WPEngine is VIP WordPress hosting. Their hassle-free hosting offers fast and robust servers that can handle anything. Your website is practically hacker proof, and their mind-blowing customer service makes you feel like king. They offer automatic security updates, daily backups, one-click restore points, automatic caching, top-tier security, one-click staging area, and more. WPEngine is like having an army of WordPress experts on your side for assistance. Brands like HTC, FourSquare, SoundCloud, Balsamiq, and many others use WPEngine for their WordPress hosting (Just sayin’). If you are a business who do not want to deal with the technical side of running your blog, then WPEngine is the solution for you. Bonus: now you get all 36+ premium StudioPress themes and Genesis framework for free with all WP Engine accounts.
WP Engine is a WordPress-specific web host, offering managed plans that are fully optimized for the platform. Of course, when compared to many other WordPress hosts, WP Engine’s plans aren’t exactly cheap. Therefore, you’ll want to know whether this hosting service is worth the cost before making a purchase.
To help you out, we’re going to conduct a thorough WP Engine review for WordPress. We’ll discuss its key features, support options, performance capabilities, and everything else you’ll need to know. Let’s get started!
What Is WP Engine?
Founded in 2010, WP Engine is now one of the leading managed WordPress hosting companies in the market. Serial entrepreneur Jason Cohen started WP Engine when he saw a need for specialized WordPress hosting due to the rising popularity of WordPress.
WP Engine is Headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in San Antonio (Texas), London (England), Limerick (Ireland), Brisbane (Australia), and Kraków (Poland).
WP Engine can handle many other technical tasks for your website as well, leaving you with more time to focus on providing quality content and enhancing targeted promotions for your small business or freelance project.
WP Engine Hosting Plans
WP Engine only offers managed WordPress hosting. Their managed WordPress plans have following hosting options.
- Managed hosting – Managed hosting environment suitable for small business and blogs
- Managed Hosting Plus – Includes automated plugin updates tested with AI including 3rd party plugins.
- Secure Hosting – Additional security layers with website firewall and DDoS protection
- Ecommerce Hosting – WooCommerce hosting with powerful store search, eCommerce templates, and more
Each of these hosting options has five different levels available: Startup, Professional, Growth plan, Scale, and Custom. The Custom plan also includes dedicated servers dev. environments, customer success, and priority support.
All plans include unlimited data transfer. The plans differ based on:
- number of WordPress installs
- traffic volume (Monthly visitors or number of visits per month)
- disk storage amount
- Bandwidth requirement
Each WP Engine plan has set limits on the number of visits your hosting account can get. If your account exceeds those limits, then you may be charged overage pricing for extra visits.
WP Engine includes some unique features for WordPress users that most hosts don’t offer, or charge extra for. These special features include:
- Git version control
- Staging environment: instantly staging sites for testing
- Easy transferable WordPress installation from free to paid accounts
- Free SSL certificates and SSH access
- Cutting edge technologies including latest PHP version
In our WP Engine review, we found that WP Engine offers the most advanced and comprehensive managed WordPress hosting features.
WP Engine’s Security Features
If you’re looking to sell products via your website, you’ll want a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. It safeguards the data sent from a customer’s computer to your site’s servers. Fortunately, WP Engine includes one, free of charge, with your hosting subscription. Considering that some web hosts make you buy an SSL certificate, we tip our hat to WP Engine for tossing one in for free.
In addition, WP Engine performs daily malware scans and has a firewall—one that’s updated daily—to block the latest threats. The web host also offers real-time threat detection, enterprise-grade firewalls, and free hacking remediation by WordPress-trained security experts.
The WP Engine Experience
As you may have surmised, WP Engine only offers WordPress-based shared and dedicated hosting. If you’re looking for more traditional shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting, you should look elsewhere. Our review roundups are an excellent place to start.
WP Engine is a managed hosting environment specifically designed for WordPress installations, themes, and plug-ins. In fact, you don’t need to install WordPress as you do with most other web hosts; the content management system comes preinstalled. It was refreshing to open our introductory email, view our login credentials, and then get started without any additional setup. In terms of creating content, WP Engine functions as any other self-hosted WordPress installation. It’s a breeze to create posts, pages, and galleries.
WP Engine also automates many functions with the Managed Hosting Plus plans and higher, including daily site backups and plug-in updates. It also features proprietary Evercache technology that combines caching and proxy servers to make pages load quickly.
WP Engine doesn’t offer email, nor does it register domain names. You have to sign up with a third-party company for electronic mail, and you need to register a domain name at NameCheap or another dedicated URL registrar.
E-Commerce and Email Marketing
WP Engine an eCommerce Hosting tier, with plan prices ranging from $36 per month (Startup) to $350 per month (Scale). With the eCommerce plans, you get one-click store creation, optimized store themes, WooCommerce template, and automated plugin updates. The Professional, Growth, and Scale tiers also get Instant Store Search, a valuable search tool plugin powered by ElasticPress.
WP Engine specializes in WordPress hosting, so as you’d expect, you should tap the massive CMS plug-in library for e-commerce tools. You can find useful plug-ins from Shopify, WooCommerce, and other companies. There are numerous email marketing tools, too. Drip, DirectIQ, Mailflow, and many other companies offer WordPress plug-ins that let you leverage customers’ email addresses to make money.
The ecommerce and email marketing companies typically charge you a small fee in exchange for their services. Shopify, for example, has a $9 per month starting price.
Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. While your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services—and they might not come back. We take web host uptime very seriously.
For this testing, we used a website monitoring tool to track our WP Engine-hosted test site’s uptime. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings our website and sends an alert if it is unable to contact the site for longer than one minute. We look at the data for the most recent 14 days for each site’s review. In our latest tests, WP Engine proved incredibly stable. WP Engine did not go down a single time during that two week testing period. As long as it keeps on this course, you can count on it to deliver a rock-solid web hosting experience.
We contacted WP Engine several times during testing—early morning and midday—to get a sense of its support team’s effectiveness. We called to discover how to install new WordPress themes, and then used the web chat to contact a representative who would explain SSL certificates. The team answered both questions, and a few miscellaneous others, accurately and quickly, after short wait times.
WP Engine has upped its support since we last reviewed it, extending its 24/7 customer support to all clients via telephone and chat. This is a great improvement over the tiered phone support offered previously, in which only Growth and Scale customers had 24/7 phone support previously, while Startups had a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST) window for calls. WP Engine offers a healthy 60-day money-back guarantee.
Worthy WordPress Hosting
WP Engine offers valuable and potent WordPress hosting options alongside accessible and helpful customer service, reliable uptime, flexible plans, and powerful, cloud-based platform flexibility. If you have a serious, WordPress-powered project you need hosted, WP Engine is an excellent web hosting service that should be on your radar. Provided you don’t mind turning to a third-party for a domain name and email, WP Engine covers all of your WordPress-related bases. If you want lower-cost, non-enterprise-class WordPress hosting that includes email and domain names, A2 is our other top pick for WordPress hosting
Building your first site? Check out our essential primers on How to Build a Website and How to Get Started With WordPress.
Features and support are important, but performance is what makes or breaks a web host. Fortunately, WP Engine offers plenty of performance-enhancing features, such as:
A free Content Delivery Network (CDN) service, included on all plans.
A Page Performance solution that tests your site and helps you make improvements.
An add-on called GeoTarget that optimizes your site for specific regions.
What’s more, WP Engine offers a lot of server locations. We won’t list them all out (there are 19), but they include data centers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
All of this should translate to excellent real-world performance. Let’s see if that’s the case!
Page speed tests with Pingdom
For the next phase of our WP Engine Review for WordPress, we set up a basic site and tested its loading speeds using Pingdom Tools from various locations around the world. Here are our results:
- New York: 1.61 seconds
- Melbourne: 1.67 seconds
- San Jose: 0.39 seconds
- Stockholm: 1.60 seconds
These are remarkably consistent times (with the exception of San Jose, which is the clear stand-out). 1.6 seconds isn’t particularly impressive, but it’s a decent speed that remains below the all-important two-second mark.
Page speed tests with Load Impact
It’s always smart to test performance using multiple tools. So we also used Load Impact to simulate the effects of multiple simultaneous users on our WP Engine site. Here’s what we got:
- Load Generator: Ashburn, USA
- Test Server: Ann Arbor, USA
- Minimum Response Time: 0.51 seconds
- Maximum Response Time: 0.59 seconds
Basically, this chart shows that as the number of visitors increases (blue line), our test site’s page load times remained consistent (green line). That’s a good thing because it means your site will load just quickly for the 1st visitor as it will for the 50th person visiting at the same time.
While WP Engine only offers one type of service – its managed WordPress hosting – it also provides a number of tiered plans to choose from. These plans differ dramatically in how many resources they offer and the number of sites they cater for, which means you’re getting a very scalable service.
Let’s run through each of the WP Engine plans quickly:
- Startup ($20.00 per month): With this entry-level tier, you get support for up to 25,000 visits per month, one website, 10GB of storage, and 50GB of bandwidth. You’ll also get an SSL certificate, access to a global CDN, and a few other key features.
- Professional ($39.33 per month): This plan allows you to set up three sites, and welcome up to 75,000 visitors a month. You also get 15 GB of storage.
- Growth ($76.67 per month): This plan increases your traffic support to 100,000 and provides you with ten sites. In addition to more resources, you get access to 24/7 phone support and can import your own SSL certificates.
- Scale ($193.33 per month): This tier is largely identical to the last. It simply provides even more resources, bumps your site count up to 30, and supports up to 400,000 visits per month.
- Premium and Enterprise: These are custom plans, so pricing will vary. They provide lots of additional resources and support, and move your hosting up from a shared setup to dedicated servers.
These plans aren’t cheap, but they do provide plenty of features and lots of room for your site to grow. If you’re looking to build one or more serious business or e-commerce sites, this service is worth a look.
Overall pros and cons
For the final step in our WP Engine review for WordPress, let’s sum up the key pros and cons of this hosting provider.
- Well-optimized for WordPress users.
- Simplifies the process of managing your website.
- Provides solid, consistent performance.
- Offers plenty of dedicated and expert support.
- Won’t fit into everyone’s budget.
- Only offers managed hosting on shared servers (or dedicated servers on the custom plans).
Alternatives to WP Engine hosting
WP Engine is a solid hosting choice if you have a decent budget. However, it’s fairly expensive (especially on the higher tiers).
If you like WP Engine in theory, but it just isn’t in your price range, there are some alternatives you can check out. SiteGround is a great WordPress-specific provider, for example, and DreamHost offers managed hosting that’s pretty affordable. For more information, you can take a look at our full article on alternatives to WP Engine.
WP Engine plans don’t come cheap – there’s no sugar-coating that fact. However, you’ll get a quality managed hosting service in exchange for your investment. This provider offers lots of vital WordPress-specific features, solid performance, and reliable support. If WP Engine does fit your budget, it’s worth serious consideration.
If not, we mentioned a few alternatives above. For even more hosting options, you can check out some of our previous reviews:
Frequently Asked Questions WP Engine
We have been answering reader’s questions about WordPress hosting services for a long time. Here are some of the most often asked questions about WP Engine that we hear from our users.
Is WP Engine a shared hosting company?
No, WP Engine is not a shared hosting company and they do not offer services similar to shared hosting plans. WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting company offering WordPress specific hosting solutions.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting is like the concierge service for your WordPress website. WordPress is powerful content management system and website builder. Managed hosting companies offer an optimized solution where they take care of updates, security, backups, caching, and more. This leaves you with time that you can then spend on growing your business.
Managed WordPress hosting is slightly more expensive than shared hosting plans.
Is WP Engine worth your money?
Yes, WP Engine is worth your money. Especially, if your business has outgrown the limitations of shared hosting services and shared VPS plans, then WP Engine is the best scalable upgrade option.
It allows you to easily manage updates and security and scale your website as your business grows.
Where are WP Engine Servers Located?
WP Engine uses Google Cloud servers and Amazon Web Servers as their data centers. This allows you to select data centers in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific.
How WP Engine Compares to Other Hosts?
We are often asked about how WP Engine compares to other best WordPress hosting companies.
When it comes to managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine has a slight edge over competitors like Kinsta, Flywheel, and other options. Mainly due to better technology, user experience, and customer support.
WP Engine pricing is more expensive than shared hosting providers like Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, InMotion Hosting, DreamHost, and even SiteGround.
For more information, see our detailed comparison of SiteGround vs Bluehost vs WP Engine.
Does WP Engine support WordPress multisite?
WP Engine supports WordPress multisite as a paid addon for Growth and Scale plans. It does not support WordPress multisite for Startup plan. It is also included in ‘Custom’ plans for agencies and enterprise clients.
Can I cancel WP Engine hosting and get a refund?
You can cancel your WP Engine hosting service at any time from your account dashboard / user portal.
They offer a full refund during the first 60-days of hosting for users who have pre-paid annual pricing.
Which WP Engine hosting plan is right for me?
If you are hosting a single website then you can sign up for their Startup plan. However, if you have a busier website or need to manage multiple installations, then you can choose Growth or Scale plans.
WP Engine is offering a 20% discount to WPBeginner users. Click here to start with WP Engine.