One of the most daunting tasks for every blogger is choosing the right web hosting company. Well, there are many great options available on the market particularly for medium and small sized businesses, but very few live up to their promises. For WordPress users, you need a host that can promise reliable network when your WP site starts to grow and demand more server resources. It’s worth noting that running your site requires configuration of numerous plugins as well as custom scripts which may be difficult for beginners.
Do you need to have peace of mind while blogging? You possibly require a host that offers managed WordPress Hosting. The best fit for users of WordPress is WPEngine. This host is for webmasters looking for performance-oriented and concierge service. They offer managed plans that have been fully optimized to fit the platform. Better yet, they are fast and secure with impressive developer features and hit-or-miss support. The only deal breaker could be that compared to other hosts, WPEngine has expensive plans. But for those who are experienced with WordPress will confirm the impressiveness of the platform.
What makes the host provider unique is the transferable installs which are great for agencies and resellers (developers). Essentially, creating a site is free and when you need to go live, you just need to transfer the site to a client’s account (who pays the bill). You can create unlimited transferable installs. Also, you get automated backups which is convenient for those doing a lot of development work or often doing changes to their site. Though the host is expensive, the starter plan can comfortably serve small sites with under 25k visitors per month and agencies managing around 20 sites.
This host provider offers best-in-class performance, security and support to over 700,000 websites. The values driven company was founded by popular entrepreneur Jason Cohen in 2010 with its headquarters based in Austin, TX.
Read our review of WP Engine which include its plans, features, strengths and weaknesses, and FAQs.
WP Engine offers four packages under its hosting services. These are customized with scalability options which will be of much help when you want to adjust your computing needs. The company utilizes its ultra-fast cloud capability supported by multiple data centers to provide exceptional web experiences across all plans.
These packages come with several standard features such as free CDN and SSL certificates, free migration, page performance tools, 35 Studio Press themes, and Genesis Framework.
This is WP Engine’s cheapest plan that goes for $35 a month. The package will get you three environments and supports a maximum of 25000 visits limit per month. The bandwidth cap is set at 50GB per month.
The Growth plan comes with five sites and three environments to cater for to your growing company’s hosting needs. The traffic is capped at 100,000 visits per month and 200GB bandwidth limit. The plan costs $115 per month.
With 15 sites and three environments, this plan represents the top class premium services that WP Engine is prepared to offer. The package comes with 400,000 visits cap and 400 GB bandwidth limit. A monthly subscription will cost you $290.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|SCALE||30GB||400GB||USD||Admin panel||1||PHP||-||-||$ 290.00|
|GROWTH||20GB||200GB||USD||Admin panel||5||PHP||-||-||$ 115.00|
|STARTUP||10GB||50GB||USD||Admin panel||1||PHP||-||-||$ 35.00|
One of the very first things that any business owner recognizes while running a business is the need to free up time for more demanding activities. The same usually applies to any successful website owner, whereby, having a reliably managed hosting service goes a long way in ensuring that your site prospers even more. WP Engine promises to provide enterprise performance and speeds with the added benefit of managing your web hosting service 24/7.
The service will automatically optimize server settings for super-fast load times. On top of which you will also get automatic updates and patches installed. Some of the other prominent factors that WP Engine has invested in for exceptional performance and speed include:
- Multiple Environments with each package
Considering the fact that WP Engine charges its plans as per the number of visitors, it makes much sense to have various websites with each account. This will allow you to take maximum advantage of your plan by fully utilizing the traffic allocation. Also, having multiple environments will keep your sites on fast loading speeds and ensure that every process is responsive.
- WordPress REST API Integration
WP Engine’s hosting service has been built specially for WordPress sites. As a result, each account comes with a fully functional WordPress ecosystem. The API will also allow you to access the vast catalog of WordPress add-ons and custom scripts to add more functionality to your site.
The above integration allows you to integrate your existing site without any technical knowledge. The platform also provides automatic updates to WordPress engine ensuring that your site remains up-to-date in terms of patches and latest features.
- Best-in-Class Cloud Partners
WP Engine partners with a number of web and cloud platforms to build a fulfilling digital experience for its users. Some of the big names it partners with include Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform among others. It’s also important to remember that these multinationals expect industry-leading cloud coverage which is exactly what you will also get, thanks to the network of global data centers that this hosting provider has invested in.
These partnerships also see your visitors enjoy very quick loading time no matter where they are located. This is largely due to the extensive network coverage that’s commanded by some of these cloud web services as well as content delivery networks.
- Multiple Data Centers
In order to serve traffic from a global perspective, WP Engine has invested in several data centers and a long-standing partnership with major cloud service providers. This also allows you to select which data center location to host your site on so that it is closest to your target customers. The following data center locations are available; Iowa, South Carolina, Oregon, Belgium, Taiwan, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt, Sydney, and Montreal.
- Actionable Intelligence
The online landscape is continuously evolving. The pressure to keep up with competition can be offset with actionable intelligence. WP Engine relies on its performance intelligence suite to assess each site’s performance. Some of the parameters taken into consideration include content performance, page performance, as well as application performance. With these three, your site should easily steer clear of any competition and gunner higher conversion rates. These tools also provide insight into your website’s performance and loading speeds.
Every year, millions of WordPress sites get hacked resulting in losses and in worse cases, leading to loss of the sites. This is why you need a host that’s responsible for your website’s security or else you could be the next victim.
WPEngine powers quite a significant number of WP websites on the planet which means that they have put in place the right measures for websites security on their servers. The host observes appropriate procedures and precautions to make it one of the most secure managed WordPress hosting platforms.
To achieve this feat, WP Engine employs advanced security functions such as ensuring that your site is equipped with the latest updates. What’s more, all major core updates have to be tested before being offered to customers. Additionally, the company has invested heavily on fraud prevention systems and intrusion detection to block brute force attacks, DDoS attacks and more. The host has a huge list of partners who conduct regular security audits.
- Free SSL certificates
Every account on WPEngine enjoys free SLL certificates via Let’s Encrypt. This is a standard feature for all their plans – you can easily set up your certificate from the cpanel. This host allows you to choose specific URLs that you want to load over https or select the entire website.
WPEngine sells more advanced SSL certificates in case you want to upgrade and makes it simple to purchase and manage. This is recommended for users on a professional plan or higher who would like to access a third party SSL certificate for their site.
In case you encounter any difficulty when upgrading your SSL, check out their bunch of helpful tutorials in their knowledgebase for an easy guide.
Other security features offered by WP Engine include:
· Threat detection and Prevention
This host monitors any suspicious activity in certain files to prevent vulnerabilities and hacks. They also prevent spammy IP addresses.
· Disallowed plugins
WPEngine disallows some plugins which might be frustrating to some but this is done to enhance performance and security.
· Two-Factor Authentication
You can set up the 2FA to keep your information safe. The set-up is easy via the control panel, but you need to download an app on your phone. So, the next time you need to login to your cPanel, you will need to get the unique code from your phone.
· The company also monitors an updated firewall to prevent attacks
· Finally, in case your site gets hacked, WPE fixes it for you at no cost
Because issues might occur with your WordPress Installation, the importance of backups cannot be emphasized enough. Sometimes, you might need to restore your site after some updates. A good host offers backups and restoration points that are just a click away. WPEngine is your ideal host for this, offering daily backups of your database for you. If need be, you can create your own restoration points ready – ones that you need from the WordPress dashboard. What’s more, you have a one-click restore in case you want to view the backups available for restoration.
To download backups of any installations you have made, visit the backups page and download the feature which contains the entire database. WPEngine allows you to choose to restore files and databases or just the files with no database.
- Website Staging
One reason why WPEngine is your right choice is its provision of staging on all plans. This is a nifty feature for small business owners and project sites.
Let’s begin by defining website staging.
A staging site allows you to create a clone of your ideal website. It allows you to test themes, plugin and custom code before introducing the changes to your real site. Essentially, you’re able to test the changes before they go live. Interacting with the staging site encourages you to try out new ideas on your website.
To create this kind of site, log on to your WP Engine account, click the dashboard menu, and select staging. There’s a big blue button that creates a copy of your live site. This feature by WPEngine is easy to use as it comes with a one-click command which allows you to create a staging site quite effortlessly.
Some of the benefits of website staging include:
· Design better quality websites and product launches
· Spot errors before they go live
· Can be set locally or online
· Reduces disruptions when updates occur
Your website is the number 1 thing you introduce your customers to. As a result, it needs to be appealing and user-friendly. Using the staging function will help you create near-perfect changes to your content before you can display it. What’s more, website staging is the ultimate safety net of your online business, particularly for e-commerce.
WP Engine User Portal is the default control panel option provided on all WP Engine hosting plans. This software offers flexibility and simplicity when controlling your site’s inner workings. Nonetheless, the company also gives you a choice to install third party control panel software such as the famous cPanel – you’ll however have to pay for the license key. Here’s a breakdown of some of this portal’s features:
The dashboard is the default portal page whereby it displays a list of all of your installations as well as an overview of your plan and current usage stats. Besides, you can also find system status reports relating to the WP Engine platform here.
This section gives you an overview of your current installations and their features. It also displays your DNS information and an option to access your usage CSV file which keeps a daily track of your usage status.
This page comprises a collection of features and administrative tools to manage and protect your site. They include password protection, file permissions reset, object cache and clear page cache option.
This tab allows you to manage various user groups and their specific permissions. You’ll love this function especially if you have a team working on your site and each individual needs customized permissions.
At some point, you’ll need to seek help from your host concerning issues on your site. This often happens when the knowledgebase isn’t giving you appropriate solutions, and therefore need to talk someone knowledgeable about it.
When it comes to WPEngine, there is a friendly support team that is always ready to assist. They are eager to listen to you and offer appropriate answers to common issues. You can submit an email ticket any time of the day or live chat them between 6am-8pm CT, M-F. And if you need quick answers, you can use their phone support which is available during business hours.
Note that all plans can use the live chat, but the phone support is available for professional plan or higher. The ticket support is offered to enterprise plans only.
WPEngine has an extensive knowledgebase that features dozens of guides and articles to provide useful answers to clients. Though the host still has room for improvements on this, the section has answers to most queries users ask every day. Use it to orient yourself to the platform and learn how to troubleshoot issues that develop on your site. There’s also a helpful blog which is a great place to access news on updates and new services. You can also learn invaluable online business-related tips here.
Unlike most hosts which offer a month for their refund policy, WP Engine offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. As long as you cancel the plan before the 60 days period, you will get a full refund. The guarantee applies to all plans including Personal, Professional and business plans.
To cancel your plan, go to the WP menu and click on “My Account” tab then click “Cancel account”. You will receive a message to confirm the cancellation.
WordPress is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) for online businesses. However, you don’t enjoy its e-commerce features out of the box. You need to use numerous add-ons called plugins to create an online store to any WP site. When you install the right e-commerce plugin, you can start generating revenue from your site in minutes. With WP Engine as your host, you can enjoy various free plugins that come with unique features.
We take a look at a few of these plugins:
This is a free plugin that’s highly customizable and powers over 28% of online stores. One of the major benefits you enjoy while using it include access to numerous third-party extensions. It is open source which means it allows any developer to customize it.
This is a separately-hosted service for e-commerce that you can use to embed some of the Shopify features into your WordPress site. This is not a WordPress plugin, but if you’re dissatisfied with running your online store from within WP, then you may try it out. The best part is that Shopify gives new users a free trial period.
- Easy Digital Download
This is another robust plugin for e-commerce uses. As with the name, it mainly focuses on selling digital products. This means you can use it to sell products like PDFs and software.
- ithemes Exchange
This is a simple plugin that makes selling products online quite easy. It is meant for people looking for basic stores with clean interfaces and essentials like shipping, user management, and coupons.
This is another WordPress eCommerce plugin that offers easy usability. Its standout feature is that all its functions are free with no add-ons or memberships. You get access to easily-editable templates with no fancy extras or premium features.
Whichever option you decide to use, just remember that it’s the speed that your host offers that matters the most. WP Engine will ensure that your e-commerce site loads fast and keeps your customer’s data protected. Apart from the plugins, you also get numerous email marketing tools from companies such as Drip, MailFlow, and DirectIQ.
Also, as mentioned earlier, you get a free SSL certificate for your e-commerce WordPress site. Apart from bettering your site's ranking, these certificates show that your site is secure to sell online products.
- StudioPress Themes
WP Engine plans include 36 easy to use themes that are powered by the popular Genesis Framework. The themes have built-in security and SEO scripts.
- Auto Migration
This web hosting company has invested heavily in a site migration plug-in which makes it easy for you to migrate your site from your previous host to their servers. The plug-in also allows you to customize which content you would like to bring over during the migration and those to do away with such as redundant files.
- Git and SFTP Connections
In order to equip your development team with their favorite development tools, WP Engine includes Git and SFTP connections with each account. These will also come in handy when dealing with large projects that require collaborative work.
- Dev, Stage, and Prod Environments
WP Engine relies on these three environments to enable every site owner to quickly set up their site and run an efficient development workflow.
- Automated Backups
To avoid cases of data loss, WP Engine maintains daily backups for all their hosting accounts. This will give you peace of mind if you run into any issues with your site as you can replace the current version with a prior backed up version.
- Free CDN
WP Engine’s hosting service is integrated with CloudFlare’s content delivery network which will efficiently serve your site to any visitor no matter their global location.
This feature allows you to provide location specific content for your audience. This specialization plays a considerable role in increasing audience engagement as well as transactions.
- 99.95% uptime guarantee
WP Engine has invested in one of the best if not the best managed hosting service. In order to keep up their end of the deal on providing record-breaking uptime count, the company has a 99.95% uptime which is, of course, subject to terms and conditions.
- Bonus: Features for Developers
Compared to the average user, developers require more resources. For this reason, WP Engine offers awesome features that developers might appreciate.
- Transferrable Installs
If a client offers you work, you don’t need to sign for hosting to do the clients job. Transferrable installs solve this problem easily. You just need to build a website at no cost, and when ready, WP Engine will transfer the site to your client who will pay the bill. This relieves a huge burden to web designers and freelancers.
- Git Push
This a great feature for developers working as a team. With Wp Engine’s Git Puch, it is easy to add multiple developers to your account. This way, every member of your team gets the chance to contribute to matters regardless of their location. Adding and removing developers is also very easy.
While more and more web hosts keep offering enticing hosting packages, WP Engine has continued to specialize in managed WP hosting and is now considered by many as the best choice for anyone looking for this service. However, this comes at a cost as they charge more expensive for their fast loading speeds and high performance.
Below are some of the key benefits and drawbacks of using WP Engine for your hosting.
If you are tired of disappointments from hosts, then it’s time you considered a host’s reputation before committing your money. We are not against upcoming web hosts but going for an established host provider can offer numerous benefits from the reliable features you get as well as reliable uptime.
WP Engine boasts numerous positive reviews online which means it might be your glass slipper of hosting. The host is particularly reputable for its excellent uptime and reliable network.
- Reliable Support
Since 2016, WP engine seems to have found a better way to handle its customer support cases. The host ensures that every request starts with a live chat rather than phone and ticket. You can reach their support at any time of the day, and the ticket forwarded to relevant department so that your issues can be fixed as quickly as possible.
The company has a friendly team of representatives who are experts in WordPress and can help you solve nearly any challenge you face here. Response times particularly via the email ticket and live chat are commendable.
However, before contacting their support team, always consider consulting their knowledgebase which features insightful articles that provides you answers to most common questions.
- Robust Security
Did you know that over three-quarters of websites hacked today are powered by WordPress? That is According to Sucuri, a renowned web security firm.
Luckily, WPEngine has its clients at heart and offers robust security features to safeguard websites on the platform. There are numerous daily malware scans as the platform partners with Sucuri. All sites are backed up daily to keep data safer.
The one-click function offered by WP Engine is another handy function to help you recover your site immediately after an attack. The company also runs many webinars on security and guides on how to protect your website from hackers. What’s more, every plan has an SSL certificate as a standard feature though you can import your own SSL certificate. To keep the latest threats away, they monitor an updated firewall to detect threats as quickly as possible.
- 60-day Money-Back Guarantee
In today’s hosting space, it is quite hard to find a hosting provider that gives a 60-day money-back guarantee on all subscription fees. Most only offer a month or two weeks for trial which can be too short to decide whether services offered are consistent and satisfactory.
- Easy Migrations
If you are in search for a new web host and have decided to move to WP engine, rest assured that their support will make the entire process seamless and effortless. The host owns the free Engine Automated Migration plugin that is designed for new customers. Smaller sites will find it fairly easy to be transferred but larger sites with tons of contents may take a while. It takes about 48 hours to transfer a site to WP Engine.
- Staging environment
This is a standout feature from WP Engine as most web hosts do not provide a staging area. If you need to make major updates to your site, you most likely will need this huge asset.
WP Engine offers a staging tab where you can create a clone of your website without worrying that your site will go down. Using this function, you can try out different plugins and themes to see which ones work well for your original site. Thereafter, you can migrate the changes back to the live site via a few clicks.
Here are a few things that could make you consider choosing another website hosting provider:
- No Domain Registration
WP Engine provides WordPress hosting to its customers but no other services such as domain registration. This means that you can only acquire a domain with a third party company which is usually inconvenient sometimes. Domain registration is a standard freebie for most hosts as long as you use their hosting plans.
Additionally, you cannot host your email services with this company. While this may not be a big issue for web owners that prefer to host with their party platforms, others will certainly not like it.
- Disallowed Plugins
WP Engine says that it has the necessary infrastructure you need to keep your site running fast. As a result, they usually disallow plugins that look suspect to their internal services. The list of disallowed plugins of WP Engine is large, but the popular disallowed plugins are:
· Broken Link Checker
· Backup plugins such as BackupWordPress
· Catching plugins such as WP FILE Cache, WP Super Cache, and W3 Total Cache.
· EWWW Image optimizer (non-cloud version)
- No Cpanel
While this may not be a real deal breaker, many people prefer to use the traditional cPanel to manage their site. However, the platform has a user portal which can be new to some. The portal is easy to use and can display the number of visitors, storage used and bandwidth. If you need cPanel, you’ll have to purchase one from a third party.
- What makes managed WordPress hosting better that ordinary shared and VPS?
With shared and VPS servers, you need to be well-informed about all the IT grunt work. But with WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting, all the upgrades, backups, server security, and site performance optimization are all solved on your behalf. Since almost everything is done for you, you can concentrate on e-commerce goals.
- How many data centers does WP Engine have?
WP Engine operates 3 data centers around the world. The headquarters are in Houston, Texas with other data centers in London in the UK. The third data center is in Asia - Tokyo, Japan.
- Do they offer a refund policy?
Yes. WP Engine offers a 60-day money back guarantee should you feel dissatisfied with their services. Their refund applies to all subscription fees as provided in their terms of services. This enables you to try out their service in a risk-free way.
- What is website staging?
A staging area allows you to create a copy of your website for trial with themes and plugins. This reduces errors in your content because you have tried all the changes before transferring to your live site. Essentially, staging offers a clear preview of how your site will look like after the changes. It encourages you to try out new ideas especially with the easy one-click staging offered by WP Engine.
- Will I get a free SSL certificate?
Yes, all domains that are hosted by WP Engine get a free automated Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. You also enjoy one-click install through the user portal. The host also sells other types of premium SSL certificates if you need to upgrade.
- Can I host an email account?
No, WP Engine does not allow email hosting on their platform. However, they have some third parties that may offer you the services separately.
- What if my website exceeds the number of visits for my plan?
WP Engine makes it clear about the number of visitors that can visit your site in a month based on your plan. However, the company is logical about unexpected sudden spikes in traffic, and hence they offer overages charge based on the number of visits exceeded.
- Is WP Engine recommended for developers?
Yes, the platform offers impressive features for developers. For instance, in case you have a client’s work and need hosting to do the work on the clients’ behalf, WP Engine makes it hassle-free. For example, they offer transferrable installs which allow you to build a site at no cost and when ready, the client can pay the bill.
Also, the Git Push configuration is another feature that allows you to create SSH keys if you work as a team. With this feature, you can easily add multiple developers into one account so that they can share ideas. These two features are huge for developers.
- Does WP Engine offer Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
Yes, you get a great CDN for higher plans, particularly the business and professional plans. For personal plans, consider purchasing a CDN for faster site speed. The type of CDN offered by this host is easy to set-up and configure with a click of a button.
- Do they offer automatic backups?
Yes. As a good host, WP Engine offers daily backups to keep your files and database safe. WordPress installation may sometimes develop issues which can require a full restore. WP Engine keeps a copy of daily backups for every site and also gives you a place to create a restoration point from your WordPress dashboard.
- How is WP Engine’s customer support like?
For starters, you get a help center with tons of articles and guides which can help you learn more about WP Engine and its products and services. The web host also hosts regular webinars, blog posts, guides, and tutorials and updates to keep you abreast with everything happening in the world of blogging and hosting. Their knowledgebase offers quality information on how to launch your site, improve your site, and troubleshoot common issues among other things.
You can reach their customer support via live chat every day from 6am-8pm or by phone during business hours (9 am – 6 pm BST). Additionally, you can use their email ticketing support which is available at any time of the day (2/7/365).
- How is their support different?
One of the strong suits of WP Engine is their exceptional support. Their technicians are WordPress experts and will solve almost every WordPress-related issues under the sun. What set’s this web host apart is the on-hands support your get. Their support is trained to help you with installing updates, plugin compatibility and configuration, speed and loading issues. You don’t have to worry about many WordPress issues with WP Engine, just concentrate on what you like doing – blogging.
- What measures does WP Engine take to secure my website?
Securing websites is a top goal for WP Engine, and hence the company takes several measures to keep WordPress sites on their servers safe. The host runs regular malware and virus scans, monitors an updated firewall, and offers daily backup in case of attacks.
Better yet, they offer an automated SSL certificate for every plan to keep clients information safe. The hosting provider also offers numerous webinars on security to keep developers and engineers well-informed. Finally, this web host promises to get your site back at zero cost, in case it’s hacked.
- Does WP Engine offer Website Builder?
No, WP Engine does not provide users with a builder. The platform only carries out WordPress Hosting Services. All customers get access to the page performance tool through the portal to monitor speed and performance. Clients can access the Genesis Framework and over 35 StudioPress themes at no cost. That way, building a WordPress Site is often a breeze.
- What are WP Engine hosting plans?
WP Engine offers 3 plans and an option to customize your plan. The difference across the hosting plans is with the number of WordPress installations allowed, traffic capacity and storage. For instance, the Startup Plan can support one site and provides 10 GB storage with 25, 000 monthly visitors. On the other hand, for high traffic sites, you can purchase the Premium and Enterprise plans. These can handle hundreds of sites and can manage more than 150 WordPress installations. They offer large storage ranging from 100 GB to 1 TB for both plans.
- What payment options can I use with WP engine?
At the moment, WP Engine accepts all major credit card payments in case you need to purchase a plan.