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tl;dr

WP Engine is a WordPress expert host that will help you get the most out of your site while freeing you up from the mundane backend stuff, but it doesn’t come cheap. Learn more.

 

WP Engine Review: 8 pros and 3 Cons of WP Engine (Server Speed Tested!)

 

WRITTEN BY
Daren Low
UPDATED
April 23, 2024

 

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – every successful website starts with a solid web host. This time, we’re diving deep into investigating WP Engine – an established host provider you’ve probably heard of before!

 

 

We figured there’s a good chance many of our readers are looking to launch a site on WordPress – they have 43% of the market share after all.

 

Given that WP Engine is one of the most well known WordPress specialists out there, we just had to test them out firsthand. Sure enough – we were very impressed with their speed performance and groovy features. Question is – are they the right WordPress hosting provider for YOU?

 

wpengine

 

To help you decide, we’ve done the hard work by buying a plan, setting up a test website, and running some tests. We’ve compiled our findings into this helpful guide below. Read on for our observations!

 

 

8 Things We Like About WP Engine

 

1. They’re insanely dast! They feed the need for speed

 

Since WP Engine claims to be specialized in WordPress, we definitely had high expectations here. Any WordPress sites hosted on WP Engine should be optimized for performance – starting with a truly zippy server speed.

 

To investigate, we bought ourselves a shared web hosting plan from WP Engine and ran it through our Bitcatcha server speed checker. This test works by pinging the website from multiple nodes around the world to show us how fast WP Engine’s US server responded to each geographical location.

 

The results are as below, which shows us an overall performance of A+ , the highest possible grade!

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore São Paulo
10 ms 2 ms 3 ms 2 ms 3 ms

Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
1 ms 2 ms 3 ms 39 ms 11 ms

Average Speed: 7.6 ms

 

Bear in mind that, according to Google, the goal should be a server response speed of 200 ms. WP Engine graded fantastically, with an average response time of 7.6ms! That’s kind of insanely quick, and one of the fastest times we’ve ever recorded across web host tests. Phwoar.

 

Another thing we were impressed at was the sheer number of data centre locations that WP Engine let you choose from! All their Shared Hosting plans run on Google Cloud Servers. And look how many locations you get to pick from!

 

WP Engine server location

WP Engine’s servers running on Google Cloud. Certain locations can cost a little extra.

 

By default, they pick the region that’s closest to your location when you’re signing up – but if you wish to change your data server, you just need to put in a request to their support team and they’ll move you right across. Simply host from the data server that’s closest to your website audience and they should enjoy the speediest of speedy speeds!

 

Things would get EVEN faster when you activate their proprietary EverCache® caching technology, which they’ve built with WordPress-specific rules in order to move hundreds of millions of hits per day. They even throw in free Cloudflare CDN!

 

All this is fantastic news because, like it or not, speed is a major need, and a key part of the user experience. I mean – you wouldn’t want to browse around a website that takes forever to load every little page. And you certainly wouldn’t be confident in shopping there either.

 

Speed builds customer trust and gives them a better impression of your brand. Not to mention it also gets you ranked higher on Google, thereby attracting more traffic, as Google’s Core Web Vitals, which are part of their ranking criteria, places a lot of emphasis on speed.

 

On top of that, we used UptimeRobot to check the uptime of our website and from the data we pulled, it scored an uptime of 100% so far. So not only is WP Engine fast, it’s reliable too!

 

Uptime since 3 March 2023

91.32%

* WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting - US Datacenter

 

 

2. You Don’t Need to Sweat Over the Small Stuff

 

Managed WordPress Hosting means that you don’t have to worry so much about the backend stuff of your website. WP Engine will handle optimizing your website, so that you can focus on building your business.

 

Every Managed WordPress Plan will:

 

  • Maximize your speed, performance and search engine optimization (SEO), so that you will get the maximum amount of traffic, while also retaining and converting as much of that traffic as possible.
  • Be proactive in blocking threats and ensuring that your security is up to date, so that you won’t have to worry about having out-of-date protection against the newest threats.
  • Have Automated WordPress and PHP updates, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of constantly running the updates yourself.

 

Basically, WP Engine’s Managed WordPress Hosting saves you the trouble of having to manually do a lot of repetitive work. The other upside to having automated updates is that it means you’ll always be up-to-date and you won’t be left hanging if your IT guy happens to be on vacation when a new update comes up.

 

 

3. They’re Easy and Convenient to Use

 

Not having to worry about the backend is all well and good, but you still have to deal with the frontend. Fortunately, WP Engine has a number of quality of life features that make working on it a breeze.

 

WP Engine client portal

 

On WP Engine’s Managed WordPress, you’ll have:

 

  • Customizable themes and workflow tools, so that you can get started on building your professional looking website as soon as possible.
  • An effortless 1-click Staging. Staging is basically where you have a “live view” of your website while you’re editing it. You’ll be able to see the effects of your changes before going live with them, so that you’ll know whether the changes you’re making look and work right.
  • Automated nightly back-ups which are saved for about 30 days. Restoring your site is just a few clicks away and you can also save the back-ups as a zip file.

 

Between the staging and the automated back-ups, you’ll have more confidence in experimenting with your website to get it looking and running just right, since it’s easy to test things out before going live and restore your site if things do go wrong.

 

Being able to do staging also means that you don’t have to worry about downtime in-between editing your site. You don’t have to go live with any edits you’re doing until you’re satisfied with the results. Which means your visitors won’t be hit by the dreaded “site is currently under maintenance” screen, because the transition from before and after your changes will be silky smooth.

 

SEE FULL FEATURES @ WP ENGINE OFFICIAL SITE

* WP Engine is fast, secured, and user-friendly!

 

 

4. They Have Amazingly Attentive Customer Support

 

WP Engine are 13-time Stevie award winners with a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score of 97%. That’s all well and dandy but what does that mean to you on a practical level? Well, it means that they have:

 

  • 24/7 WordPress support. Their experts are there to guide you and rectify any problems, at any time. This includes before you even launch your site.
  • Extensive documentation that is regularly updated to provide you with detailed step-by-step documentation on how to resolve issues, simple or complicated. From basics like how to set up your site, to things like how to restore your site from a back-up if you need to. Or even just to explain what SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is.
  • Backend support, which we’ve touched on earlier, but it bears repeating that they’ll handle the minutiae like daily back-ups, WordPress updates, threat detections and so forth, so that you can focus on growing your website.

 

In researching for this article, there were a couple points I wanted to clarify. So I fired up the WP Engine chatbox (at 12.30 am in the morning) and got a human response right away. Which I tell you, was a bit of a shock to me, since I’ve been dealing with less than stellar customer support recently.

 

WP Engine human chat support

Live chat was friendly and helpful.

 

Anyway, I asked my question to the customer support handling my case, Andrew, and could see from the chatbox that he was typing up a response right away. He answered my question, to which I thanked him, and he tried to learn more about me to see what kind of further support he could provide. But I was done for the time being, so we ended the conversation there.

 

All in all, it was a very pleasant session. Thanks Andrew!

 

Another great thing is that these conversations are logged, and so you can refer back to past chats in case you need a refresher.

 

But you know, sometimes you don’t need the human touch. Sometimes you just want to know how to use one of WP Engine’s features, like how to perform a back-up. In which case, just open up WP Engine’s Virtual Assistant by clicking on the chat icon and voila, click on the relevant buttons and it’ll give you a simple step by step walkthrough.

 

WP Engine AI chat support

 

WP Engine AI chat support

A look at their virtual assistant.

 

 

5. They Offer a Secure WordPress Experience

 

With data being more valuable than ever and more people having access to hacking tools; security against syndicates looking to steal your vital information and casual hackers who just want to watch the world burn, has become more important than ever.

 

Obviously, this is an important category that WP Engine has to tackle to maintain your peace of mind while you focus on your business. To that end, they have:

 

  • Daily back-ups that are maintained for about 30 days each, as well as easy restoration of your site.
  • Threat detection and blocking. Their system blocks 72 million threats daily and over 26 billion threats annually. The automated system also updates regularly to minimize your website vulnerabilities.
  • Multiple layers of protection. Their Global Edge Security includes managed Web Application Firewall (WAF), advanced DDOS Mitigation, Cloudflare CDN, and SSL.
  • Real people watching your back. In addition to the data encryption, automated updates and other behind the scenes protection against threats, WP Engine has a dedicated team of real people, constantly monitoring security feeds to ensure you get proactive security alerts.

 

WP Engine’s Managed WordPress solutions handles a lot of the security aspects for you, thereby optimizing the protection you can enjoy, without you having to update your security yourself.

 

They are SOC-2 compliant and meet the standards for Security and Availability Trust Services Categories. They are also ISO 27001-2013 certified, meeting the requirements for “establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system” as laid out by the ISO.

 

 

6. They Have a 60-Day Money Back Guarantee

 

WP Engine offers a no hassle 60-Day money back guarantee. This is pretty good as most other providers only give a 30-Day money back guarantee. Having said that, if you do decide to cancel your subscription, be sure to login and cancel it yourself.

 

By all means, contact their customer support and get all the procedures right, but at the end of the day, confirm for yourself that your account’s been canceled. You wouldn’t want to end up getting accidentally charged.

 

 

7. Migrating to WP Engine is Easy and Painless

 

With over 500K sites migrated over to WP Engine over the years, they have gotten this step down pat.

 

Using their WP Engine Automated Migration plugin, they boast an average migration time of less than an hour. The steps are pretty straightforward and simple, and if you need assistance, their customer support is top notch.

 

WP Engine site migration

Migrating your site is easy.

 

 

8. Their Plans are Scalable to Meet Your Individual Needs

 

One of the things we like about the pricing plans available at WP Engine is that they’re scalable. Meaning that on top of the 60-Day money back guarantee, you don’t have to go all in to get the features you want.

 

For instance, you can get their basic Managed WordPress plan, such as the Startup plan.

 

WP Engine managed wordpress plan

 

But say security is extra important to you, so you add on their Extra Layer of Security option for an enterprise grade security, which includes Managed Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDOS Mitigation and more.

 

If you end up getting that, you should be able to enjoy more peace of mind that comes with the extra security without investing in a higher tier plan until you the time is right for your business.

 

choose scalability

 

GET WP ENGINE @ $20/MO (4-MONTHS FREE)

* With 60 day money-back guarantee.

 

 

3 Things We Didn’t Like About WP Engine

 

1. Premium Performance, But at a Premium Price

 

There’s no denying it – as a premium host, WP Engine charges higher prices for their premium services. That’s why the scalability of their plans is such a boon, as it lets you maximize the bang for your buck according to your own budget.

 

But make no bones about it, they are often the pricier option, with their entry point Managed WordPress Startup plan costing about as much as the mid-tier plans of some of their competitors.

 

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Yes, the pricing on their plans are higher, but they justify it with their stable uptime, optimized performance speeds and a high caliber of customer support staff.

 

Not to mention all the backend and automated services that they do for you. According to the data of 6sense on WP Engine, there’s a reason that WP Engine holds 53.57% of the WordPress hosting market share; which is a bit more than twice their nearest competitor.

 

 

2. They Don’t Allow All Plugins

 

With their reputation as WordPress experts, WP Engine cares about the security and optimization of your websites, but in order to maintain this high level of security and optimization, some plugins are disallowed.

 

These disallowed plugins may include:

 

  • Backup plugins such as BackupWordPress, VersionPress, WP DB Backup and WP DB Manager.
  • Caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache, WP File Cache and WP Super Cache.
  • elated post plugins such as Contextual Related Posts and Dynamic Related Posts.

 

Fortunately, WP Engine already has plugins that will do the jobs of the above, but you should certainly talk to their customer support to make sure all the features you require are provided by the allowable plugins. Especially if there are any plugins you have your heart set on.

 

 

3. Their Default Email Functionality is Limited

 

While WP Engine does have some email functionality, it is limited and they actually recommend using a 3rd party email host like Gmail.

 

Limitations include a hard limit on the amount of emails that can be sent in an hour, and while Gmail is fine for normal use, it doesn’t look too professional coming from a business.

 

There are reasons for these limitations of course. WP Engine wants to focus on hosting your website, not your email. The hard limit on emails is to not only ensure server stability, and if any of your emails get flagged as spam, this is reflected back on your IP address. And if your IP address ever gets blocklisted for spam, it will adversely affect a large number of customers.

 

But at the end of the day, they’re WordPress experts, not email experts. Their servers are not optimized to host mail or have the necessary tracking and logging features. Nonetheless, this is something to take note of.

 

 

WP Engine’s Plans & Pricing

 

There are 3 tiers for pricing, the Managed WordPress, eCommerce Solutions for Woo and Advanced Solutions. Don’t let the names fool you though, all 3 tiers provide managed WordPress. And they’re also scalable to meet your particular business needs.

 

WP Engine plans and pricing

 

That said, we’re going to focus on the Managed WordPress tier this time around, as eCommerce Solutions for Woo is more focused on stores and for Advanced Solutions, you should get in touch with the WP Engine team to get the best fit for your business.

 

 

Managed WordPress hosting

 

Managed WordPress will still give you everything you need to build your business.

 

WP ENGINE MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING
Startup Professional Growth Scale Dedicated
Numb. of sites 1 3 10 30+ 30+
Numb. of visits 25,000/mo 75,000/mo 100,000/mo 40,000/mo 40,000+/mo
Storage 10 GB 15 GB 20 GB 50 GB 50+ GB
Bandwidth 50 GB/mo 125 GB/mo 200 GB/mo 500 GB/mo 500+ GB/mo
24/7 chat & phone support Chat only Yes Yes Yes Yes
Daily backups Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price $20/mo $39/mo $77/mo $193/mo Custom
See all features

 

Thanks to a promotion that’s running at the time of this write-up, you can get up to 4 months off on both Managed WordPress and eCommerce Solutions for Woo.

 

That’s an average of just 20 dollars a month, or 240 dollars per annum for a basic, no frills plan that still includes all the signature WP Engine goodness, such as maximized speed and performance, as well as proactive site protection and automated backend services.

 

customize your WP Engine package to suit your needs

 

However, you can easily customize your package to suit your needs, such as increasing your monthly visitor limits, increasing the number of sites WP Engine will host for you and having automated plugin updates, to save yourself from the hassle of doing it yourself.

 

And hey, don’t forget about the 60 day money-back guarantee!

 

SEE FULL FEATURES @ WP ENGINE OFFICIAL SITE

* WP Engine is fast, secured, and user-friendly!

 

 

What Do Others Say About WP Engine Though?

 

We checked out what users on Trust Pilot had to say about WP Engine. In general, the reviews have been very positive with an average of 4.5 stars from 429 reviews, which is excellent.

 

The negatives basically revolve around the price of their product but just get a plan that suits your needs and understand that yeah, you’re paying a premium, but you also get what you pay for.

 

WP Engine trust pilot

 

WP Engine trust pilot review

 

 

So – Is WP Engine the Right Web Host for You?

 

WP Engine is a premium service that handles the background stuff so that you can focus your efforts on building your business. They shave off hours and possibly even days over the course of each month, from the manpower you would normally have to devote to the backend side of things.

 

You’re getting premium service, including a top notch customer support team, but yes, you’re also paying a premium for this service.

 

With that in mind, WP Engine’s great for businesses, whether you’re growing your business or maintaining an already large online presence. But if you’re a casual user or hobbyist who is not looking to generate revenue from your site or to present a strong business front, then you’re better off looking for a cheaper alternative, at least, until you want to take your site to the next level.

 

GET WP ENGINE @ $20/MO (4-MONTHS FREE)

* With 60 day money-back guarantee.

 

WP Engine

?

Overall Uptime

91.32%

Overall Rating

rated 5 out of 5rated 5 out of 5rated 5 out of 5rated 5 out of 5rated 5 out of 5

Response Time

US (W) London Japan
9 ms 3 ms 2 ms

View Full Speed Report

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$20*

monthly

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  • * Price based on 12 mo sub
  • • Top managed WP host!

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