If WordPress is the king of blogging software, WP Engine is the castle in which he resides. Offering only Managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine strives to make the blogging and hosting process comfortable for the user.
Founded in Austin, TX in 2010, WP Engine has grown from being a relatively small hosting provider to opening data centers in San Francisco, San Antonio, and more recently, London. They take great pride in providing the easiest experience possible while backing it all up with great customer service.
So, does WP Engine deliver on its promises and could they be the right choice for hosting your WordPress blog? Keep reading to find out more!
WP Engine Pricing & Plans
WP Engine stays true to their name, as they primarily only offer Managed WordPress Hosting, albeit with different tiers and additional features available to customize your hosting. Personal, Professional, Business are the three tiers of Managed hosting that WP Engine offers, with Premium and Enterprise Dedicated plans also being available.
The Personal plan starts you off with unlimited data transfer, 10 GB of storage and one WordPress blog. The maximum visitor count is 25,000, which certainly is quite small for a blog looking to become relevant. Interestingly enough, WP Engine defines a visitor as “a unique IP within a 24 hour period”, meaning that visitor counts might be slightly different than what you find in Google Analytics or other site statistics tools.
If your website has even greater requirements, visitor counts quadruple to 100,000 with the Professional plan and again to 400,000 with the Business plan. You also get a free CDN included with your Professional or Business plan while 24 / 7 dedicated phone support is also included.
The Premium (one million visitors) and Enterprise (five million visitors) plans are meant for extremely high-traffic blogs, with pricing available only if you call to get a specific quote for your site. These are dedicated hosting plans that also include WP Engine’s “Strategic Account Management”, a form of consultancy and advice to help better your business.
Included in all plans is the option to use WP Engine’s free migration service, allowing you to quickly transfer your existing WordPress blog to their platform in just a few minutes.
Check out this video on what sets WP Engine apart from other hosting providers.
WP Engine Speed and Reliability
Of course, the most critical function of any WordPress blog is speed and reliability, which ends up affecting traffic to your website, and subsequently your wallet. Luckily, WP Engine is widely known in the industry to be the best choice for hosting your blog, mainly because of their near-flawless performance when it comes to loading content.
WP Engine relies on Evercache, their custom caching system that handles the process of displaying content to your site’s visitors. Evercache reduces server load by giving visitor’s access to your content through a sophisticated front-end (instead of loading from your back-end), thus increasing speeds and handling high levels of concurrent traffic.
WP Engine states in their SLA (Service Level Agreement) an uptime guarantee of 99.95%, which is quite the standard when comparing to other hosting provider’s 99.9% or 99.99% guarantees. Luckily, this is not all there is to it, as WP Engine will also credit you 5% of your monthly fee for every hour your site experiences downtime.
Additionally, core employees of WP Engine all have a background in WordPress, meaning that they know the intricacies and details should you have any problems arise with your blog. They also have automatic WordPress recovery and backup using “snapshots”, meaning you can safely backup your blog in a matter of seconds.
WP Engine Interface/Security
Since WP Engine only offers WordPress hosting, instead of a control panel like CPanel or vDeck running the show, there is a main WP Engine interface where you can handle billing and general settings of your account.
WP Engine has a handy “staging area” which allows you to instantly copy and test blogs before going live, which is particularly useful for WordPress developers and other more advanced web users.
WP Engine data centers are located in Texas, Tokyo, and London, meaning they have all the major continents covered. These data centers are all powered by state of the art network infrastructure and protected by multiple UPS and power redundancy systems.
Regarding security, WP Engine has thousands of rule sets specially tuned for WordPress, identifying and preventing attacks before they happen. They claim to have near-complete protection from brute force, Java/SQL, and XML-RPC attacks, along with blocking of IP addresses related to spammers and hackers.
We were also impressed to see WP Engine make use of PHP tuning to weed out dangerous commands or insecurities while also claiming to restore your site for free if it gets hacked.
Additional security in the form of SSL certificates is available for purchase starting at $49.99 a year while third-party SSL certificates can also be installed on all plans except for Personal.
WP Engine Customer Service
WP Engine Customer service is defined as being “around the clock support from on-site WordPress experts” and this just further contributes to them being the best possible hosting option for your WordPress blog. An extensive knowledge base is available, entitled “Support Garage”, filled with in-depth guides on how to deal with WordPress-related issues.
Live chat is available from 6 AM to 8 PM CT, while 24/7 e-mail and ticket support are available as well. 24/7 phone support is available for all plans except the starting Personal package. Premium and Enterprise plans also include the aforementioned “Strategic Account Management”, which acts as a form of consultancy/support for your expanding business.
We were able to test their live chat, although we were greeted with a 53-minute wait time, as WP Engine were dealing with an data center issue at the time. Thankfully, this wait time does not seem to be the norm with WP Engine, as they are highly praised across the Internet for their customer service.
WP Engine has one of the longest money back guarantees we’ve seen at 90 days (excluding dedicated plans), although this is still less than Dreamhost’s 97-day money back guarantee.
WP Engine Review Conclusion
- Flawless network architecture
- 90-day money back guarantee
- Snapshot Backups
- Extensive knowledgebase
I wasn’t so sure about
- Lack of true 24/7 support
- Slightly higher prices
So, what are our thoughts on WP Engine after conducting this review? We firmly believe that WP Engine is the best WordPress hosting provider on the Internet today.
With excellent hardware across the board coupled with numerous features to help manage your WordPress blog, we can’t help but feel as if they are truly committed to offering the best solution to your hosting needs.
With a staging area available to setup a test blog and a 90-day money back guarantee available, you don’t have much to lose by signing up and giving them a try today!