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Simply put, if you are using Joomla, Drupal, etc. you can’t host with WP Engine. WP Engine is for WordPress sites only. There is no cPanel. Instead, WP Engine handles all of that entirely for you. But, what are site owners saying about WP Engine? Are they worth it? Do you need managed WordPress hosting?
Whenever I review web hosting companies I look at a number of different things. The features. Uptime. Reliability. Customer support. And of course the price tag. Find out in this full WP Engine hosting review why I do recommend them.
WP Engine Features
WP Engine does make it easy to choose the plan that best suits your needs. Meaning, that you can upgrade and downgrade your plans with a minimal amount of work. Depending on how many WordPress installs you are going to need. The monthly bandwidth and the storage space needed will help you choose the best plan.
WP Engine does offer a plan that’s geared for site owners that are looking for a managed WordPress hosting solution for one site. This is ideal for the company that is just starting out. If you have a huge client base things could get complicated with WP Engine.
Small to medium sized businesses with be interested in this plan. The “Personal Plan” might be a good option for you. If you need 1 WordPress install, 25,000 unique visitors per day, and 10 gigabytes of disk space. The price tag for this plan is $29 a month. It is expensive but unlike using GoDaddy or another company you’re paying for a managed WordPress service.
WP Engine is a dynamic hosting provider. Meaning that if you need more resources, WP Engine can easily upgrade or downgrade your plan. Once your business starts to pick up, you can take advantage of the “Professional” plan. The professional package is ideal for businesses that have more than the average website traffic.
This means if you get more than 25,000 visitors per day. The monthly package offers up to 10 WordPress installations, 20 gigabyte of local storage, and up to 100,000 visitors per month. The monthly bill for this plan is $99/month.
Once your website has taken off and you’re making decent money, then moving up to the business package is a great move. The business package is for the business owner that is expanding their businesses. Again, this plan will offer you more resources to support your WordPress websites. The monthly package offers up to 25 installations a month, up to 400,000 visitors, and 30 gigabytes of storage. The price tag for this plan is $249/month.
The Premium plan is a plan that no longer uses the shared hosting infrastructure. Meaning, that with Personal, Professional, and Business plan you’re using a shared server. The Premium plan is a dedicated service. This means you’re not sharing your server with other websites. This package offers over 400,000 visitors a month, up to 150 installations, and up to 300 gigabytes of storage. The price tag for this plan is $600/month.
The enterprise-grade package is designed for the businesses with multiple offices throughout the country. And deals with multi-million dollar contracts. This package offers over 400,000 visitors per month, up to 175 installations, and 400 gigabytes to 1 terabyte of storage. The price tag for this plan starts at $3,200 a month.
WP Engine does have a great money-back guarantee. This means there isn’t a risk on your end if you decide that they just are not right for you. The industry standard is a 30-day money-back guarantee. WP engine doubles that with a 60-day guarantee. This is much better than Hostigation (7 days), ServerPronto (7 days), and SingleHop (7 days). Clearly, WP Engine does have a solid money-back guarantee.
Drawbacks To WP Engine
No email accounts. One thing I am really not a fan of with WP Engine. You do not get an email account with your plan. This is something I really feel is missing with their service. You’re paying for premium hosting, but you don’t get an email account.
They could structure your email plan to push through Google’s servers. So it wouldn’t put so much server load on their servers. There are some site owners that really feel like having a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account looks unprofessional.
Price Per 1,000 visitors. Another drawback to WP Engine is the price tag. Their prices are already pretty high. If you go over your 25,000 visitors per month. You will be charged extra. For every 1,000 visitors over you’re going to have to pay $1. This means if you get featured on TechCrunch, Mashable, Forbes, etc. And get a huge spike in traffic you can expect to pay for it. A lot of site owners are finding out this the hard way.
For instance, one blogger Harsh Agrawal who runs ShoutMeLoud.com (see WP Engine review) has learned this the hard way. He has spent close to $5,000 with WP Engine. I really believe WP Engine needs to be more transparent with their pricing. They need to make it clear as day that you’re going to be charged extra. If you exceed the allotted traffic for your plan.
In the past years, WP Engine has had problems with tracking. When you use Google Analytics you can easily see how many visitors were on your website. But, their tracking is slightly different. In the past, WP Engine used to even track bots. They stopped doing in 2015. It’s been a big complaint amongst a lot of site owners. This wouldn’t really be a big problem. But the fact of the matter is. If you go over your monthly limit you will be billed extra for it.
WP Engine Performance & Uptime
Now, in my WP Engine review going to discuss uptime. Uptime is certainly one of WP Engine’s strong points. I think nearly every webmaster that has used WP Engine can agree. Your website is going to be up nearly all the time. If you run a WordPress website you’re going to want your website to be up 100%, ideally.
However, a more realistic goal is 99.99%. I have done lots of research on WP Engine. Downtime at WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (reports 100% for 30 days). WhoIsHostingThis.com (users reporting excellent uptime). Sitegeek.com (6 users reported 100% uptime).
You can trust that your WordPress website will be up nearly all hours of the day. They have an excellent infrastructure. And take their uptime policy seriously. It says right in the TOS that for every hour your website is down. They will give you 5% off your monthly bill.
A lot of hosts have real issues whenever you have a huge traffic spike. Why is this? Because their servers crash when you’re site gets a lot of requests. However, with WP Engine you can trust that your server isn’t going to have any problems. They use their own in-house caching system called EverCache. You can’t install any caching plugins with WP Engine. This will cause conflicts with EverCache.
From the research I have done on WP Engine it looks like other site owners are loving the performance with them. There are lots of WP Engine reviews that speak highly of their site speed. A lot of site owners have reported that once they switch over to WP Engine. They see a drastic drop in their response times. Simply put, the performance with WP Engine is fantastic!
Again, performance is one of WP Engine’s strong points. However, there have been reports of sites taking ages to load. A lot of the times this does have to do with a plugin or theme conflict. But, for the most part you can expect your websites loading time to be pretty decent.
WP Engine Customer Support
WP Engine does have 24/7 customer support. You can contact them through the telephone. Through their toll-free number. Live chat is another way to contact WP Engine. Or through an email or support ticket. I should point out that their telephone support is only available from 7AM to 7PM.
Really not a big fan of support that only is available during business hours. But, you’re probably wanting to know how helpful is their customer support? A lot of companies offer 24/7 support, but when you contact 1&1 (for example) your call either gets routed overseas. Sometimes you are left with very little assistance. WP Engine has local support so this not the case.
WP Engine has had problems with their customer support in the past. For example, this post by Matthew Woodward (see this WP Engine review) shows how WP Engine was completely unresponsive. They didn’t assist him in getting a simple problem resolved. He finally got tired of dealing with them moved to a different host.
WP Engine has even acknowledged that they have had problems with their customer support over the years. They state that the expanded too quickly. As a result, their customer support did suffer. They have made the necessary adjustments over the years. Hired 50% more agents to help assist their paying customers, though.
One thing I do love about WP engine is they do have a huge knowledge-base. This has lots and lots of how-to articles. Pretty much anything that you want to do with WordPress they have probably covered it in their knowledge base section. They do have a section of WordPress plugins that don’t play nice with them. Meaning, you can’t use them.
WP Engine has a list of plugins that you can’t use with their service. They seem to have tighter limits to plugins that are not allowed with their service, though. Some of the most popular ones are Wordfence, WP Super Cache, broken link checker, etc. If you do install the plugins that are not allowed. They will automatically remove them.
All and all, there support is decent. A lot of their customers have praised them for doing a wonderful job over the years.
WP Engine Hosting Review Summary
So, do I recommend WP Engine? Yes, if you are looking for a managed WordPress hosting service they are decent. They are more expensive than other hosts. If all the technical stuff scares you that comes with operating a server. Then you will find WP Engine to be a decent option. If you’re starting out and using cPanel doesn’t intimidate you, you might not need a managed WordPress hosting company, though.
They do have an excellent infrastructure for WordPress hosted websites. Their speed and uptime are certainly their strong points. Their support is decent, and they are “true” WordPress experts. They don’t focus on anything other than WordPress.
So, you can trust that they know how to get problems resolved quickly. They have a lot of happy clients all over the world. However, just don’t go over your monthly visitors limit. Or you could find yourself paying a high bill.
If WP Engine Won’t Work For You?
Is there any reason you shouldn’t use WP Engine? Yes, for some the price tag is steep. Paying $30 a month for web hosting is pretty expensive. I don’t recommend them for established websites that are going to get over 500,000 visitors per month. Because it’s going to cost you hundreds per month.
If you’re strapped for cash they might not be your best option. Instead, you might want to check out my InMotion review. Which is not managed WordPress hosting? But they do have a 1 click installer. You can get a shared, VPS, or even dedicated server for cheaper than it would cost you with WP Engine.
Then I file the research article in one of the 3 categories; positive, negative, or neutral. I try to update this section as often as I can. Please take a look at the research I have done on WP Engine down below.