Is WP Engine a good host

WP engine review

I first found out about WP Engine a long time ago. When the company first started in 2010, I did an online interview with its co-founder, Jason Cohen.

Not many had heard of the WP Engine name at the time, but the company was growing exponentially. Many well-known bloggers and companies (including HTC, FourSquare, Balsamiq, Sound Cloud) switched.

A year after the interview, I got a free account and moved WHSR. The migration process went smoothly and the loading time of my website was cut in half immediately. Needless to say - I was very happy and stayed for over 2 years.

Shortly after Google Penguin (which WHSR had a huge hit with) I decided to change and started building everything from scratch. The idea was to develop WHSR into a web service provider, to build a community around you and to rely less on Google Traffic. It was the time when the WHSR Uptime Monitor was created and we switched back to the conventional VPS hosting environment.

That was in 2013.

Today's WP Engine

Over time, the WP Engine has become an extremely popular WordPress hosting service.

Many things have changed since the relocation of the WHSR. Various new features have been added as technology advanced, the company is funded by a large group of investors including Automattic (the people behind WordPress.com), and many bloggers and WP experts consider it one of the best-managed WordPress Hosting (there were also some who were against it, more on that later).

Is WP Engine as good as the words from the street? Let's find out.

 


 

Summary

advantages

  • Solid server performance - hosting availability over 99.99%
  • Fast server speed - time-to-first-byte (TTFB) under 250 ms
  • Try it risk-free - 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Good Billing Practice - Users can easily refund or cancel the account
  • Reseller-friendly - Transfer the bill to your customers
  • Agile developer environment - website development and deployment prepared
  • Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes included

disadvantage

  • Expensive add-on functions
  • No Email Hosting - Users have to pay additional fees to a third party (e.g. Google Suite or Rackspace) to host their email
  • No direct access to the .htaccess file
  • Self-help site migration service only
  • Big SEO problem with the default "Redirect bot" setting
  • Slightly expensive - price increased in March 2018
  • Costly for owners running multiple WP sites

WP engine alternatives

Users considering WP Engine may also want to check out Kinsta, Pressidium, or Siteground.

usefull links

Learn more about my experiences and reviews of WP Engine hosting from different perspectives:

 

 


 

WP Engine platform performance

 

Our experience & thoughts:

Hosting availability over 99.99%

Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) under 250ms

Rated A + in the Bitcatcha Speed ​​Test

 

Server location in the US only

WP Engine platform availability (Feb 2018): 100%

Older server uptime records

* Click on the image to enlarge.

Jun 2017: 100%

Feb 2016: 99.97%

 

Nov 2015: 100%

Sep 2015: 100%

Sep 2014: 99.99%

Personal experience (2012 - 2013)

As mentioned earlier, I moved WHSR to WP Engine in 2012/13. My personal experience with WP Engine at the time was nothing but WOW.

The site's response time has improved by 100% immediately after the site migration, according to Pingdom. Note that no further fine-tuning has been made during the measurement.

WP engineBitcatcha Speed ​​test results (Mar 2018): A +

WP Engine Bitcatcha Speed ​​Test Results (Jun 2017): B +

WP speed test at WebpageTest.org

 


 

WP Engine customer support

 

Our experience & thoughts:

Clear terms of service and guarantees

60-day money-back guarantee

Helpful 24/7 live chat and phone support

No contract binding - can be terminated at any time

Good Billing Practice - Users can easily refund or cancel the account

Customer complaints about customer service

 

 

 

Proactive live chat support

A WP Engine sales representative will greet you as soon as a user lands on their website.

My recent live chat experience with WP Engine support has been good. WP Engine's live chat support is one of the top five according to my studies in 2017.

Huge knowledge base in the WP Engine support area.

 

User complaints at WP Engine Support (mainly in 2014/2015)

WP Engine supported was top class during my stay (2012 - 2013). Every single support person I spoke to was a WordPress assistant. And they were so passionate about their job - that you can see how quickly they are answering your emails - their ticketing support system was like a live chat where I got replies almost instantly every time.

But things obviously changed later if you look around and you will find that there were some complaints here about WP Engine customer support in 2014, including this long review by Matthew Woodward. The complaints generally focus on two things -

  • Uninformed / inexperienced support staff,
  • Slow responses (some even said their requests were ignored), and

Answer from WP Engine

The increasing criticism of the company prompted WP Engine founder Jason Cohen's response in this blog post in May 2014 - The growth is tough.

To address this issue, seven immediate actions have been taken, including hiring new support staff (they have increased the support team by 50% since then) and customers can reach out to the company's engineer directly (see quotes below).

1- setting

We closed our Series C funding in January and immediately added to the support team. We have since expanded the team by 50%. It is very difficult to adjust quickly and still maintain our standards of attitude (culture) and ability (ability). We even hired additional in-house recruiters to speed up this process.

2 - Straight to the engineer

Some of our customers are highly technical. When they contact us, they are difficult, interesting problems that cannot be solved with a knowledge base article or a simple, obvious answer. So we started to create ways for these customers to get to engineers faster - people who can work on their ideas. Of course we don't have 24/7, like we do with regular support. Fortunately, these issues are usually fine to be resolved during normal business hours, so this approach has been effective overall.

Updates: User feedback after Jason's message

Recent user feedback (following Jason's message) indicates that the quality of customer support from WP Engine is returning.

Feedback from BRet Wegner, Drive Social Now

Most likely, WP Engine hasn't failed me between the easy setup, automated migrations, and great support when you just need a little more control. There seem to be times when the administration page of a website seems a bit sluggish. This is usually the case during peak hours. However, if your site is on a server with other high traffic sites, you can be affected. However, usually you can ask them to move your site to another server and they will make sure you get into a more reliable environment. - Bret Wegner, Drive now socially / Quoted from Fit Small Businesses.

Feedback from Dave Warfel, WP Smack Down

The waiting times for live chats [with WP Engine] depend on several factors. Mainly the time of day and when server problems arise. I think I had to wait 15 minutes the longest. Most of the time I get an answer in less than 5 minutes. Compared to other hosts I would rate this as very good (8.5 / 10) - Dave Warfels WP Engine Review.

 

The number of visits to WP Engine

A few years ago, one complaint you often hear about WP Engine was that of how they burden their customers. WP Engine users are billed based on the visit. For example, the WP Engine entry plan allows for up to 25,000 visits per month. If your blog is attracting more than 25,000 visits per month, you'll have to pay more.

So, more visits = more CPU resource usage = higher host fees. Fair?

No Because WP Engine also bills for bot visits and has not implemented any measures to block bad bots (unlike traditional hosting, users cannot set up their robots.txt to block faulty bots on WP Engine). Users had to overpay due to bot visits.

Answer from WP Engine

WP Engine removed bot visits from their billable visits calculations on October 13, 2015.

Learn how WP Engine defines a "visit" in this article.

 


 

WP engine functions

 

Our experience & thoughts:

GeoIP targeting and offsite backups

Agile developer environment - development and deployment sites are ready

Reseller-friendly: Transfer the invoice to your customers

StudioPress and Genesis Framework included

Expensive add-on functions

No email hosting

No direct access to the .htaccess file

Redirect bots cause major SEO problems

 

Important to know: WP Engine is only for WordPress sites

Note that WP Engine is WordPress-only hosting.

This means if your site is not based on WordPress, you will not be able to host your site on WP Engine.

 

Invoice transfer

Developers can create a site in WP Engine and easily transfer the hosting account / site to their clients.

Migration of self-help websites

Does the WP Engine provider have a site migration service? No.

However, WP Engine has developed a hassle-free automated migration plugin. All you have to do is provide some account details and the migration process (i.e. find / replace values ​​in the database, update the link structure and migrate multiple sites etc.) can be done automatically with the plugin.

For detailed instructions, read this post. To download the migration tool, Kuyichi Signs Transparency Pledge. . WP Engine migration plugin screenshot - this is where you add your migration information to the tool.

 

Access to the .htaccess file at WP Engine

With WP Engine, .htaccess rules are defined in the user portal (see figure).

You will need to contact technical support to access your .htaccess file (e.g. to copy and paste a large portion of the .htaccess redirects).

 

Expensive add-ons

WP Engine has a lot of great features, but it's not free for startup and growth plan users.

 

Send and receive emails

WP Engine does not offer any email or webmail functionality.

This means that if you want an email address that ends with your domain name (e.g. [email protected]), you'll need to host your own email accounts.

Yes, I know you can always go with Gmail as Google offers free email hosting services (as recommended by WPEngine). But not all website owners want their data to be hosted with the capital G (I'll be there!).

But no fear. I tried a few different solutions when I switched my host to WP Engine and wrote this Email Hosting Guide.

 

Studio press issues and Genesis framework

 

The acquisition of StudioPress Designs and Genesis Framework from Rainmaker Digital LLC in June 2018 further strengthens WP Engine's platform and enables faster time to market with greater ease and flexibility.

Genesis is a huge ecosystem of parts for WordPress and essentially what it takes to put together in building blocks a best WordPress site. From speed to security to aesthetics, there's something in the Genesis Framework that just screams 'professional WordPress' - and you pay for it.

StudioPress Themes, on the other hand, is a collection of 35+ professionally designed, Gutenberg-optimized WordPress themes created with Genesis that support a range of vertical use cases.

Redirect Bots = Big SEO Spend

By default, websites hosted by WP Engine with a page ending with a number (e.g. example.com/page/1) or in a query arg (e.g. example.com/mypage/?myproduct=name) , redirected The page before the start of the number or query arg sequence (site.com/page, site.com/category, site.com/mypage/). * This setting, known as "Redirect Bots", is A Big SEO Problem Restricting Google Bots To Discover Content On Your Website And Affecting The Website's PageRank Flow Through Your Website.

Fortunately, this setting can be disabled by contacting WP Engine support.

* Note: This is a quote from WP Engine's exact words from this blog post. WP Engine sells this feature as a "perk" as it saves users server load (and money).

 


 

Price: Is WP Engine value for money?

 

Our experience & thoughts:

Currently on sale - get 2 months free and 10% off

No hidden fees or renewal fees

No contract binding - can be terminated at any time

Good Billing Practice - Users can easily refund or cancel the account

Costly for owners running multiple WP sites

Slightly expensive - price increased in March 2018 (for existing users, September 2018)

 

Promo code for the WP engine: WPE3Free

First-time users who sign up for WP Engine receive 2 months of free hosting and a 10% discount on the first payment when the promo code "wpe3free" is applied.

The discounted starting plan is $ 22.50 / month (with an annual plan).

WP Engine 2018 Price Changes: Before & After

WP Engine announced its new plans on February 28, 2018. The original plans - Personal, Professional, and Business - are being replaced with slightly more expensive plans called StartUp, Growth, and Scale.

The new price ($ 30.00, $ 115.00, $ 290.00 / mo) is slightly higher than the old one ($ 27.55, $ 94.05, $ 236.55 / mo).

WP Engine Entry Plan Prices (Before & After)

Personal plan (before)Startup plan (after)
membershipPersonalStartup
Number of websites11
Visits / month25,00025,000
WP multisites-+ $ 20 / mo
CDN$ 19 / moFree
Price (monthly basis)$ 29 / mo$ 30 / mo
Price (12 MO contract)$ 27.55 / mo$ 25.00 / mo

 

* Note: On January 22nd, 2020, all current customers on startup plans will switch to the new price (reduction from $ 35 to $ 30) on their monthly or annual billing renewal date. Current prices and planning details can be found at: https://wpengine.com/plans/

Costly for users with multiple websites

While the fast servers and WP experts provide support, they are good to have; WP Engine isn't exactly what you need for your less important, less important websites.

The startup plan only allows one installation per account and charges $ 20 / mo per additional site. Your hosting cost would easily racks up to hundreds of dollars a month.

For users with multiple websites with little traffic, it is much cheaper to go with a shared hosting service usually costing less than $ 10 a month.

Compare Price: WP Engine with WP Web Host, Pressidium, Kinsta and Pressable

Here's a quick comparison of WP Engine pricing against other managed WordPress hosts (plans similar to WP Engine's startup).

membershipStartupLitestarterPersonalPersonal
Number of locations11131
Monthly visits25,00020,00020,00030,00060,000
cabinets10 GB30 GB10 GB10 GB-
CDNFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Normal price (12-mo subscription)$ 25 / mo$ 7.00 / mo$ 25 / mo$ 42 / mo$ 20.83 / mo
Visit / ordervisitvisitvisitvisitvisit

 

* Note: I am comparing the normal WP Engine price in this table. WP Engine is currently running special promotions. When you sign up for the annual plan (which averages $ 2 / month) you get 22.50 months free.

 


 

Bottom line: should you host with WP Engine?

To recap, here are the pros and cons of hosting with WP Engine:

advantages

  • Solid server performance - hosting availability over 99.99%
  • Fast server speed - time-to-first-byte (TTFB) under 250 ms
  • Try it risk-free - 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Good Billing Practice - Users can easily refund or cancel the account
  • Reseller-friendly - Transfer the bill to your customers
  • Agile developer environment - website development and deployment prepared
  • Genesis Framework and StudioPress themes included

disadvantage

  • Expensive add-on functions
  • No Email Hosting - Users have to pay additional fees to a third party (e.g. Google Suite or Rackspace) to host their email
  • No direct access to the .htaccess file
  • Self-help site migration service only
  • Big SEO problem with the default "Redirect bot" setting
  • Slightly expensive - price increased in March 2018
  • Costly for owners running multiple WP sites

I have no doubt that WP Engine is one of the top WordPress hosting services out there.

I don't recommend WP Engine to everyone, however.

For example - if you don't plan on running your website in WordPress then you have no reason to be here.

Or, if you're new and just getting started, I would suggest that you go with traditional shared hosting services like InMotion Hosting, called A2 Hosting, or Interserver. I think you will thank me for the much cheaper option.

Or when you need to host multiple low-traffic websites that don't use as much server resources; then WP Engine is definitely an overkill.

However, WP Engine can be a gem for developers or high-traffic WordPress sites.

If you're reading Devesh's article Best Options For Managed WordPress Hosting He Wrote That On WP Engine -

If you want a little bit of everything, go with WPEngine. This option is for you if you want to scale without compromising the quality of support and losing developer-friendly tools. And at the same time, does not want to spend a fortune. I've been using WPEngine for a long time and have never had any problems with them.

WP Engine is recommended for:

  • Users running a single WordPress website with medium to high traffic,
  • There is a chance your website could go viral and hit the Reddit homepage.
  • Your WordPress website is your main source of income,
  • You always worry about hackers and malware,
  • You don't like doing the boring WordPress maintenance job - securing the site and tuning the file cache, for example;

Make the move like I did with WHSR and stop worrying about your website getting hacked or shut down due to bursts of traffic.

WP engine alternatives

If WP Engine isn't for you, there are several well-managed WordPress hosts to consider. Kinsta, WP web host, Siteground and Pressidium are some solutions that I have tried and recommended.

Compare the WP Engine with others

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the popular WordPress managed services: WP Engine vs Kinsta vs SiteGround.

Also check:

 


 

Order WP Engine now

For more information or to order WP Engine, visit: https://www.wpengine.com/signup

 

 

(P / S: The links pointing to WP Engine on this page are affiliate links. If you buy from this link, I will be recognized as your referrer. This is how I have kept this site alive and well for almost 8 years may add more Free Helpful Hosting Reviews. It won't cost you more to buy from my link - you even get a discount on the promo code listed WPE3Free. Your support is greatly appreciated, thank you!)

About Jerry Low

Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and useful by 100,000 users. More than 15 years of experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and others.

Connect: