You're probably reading this because you're in the process of setting up or migrating an ecommerce store and are looking for suitable options. While WordPress is widely known as the most popular blogging platform, it can be made to work as a reasonably powerful ecommerce platform too, using any one of the ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce, Jigoshop, and lots of other free ecommerce WordPress plugins.
In order to create and operate an ecommerce storefront via WordPress, you need a hosting service and WPEngine is a strong contender for this, since they are a leading hosting company specialising exclusively in WordPress hosting.
Here is my review of WPEngine, specifically as it relates to ecommerce hosting:
WPEngine offers four different plans for hosting WordPress sites – Personal ($29/mo.), Professional ($99/mo.), Business ($249/mo.) and Enterprise (no fixed price).
With such price tags, WPEngine certainly does not come cheap, as would be apparent to anyone who has looked at some other popular hosting options like BlueHost or HostGator. where starter plans are available in and around the range of $5/mo. What you'd do well to keep in mind though, is the fact that WordPress does happen to be a somewhat resource hungry platform by itself and ecommerce plugins would add further to its already high computing resource requirement. This is where WPEngine could turn out to be worth the investment, especially in a scenario where your ecommerce site gets lots of traffic, since this hosting service is specifically designed and optimised to work efficiently with WordPress.
WPEngine's entry-level – Personal plan ($29/mo.) allows unlimited bandwidth and 10GB of storage that is sufficient for most small ecommerce stores. This plan, however, counts the number of visits to your site and limits it to 25,000 visits per month. If this number is exceeded, they bill you an extra $1 per 1000 visits. If the over-the-limit visit bills mount too high, you could upgrade to their Professional plan (with a steep increase to $99/mo.). On the flip side, if you need to do this, your store is probably fetching lots of sales and revenues so you may not mind the $99/mo. price tag too much.
You can visit the WPEngine website by clicking here.
There are two major features of WPEngine that can counter the relatively high price of this hosting service. These are:
WP Engine EverCache – a proprietary caching software developed by WPEngine that is specifically designed to boost the performance of WordPress sites and
WP Engine Staging Area – that you can use to try out different themes, plug-ins etc. without disturbing your primary site/store – a useful feature if you need or like to try out new things frequently.
Some other noteworthy features of the WPEngine hosting service are as follows:
WP Engine Backups and Security – Owing to its massive popularly, WordPress has become the target of many malicious hackers and WPEngine allows you to backup your site with just one click and also ensures the security of their network infrastructure with vigilance.
WP Engine Curated Plugins and Themes – being a 100% WordPress-centric hosting service, WPEngine maintains a collection of curated WordPress plugins and themes, making it easier for you to pick and choose the right ones without wasting your time with trial and error.
In conclusion, as I mentioned above, WordPress might not be the best platform for hosting ecommerce sites (get some more suggestions on how to choose the best ecommerce platform for your needs) but at the same time, for small projects with a small budget, many ecommerce plugins and themes available out there make it possible to do this with some amount of ease and efficiency.
There are two possible scenarios under which you might be forced to host ecommerce over WordPress:
- You have an established WordPress site that you need to upgrade to ecommerce capabilities and
- You are starting an online store and have finalised an ecommerce platform that works on WordPress
So if for any reason you have to select a hosting service with good WordPress capabilities and support, you should definitely check out WPEngine.