Our WP Engine review will walk you through all the Pros and Cons of this hosting service. We also show you the one mistake to avoid with this service.
WP Engine is a hosting service specifically for WordPress websites; it is focused exclusively on websites powered by WordPress, which makes it a preferred choice for WordPress users. There are a lot of options out there for hosting WordPress sites, but most of these hosting providers offer a general hosting plan designed for many different types of websites. They’re kind of a one-size-fits-all solution. The problem with those providers is that you get one-size-fits-all features and one-size-fits-all support.
WP Engine, on the other hand, is special because the system is designed specifically for WordPress with features that WordPress users need. And the support folks are all WordPress experts, so it is easy to solve most problems.
Bottom line: WP Engine is a fantastic solution for WordPress users who do not want to spend a lot of time dealing with technical issues. Those who are technically savvy (i.e., really good with PhP and MySQL) should probably go with a lower cost one-size-fits-all provider. But those who don’t want to worry about the technical aspect of running a website will be in good hands with WP Engine.
The startup plan is the entry level plan. This plan is best for websites, blogs and businesses that have less than 25,000 visitors per month.
Features include Automatic SSL Certificates, 10 GB storage, and 50 GB bandwidth per month. Also included are more than 30 StudioPress professional themes that help simplify content design and editing and are SEO optimized. You also get Genesis framework Development, production and staging environments, PHP 7.3 ready, LargeFS, Global CDN, and transferable sites.
So let me put all that in layman’s terms.
The SSL certificate means your site will be on https rather than http, so your site will be secure and data transfer will be encrypted. If you do not have SSL, then Google will label your site as dangerous, so SSL is a must have! By the way, SSL certificates are notoriously difficult to set up for beginners, but WP Engine does it automatically.
The Global CDN feature (Content Delivery Network) means that there are WP Engine servers around that world that can serve your web pages regionally (rather than relying on only one main server). This is ensures a good user experience (fast loading pages), especially for people who are on mobile. It is also good if you want to rank high in Google as pageload speed is an important criterion for Google now.
The 10 GB storage and 50 GB bandwidth per month will suffice for 99% of websites.
And the StudioPress professional themes are the icing on the cake. These themes are really beautiful, and they’re super easy to configure. They’re also mobile friendly (which is critical today). No need to hire a professional designer for your site with these themes. Just a few clicks and voila! Your site is ready to go.
The growth plan includes all the features in the startup plan, plus five websites, 20GBs of storage, and 200GB bandwidth per month. So this plan best for existing WordPress websites that already have a large audience and are growing. It is also good for those who want to run more than one website (as the startup plan only includes one site). Generally, most folks start with the startup plan, and then when they approach 25,000 visitors per month, they just upgrade to the growth plan. And by the time you have 25,000 visitors a month, you won’t mind paying the higher price.
The scale plan is great for websites that handle a very large volume of traffic. You get all the features of the startup plan plus 30GB of storage and 400GBs of bandwidth per month. You also get the ability to run up to 15 different sites. You really don’t need this plan until you are approaching 100,000 visitors per month.
GeoTarget is a WP Engine feature that detects the location of your visitors and then serves content based on their location (such as currency conversion, location-based ads, location-based results etc). This feature is an add-on and costs $15 / month. Though it’s free on the scale plan.
Pro Tip: You can save a lot of money by paying for your plan in one annual payment.
Yes, there are cheaper options out there, but frankly, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a trustworthy hosting platform with first class service from a company that has devoted itself to WordPress, then WP Engine is a great option. As I said in my introduction, those who are technically savvy (i.e., really good with PhP and MySQL) should go with a lower cost one-size-fits-all provider. But those who don’t want to worry about the technical aspect of running a website will be in good hands with WP Engine.
By the way, there is a generous 60-day money back guarantee (with no hidden fees), so you can try it out and see if it’s right for you.
WP Engine gets high marks for security.
As I mentioned before, WP Engine provides a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate for free, and the installation is as easy as the click of a button.
WP engine also gives you daily threat and malware scan detection.
If you want, you can opt for enhanced security features including Cloudflare CDN, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and a web application firewall (WAF) for an extra $30 per month by adding Global Edge Security to your plan.
WP Engine offers a guaranteed uptime of over 99.5% as per the Service Level Agreement. So you do not have to worry about your site going down. And if the site does go down, then you will be reimbursed 5% of the applicable monthly fee for each full hour of downtime in excess of the Service availability target. You will receive 5% credit for the first hour and a 10% credit for the 2nd hour.
This is by far my favorite feature of WP Engine.
WP Engine’s Support Center has videos, articles, and instructions that will solve almost every problem you could possibly have. The Startup Plan gives you 24/7 live chat support, and the more expensive plans offer 24/7 phone support. The custom plans have multiple help and support options including consultative onboarding and a launch readiness assessment to make sure you are ready before launching your website.
As for responsiveness, I have had multiple instances where I needed assistance recently, and I am pleased to report that they are highly responsive and usually respond within minutes.
This is another one of my favorite features.
WP Engine creates daily backups, automatically, for your website. You can restore your website to previous versions with just the click of a button. I cannot tell you how important this option. A few years ago, one of my WordPress websites was hacked and destroyed. I was not keeping any backups. I lost EVERYTHING. Had I had this option, I could have simply clicked a button and I would have had my site back.
This option is also nice because if you mess up your site by mistake or install a plugin that breaks your site, you are one click away from fixing everything. I have personally deployed a backup for one of my sites three times this year already. This is a LIFESAVER!
By the way, all the backups are stored in an entirely separate geographical location (and not just on a separate server). This takes data protection to a whole different level making your site almost impossible to lose.
Migrating your existing site to WP Engine is very easy and there are no hidden costs. WP Engine provides a Migration Plugin that will automate the process. It’s super easy.
In the WP Engine Portal, there is a Migration Checklist which provides detailed guidance for the entire process. You can also contact support and they will be more than happy to help you.
Yes, absolutely. There are tons of ready made themes that you can use for your site (you don’t have to use the ones provided by WP Engine). So you can set up an affiliate store. Or you can set up a blog and just using traditional affiliate linking.
You can even set up your own affiliate program if you want using a plugin like AffiliateWP.
Another great affiliate plugin is Thirsty Affiliates.
These types of plugins come with a lot of handy features like link cloaking and affiliate link tracking, making it easy to add affiliate links into posts and pictures and things like that.
If you are planning to use WordPress to power your site, and you do not want to deal with the technical aspects of managing a site (such as PhP and MYSQL), then WP Engine is a fantastic solution. The things that matter are all covered: SSL, uptime, security, backups, and a world class support center. Again, don’t waste your money on the Global Edge Security add-on (because you can get those features for free elsewhere). Other than that one feature, WP Engine is as good as it gets for WordPress hosting.