WordPress is a great content management system (CMS) to allow you to create an attractive and high performing site with even just beginner web development skills. Many hosts have recognized the popularity and usefulness of WordPress and have started to create hosting packages tailored towards it.
But WP Engine has taken it a step further. As their name implies, WP Engine supports WordPress, and that’s it. It is the leading company when it comes to WordPress hosting by far, providing hosting for huge companies like Asana, Rogers, Telus, and more.
But they provide a range of hosting services, which means there’s something for you too if it’s the right fit. There are many reasons, which I’ll explain shortly, why WP Engine is a solid choice for beginner web developers. In this review, I’m going to go over the aspects of WP Engine that stand out the most, and see if it’s the best choice for your website(s).
- 1 Advanced Features That Make WP Engine Stand Out
- 2 Support
- 3 Plans
- 4 Pricing
- 5 Summary
- 6 Your Review of WP Engine
Advanced Features That Make WP Engine Stand Out
At first, it might not be obvious why it’s a great thing that WP Engine powers huge sites.
The reason it’s good is that in order to power those sites, WP Engine has developed and refined a lot of advanced technology.
And while you don’t get access to all of those benefits, you do get access to some of them, even on the lowest tiered plan.
Fast Speeds From Innovative Technology
One of the biggest issues with WordPress is that it’s slow from a developer’s viewpoint. It has a significant amount of bloat that can’t be avoided.
However, WP Engine has a few ways to speed up the sites that it hosts, significantly. Overall, they claim that the sites they host run 4-6 times faster than on a typical host.
One of the main ways that they are able to achieve this speed is through EverCache.
EverCache is an advanced caching system that WP Engine developed themselves, specifically for sites they host. While there are caching plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, it’s a struggle to configure them to achieve the same sorts of speed gains.
If EverCache doesn’t work as intended, WP Engine’s support team will configure any special rules that your site(s) need to make it work.
Simple and Automatic Backups
If a large website ever lost data because it was hacked or servers went down, it’d be a huge loss in revenue. So hosts like WP Engine have to develop robust backup systems, that you also get to take advantage of.
On WP Engine, you have access to “snapshot backups.”
A snapshot is a backup at a specific point in time that you can restore your website to as needed.
It takes a few seconds to create a snapshot yourself manually in your account. But WP Engine also takes a snapshot of your site at least once a day. If you accidentally brick your website, as most beginners do at some point, you’ll be glad you have those backups.
Top Class Security
WordPress often has security issues because plugins, and more importantly, its core, are often not kept updated by site owners.
Since so many websites use WordPress, it’s a big target for hackers, and it’s important to stay secure.
WP Engine automatically updates any minor updates to WordPress. Major updates to WordPress are not done automatically for you but tested thoroughly to decrease the chance that you’ll have any bad surprises.
There is a host of other security feature on WP Engine, but most won’t affect small sites too much. Just know that WP Engine has a proprietary intrusion detection and prevention system that prevents malicious attacks in the background.
Additionally, they do a great job of mitigating any DDoS attacks on your website.
Staging Included in All Plans
Staging allows you to quickly create 2 versions of your website.
The staging version of your website is where you test all your changes. Once everything looks and functions as you’d like, you push it to your “live” version where the public can see it.
This feature is included in every plan that WP Engine.
Page Performance Built-In
A final unique feature on WP Engine is that there’s a page performance tool integrated into your WordPress dashboard that breaks down your page load speeds.
Simply put, it analyzes all the steps of the page load, then tells you what parts are slow. It also provides recommendations on how to fix them.
You can set up automated reports so that you can see how any changes to your website affect page load speed over time.
Aside from performance, the other area of WP Engine that really stands out to me is the support.
Many hosts outsource their support, which often results in some frustrating situations for customers.
WP Engine hires all of their own support, and have over 100 full-time WordPress experts employed. That’s a key point, they all study and understand how to best use WordPress.
Support is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can choose to get support through:
- Live Chat
- Phone (not on the lowest plan, however).
The last piece of the support puzzle is the WP Engine knowledgebase. It consists of hundreds of tutorials and guides to solving common problems.
Of all the knowledgebases that I’ve seen, this is arguably the best.
It’s well categorized, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Additionally, the articles are clearly written, with distinct steps and images to help you.
As I mentioned, WP Engine has plans that support everything from small sites to huge ones. There’s a lot of plans.
Here’s a quick overview of the most important ones.
The personal plan only allows you to install a single WordPress site, but it is the most affordable.
It comes with all those features we went over earlier and supports up to 25,000 visits per month.
Additionally, you can purchase the ability to host an additional site on this plan for a discounted rate.
When you need to support additional sites or more traffic, you move up to this tier of hosting.
It comes with a few extra features, but most importantly, it supports up to 100,000 total visits per month, and you can install up to 10 sites on it.
Business and Higher Tiers
There’s a bunch of plans above the professional tier. These are much more expensive, but their performance is fantastic.
I’m not going to go over the features because if you’re starting from a small site, chances are you won’t need one of these plans any time soon.
Overall, the plans are not cheap.
That’s to be expected when you get top-tier performance and support.
However, the prices aren’t crazy either, and definitely affordable for any serious business venture.
Even if you’re just practicing WordPress development, the price is often worth it if you make use of the support.
There are a few things that make the price not as bad:
- A free SSL certificate on all plans.
- Free automated migration tool. Saves time and cost if you need to migrate a site.
- 60-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, WP Engine is the leading host when it comes to WordPress specifically. The performance offered is fantastic, as is the support.
That being said, it’s relatively expensive, which is why most sites hosted on WP Engine are designed to generate revenue.
So give WP Engine a try if you know you’re building a WordPress site that could benefit from high performance.
Your Review of WP Engine
Are you a current or past customer of WP Engine? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of WP Engine's speed, features and customer service.