In this comprehensive WP Engine review, I’ll be weighing up the pros and cons of this popular web hosting company to discover once and for all whether it is still as good as it once was.
Is WP Engine still worth recommending in 2023?
Drawing on my years of experience in hosting countless websites with countless hosting companies, I put WP Engine through its paces to finally answer that question.
Here’s what I discovered:
Who is WP Engine?
WP Engine is an independent company specializing in WordPress hosting plans.
Thanks to its endless customization and effortless ease of use, WordPress has become the top platform for bloggers and proving popular for business websites, eCommerce stores, and more.
So it’s good to know that when it comes to launching your new WordPress site, there’s a hosting company out there that is expert at ensuring your site performs at its optimum best at all times.
That’s what WP Engine claim to do better than anyone else, but how good is it at backing up that claim?
WP Engine Hosting Review
Let’s get into the review and find out.
How Much Does WP Engine Hosting Cost?
WP Engine has a reputation for being an expensive hosting service. Take a quick glance at their pricing, and it’s easy to see why.
Make no mistake about it – the company’s plans certainly seem costly, especially when compared to the glut of cheap web hosting services out there. However, the problem with those cheap plans is that you typically get what you pay for; in other words, not much.
It’s true that those plans come with limited resources while at the same time making you pay extra for managed WordPress features such as automatic updates and some security features.
With WP Engine, there’s no such problem.
Sure, they cost much more than you’d pay elsewhere, but they also deliver much better value.
WP Engine Hosting Plans
All told, the company has three main plans aimed at different audiences.
|PLAN PRICE||PLAN DESCRIPTION||PLAN PRICE|
|Managed WordPress||WP Engine’s Managed WordPress solution is the main plan that is geared towards bloggers and basic website owners.|
Plans start at $25 per month if paid annually (billed at $300) or $30 per month if paid on a monthly basis.
For that, you get the ability to install one WordPress site along with the following resources:
25,000 visits per month
10 GB of storage
50 GB of bandwidth per month.
You can also add an extra site for $17 or opt for one of the following multi-site packages:
3 Sites – $49 per month (paid annually)
75,000 visits per month
15 GB of storage
125 GB of bandwidth per month.
10 Sites – $96 per month (paid annually)
100,000 visits per month
20 GB of storage
200 GB of bandwidth per month.
30+ sites – $242 per month (paid annually)
400,000 visits per month
50 GB of storage
500 GB of bandwidth per month.
It’s the $25 plan that I used while writing this review, but for the sake of being comprehensive, let me show you the other two plans that are available.
|From $25 per month|
|eCommerce Solutions||WP Engine’s eCommerce solutions are built specifically to get the best performance out of the popular WordPress eCommerce platform, WooCommerce.|
For $63 per month, you get access to premium eCommerce themes, automated plugin updates, and the following resources:
1 WordPress installation
25,000 visits per month
10 GB of storage
50 GB of bandwidth per month.
3,10, and 30+ site plans are also available, charged at $63, $117, and $292 respectively.
|From $30 per month|
|Advanced Solutions||For developers and enterprise-level site owners, WP Engine also offers a custom Advanced Solution, which includes:|
White glove migration and launch support
A dedicated technical support agent
SOC2 Type II security
Code-level monitoring and insights
Burst capacity for high traffic websites
A compute-optimized environment.
If this is your plan, you need to contact WP Engine for a quote based on your resource requirements.
WP Engine Key Features
Along with the resources and services listed above, all WP Engine’s hosting plans offer a wealth of features, including:
Free Premium WordPress Themes
Though WordPress itself is free, costs do start adding up when you factor in hosting, domain, and premium WordPress themes, so it’s a nice touch that all plans come with access to 10 premium themes, saving you the cost of buying one separately and the hassle of needing to upload it to your site manually.
Automated Backups and Updates
Whether it’s an unexpected security breach or simply human error, there are a number of things that could (but hopefully won’t!) go wrong with your website.
Should that happen, it’s good to have a copy of the last-known-good version of your site on standby so that you can quickly restore your site to its full glory.
This is why I love that WP Engine creates daily backups which can be restored with a single click of a mouse.
As part of the managed WordPress service, WP Engine also takes care of all updates to the WordPress core files, plugins, and PHP on your behalf, again saving you the time and trouble of having to do it yourself.
If you use one of the 10 in-built themes, those will also be updated for you as and when needed.
Free Migration Plugin
If you’ve ever had to move your existing website from one hosting company to another, you’ll no doubt know what a chore it can be.
Fortunately, WP Engine comes to the rescue with a free plugin that lets you quickly and easily migrate your entire site to their servers. If you still struggle to carry out a migration with the plugin installed, the brand’s customer service team is always around to help.
Other Key WP Engine Features
Other key features include:
- Automatic WordPress and PHP updates
- Free WordPress themes
- One-click WordPress installation
- One-click staging
- One-Click manual backups
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Free SSL certificate
- Website caching
- Security scanning and threat-blocking
- Page performance monitoring.
WP Engine Performance and Reliability
It’s no secret that performance and reliability are what sets the truly great web hosts apart from the rest.
If you want your site to succeed, it needs fast-as-lightning loading speeds and maximum uptime so that you’re able to deliver the best possible experience for your users.
In all the time that I’ve hosted with WP Engine, I can confirm that I’ve only ever had one small issue with site performance, and that was during an unexpected spike in traffic. The good news is that I was able to get on to customer support and get my site performing at its best again in no time.
The rest of the time, WP Engine proves itself to be one of -if not the- fastest WordPress hosting solutions I’ve come across so far.
The company boasts that 31.8% of its sites load in under 200 milliseconds. To put that into perspective, only 11.7% of sites hosted on Automattic loaded that fast, while Siteground had 16.3% of sites.
This is thanks, at least in part, to the EverCache website caching technology which is designed with WordPress-specific rules to deliver faster performance without draining your resources.
The service also offers a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) supported by a network of global data centers so that you can deliver content faster to users in other countries.
In terms of reliability, the company offers a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a commitment to ensuring 99.95% uptime for managed WordPress and eCommerce plans and a 99.99% SLA for their Advanced Solutions.
To help honor that agreement, the SLA also notes that they’ll refund you 5% of your monthly fees for each full hour of downtime that you experience. So if your site is down for one hour, you’d get a 5% credit; if it’s two hours, you get 10% off your next bill, and so on.
How Secure is WP Engine Hosting?
You could have the fastest website in existence, but it won’t do you much good if that site is vulnerable to all manner of cyberattacks.
Again, this is something WP Engine does very well with a number of key features:
Out-of-date plugins and WordPress installations make your site easy pickings for hackers, so it’s reassuring to know that your site will always be running on the most up-to-date version without you needing to remember to do it manually.
Free SSL Certificate
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is an essential security tool for any website which encrypts data sent between your user’s browser and your website. If you collect any kind of information from your visitors, whether it’s payment details or simply contact information, you’ll need an SSL in place.
Though some companies charge extra for this, WP Engine includes an SSL certificate as a standard part of their package.
24/7/365 Monitoring and Threat Blocking
Every second of every day, WP Engine’s security scanner monitors your server and blocks any threats before they’re able to do damage.
Their threat-blocker is a powerful piece of technology, with WP Engine claiming to block more than 26 billion cyber-attacks every year.
It certainly does the job too. Since hosting with WP Engine, I’ve yet to encounter a single security problem.
Premium Security Upgrades
Unfortunately, WP Engine let themselves down by only offering a Web Application Firewall and DDoS mitigation as an optional upgrade package known as Global Edge Security.
If you want this, you’ll be paying an extra $276 per year on top of your existing plan.
This is disappointing and is one of the few drawbacks to hosting with WP Engine, especially when other companies offer such services as a standard part of their plan.
How Easy is it to Use WP Engine Hosting?
As I said right at the beginning of this review, one of the main reasons why so many people love WordPress is that it’s incredibly easy to use. As a managed WordPress service, it’s no surprise to find that WP Engine is also incredibly easy.
The onboarding experience takes no time at all, and your WordPress is automatically installed as part of the process.
How to Get Started with WP Engine
Head to WPEngine.com and select “Plans and Pricing,” then choose your preferred plan by selecting ‘Buy Now.’
On the next page, choose whether to pay monthly or yearly, and select any add-ons you want to purchase.
With that done, scroll down to create your account and select “Continue to Payment.”
That brings you to the checkout page, where you can enter your payment information and complete the purchase.
Image courtesy of WPEngine.com
Once logged in, you’ll be presented with a clear dashboard that is well laid out and simple to navigate.
The thing I like most about WP Engine’s setup is their “Go Live Checklist,” which talks you through each phase of setting up your site, from adding and configuring your domain to building your site and more.
This checklist links you to the dashboard area for each individual task, so you never have to worry about losing your way around the site trying to find what you need.
Instead, simply go to the checklist, work your way through it, and you’re good to go.
WP Engine Customer Service
To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve had a mixed experience with WP Engine customer service.
Before signing up, I had a question about pricing and contacted someone via live chat. The process of getting an answer out from the customer service agent was long and cumbersome and ultimately ended with them saying that they couldn’t answer the question unless I let them call me.
Feeling like the call was only ever going to be a sales pitch that I didn’t need, I gave that up as a lost cause.
The ironic thing about wanting to talk to me on the phone so much is that WP Engine doesn’t actually offer telephone support if you’re on the basic $25 per month managed WordPress plan.
For access to phone support, you need to be on any plan from the $44 per month Professional Plan upwards.
Once I eventually signed up for a hosting plan and contacted customer service again, I did at least get the answers to the questions that I had and found the support agents to be knowledgeable and generally helpful, albeit incredibly slow.
WP Engine Hosting Reputation
So, now you know what I think about WP Engine, but what do other people have to say about them in 2023?
The company currently has 191 reviews on Trustpilot, resulting in a 3.3-star Average Rating.
The majority of their positive reviews focus on how fast and reliable they are, helping WP Engine to maintain its reputation as one of the fastest companies around.
Meanwhile, most of their negative reviews are often about poor customer service.
WP Engine Hosting Pros and Cons
Do I Still Recommend WP Engine in 2023? My Final Answer
So, with all that being said, would I still recommend using WP Engine for your web hosting in 2023?
For the most part, yes, I would.
While the customer service does leave a lot to be desired, there’s very little that the service doesn’t do incredibly well.
With their servers optimized for WordPress websites, you enjoy the top-level performance, some of the fastest loading speeds on the Internet, and ample storage and bandwidth resources to ensure you’re always well equipped to deliver a fantastic experience for your users.
The only major downside is the cost.
WP Engine’s plans are at the top end of the pricing scale and can get even more expensive when you start adding in domains or opting in for that costly security upgrade.
So yes, I’d definitely recommend them if you have the budget for it, but if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, I also recommend checking out my review of Cloudways, which offers much better pricing.