The Ultimate WP Engine Hosting Reviews (December 2018)

This WP Engine review comprehensively evaluates its features and functionalities, including the overall WP Engine pricing. This should help you determine its relevance to your business.

Let’s be honest. While the phenomenal growth the hosting industry has seen lately is largely beneficial, it also introduces a whole new complex twist.

It’s essentially not single-faceted anymore. The industry has developed holistically on all fronts, especially when it comes to ecommerce platforms.

We were already getting used to simple hosting services and website builders. Then popular self-hosted platforms like WordPress joined in on the action, by giving rise to various hosting micro-niches.

Consequently, along with website builders, we now have many services like SiteGround, InMotion, HostGator, Bluehost, and GoDaddy providing varying versions of WordPress hosting. Now add self-hosted WordPress to that concoction, and you’ll admit that things are now getting a bit complicated and confusing.

And right when we were trying to settle into all that, the WordPress industry morphed yet again to give rise to managed WordPress hosting solutions.

Now, here’s the interesting bit about it. Managed WordPress hosting is not like the standard mainstream hosting space. Instead of typically purchasing web hosting, you’ll be paying for services to maintain and optimize your WordPress site.

Let that sink in for a second. Quite simply, managed WordPress hosting takes care of all the technical elements, allowing you to direct your energies to site operations.

Sounds impressive, right?

Well, think of it as a golden opportunity for ecommerce players because you can now comfortably focus on operating your WordPress-based online store. Without, of course, worrying about oiling its underlying platform engine.

This is exactly where services like WP Engine have made a home, subsequently registering more than 33,000 unique domains. Cumulatively, the service now hosts more than 35,000 websites, the bulk of which are enterprises.

So, what makes it so special? And most importantly, can it be the ideal WordPress seasoning for your ecommerce site?

To help you with everything, I jumped off the deep end into the world of managed WordPress hosting, to keenly assess the services offered from a critical point of view. This WP Engine review comprehensively evaluates its features and functionalities, including the overall WP Engine pricing. This should help you determine its relevance to your business.

But first, let’s see where it started, and what it’s basically about.

WP Engine Reviews: Overview

So far, WP Engine’s birthday cake only manages eight candles. Its founder, businessman Jason Cohen, fired it up in 2010 when he realized the growing hunger for optimized WordPress hosting services, owing to the platform’s progressively expanding popularity in all industry levels.

And that’s how he proceeded with the whole concept of installing WordPress for users, maintaining critical elements, handling updates, doing the caching, making frequent backups, periodically conducting security scans, and much more. All in all, WP Engine handles all the tedious technical tasks that could prove to be a bit overwhelming for business owners and bloggers on WordPress.

At the moment, the company has set up base in Austin, Texas and employs more than 400 tech professionals who’ve specialized in WordPress hosting.

Going by WP Engine’s extensive growth across over 120 countries, it’s evident that WordPress users are steadily catching up. And they are seemingly loving it, since the company even continues to win local and international awards in various hosting and customer service categories.

Admittedly, WP Engine might not be a veteran in the hosting industry. But it’s not shy about taking on the competition, going by the decent foothold it has managed in just 8 years.

Fair enough, but there’s also the not-so-rosy side of it. The negatives that are pulling it back, like the much-debated WP Engine pricing strategy. Compromising on such cons, as a user, depends on any corresponding positives that could outweigh them.

So, let’s take a closer look at its principal features.

WP Engine Reviews: Features

Hosting Features

Let’s start off at the top. With what WP Engine is fundamentally known for- hosting.

As a WordPress hosting service, we’d, of course, expect it to optimize all its provisions for WordPress. And WP Engine is doing quite a good job in that, with offerings that are compatible with the relevant WordPress versions.

It even goes further to adjust its hosting features to adapt to any developing WordPress updates. When WordPress 4 introduced new developer features, for example, WP Engine responded by systematically integrating all the elements into its platform.

So it’s safe to conclude that WP Engine is not just up to date on WordPress hosting features. The service is also persistently reviewing its features, to come up with superior hosting provisions well-optimized for everything WordPress has to offer.

Speaking of which, one outstanding feature I’ve seen on WP Engine is staging. It allows you to test and critically assess any site changes before they eventually go live. The staging area basically provides a testing domain where you mirror your site for any experiments you might have in mind.

And finally, WP Engine also hosts both automated and on-demand site backups. They are subsequently retained for at least 30 days, and the restoration process is a simple as a couple of clicks.

Uptime Guarantee

Admit it. Uptime has got to be the greatest single concern when it comes to web hosting. A system downtime does not only result in lost income, but is also potentially detrimental to a business’ reputation.

On average, an hour’s system failure could lose your business $686,000 when you factor in not just the lost sales, but also the subsequent drop in overall customer faith. Come to think of it, it all makes sense now why the annual cumulative revenue loss sits at a stomach-churning $26 billion.

Considering such alarming numbers, I was pretty relieved when I learned of WP Engine’s uptime guarantee. And guess what? They don’t give 800% assurance, or 90% for that matter. But rather, they assure users of 99.95% uptime. Just 0.05 off 100%.

WP Engine uptime

And you know what? They even throw in some money to back up the claim. A 60-minute downtime would pretty much qualify you for a credit of 5% on your monthly WP Engine Pricing bill.

WP Engine guarantee

Well, I know that such compensation is nothing compared to the possible corresponding losses, especially on a busy day like Black Friday. But what makes it so special if the fact that WP Engine seems to be super committed to full-time web support.

You can even migrate your website from one data center to another without going offline.

Now, that’s one hell of an assurance. Quite impressive, to say the least. That’s why I was super curious to follow up and establish how WP Engine has been fairing all along.

But, it turns out that the service doesn’t avail uptime history records. However, after a closer scrutiny, I was able to establish that past Amazon EC2 disruptions did not spare WP Engine. But, to be fair, these outages are pardonable since the underlying platform was to blame. Not WP Engine.

So far, so good on WP Engine’s side.

High-Level Security

WordPress prominence as a hosting platform is quite commendable. But, it also has its downsides. With the main being increased attacks targeting WordPress-based sites.

Well, WP Engine has been developed to counter these inherent risks, and many other possible vulnerabilities from both platform and user ends.

First of all, you get free SSL certificates regardless of your specific WP Engine pricing package. Setting them up is quite simple and straightforward, thanks to the automated process that further renews the SSL before expiration. Plus, you can proceed to implement them on either selected pages or the entire site.

WP Engine has also invested heavily in threat detection and prevention. The system is consistently crawling through your entire website, looking out for possible weaknesses and infiltration attempts. It scans both major and minor files for suspicious activities, plus blocks site access by specific traffic sources flagged as spam.

Now, imagine an unlikely situation where a hacker proves to be exceptionally skilled, and ultimately beats all these layers to gain access to your site. Usually, on most of the other platforms, you’d be forced to handle the mess. But, with WP Engine, the service takes over and conducts repairs completely free of charge.

To prevent such occurrences, you’ll notice that WP Engine is pretty strict even when it comes to standard WP Plugins. Plugins that are outdated, or seemingly unstable with insecure code are identified and blocked off from the service. Well, of course, this can be frustrating at times. But look at the big picture here- your site would be much safer.

That said, it’s worth noting that WP Engine also implements both minor and major WordPress updates as soon as they are released. And no, you don’t have to worry about looking out for them because the entire procedure is handled automatically by the update engine. But only after the patches have been comprehensively assessed and reviewed to ensure that they function optimally.

And in case someone tries to access your site through the front end, you can capitalize on WP Engine’s two-factor authentication to edit SFTP passwords.

Try-Shopify

All things considered, WP Engine’s security provisions are, by far, some of the best in the managed WordPress hosting space.

Optimized Speeds and Performance

There’s no denying that WordPress is fairly fast. You should be fine with a typical low-volume site, attached to a few basic plugins coupled with relatively light images.

But your business setup might force you to extend the plugins, embed multiple widgets, customize your theme files, and introduce extra elements like HD images, forms, plus videos.

Now, such a complex site could benefit substantially from WP Engine’s proprietary Evercache technology. This is a rather aggressive caching system that optimizes overall performance, making your web pages load at blazing speeds. And to effectively handle changing traffic patterns, the tech manages your site’s resource utilization in real time.

Well, this is the point where you might start thinking of crazy ideas like combining that with another WordPress caching plugin. More like supplementing a supercharger with a turbocharger in the same engine. That would boost the performance even further, right?

Wrong! Here’s the kicker. While such a setup would make sense theoretically, WP Engine does not accommodate third-party caching plugins.

I’ll tell you what, though. You can leverage its content delivery network, which WP Engine offers in conjunction with NetDNA.

This pretty much capitalizes on multiple data center locations, to transmit site content to users based on servers that are positioned closest to them.

WP Engine Reviews: Pricing

The WP Engine pricing structure is fundamentally broken down into four principal plans:

Startup

It’s ideal for a typical blog, and starts at $35 per month. In addition to the WP Engine’s standard features, it comes with:

  • Free page performance
  • Free migrations
  • CDN and SSL
  • 50GB bandwidth
  • 25,000 site visits per month
  • 3 environments per website
  • Starts with one website

Growth

This has been developed for small businesses, and starts at $115 per month. Apart from the service’s standard features, it provides:

  • Free page performance
  • Free migrations
  • CDN and SSL
  • 200GB bandwidth
  • 100,000 site visits per month
  • 3 environments per website
  • Starts with five websites

Scale

This is particularly ideal for mid-sized enterprises, and starts at $290 per month. Apart from the WP Engine’s standard features, it provides:

  • Free page performance
  • Free migrations
  • CDN and SSL
  • 400GB bandwidth
  • 400,000 site visits per month
  • 3 environments per website
  • Starts with 15 websites

Custom

This is the most expensive, and is built for large enterprises. However, it doesn’t come with a fixed subscription fee since WP Engine is willing to negotiate according to your specific needs. Some of the primary features it provides include:

  • The fastest support response
  • Managed onboarding
  • Highest availability/redundancy
  • Highest performance
  • Dedicated environment

All things considered, it’s pretty clear that WP Engine is not cheap. But, at least it somehow makes up for that through a 60-day money back guarantee offer. If service fails to impress, you can cancel everything and request for a full refund within 60 days.

Who Should Consider Using WP Engine?

Now that you’ve read the entire review, you’ll admit that WP Engine is undoubtedly one of the leading managed WordPress hosting services. It might not provide everything you might be thinking of, but it has optimized just the right features for a fast, secure and scalable WordPress-based website.

So, the simple truth is that WP Engine is ideal for anyone who doesn’t intend to deal with the constant headache of technical tweaks. Although it’s comparatively costlier than most services in the same space, it’s still cheaper than periodically hiring a developer to review and code the underlying WordPress framework.

All in all, it’s well worth a trial.

WPengine Rating: 4.5 - Review by