You’ll need a quick website for an online store, as well as one that’s safe, high-performing, and able to handle varying levels of traffic. You may optimize your site all you want, but high-quality hosting is the key to a stable, fast, and secure website. Typically, this entails working with a managed hosting provider, but it’s also critical to pick a host with top-tier hardware, content delivery networks, and a solid infrastructure in general. When it comes to establishing an online store, shared hosting is rarely enough. That’s why we’re writing a WP Engine review: it’s one of the most popular managed WordPress servers, and all customers get access to a platform with best-in-class technology partners (including Google Cloud and AWS), as well as features that ensure your site operates smoothly at all times.
This WP Engine hosting review will go through the features, pricing, and customer service that set WP Engine apart from the competition. We’ll also look at parts of WP Engine’s platform, such as uptime/downtime, security features, and whether you can choose the location of your data centre. To understand more, keep reading our WP Engine review.
WP Engine Review: The Products and Features
WP Engine is primarily a WordPress hosting company, but it offers various services. For example, you might choose an ecommerce hosting package where WP Engine installs and handles the WooCommerce plugin. On the other hand, you might want standard WordPress hosting with things like PHP upgrades, caching, and site backups taken care of. WP Engine appears to have something for everyone, regardless of their needs.
The following are the products from which you can choose:
- WordPress Web Hosting for Companies
- WordPress Platform for Businesses
- Hosting for WooCommerce
- Tools for Agencies and Freelancers
- Headless WordPress Platform
For their business, the great majority of customers require basic WordPress hosting. However, if your business overgrows, you may need WooCommerce hosting or even Enterprise hosting. We like the Agency and Freelancer tools for developers who need to transmit WordPress website builds to clients.
This WP Engine review will focus on the WordPress and WooCommerce hosting features. Here are some of our favorite features:
Automated Updates for PHP, WordPress, and Plugins
If you self-host WordPress, you’ll have to do a lot of updating. There’s a lot to keep track of, from the occasional WordPress update to PHP upgrades, not to mention updates for installed WordPress plugins and themes. The issue with all of these updates is that you typically have to apply them manually, and if you don’t, your site becomes vulnerable to security flaws and bugs.
One of the reasons managed WordPress hosting is so beneficial is this. Managed to host costs a little more, but it saves you time and protects your site (which could save you thousands of hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars in the future).
All WP Engine hosting plans include automated PHP and WordPress upgrades. You’re free to go about your business without having to check the WordPress dashboard for updates continuously. Security and bug fixes are automatic because it’s all taken care of for you. WP Engine also offers automated plugin upgrades for a fee. We don’t like the extra charge, but it’s a choice with WP Engine.
Depending on your plan, you should expect to spend anywhere from $3 to $17 per month (the Professional plans already have plugin updates included).
Regardless, our WP Engine review revealed that the host goes above and above to ensure that WordPress, PHP, and plugins are all current.
Building a Site with Customizable Themes and Workflow Options
Building a site on WordPress necessitates typically the use of a theme and a few plugins, as well as a drag-and-drop builder and if you want to go the extra mile, a paid developer. When creating a self-hosted WordPress site, you’ll usually need to combine these features. As a result, you’ll have to pay for a website builder, a web server, a WordPress theme, and any plugins you’ll need to get the job done.
WP Engine eliminates many of these costs and moving parts by delivering free WordPress themes, workflow tools, and even connections with the most popular website builders. The online store pricing plans also include ecommerce-ready WordPress themes, allowing you to set up an online store in minutes.
Themes don’t make you a website designer overnight, but they certainly help. You no longer need to search for a premium theme to purchase. There are various tools for designing your site, establishing a WordPress site with a single click, and integrating with other popular tools like CRM systems and payment processors.
The premium themes are StudioPress themes, one of the most well-known WordPress theme and framework brands for creating influential blogs, online stores, and business websites. You may utilize these for free and launch your website using the Genesis framework, and it won’t cost you anything more because they’re available to all WP Engine customers. And if you don’t like the themes, you can always look for something else online or contact another theme developer.
Backups and staging sites with a single click
Working on a website often necessitates working in a staging environment, where the changes you make aren’t visible on the live, frontend version. Staging is required for all WordPress development tasks, such as testing a plugin or theme or adding something to your store’s site, such as a new promotional banner. All of these modifications should go through a staging process to assess how they look, how they affect the functioning of your site, and whether or not they should be sent to stakeholders before being published.
We’re happy to see that all WP Engine customers have access to a staging area. This means you can see your website in its present state, allowing you to do final tests before it goes live and gets a sense of how it works right now. This allows you to build more robust websites, prevent breaking them, and identify bugs or content mistakes sooner. WP Engine provides a one-click option for deploying modifications to the live environment following the staging phase. You don’t even need any programming knowledge because everything is managed through a user-friendly dashboard.
Constant Security Measures and Threat Blocking
When looking for a web host, security should always be one of the top objectives, along with speed and price. Because they don’t simply throw all client websites on a shared server, premium providers tend to focus more on security, such as those who offer VPS, cloud hosting, and managed to host. WP Engine is no exception, as it uses the same security protocols to scan your website, identify risks, and prevent them when they occur.
WP Engine also includes disc write protection, disc write restrictions, and user enumeration to prevent behaviours that could harm your website. WP Engine also features a list of forbidden plugins, which eliminates the risk of a poorly built plugin crashing your site or causing a crash with another plugin or theme.
WP Engine users’ websites are hosted on dedicated servers is possibly the most crucial feature. Your resources are separated and unaffected by other files because you aren’t sharing a server with hundreds of other websites. WP Engine works with some of the most well-known companies in the industry, such as AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud Platform, to ensure that the servers are in secure locations, are physically protected, and have suitable cooling systems.
Overall, our WP Engine review reveals that the host offers all customers access to an enterprise-grade security system. Backups, firewalls, DDoS protection, malware monitoring, and the free SSL certificates you use on your ecommerce store all fall into this category. When you combine it with dedicated servers and WordPress upgrades, we believe WP Engine is the safest hosting option available.
Backups that are carried out automatically
File backups are included in the security category, but we think they’re worth mentioning separately. Essentially, you can never be entirely safe from your website being hacked or otherwise destroyed. Site backups come very handily in this situation. Everything from the database to your content and the WordPress files and the assets kept within those files may be backed up. WordPress, unfortunately, does not autocomplete these backups for you. You’re left with installing a backup plugin (which usually needs a monthly fee), connecting the backups to a cloud storage provider, and possibly manually completing the backups. Even these automated plugins make us worried because it’s easy to forget where the backups are stored or whether they’re working correctly.
We’d prefer to see automated backups from a managed WordPress host, which WP Engine provides. These backups take place in the background of your user portal without you needing to do anything. But here’s the thing: because all of your backups are available from your WP Engine dashboard, it’s nearly difficult to forget where they are. WP Engine also offers a one-click restore option if you need to restore a previous version of your site.
Options for SSLs and CDNs
WP Engine offers hosting choices to activate an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate and a CDN (content delivery network) for a cost, which is not included in some of the basic web hosting plans (or when you upgrade to a specific pricing plan).
You’ll need an SSL certificate to safeguard transactions when you open an online store. It’s usually only necessary (and legally mandated) if you operate an ecommerce business to ensure that all transactional and credit card information entered into your store is encrypted. Your consumers will be safe from prospective hackers, and your website will be compliant with the law. Although you can always install an SSL certificate for free, we like it when site hosting gives this option.
Although SSL certificates are not included with the basic WP Engine web hosting plans, you can install one with any WP Engine ecommerce options.
A CDN, on the other hand, works to reduce the time it takes for your website to load. It connects your server to a global network of computers, allowing files to be served up from the machines nearest to the end-user. Overall, it uses geographical proximity, as web pages load faster when shared by a server that is nearby to the person seeking to view the site. WP Engine doesn’t appear to provide a free CDN with its basic web hosting, but you can acquire one by paying extra or upgrading to one of the ecommerce plans.
The following packages are available from WP Engine:
- Managed WordPress
- Ecommerce Solutions
- Innovative Approaches
Advanced Solutions are designed for businesses, agencies, and freelancers who require enterprise-level hosting. To get a custom plan for those solutions, you’ll need to contact WP Engine.
WP Engine, on the other hand, provides pricing for its WordPress managed and ecommerce hosting services:
Managed WordPress Pricing
Startup Plan: For optimal speed, performance, and SEO capabilities, start at $25 per month. One website, 25k monthly visits, 10 GB storage, and 50 GB bandwidth are all included in this package. All included are proactive threat blocking, automated PHP and WordPress upgrades, customizable themes, staging, and backups.
Professional: $49 per month includes everything in the previous plan plus three sites, 75k visits, 15 GB of storage, and 125 GB of bandwidth.
Growth: Starts at $96 per month for ten sites, 100k visits, 20 GB storage, and 200 GB bandwidth, including everything in the preceding plans.
Scale: All prior plans start at $242 per month for 30+ sites, 400k visits, 50 GB storage, and 500 GB bandwidth.
Dedicated custom: Bespoke pricing is available for hosting needs that are much greater than the prior plan.
Additional sites can be added for up to $17 per month for each plan, automated plugin updates for up to $17 per month for each plan, and an added layer of security (DDoS protection, firewall, and SSL) for up to $50 per month for each plan.
Ecommerce Hosting Pricing
Starting at $30 per month for a WooCommerce-based hosting platform, automated site upgrades, premium WooCommerce themes, and the Gutenberg builder. You’ll also get monthly support for one site, 25k visitors, 10 GB of storage, and 50 GB of bandwidth.
Professional: $63 per month for three sites, 75k monthly visits, 15 GB storage, and 125 GB bandwidth.
Growth: 10 sites, 100k monthly visits, 20 GB of storage, and 200 GB of bandwidth starting at $117 per month.
Scale: For 30+ sites, 400k monthly visits, 50 GB of storage, and 500 GB of bandwidth, prices start at $292 per month.
Dedicated custom: A dedicated ecommerce hosting plan for anything you require the preceding plan does not cover that.
You can add more sites for $17 per month in the ecommerce pricing section or an extra layer of security for up to $83 per month in the ecommerce price section. All ecommerce plans feature automated plugin upgrades.
It’s also worth noting that WP Engine offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans. There is no free trial, but the money-back guarantee allows you a way out if you decide it isn’t for you. You’ll be able to try out the platform and see if it’s perfect for you this way.
WP Engine also offers additional specialized solutions if one of the packages described above does not meet your needs. For example, one of the Managed Hosting Plus plans starts at roughly $28 per month and includes automated plugin updates, auto-rollbacks for when difficulties arise, and the option to auto-update plugins of your choice could be worth a look. A Secure Hosting package, which starts at $44 per month and includes DDoS protection, automated plugin upgrades, and a security firewall, is also an option.
The Customer Support Team and Online Resources
WP Engine offers two types of customer support: online resources and direct human assistance. We’ll start with direct help because that’s typically how someone with an actual website problem would approach their problem: by calling, emailing, or using live chat assistance.
First, we can see that WP Engine provides a phone number for contacting a sales representative on its website. Like’s undoubtedly a type of assistance, but it doesn’t appear that you have a phone number to call if you need technical assistance. However, you may get 1-on-1 chat or email assistance from a real WordPress specialist by logging into your personal WP Engine support panel. We discovered that the customer service representatives were competent and friendly during our testing. Oh, and they’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you’ll never have to wait for answers after a holiday or on the weekend.
As a result, you get a chatbox and email help but no phone support for technical issues. That’s not bad, but in the future, we’d want to see a more direct phone helpline. Even if it’s simply for sales, they earn some points for having a phone number listed.
WP Engine’s website has a substantial amount of material in terms of online resources. They include articles on setting up new subsites, understanding server caching, and using WP Engine to send emails. They have a section in their help center to look for tutorials, videos, and other knowledgebase content.
You’ll also find a resource center, blog, and customer support page, all of which combine to provide a wealth of information, inspiration, and details about how to understand the WP Engine interface, use its tools to their full potential and learn from other WordPress users who have used WP Engine (especially if you’re a beginner).
WP Engine continues to impress us with its dedication to customer service. You may always contact a customer service representative. The online resources are more than adequate, and some plans even include a dedicated support representative you can contact at any time.
Is WP Engine the Best Option for You?
Is WP Engine capable of hosting your website with all of the best features? Is the price reasonable? Is the customer service reassuring you that you can continue to manage your website in the future?
During our WP Engine study, We observed that WP Engine isn’t the cheapest web hosting on the market (it’s more comparable to Kinsta and Flywheel). On the other hand, its pricing plans are jam-packed with tremendous value. You get a lot more than you would with a budget shared hosting plan (like Siteground, Dreamhost, Bluehost, InMotion, or Hostgator), and some of these services are critical if you want to grow a small business or manage an online store. Take, for example, some of the security features.
If you don’t have automated daily backups, caching, an SSL certificate, and security monitoring, you won’t be able to run a valuable website. Staging and premium themes may appear to be frills. Still, they’re necessary to ensure that your website runs smoothly, that you don’t have any security issues, and that you don’t have any issues with outdated plugins or WordPress parts. WP Engine is also one of the best hosts because it manages your entire WordPress content management system from start to finish.
Finally, it’s good to know that WP Engine works with several top hosting providers (such as Google Cloud and AWS), which means your website files will be hosted on dedicated servers with the most significant hardware, fastest page load speeds, and global locations.
So, do we think WP Engine is a good choice? Absolutely! It’s best for severe online enterprises that want to scale quickly, as well as those who expect seasonal traffic to spike regularly. These enterprises may benefit from WP Engine’s surge support, customer service, and affordable pricing. If you have any questions regarding our WP Engine review, or if you’ve used WP Engine in the past, let us know in the comments.