on the market.
Each hosting plan includes an SSL certificate, custom firewalls to protect your site from outside threats, and comprehensive virus and malware scanning powered by Sucuri.
There’s also a one-click restore function to quickly recover your site in case of a security threat.
Should your site ever become compromised, WP Engine’s team works tirelessly behind the scenes to restore your site to its original state at no additional charge.
Multiple Editing Environments
WP Engine offers independent development, staging, and production environments to dramatically reduce the risk of unintended site changes while streamlining your site workflow.
This tool is helpful if you manage each aspect of your site yourself.
Still, it’s even more beneficial on the agency side, as redundancies and errors are more common with multiple collaborators.
With this feature, users can make all site changes in the development environment before pushing it to the staging environment to see how your changes will appear to site visitors.
Once everything is to your liking, you can move your changes to the production environment, where they’ll be live for your site visitors.
Beyond its class-leading security features, WP Engine also provides lightning-fast page speeds to help your website perform at its best while improving your position in search and optimizing conversions.
Each plan includes free CDN and EverCache technology, and global data transfers support your site.
These characteristics lead to dramatically faster page load times, affecting SEO and your conversion rate.
Compared to the competition, WP Engine delivers 40% faster page load speeds, which enables Google and other search engines to place your website higher in search results.
WP Engine Customer Service
Even when you choose a premium host like WP Engine for your website, you’re bound to need customer support over the life of your site.
Like most other areas, WP Engine excels at providing knowledgeable and attentive customer support.
Does WP Engine Offer Customer Service?
Whether you’re an enterprise customer or a one-person show, WP Engine delivers exemplary customer service to all of its customers.
Most importantly, customer service is available 24/7 to handle your concerns because problems don’t always surface during regular business hours.
What Types of Customer Service Does WP Engine Offer?
WP Engine offers customer service through various channels available 24/7 via phone or live chat.
The company operates three service centers in the United States, one in Limerick, Ireland, and another in Brisbane, Australia.
Not only is the WP Engine team available whenever you need them, but they also deliver excellent support.
The WP Engine team has won an impressive 13 Stevie awards for providing the best customer service.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Through the years, we’ve launched and managed countless sites utilizing WordPress and have exhausted virtually every hosting platform.
From the bargain basement providers to the premium services like WP Engine, Kinsta, and Flywheel, we’ve put these services to the test in real life and have an intimate knowledge of the best web hosts available.
What WP Engine Users are Saying
Don’t just take our word for it.
See what other WP Engine users say about their experience with the service.
Testimonial 1: “We host over 150 websites with WP Engine.
Not only have we never been hacked, but every time we need anything at all, they’re available to resolve the issues quickly and easily.”
Testimonial 2: “I would like to see more tiers for accounts.
Jumping from 1 site for $30 to 10 sites for $100 is big. It would be good to see something in between.”
Testimonial 3: “A little bit expensive, but it’s an excellent service for businesses that are already well underway.”
WP Engine Alternatives
Let’s take a closer look at the top three competitors of WP Engine to help you decide if they’re a solid fit for you.
Kinsta is a WordPress-focused web host that delivers incredible performance at a premium price.
How Does Kinsta Differ From WP Engine?
Kinsta is quite similar to WP Engine in many ways, but some key differences exist.
Kinsta is a hair faster than WP Engine, but the customer service isn’t as knowledgeable or responsive as at WP Engine, and their services are even more expensive than WP Engine.
Who Is Kinsta Best For?
Kinsta is an ideal host for the same user who would find WP Engine a viable choice.
This service delivers unbeatable speed, reliability, and security, perhaps even above what WP Engine offers.
- Exceptionally fast page load times
- Mediocre customer service
- One of the most expensive hosts available
- Similar reliability and security features to WP Engine
Pressable comes to us by way of Automattic, one of WordPress’ parent companies, and they’re a WordPress host that aims to provide the highest in security, performance, and reliability to their customers.
How Does Pressable Differ From WP Engine?
Pressable is quite similar to WP Engine in most ways, but there are some critical differences.
While Pressable currently offers 24/7 support via live chat, WP Engine provides phone support.
Pressable also doesn’t allow you to select the cloud service provider of your choice the way WP Engine does.
Who Is Pressable Best For?
Pressable is a viable choice for WordPress websites looking for an experienced and reliable host for their website.
Like WP Engine, their service commands a premium price, so it’s best for companies willing to budget for an expensive web host.
- 24/7 customer service via live chat
- Priced similarly to WP Engine
- Owned by WordPress’ parent company
- Excellent speed and security
An ideal host for WordPress newbies, Bluehost offers an excellent blend of usability and value while providing all the performance and security features you need to run a terrific site.
How Does Bluehost Differ From WP Engine?
Bluehost offers a broad range of hosting products, including the choice between shared and dedicated hosting.
The company also provides free domain registration.
The most significant difference between Bluehost and WP Engine is the price, with Bluehost offering substantially cheaper service than WP Engine at the expense of speed and an uptime guarantee.
Who Is Bluehost Best For?
Bluehost is an ideal choice for beginners and site owners who need basic service at an affordable price.
- Shared and dedicated hosting available
- Very affordable service
- Free domain registration included with hosting plans
- No uptime guarantee
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions people have when researching WP Engine.
Does WP Engine have cPanel?
Since WP Engine only interfaces with WordPress, there’s no need for a standardized control panel such as cPanel.
Instead, WP Engine uses a lightweight control panel that helps maximize server resources to deliver the best performance.
Is WP Engine owned by WordPress?
WP Engine only hosts WordPress websites, but the two companies are separate entities owned and controlled by different entities.
Whether you’re hosting your first website or you’re launching your latest site as part of an extensive portfolio, the need for reliable, high-performance web hosting is more important than ever before.
WP Engine has risen to the top as one of the best and most capable web hosts.
This WP Engine review covered how WP Engine delivers excellent speed and reliability, unbeatable customer service, and plenty of different plans to help your site scale as your audience grows.
If you’re ready to partner with a performance-minded host that delivers the utmost in features and security, take a closer look at WP Engine today.