WP Engine is one of the oldest managed WordPress hosting providers in the industry. Built on state-of-the-art infrastructure and integrated with top technology partners like AWS, Google, and New Relic, WP Engine guarantees 99.95% uptime and offers a variety of premium features. While most WP Engine reviews are flattering, we looked beyond them to discover the weak points and give you a better idea of what you’re signing up for.
WP Engine is a premium WordPress hosting provider trusted by Under Armour, Hello Fresh, and Arizona State University. A multiple award winner, this is undoubtedly a web host with a lot of perks. That said, we’ve uncovered some weaknesses too and made a head-to-head comparison with the competition to give you all the answers you need in this WP Engine review.
WP Engine offers a 99.95% uptime guarantee. If they fail to maintain the uptime above 99.95%, you will be given a credit of 5% of the monthly fees for each hour of downtime. There are also certain services and features that are subject to WP Engine’s “Enhanced SLA”. For these, WP Engine guarantees 99.99% uptime and 3% credit of the monthly fees for each hour of downtime.
From the WP Engine customer reviews, it’s clear that this web host maintains excellent uptime. Many users have reported 99.99% or even 100% uptime. Beyond monitoring the site's frontend for downtime, WP Engine also keeps an eye on your site's backend for issues. If any malware or hacking attempt is detected, the technical team will immediately take proactive measures.
Regardless of the theme you’ll choose (a basic or more advanced one), your site will load fast. WP Engine leverages the AWS public cloud platform to add speed and resilience to the platform. The scalable, WordPress-managed architecture can seamlessly handle traffic surges from 10,000 to 100 million users. WP Engine reviews further confirm that the vendor delivers on its promise of speed.
The web host further has a proprietary caching system called EverCache, designed to reduce the strain on the site’s resources. The StackPath (formerly MaxCDN) routes local requests to the nearest server improving the speed and reducing the latency. WP Engine features the latest PHP version, and it’s HTTP/2-enabled, which allows it to serve up to three times more requests per second but also improves conversions, visitor retention, and SEO.
WP Engine reviews also praise the Page Performance Tool, which you can access from the User Portal. This tool provides valuable insight into the average time it takes for all visible parts of your site to display, the number of resources requested by the webpage being analyzed, and the total file size of the elements, as well as recommendations for improving site speed and performance. Users consider these recommendations beneficial and argue this tool saves them the need to use third-party apps.
No WP Engine review could go without mentioning how developer-friendly this host is. The installation process is simple, and you can get started in minutes thanks to the automated one-click setups. The Local Development Environment for WordPress offers root SSH access and access log files for MySQL, PHP, and NGINX. You can additionally boost your productivity with tools like WP-CLI, Xdebug, and MailHog.
WP Engine gives you access to 35+ premium WordPress themes from StudioPress. You only need to download the themes you want to use from the WP Engine user portal and upload them to your dashboard. This would typically cost you $129, but WP Engine brings all the themes to you completely free of charge.
WP Engine offers site staging with all hosting plans. This feature allows you to clone your site to safely modify the layout, themes, and plugins and test them before going live.
If you have a pre-existing WordPress site, you can move it to WP Engine free of charge. This is a DIY process with a user-friendly plugin. An entire section on their website with “how-to” videos, snapshots, and instructions takes you through the migration process. Reviews of WP Engine show that users appreciate how fast and easy migrating a site is.
That said, keep in mind that it can get hard to complete it for more significant and more complex sites. In this sense, a simple Flywheel vs WP Engine comparison puts Flywheel in the lead because, in addition to performing the migration manually with the Flywheel plugin, it gives you an option to ask the experienced team to do it for free.
WP Engine doesn’t come with a cPanel; instead, it offers a proprietary User Portal. It acts as a central hub for site management where you can access the database, create new sites and environment, access the tools, get insight into the number of visitors, bandwidth and storage used, view the billing history, and more.
Additionally, they partner up with Sucuri to perform malware/virus scans. The company further monitors and updates firewalls to block the latest threats.
All plans come with automated SSL certificates and daily backups with a one-click restore option. The backups are stored for 40 days. WP Engine reviews note that users can also conduct manual backups on-demand. All backups are stored on the WP Engine dashboard. We made a WP Engine vs SiteGround comparison to find out which excels in backups. Both web hosts are great in this regard, but WP Engine has an edge because SiteGround limits the on-demand backups to five per site and unlike WP Engine, doesn’t enable downloading.
WP Engine has an extensive documentation base where you can find articles about everything from setting up the site to managing your account.
Besides the knowledge base, WP Engine has over 20 WordPress expert agents that you can reach via live chat. Phone support is available 24/7 with all plans except for Starter. If an issue isn’t immediately solved via chat or phone, the support team will create a support ticket for you. If you choose the Custom plan, you’ll receive a one-on-one onboarding experience as well.
Though some users report bad experiences related to slow response and unhelpful staff, most WP Engine reviews deem the support team knowledgeable, communicative, and proactive.
WP Engine hosting is pricey compared to its competitors. Comparing WP Engine vs Bluehost we can say the latter is more suitable for small sites and beginners in general. It offers a variety of hosting plans starting from $2.75/month. Their managed hosting service starts at $19.95/month, as opposed to $30/month for WP Engine’s cheapest plan. Keep in mind though that these are the introductory prices and renewal rates will spike.
On the flip side, the research for our WP Engine review shows that the WP Engine pricing is more transparent than that of rivals. They don’t advertise insanely low prices, which apply to the first billing cycle, and skyrocket after. The monthly rates remain the same, plus you can score two months free if you prepay for a year.
|$30/mo or $300/yr||$115/mo or $1,150/yr||$290/mo or $2,900/yr||Arranged with a sales specialist|
|25,000 visits/mo||100,000 visits/mo||400,000 visits/mo||Millions visits/mo|
|10GB storage||20GB storage||50GB storage||100GB-1TB storage|
|50GB bandwidth/mo||200GB bandwidth/mo||500GB bandwidth/mo||400GB+ bandwidth/mo|
|1 site included||10 sites included||30 sites included||30 sites included|
The core features included in all WP Engine plans are:
Besides these, 24/7 phone support and imported SSL certificates come with Growth and Scale, while the Custom plan will grant you access to: WordPress Multisite, GeoTarget, consultative onboarding, launch readiness assessment, as well as one Smart Plugin Manager License.
Add-ons available with all WP Engine hosting plans include:
Apart from the above, WordPress Multisite is available with the Growth and Scale plan, while the Custom plan ups it all with Application Performance, Dedicated Dev Environment, and customer success management.
WP Engine’s money-back guarantee is one of the most generous in the web hosting game. While the majority of WP Engine competitors offer the industry-standard 30 days, WP Engine extends the money-back guarantee to 60 days. This means you have two months to try their service and decide whether you want to commit long-term. Canceling your account is simple; our WP Engine review can confirm you only need to download your site’s backups, enter the reason for canceling, and you’ll get a full refund.
We agree with the multiple WP Engine reviews that describe this as one of the top WordPress hosting providers. Built to address the needs of larger organizations, WP Engine is best suited for advanced WordPress users. The company provides robust security, great speed, dependable uptime, prompt support, and many extra features. With premium service, however, come premium prices, so if you’re just starting out or have a small site, you might be better off with another host.