WP Engine Review: A Look At My Favorite WordPress Host
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WordPress needs a rock-solid hosting service to achieve its full potential as the backbone of millions of websites. Although many such services support WordPress websites, things are different when a web host is dedicated to the WordPress platform.
The “WP” in WP Engine stands for “WordPress,” so make no mistake, this is a WordPress-specific service. But WP Engine isn’t the only such service. Even if it was, other hosts that aren’t WordPress-focused can also host WordPress websites.
So let’s get into more detail regarding this web host. Let’s see what WP Engine is about.
Although many factors contribute to a web host’s success, pricing and plans are often the aspects that determine whether you want to continue considering a service. So, here’s more detail about the WP Engine plans.
Startup is WP Engine’s most basic plan. It starts at $35 per month and supports only one WordPress installation. This is typically more than enough for startups, hence the name.
It can handle up to 25,000 monthly visitors, as well as 50GB of data transfers per month. The 10GB storage is far from impressive but is usually more than enough for small businesses.
The next plan starts at a somewhat whopping $115 per month, which is definitely for established small-to-mid-sized businesses. This plan brings five WordPress installations to the table, 200GB of data transfers, and 100,000 visitors per month. It boasts a cap of 20GB in storage.
This is not recommended for startups, especially because you can upgrade to a higher-tier plan when necessary.
The Scale plan is intended for larger-scale companies. With this plan, you can perform up to 15 WordPress installations. It can handle up to 400,000 and 400GB of data per month, plus you get 30GB storage.
This plan starts at $290 per month, which may seem like a lot. For the individual, yes, but for a company that wants to install WordPress in up to 15 different instances and get hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, $290 isn’t all that much.
Now, for truly large companies, there is a Custom plan, which can handle millions of visitors, 1TB of storage, 400GB of data per month, etc. This is all negotiable and customizable. So, you’re going to have to get in touch with a WP Engine official to learn more about pricing and custom options.
Don’t expect this plan to be cheap, though; it’s high-end.
Although the mentioned plans are different, they all come with some unique features that are specific to WP Engine.
For instance, each plan features a content delivery network (CDN, for short), which gives you faster page load times.
Each plan also has staging options, meaning that you can test out your WordPress websites in private environments before releasing them to the public. This goes for on-site changes, as well. Make a change, test it out for a day or two, tweak it, test it again, and release it to the public.
WP Engine’s proprietary LargeFS feature is used for storing and transferring significant data amounts. This is truly specific to WP Engine.
You can also choose between Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services to use as the backbone of your website. This brings tight security to the table, as well as scalability without downtime.
There are three main types of web hosting.
First, there’s shared hosting, which is usually the cheapest option. It puts you on a server along with several other websites. This exposes you to security risks, offers slower load times, and brings many other downsides to the equation.
Then, you’ve got managed hosting. Managed hosting means that your website is hosted on your private server, which instantly means better security and better performance. With managed hosting, your web host is responsible for hosting management. This pretty much covers everything from coding assistance to server maintenance.
Finally, there’s dedicated hosting, which pretty much means managed hosting without the host management. In other words, you get your server, but you’re left on your own.
WP Engine is managed extremely beneficial hosting. It’s life made easy. Everything is even particularly tailored for WordPress, from themes to plugins. You don’t even have to install WordPress.
There are some things that you’ll want to have performed automatically by your web host. For example, daily backups, plugin updates, all the stuff that you don’t want to have to do on your own. WP Engine does all this for you, so you don’t have to think about it. Daily backups, updates, you name it.
Their proprietary technology, Evercache, combines proxy servers and caching, significantly boosting the page load times.
If you want to sell something via your website, you’ll have to think about eCommerce, of course. Since WP Engine is WordPress-specific, you get to tap into the vast CMS plugin library of various eCommerce tools and platforms. We’re talking about WooCommerce, Shopify, and all the other mainstream eCommerce companies.
Of course, most eCommerce platforms will require a small fee for their service, so keep this in mind, as well.
As is the case with eCommerce, with WP Engine, you get to choose between a variety of email tools for marketing, such as Mailflow, Drip, DirectIQ, etc. These, too, will require small extra fees.
Speaking of email, you don’t get any options with WP Engine. It doesn’t even offer domain registration. This is perhaps one of the most prominent downsides of this amazing platform. Still, you have the option of using a third-party company for electronic mail and registering your domain.
No matter what kind of an app or service we’re talking about, the importance of security goes without saying. With web hosting providers, a lack of security can mean cyberattacks, ransomware, and so on.
Unlike many other web hosting services, WP Engine offers an SSL certificate, free of charge, along with the hosting subscription you apply for. Many web hosts require you to pay up for an SSL certificate or offer it for free for a limited amount of time. Thankfully, you won’t have to go through this headache with WP Engine.
Additionally, WP Engine does malware scans every day and offers a firewall, which isn’t a feat to be seen often in web hosting providers. This firewall goes through daily updates to keep up with the most recent threats.
There’s also threat detection that works in real-time, as well as hacking remediation.
Uptime makes for one of the most vital factors in web hosting. It represents the amount of time that your website is up, instead of down. A website that’s down is customer-inaccessible, which can cost your business a lot.
WP Engine has been known to be very stable when it comes to uptime. They claim 99.9% uptime, which is very solid.
Customer support is essential with any type of service, not to mention web hosting. Your server might start behaving strangely, so you’ll probably want the customer service to be at your disposal at all times.
Now, if you’re a Growth subscriber or above, you get the brilliant tech support that’s ready and waiting to deal with your inquiries.
Unfortunately, the Startup plan doesn’t offer the toll-free 24/7 support, which is a shame. Still, you can contact WP Engine via the live chat option, which boasts solid response times and is certainly efficient.
How Great is WP Engine?
It’s brilliant. If you want a service to host your WordPress website, you’ll get a ton of benefits, managed hosting, and a great number of user-friendly options using WP Engine. They aren’t your cheapest web hosts on the market, but they do offer fantastic features and plans.
Sure, you won’t get the phone-accessible support with the Startup plan, but the live chat option is always there. If you’re okay with not having a dedicated email service here and not being able to register domain names, WP Engine is an ideal WordPress hosting solution for you.