WP Engine: Our Review

Well-known as a specialist in WordPress hosting, WP Engine is a hosting provider dedicated to full-service solutions at a premium price.

Home to WordPress sites for industry giants such as HTC, Foursquare and SoundCloud, this Austin, Texas-based company has built its reputation by combining fully-managed WordPress hosting with cutting-edge speed and technology.

Features

Unlike most hosting providers, WP Engine is focused on only one kind of hosting: WordPress. They offer four plans (Personal, Professional, Business, and Premium), each building on the features of its predecessor. At the highest level, Premium, customers receive dedicated hardware and higher-level, personalized support.

WordPress Hosting Features

  • Support for 1/10/25/Unlimited* WordPress installs
  • Support for 10 GB/20 GB/30 GB/Unlimited* drive space
  • Unlimited** data transfer/bandwidth
  • 25K/100K/400K/Unlimited** site visitors each month
  • Daily backups
  • Built-in firewall
  • Service Level Agreement with money-back guarantee
  • Free 24/7 customer support via email (phone support available at Business and Premium levels only)
  • Content Delivery Network support to boost performance***
  • Dedicated IP (Professional plans and above; additional fee may apply)
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support (Professional plans and above)
  • Proprietary user control panel (comparable to cPanel)
  • Dedicated hardware available (Premium plan only)

*As a rule, “unlimited” in the context of shared hosting generally denotes “limitless until you negatively impact server performance, at which point you may be billed or transferred to a more costly service tier.” However, at WP Engine, extra storage is billed monthly at a flat rate of $1/GB.

**WP Engine measures traffic in “visits,” as determined by visitor IP address. Customers who exceed their monthly visitor limit are billed at a rate of $1/1,000 additional visitors.

***CDN support is included with the Professional plan and higher; Personal customers who want to add CDN support can add it to their plan for $19.95/month.

All four WP Engine plans are covered by the company’s 60-day money-back guarantee.

Benefits Breakdown

The Good

WP Engine is focused on one thing: WordPress. And if your site is one of the millions built using this popular content management system, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated and specialized provider.

Both the feature set and support are robust; the company boasts that it has more WordPress specialists per customer than any other company, and all but the most basic plans include support for CDN, SSL and multiple sites running from a single WordPress installation. The top-shelf hardware and included firewall are nice touches, and help support the company’s commitment to exceptional uptime as well.

The company has a respectable 60-day money-back guarantee, along with an SLA that ensures customers are compensated for any outages that might occur in spite of the the company’s enterprise-level architecture and redundant systems.

The Not-So-Good

WP Engine makes no bones about its pricing; as a specialized, high-performance host, it provides premium services, and those come at a very unsurprising premium price. Even the lowest tier is at least twice as expensive as the premium tier of most shared hosting providers—but the services and features provided mitigate this cost to a large extent (an assertion the company goes to some lengths to defend in its Frequently Asked Questions area).

The company also limits or blocks the installation of certain popular WordPress plug-ins and add-ons (although its own infrastructure often provides identical functionality to content that’s banned), so if your site relies on a particular component, be sure to inquire before you choose a plan.

Also, email support is not included at WP Engine, so you’ll need to investigate other options for your company (WP Engine recommends Google Apps and Gmail).

If you’re looking for budget hosting, have relatively simple hosting requirements, or want to expand beyond WordPress, WP Engine may not be the host for you. But if you need in-depth WordPress support and cutting-edge tech with a personal touch, WP Engine has the power you need to move your WordPress site to the fast lane of the Information superhighway.

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