WP Engine Reviews of 2021

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Our Verdict: #1 for Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine specializes in managed WordPress hosting. Their plans include a free SSL certificate, daily backups, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.

If you use WordPress, this is certainly one of your best hosting options. Over 40 of our users have reviewed WP Engine, and they've given this provider especially high ratings for quality, features, and support.

We'll review everything else you need to know about WP Engine below.

WP Engine Homepage

Pros and Cons of WP Engine

Before we go into more detail, let's take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages to using WP Engine:

Pros:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Easily create a WordPress site with one click
  • Excellent performance due to highly-scalable caching system
  • Automatic backup and disaster recovery included for free with every plan

Cons:

  • Pricier than many other hosting options
  • Hosting for WordPress only

WP Engine Hosting Plans

WP Engine offers three standard plans, and you can also have a custom plan created to suit your specific needs.

StartupGrowthScale
Websites11030
Monthly Visits25K100K400K
Storage10 GB20 GB50 GB
CDNYesYesYes
SSLYesYesYes
Price (per month)$30$115$290

All of these WordPress hosting plans are managed by WP Engine, so you won't need to worry about installs, updates, or security patches.

And you can create your WordPress website with just one click. WP Engine takes care of all the technical stuff for you.

Having enhanced technical support and one-click features allows you to focus on your business, eliminating unnecessary stress.

Video: WP Engine overview

In addition to convenience, WP Engine also provides enhanced performance for WordPress users.

Their architecture is built on WP Engine's proprietary EverCache. This is one of the most scalable systems for caching WordPress available, which means that your website will be able to handle traffic spikes without experiencing performance issues.

And this is not just reserved for higher-paying customers. Every WP Engine user benefits from their exceptional server architecture.

Staging Servers

A staging area is provided with all plans. This lets you test a copy of your website instead of making changes to your live site.

As a result, changes made in the staging area won't interfere with your visitors' ability to use your website.

WP Engine Admin Overview
WP Engine's staging server dashboard

SSL Certificate

All plans also include an SSL certificate. This improves security, and it gets your site a small search ranking boost with Google.

Higher-tier plans allow you to use your own single or wildcard SSL with a dedicated IP address. But you cannot do this with the Startup plan, so keep that in mind before signing up.

CDN

WP Engine includes a content delivery network (CDN) with all hosting plans as well.

A CDN allows your static website content to be cached by proxy servers all over the world.

When someone accesses your website, they'll receive cached content from the server that is closest to them. This significantly shortens the loading time of your website for people who are farther away from the data center where your website is hosted.

Traffic Limits

Unlike many other providers, WP Engine puts a hard limit on the number of monthly visitors you can serve with each plan. If you go over your limit, you will be charged extra.

So, if you decide to choose WP Engine for your hosting needs, remember to keep an eye on your website statistics and consider upgrading your plan if you regularly get close to reaching your traffic limit.

Customer Support

All WP Engine users have access to 24/7 live chat support. You can access this support from your control panel.

Telephone support is not provided with the Startup plan. If this is a deal-breaker, you should look for hosting elsewhere. It generally wouldn't be reasonable to pay for a more expensive plan from WP Engine just to have access to this service.

WP Engine's best-in-class customer service team includes WordPress experts who know this content management system (CMS) inside and out.

Not only will their customer service team help you out whenever you have an issue, but they can also identify performance roadblocks in order to prevent issues before they occur.

All you need to do is make a request, and then a WP Engine team member will review your website and find ways to make it run faster.

WP Engine Admin Support
WP Engine's support dashboard

Speaking from experience, having good quality 24/7 support makes your life significantly easier.

Customer Experience

WP Engine has a specific team of people dedicated to improving customer experience.

This team takes feedback from customers and shares it with the product development team. They help the company implement suggested changes in order to better meet the needs of their user base.

This shows how strongly WP Engine values their customers. The company boasts a customer satisfaction rate of over 97%.

Self-Help Support Center

A lot of people like to solve problems on their own. So, the knowledge base of a hosting company is an extremely important asset.

When I'm looking through a hosting company's support pages, I want to see a clean design, a search function, FAQs, and long, detailed articles including step-by-step directions.

WP Engine checks all of these boxes. Their support page is organized into sections such as:

  • How to set up your website

  • How to troubleshoot problems

  • Tips on managing your account

Guides and tutorials in each of these sections will help you complete these tasks. The help articles also include relevant screenshots and videos where appropriate.

Resource Center

WP Engine has a resource center with many helpful blog-type articles to browse through.

It includes a search function, and you can filter by topic, type of content, or your role.

For example, you can select e-commerce articles for website owners. This will give you articles such as the one that compares WooCommerce and Shopify.

You can also sort their knowledge base by videos or infographics if you prefer a more visual approach. Overall, their content is well-written and informative.

Datacenters

When you sign up for an account, you can choose the country where your datacenter is located. WP Engine gives you the following options:

  • Australia

  • Belgium

  • Canada

  • Germany

  • Taiwan

  • United Kingdom

  • United States

However, some of these countries will be considered as an add-on to your plan. You'll need to pay a little bit more to host your website in these locations.



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Backups

WP Engine provides both snapshot backups and automatic daily backups for your websites.

Snapshot Backups

A snapshot is what WP Engine calls a quick backup of your website. These backups allow you to make changes to your website without any risk of losing data.

WP Engine Admin Backup Points
Downloadable snapshots in WP Engine's dashboard

These snapshots are downloadable, so you can back them up to different locations. These backups include all of the content on your website, your themes, and your plugins.

Daily Backups

WP Engine conducts daily backups automatically for you. They'll also ensure that a backup is created before they update WordPress, just in case the new WordPress update wreaks havoc on your website.

To roll back your website to a previous version, WP Engine gives you simple one-click restores. The restored version will be ready to go in under a minute.

Where Are Backups Stored?

WP Engine's automatic daily backups are stored in a separate location from your website — not just on a separate server in the datacenter, but in a whole separate geographical location.

This adds another layer of protection for your data, making it nearly impossible to lose.

Security

Security is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a web hosting company. If your host doesn't make security a priority, that's a huge red flag.

WP Engine hosts large brands, so they need to meet top security standards. And users of their cheapest plan enjoy the same security measures offered to the big guys.

WordPress Updates

WP Engine automatically upgrades your WordPress application when minor patches are released. And when WordPress releases a major update, they will test it thoroughly before giving their customers the recommendation to upgrade.

You can work with WP Engine's experts to install a major upgrade to your WordPress application. This will ensure that the process is painless and you don't lose any valuable data.

Security System

WP Engine's security features include real-time threat detection, and they've developed rule sets specifically for WordPress to prevent attacks before they can happen. They log millions of threats on a daily basis and block DDoS attacks.

WP Engine's security system both detects and blocks malicious behavior. For example, they're set up to block JavaScript/SQL-injection attacks and XML-RPC attacks. They even automatically block IP addresses that are known to belong to hackers or spammers.

User Separation

To keep account users protected from other people on the same server, WP Engine separates them on the filesystem and kernel level.

And the company engages in malware scanning, continuously monitoring their networks for malicious behavior from within. They also run firewalls to protect against outside attacks.

Even though WP Engine's security measures should be enough to keep you safe from hackers, they'll fix your site for free if it is compromised.

Hosting Backend

WP Engine doesn't provide a typical control panel like cPanel or Plesk. Instead, they provide their own admin portal where you can manage your hosting plan.

When you log in to your WP Engine account for the first time, the company greets you with an option for free website migration. This will show you how to get their automated migration plugin for switching your website over to their servers.

Video: Using the WP Engine website migration tool

From there, using the custom admin portal is simple.

View Websites

In the admin portal, you can see all of the WordPress installs you have on your account. You can also add additional workspaces to keep them organized.

WP Engine plans start at $30 per month. All plans include a staging environment.

For example, if you were hosting multiple WordPress websites, you could create a separate workspace for each of them. Another option would be to make a workspace for all WordPress websites of the same type. This would be useful for people hosting client websites or managing multiple projects.

You can select a WordPress project and view general information about it in the overview tab. This will show you up-to-date information about the number of website visitors, bandwidth usage, and how much storage space you've taken up on the server.

You'll also be notified of core WordPress updates that you can install with one click.

Page Performance Tests

Customers also have access to page performance tests, which allow you to check on the load times and page speed of your websites.

WP Engine will give you a score representing how well your page is caching its content.

They'll also show you how long it takes for the page to start loading, how long it takes until the page is fully visible to the site visitor, and how long it takes for the page to be completely loaded.

WP Engine Admin Performance
View of a WP Engine performance test

Based on the results of your performance test, WP Engine will provide some recommendations to optimize content caching and help your pages load faster.

Performance and Stability

Based on my tests with Pingdom over the last year, WP Engine's performance and stability has been excellent. You can see the data in the following screenshot:

WP Engine Pingdom Data
Uptime data and server response times for WP Engine

For the period from April 2018 to March 2019, the uptime was 99.99%. That represents less than four minutes of downtime per month.

The page load speeds were just as good with an average of 331 ms (more recently, the speeds have been even better, with an average of less than 300 ms). This is better than just about every other web host I've tested.

The map below shows the average response times geographically:

WP Engine Page Load Speed Map

Other Hosts to Consider

If WP Engine sounds good but isn't quite what you're looking for, consider these alternatives:

WP EngineBluehostLiquid WebSiteGround
Storage10 GBUnlimited20 GB10 GB
Bandwidth50 GBUnmetered5 TBUnmetered
Visitors25KUnmeteredUnmetered10K
Websites1111
Lowest Monthly Price$30 *$7.99 *$24.17 *$14.99 *
* Prices are based on yearly contracts with no special deals

Bluehost

Bluehost is also known for their managed WordPress hosting. You can get access to more website visits and higher storage amounts than WP Engine for a lower price.

And they give you access to the MOJO marketplace, where you can find plugins, scripts, and other things to enhance your website.

Liquid Web

For businesses that can afford WP Engine and need high-end performance, Liquid Web is well worth checking out.

Unlike WP Engine, they won't limit your website traffic or charge you overage fees. Their managed WordPress plans include automatic updates to both the application and your plugins.

Also, the company can handle the demands of mission-critical websites with their 100% uptime guarantee. Built for sheer power, Liquid Web is a perfect choice for bigger WordPress projects.

SiteGround

If you're looking for optimized WordPress hosting but need a cheaper option than WP Engine, give SiteGround a try. They have some of the cheapest WordPress hosting plans around and may be better suited for small projects and personal websites.

SiteGround allows you to choose from four server locations. Like WP Engine, SiteGround also takes care of WordPress updates and provides you with one-click WordPress installation.



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WP Engine Review Conclusion

The best things about WP Engine are their speed and security. With servers built to meet the requirements of large organizations, WP Engine can handle almost anything thrown at it.

The company's expert WordPress support team is another great reason to consider this provider for your projects.

And WP Engine customers also get the Genesis Framework and StudioPress theme library for free — that's over $2,000 in value.

Clearly, WP Engine isn't meant for people taking their first steps online. But for more demanding users, WP Engine is an excellent choice. If you need high-performance WordPress hosting, visit WP Engine now.

Contributing editor: Frank Moraes

Toni Allen

About Toni Allen

Webmaster, mom, juggler. Toni manages the day-to-day operations of WhoIsHostingThis. She is a keen hiker, climber, and outdoors explorer.

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    WP Engine Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is WP Engine?

      WP Engine is a hosting company that focuses completely on WordPress. They provide many tools that make running a WordPress site easier, and their uptime and page load speeds are better than almost every other host.

    • How is WP Engine optimized for hosting WordPress sites?

      WP Engine has a proprietary front-end system designed to work with WordPress. This layer has security features that protect your website from hackers. It also reduces server load and can handle traffic spikes without slowing down your site.

      WP Engine utilizes their own caching software to ensure fast load times for any WordPress website hosted on their servers.

    • What unique features does WP Engine have?

      One of WP Engine's most popular features is its staging area, which you can use to create a new development environment for testing themes, plugins, and other changes before incorporating them into your live site.

      They also offer one-click restore points, unlimited data transfer, a CDN, proprietary caching technology, malware scanning, managed WordPress updates, and daily backups.

    • What happens if I exceed my monthly visitor limits?

      Instead of offering different bandwidth and disk space amounts for each plan, WP Engine puts limits on your website visitors.

      Their Terms of Service states that you may be charged overage fees if you exceed your plan limits. They will charge you $1 for every 1,000 visits that you go over your limit. WP Engine has a lengthy article explaining what they count as a website visit that you can check out to learn more.

      They will collect these fees automatically, using the electronic method of payment you provided when you signed up. If your method of payment doesn't go through, you will be charged a monthly late fee until they receive the payment.

    • What is WP Engine's service level agreement (SLA)?

      The SLA is the level of service availability that a hosting provider guarantees to their users. WP Engine provides service availability of 99.95%. This is higher than the industry standard of 99.9%.

      Customers can receive credits if WP Engine fails to meet their SLA. This credit will be calculated as a percentage of your monthly fee for each hour they fail to meet their agreement. To receive this credit, you'll have to make a request to WP Engine's customer support within 30 days. The credit cannot exceed your entire month's bill.

      They also state that there are some occurrences of excused downtime which cannot be used to receive a credit to your account. These include scheduled outages, downtime caused by the customer's violation of the agreement, and emergency maintenance.

    • How do I cancel hosting with WP Engine?

      WP Engine makes it easy for you to leave. But first, make sure you download a backup of your website before canceling your account so that you can move it elsewhere. You can easily do this from the admin portal. This backup will include your entire website database and all of your files, content, media, and plugins.

      WP Engine will only keep a copy of your website for 30 days after you cancel your account.

      To cancel, all you need to do is select My Account > Cancel Account from the admin portal. You can add a cancellation reason and comments to submit to WP Engine as well.

      When you cancel your account, you will not be refunded for charges you have already paid.

    • Does WP Engine include email services?

      WP Engine does not include email accounts or functions for sending email messages from your domain, but their hosting does support this. You will need to set up a third-party email provider to send email messages from your WordPress site. This will let you send bulk email messages as part of an email marketing campaign or newsletter updates to blog subscribers.

      Since WP Engine uses Google's cloud servers, you will need to use a third-party email provider that supports sending email messages over the ports that aren't restricted by Google (25, 465, and 587 are restricted).

      WP Engine recommends SendGrid and Mailgun. But you can use any SMTP provider that supports the unrestricted outgoing ports.

    • Is WP Engine worth the price?

      For those who would need to pay someone to maintain and optimize their hosting backend, it is clearly worth the cost. For those who enjoy doing it themselves or don't need a fine-tuned hosting environment, it may make more sense to get less expensive hosting.

    • Will WP Engine transfer my WordPress website for me?

      Yes, WP Engine does provide a WordPress website migration service free of charge.

    • Can I use WP Engine's services without an existing WordPress website?

      Yes, you can sign up for their hosting plans even without an existing WordPress website. Then, you can use their platform to build your site.

    • Does WP Engine offer domain registration?

      No, they do not offer domain registration. For new WordPress websites, you will need to purchase your domain from a different provider.

    • Are there any limitations on plugins and themes?

      There are no limitations on themes. However, WP Engine does have a list of disallowed plugins. These include caching plugins, some backup plugins, and several other plugins that would cause conflicts with their server configuration.

      Currently, there are 69 disallowed plugins. Given that there are roughly 40,000 WordPress plugins overall, this isn't a significant constraint.

    • Can I still use e-commerce or membership plugins?

      Yes, there are no limitations on e-commerce or membership plugins.

    • Does WP Engine allow multisite installs?

      Multisite features are allowed on all plans. However, on the lowest-priced plans, they are add-ons. Multisites can easily be enabled from the admin portal.

    • Does WP Engine provide SSL certificates?

      A basic free certificate from Let's Encrypt is available on all their plans. You can also purchase commercial SSL certificates from WP Engine.

    • Which payment methods does WP Engine accept?

      WP Engine accepts all major credit cards. Monthly and yearly plans are available.

    WP Engine Reviews by Our Community

    Overall Rating from 43 Reviews by WP Engine Customers

    Support
    Quality
    Features
    Value

    Most Helpful Reviews

    Patrick Ahler avatar
    Patrick Ahler
    Jun 20, 2015

    Been a customer of WP Engine for 3+ years now with multiple accounts. I also keep hosting at HostGator and dedicated servers at Liquid Web. I'm a big fan of WP Engine because of their focus on WordPress.

    This has allowed them tailor their support and hosting features purely towards WordPress. We can ask more of support of and get a better response. Also love their built in CDN, caching, and backup system.

    I think they are pricey, even when hosting multiple sites. That sucks, but still worth it.

    Visit Host Now →

    Darryl Soerdjpal avatar
    Darryl Soerdjpal gamingnextgen.com
    Dec 20, 2013

    I have been creating websites using WordPress from the beginning. It was never just a blog you could make with WordPress. Due to extensive support from developers and designers alike, you could make the most complex and modern websites around, all with one system.

    Over the years, WordPress has evolved more than I could've imagined, and with more plugins and functionality being added every single day, the demands for a good web host did too. And thus, the search began. After doing a few hours of research for cheap but reliable hosting, I came across multiple hosting providers that provided hosting for only WordPress and nothing else.

    When I checked out their websites, I found they had an amazing plethora of options and security just for WordPress which I could only dream of at the web hosts I had partnered up with earlier. There was a downside however, the price. I finally came along WPEngine and I decided to sign myself up with them, due to a promotional code which allowed the first 3 months to be hosted for only 4$ a month, instead of the usual 29$.

    What followed, was nothing but amazement. At first, when entering the administration panel, I felt like it was a little bare bones.There weren't halve as many pretty icons as there were on cPanel, which I was used to, and it was a bit strange to encounter something like this. However, after reading through their extensive documentation on how to do literally everything to start up Your Site, it was a true piece of cake.

    I set up my installation, I logged in, and the speed could immediately be felt. Images uploaded way quicker and were processed at least five times faster. But really, it was noticeable everywhere, not only the WordPress back end.

    So yes, they live up to all promises about up-time, speed and stability. In the year I have been hosted there, I haven't had a single hacking attempt plus automatic backups are made daily. So security was also top notch.

    The most important part of a web host, beside the hosting itself, is the support team. If a website should get hacked, go down for whatever reason or you simply have a question, support should always be available within a certain time. Fortunately, WPEngine did not disappoint here either.

    Their ticketing system is based on ZenDesk and thus, easy to use. Response times were normally within 1-2 hours and I never got a support assistant who wasn't absolutely 100 % determined to help me. For most people, that's enough, just like it is for me, but WPEngine wasn't going to stop there.

    Not too long ago, they also added Live Chat support during Business hours, and man oh man, they are with you within seconds. I mean, really, seconds. I got a lot of the same people who would normally help me over in the ticketing system, but talking to someone in real time is also more pleasant, and so it was.

    All in all, I can safely say that, while they are expensive for small Personal users, they are 100 % worth it. You truly feel like they are actually doing great stuff with your money. Speed, up-time, stability, security and support are nothing short of amazing, and they really do deserve credit for that. It's not for nothing that Automattic, the company behind WordPress, had invested money in WPEngine, They live up to their name in all the ways I can think of, and maybe even more.

    Visit Host Now →

    Andrew Behla avatar
    Andrew Behla behladesign.com
    Apr 08, 2013

    I've been on many hosting companies and develop sites for a living. There is simply no hosting company that is better than WP Engine. Their security, speed and developer friendly tools are without parallel.

    For example, I can easily "clone" a site at any stage of development and work in a "sandbox" or "staging" environment. Also, their time machine like restore points have save my butt on more than one occasion. When add their incredible support that knows WordPress inside and out it makes for the best combination for hosting that I've used.

    Visit Host Now →

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    Sherrie

    August 9, 2019

    In addition to providing hosting via Google Cloud Platform, WP Engine also provides some plans that use AWS (Amazon Web Services).

    Was WP Engine not quite right? We recommend

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