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WP Engine Review for WordPress Hosting: Is It Worth the Money?


We’ve reviewed WP Engine, so you know whether this Premium WordPress hosting service delivers on the fastest load speeds and uptime.

WP Engine

While you can find many cheap hosting solutions for your WordPress website, why do so many customers choose the WP Engine digital experience platform?

The reason is the quality justifies the price in every way imaginable, providing you with a WordPress hosting solution that maintains consistently high page loading time and elevates the customer satisfaction rates by equipping you with various WordPress-specific features like easy migrations, free SSL, staging site support, and much more.

This isn't just a superficial feature list that you can find on the platform's official website either, as we dive deep into the advantages and drawbacks of this web hosting service, recommend you the hosting plans that are best suited for your needs, and help you understand the alternatives the market has to offer.

Read on, and find out if WP Engine is worth the cost for you.

Brief Overview of WP Engine

One of the first companies to offer WordPress-tailored hosting, and operating as a WordPress hosting solution, WP Engine will offer you a couple of variety of plans that are fully optimized for the platform, allowing you to house and run your WordPress website.

WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting solution

Since WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting solution, you won't have to handle any server-level administration tasks as these will be handled by the hosting company.

As a comprehensive web hosting service, WP Engine will ensure your website is optimized, secure, and fast-loading.

In all the WP Engine plans, you can access different WordPress installations, themes, and plug-ins, and you won't need to install WordPress as the content management system comes preinstalled.

A true digital experience platform, WP Engine ensures you can create posts, pages, and galleries with ease while allowing you to automated daily site backups and plug-in updates, as well as utilize the Evercache technology to make pages load quicker.

WP Engine digital experience platform
Source: Wpengine

As the most well-known WordPress hosting provider, WP Engine serves 150K+ customers across the world, while the most satisfied web hosting service customers can be found among the WP Engine reviews, where you will regularly find high satisfaction rates and scores.

Best Features and Pros of WP Engine

Best features

1. Performance-enhancing features

Since performance is a determining factor when choosing a WordPress hosting solution, it is no wonder WP Engine's hosting plans get such high praise with the performance-enhancing features like a free CDN (Content Delivery Network) service included in all plans.

Not only does WP Engine's PHP functionality allow you to switch between PHP 7.2 and 7.3, but the PHP 7.4 support ensures that you can produce instant results in website speed and security as the updating process is simple.

The Page Performance solution will help you test your website, allowing you to increase your page speed and conversions by executing actionable recommendations acquired through page-level performance tests.

WP Engine Performance enhancing features
Source: Blogging

Apart from recommendations based on proven best practices, you will gain access to the render start, visitor complete, render complete, requests, and size data that will help you understand how fast exactly do the various parts of your page load on the visitor's screen, how long did no network activity last, as well as the number of resources (images, fonts, HTML, scripts) requested.

An add-on user segmentation system called GeoTarget will allow you to show different content or perform different tasks depending on the geolocation of your website visitors.

The page content is cached as separate objects for separate regions so you can display customized content while maintaining cacheability and scalability.

Geotarget will allow to show different content or perform different tasks
Source: Wpengine

2. Themes, updates, threat protection

StudioPress‘s easy-to-use premium themes will simplify the content design and editing process while providing you with SEO themes that come with locked-down security features.

Through WP Engine, you can access over 35 premium WordPress themes and plugins which will set the framework for creating attractive, high-performing, secure, and successful websites in less time.

Through the popular Genesis framework, you can benefit from clean, code-optimized smart designs that will help you launch and attain a perfect food blog or a high-converting eCommerce store through selections of engaging pre-built blocks, sections, and layouts.

WP Engine Premium Themes
Source: Wpengine

With WP Engine's top priorities being stability, security, and longevity of your website, they will provide automatic WordPress core updates, while giving you time to test the new version against your current configuration.

WP Engine installs the WordPress software updates automatically with a possibility to defer an update for 60 days.

WP Engine Provide automatic WordPress core updates
Source: Wpengine

Such a high-quality digital experience platform that will secure all your data expertly like WP Engine isn't always easy to find, as the tool equips you with an SSL certificate that safeguards the data sent from a customer's computer to your website's servers.

The free SSL certificate comes with all the hosting plans, while WP Engine additionally performs daily malware scans and deploys a daily updated firewall that blocks the biggest cyber threats.

Plus, the WordPress hosting tool equips you with real-time threat detection and free hacking remediation by WordPress-trained security experts.

WordPress trained security experts
Source: Wpengine

3. Website migration & environments

You can facilitate WordPress website migration through a free plugin that allows you to migrate to a new host with minimal technical knowledge, without the need to worry about database importing or domain values search and replacement, with the BlogVault plugin handling it all for you.

Website migration & environments
Source: Wpengine

All hosting plans include staging and development environments, as well as the production environment, with website transferring between different environments being easy through the user portal interface.

4. Local website development, testing & debugging, command-line tools

Available in all the WP Engine plans is the free Local website development integration that will enable you to increase your productivity with testing and debugging tools like WP-CLI, MailHog, and Xdebug, as well as give you easy access to log files for PHP, NGINX, & MySQL.

Local website development, testing & debugging, command line tools
Source: Anchor.host

You will receive all the features you need to develop WordPress locally, allowing you to create shareable URLs to demo your local WordPress websites to clients, collaborators, and friends.

The free Local integration you can download to WP Engine is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, allowing you to push your local sites up your staging or production sites or pull a copy of a live site to the local environment for offline editing.

Any website created through Local will automatically have SSL support, while the root SSH access to individual websites will allow you to tweak whatever you wish.

SSH, also known as Secure Shell, is a method of connecting your computer to a web server where your website is hosted, and you are allowed to use a variety of command-line tools to manage your website.

SSH gateway's key-based authentication ensures greater security than the standard username and password combination, with the gateway allowing you to connect to a container that functions as a sub-department, allowing you to access your website's filesystem and database.

SSH gateway's key based authentication
Source: Wpengine

5. EverCache & LargeFS

A proprietary front-end cache EverCache will help you add speed to all your customers' experiences, ensuring the positive praise in the WP Engine reviews as the ultimate digital experience platform while removing the strain on servers by automatically caching static content on your website.

Wp admin dashboard of website
Source: Wpengine

The LargeFS (Large Files System) is the WP Engine's product designed to store and transfer virtually unlimited amounts of data and integrate it into the WordPress environment, which is especially helpful for using large amounts of media and reducing local storage usage.

While the LargeFS service is free, you still need to purchase an S3 bucket through Amazon for which the prices will vary depending on the level of service.

WP Engine's product designed to store and transfer virtually unlimited amounts of data
Source: Wpengine

6. Smart Plugin Manager

Smart Plugin Manager is WP Engine's feature that keeps your environments secure by automatically updating all your WordPress plugins to ensure your websites are always up-to-date.

WP Engine's Smart Plugin Manager feature
Source: Wpengine

After updating your plugins, the Smart Plugin Manager will check that the updates are working as expected and that there are no visual problems on your website caused by the updates.

Once a plugin update does cause an issue, the Smart Plugin Manager will automatically revert the updates and restore your website to the previous state.

While SPM is deployed on individual environments for one license per install, it can also be deployed on multisite networks.

If your WordPress website provides marketing information for your business or fulfills other basic purposes, WP Engine recommends that you enable Smart Plugin Manager in your production environment, while extensive custom development or deployment of multiple applications (like on an eCommerce website) prompts for SPM in your staging environment.

Smart Plugin Manager in production environment
Source: Wpengine

7. Manual and automatic file & database backup

WordPress recommends that you back up all the associated plugin and theme files, code files, images, and static web pages, as well as the database, which is what WP Engine will ensure, enabling you to get your website back online with all the key elements quickly, regardless of the website faces a hack, an attack, a coding blunder, or else.

One option is to back up your data with a plugin like Jetpack, BlogVault, CodeGuard, UpdraftPlus, BackWPup, which is the simplest way to get your website restored.

Manual and automatic file & database backup
Source: Wpbeginner

If you are concerned about an additional backup plugin compromising your performance or a plugin malfunctioning, you can try the manual backup method.

Manually, you can back up WordPress files using the SFTP method, creating a local folder for your WordPress backup data in the free open-source tool like FileZilla.

Manual backup method by using the SFTP method
Source: Wpengine

Also, you can back up your WordPress files manually using the cPanel method, through a trusted control panel tool that will create a ZIP file within its file manager that you can download onto your computer.

The third manual backup option is to secure your WordPress database with phpMyAdmin, which, unlike the cPanel method that covers only one aspect of backing up your data, allows you to copy your website files and the database.

Secure WordPress database with phpMyAdmin
Source: Wpengine

Lastly, you can back up your website data through the web hosting provider which makes the manual backup process easier, along with automatic daily backups being performed in all hosting plans in WP Engine.

8. Git, CMS plugin library, malware detection

A powerful development tool like Git will enable developers to securely push code changes from their local machine to their website on WP Engine with version control.

A powerful development tool like Git will enable developers to securely push code changes
Source: Wpengine

While WP Engine specializes in WordPress hosting, you can access the massive CMS plugin library for eCommerce tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, along with email marketing tools like Drip, DirectIQ, Mailflow, and many more WordPress plugins.

A 24/7 live chat support is present in all WP Engine plans, while the 24/7 phone support is available on all hosting plans except the entry-level Startup plan.

If your website gets infected by malware, you can deploy various deep-level scanning and cleaning free services such as Sucuri Site Check, WPSec, WordPress Security Scan by HackerTarget, along with a variety of security plugins that contain malware scanning functionality like Wordfence, Sucuri, Exploit Scanner.

Wordpress Analysis and Security Scan
Source: Geekflare

Pros

1. Faster download times

A CDN dispersing assets across several server locations makes your static large files such as images physically closer to users and thus faster to download while relieving the weight of your site during times of high traffic.

WP Engine operates on a lot of server locations, and they include data centers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, which translates into excellent real-world performance.

WP Engine Faster download times
Source: Wpengine

2. High performance during traffic surges and location-tailored content

WP Engine will ensure your website scales better in traffic waves while providing a customized experience to the visitor, with the page caching system storing different page variations for each geographic location in separate cache segments, with the GeoTarget system using the MaxMind GeoIP database to determine where a user is from to serve them cached version from their location.

High performance during traffic surges and location tailored content
Source: Nvision.co

The GeoTarget solution eliminates the need for a developer to manually regenerate HTML for the page via PHP on every single page load, according to where the user is located.

3. Consistently high-scored speed tests

The Pingdom page speed tests conducted worldwide showing the performance of a basic website and its loading speeds in different locations highlighted the tool's consistency with New York, Melbourne, and Stockholm all loading pages in around 1.6 seconds, despite being from different parts of the world.

The Load Impact page speed tests showcased the tool's minimum response time of 0.51 seconds and maximum response time of 0.59 seconds.

4. Secure automatic updates and multi-environment setup

Only when the security team has analyzed the updates and made the needed adjustments, will WP Engine begin to update your website automatically, thus eliminating the premature updates during the beta or immediately after a new update is released without testing.

Secure automatic updates
Source: Kinsta

You will receive the multi-environment setup in WP Engine's entry-level plan, providing you with the production, staging, and development version of your website.

Website transferring between the staging, development, and production environments is easy with the user portal interface, allowing you to customize your development workflow and troubleshoot issues separately and safely.

With all environments operating independently, you won't have to worry about overlapping changes when you copy to staging and troubleshoot the production website issue or create and test a new design and carry the changes to production when ready.

Quick Action Delete
Source: Wpengine

5. Advanced troubleshooting capacity, unlimited space, update security

Increase your productivity with testing and debugging tools like WP-CLI, MailHog, & Xdebug and gain easy access to log files for PHP, NGINX, & MySQL to facilitate the most advanced troubleshooting and handle the most recent error logs.

Increase productivity with testing and debugging tools like WP CLI
Source: Wpengine

Transfer large amounts of media and reduce local storage usage through the LargeFS system, creating unlimited space in all hosting plans while retaining the advantages of S3 and mitigating the downsides to generate infinite storage capacity.

Using Smart Plugin Manager in your staging environment when doing a lot of custom development or working with multiple applications, can help you check if the updates didn't cause any issues with the custom code or third-party applications before you enable it in your production environment.

Smart Plugin Manager Status
Ssource: Wpengine

6. Insightful visitor analytics, downtime monitoring, website health

Visitor analytics can provide you access to website traffic data and allocation usage through the WP Engine user portal dashboard.

Access to website traffic data and allocation usage through the WP Engine
Source: Wpengine

Since WP Engine plans vary in prices partially according to the number of monthly visits on your website, the managed hosting service enables you to keep track of the billable visits.

You can calculate the number of unique IP addresses that the website welcomed in 24 hours, excluding the bot user agents and static requests, as well as the number of billable visits during an entire month after which all websites on your hosting account are added together at the end of your billing cycle.

In the same scrutinous manner, the front end of your website will be monitored for downtime while the back end is monitored to track and facilitate overall website health, with actions instantly taken when an issue arises.

7. Easy backup, administration, file transfers, database management

Back up your website files and database automatically through the WP Engine's web hosting service toolkit, and avail of the automatic daily backups that ensure all data is secured.

Restore a backup to another environment when you need to revert a website to a previous version to check out an old feature or examine if an issue existed before an update without impacting a live website and your business.

Restore a backup to another environment automatically through the WP Engine's web hosting service
Source: Wpengine

Use WP-CLI to manage WordPress settings and administration, navigate files and directories, use rsync and SCP to move and transfer files, and use MySQL to manage databases.

Create scripts and bash loops to automate tasks, with WP-CLI allowing developers and site administrators to manage their website outside of WordPress's back end, which will generate faster work and chained commands.

Use WP CLI to manage WordPress settings and administration
Source: Wpengine

8. Comprehensive CMS library and malware cleaning

Utilize the massive CMS plugin library to access the various eCommerce, email marketing, and other WordPress integrations.

Take advantage of the post-hack clean-up services like Sucuri that will provide deep scanning and malware cleaning services for free, or activate the security plugins like Wordfence and Exploit Scanner.

Cons of Using WP Engine WordPress Hosting

1. No domain registrations and email hosting

There are no domain name registrations available in WP Engine, which means you will have to acquire a domain name using a third-party company.

Along with the lack of incentive to use their hosting plans to receive a free domain name registration, you can't host your email services with WP Engine

You will need to purchase a third-party email hosting tool like G Suite ($5 per month) or Rackspace ($2 per month), noting these are prices per one email address.

There are no domain name registrations available in WP Engine
Source: Wpengine

2. Disallowed plugins

There are a handful of plugins WP Engine has identified as potential causes of various security and performance issues.

WPengine Disallowed Plugins

Addressing these issues openly, WP Engine has made it so that if you have one of these plugins, you will be notified and the plugin will be removed.

This approach can be unsuitable for people who like to have control over their security, backups, image optimization, or website speed with the caching plugin.

If you are not ready to relinquish your favorite plugins and hand over complete control to WP Engine, with the full trust they have you covered at all times, this might be a dealbreaker for you.

Caching plugins like WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, WP File Cache, backup plugins like WP DB Backup and BackupWordPress, related posts plugins like YARPP and Similar Posts are all among the disallowed WP Engine WordPress plugins.

3. No cPanel

For people preferring the traditional cPanel for managing their accounts and websites, they won't find this functionality in WP Engine.

Operating as a managed WordPress hosting solution, WP Engine uses a proprietary control panel and the User Portal might be an issue if you don't want the hassle of learning a new system.

Walterpengine Overview page for environment
Source: Wpengine

While the User Portal does display the number of visitors, bandwidth, and storage caps, these are included in all hosting plans which is not something every web hosting service does.

4. Complicated frontend

While there is no shortage of information explaining everything, the layout could benefit from being more simple.

Some of the best features are hidden deeper within support articles instead of being highlighted front and center.

Everything should be manageable via wp admin
Ssource: Anchor.host

Also, to find out answers to simple things, you need to go through a larger amount of text than is necessary.

If the frontend was more concise like the backend side, the whole interface would feel more balanced as a digital experience platform.

5. Other cons

  • Lack of co-branded email notifications capacity for all website owners on the roll-out of WordPress core updates
  • The redirect tool is incapable of exporting and importing to other websites within WP Engine
  • You have to use Cloudflare instead of DNS management
  • It is not a cheap hosting solution
  • Git version control management can cause extra work in the complex setups
  • Lack of monitoring solution forces the customers to purchase additional tools like Pingdom
  • Custom Cron jobs or Python tools might not work easily
  • Not enough small-scale options and pricing plans

Of course, there is always a possibility of you being one of those website owners who prefer WordPress alternatives that might offer better CMS and website builder functionality for you, which is exactly why you should check out the best WordPress alternatives to create your website, blog, or online store.

WP Engine Pricing, Hosting Plans, and Quick Facts

While WP Engine only offers managed WordPress hosting type of service, they also offer a couple of tiered plans to choose from, and these differ in the number of resources they offer and the number of websites they are catered to, which makes for a very scalable platform.

WP Engine Pricing Plan

WP Engine includes five managed hosting plans, and these include the entry-level Startup Plan which will cost you $25 per month and it includes 30+ premium themes, free automated migrations, daily backups, free SSL and SSH, one-click staging website, 24/7 support with a capacity of 25K visits per month, 10GB storage, 50GB bandwidth, for one website.

The Professional Plan will cost you $49 per month, and it will allow you to set up three websites, welcoming up to 75K visitors with 15GB storage.

The other features in the Professional program include

  • 125 GB of bandwidth
  • Faster website speed with website caching
  • Threat detection and blocking
  • Global CDN functionality
  • Handoff to clients with transferable websites
  • Activity log and user permissions
  • Page performance monitoring
  • Local developer tools
  • SSH access with WP-CLI, MySQL, and bash
  • GIT and SFTP connections
  • Multi-factor password authentication
  • Up-to-date PHP versions
  • 24/7 chat support
  • WordPress Multisite available for purchase

The Growth Plan is priced at $95 per month, and it supports up to 10 websites, 100K visits per month, 20GB of storage, and 200GB of bandwidth.

Apart from increasing your audience capacity, the Growth Plan contains all the features from the Professional and equips you with 24/7 phone support and the ability to import your SSL certificates.

WP Engine Growth Plan

The Scale Plan is practically identical to the Growth Plan in the features it provides while bumping up your audience capacity to 30 supported websites, 400K visits per month, 50GB of storage, and 500GB of bandwidth.

The Custom Plan is a premium hosting solution designed for high-performing website owners that need lots of additional resources and support, as well as the move from a shared setup to dedicated servers.

WP engine provides you with the option to install more WordPress websites on your plan for an extra $20 per month for one website, but all of your websites will be sharing the resources from your selected plan, including bandwidth and storage.

WP Engine The Custom Plan

Other paid extras like GeoTarget and WordPress Multisite can increase the price of your plan, but your WordPress websites will be hosted on the same type of hardware regardless of the plan you choose, which means you should be able to enjoy similar performance levels to the average tested websites.

While certainly not categorized under the best cheap hosting providers, WP Engine is undoubtedly one of the WordPress hosting services that provide the most value for its money's worth.

Quick facts

WP Engine was founded on March the 1st 2010 as a digital experience platform in Austin, Texas, United States.

The founders were Ben Metcalfe, Cullen Wilson, and Jason Cohen, who combined technological innovation with an award-winning team of WordPress experts that eventually became the WordPress hosting agility, intelligence, performance, and integrations providers for over 90K (according to their officially-announced 2019 data) companies in over 140 countries.

While their headquarters are in Austin, Texas, the company has offices in San Francisco, San Antonio, London, Brisbane, Krakow and Limerick.

As a privately-owned company, WP Engine has come out in 2019 with an announcement that they have passed an annual recurring revenue of $132 million, growing to serve over 90K customers globally with a world-class NPS score of 86.

What is a Good NPS Score
Source: Retently

Along with earning multiple workplace of choice and leadership awards across the years, WP Engine has received $250 million in funding from Silver Lake.

They outlined the strategic growth investment into four major prioritized objectives of accelerating innovation on its Digital Experience Platform, ramping investment in the success of its Agency Partner Program, fueling future growth in EMEA, Australia & New Zealand, and elsewhere internationally, and investing in the work environment.

Some notable brands that began choosing one of WP Engine's hosting plans as their web hosting service solution include the NBA, Microsoft, News Corp., RetailMeNot, Klarna, Thomson Reuters, and many more, reassuring the platform’s place among the best WordPress hosting services in 2021.

How to Sign Up with WP Engine

1. Select your plan and enter the basic information

First off, what's amazing about WP Engine, is that it doesn't require you to install WordPress as you would need to with almost any other web hosting service, with the content management system coming preinstalled.

When you clarify the business goals and objectives you wish to pursue, you will be able to easily identify which WP Engine plan supports your website capacity, which is the first step in the sign-up process.

The platform places the least expensive plan as the default option since you can always upgrade your plan as you expand your business.

Now, you need to click on the “Host My Website” button located on the plan that you decide to use.

After selecting a hosting plan, you will be taken to the sign-up form where you will be asked to enter your account information, and you just need to make sure that you fill out the Personal Information section in its entirety and save the username and password for future use.

For now, you will only need to enter your name, email information, and password, however, if you need any kind of assistance with the sign-up process, you can call the regular number displayed on the right side of the form or the one for international queries.

2. Fill out your website and billing information

Further down the page, you will need to fill out the Site Information section where you will be only acquired to enter the User Name, however, it is best for the efficiency of the program that you fill out all the information.

Everything from the domain, prior host, company, data center, and questions like “how did you find out about us?” will be asked of you to answer and customize the digital experience platform to your needs.

Now, you move on to the Payment Information section where you will be asked to fill out the billing information, enter in your credit card and address information, country, address lines, city, state, postal code, and so on.

The final stage of the WP Engine sign-up process is the Confirm section where you select how you would like to pay for your service.

In the Professional Plan, for example, you can choose to pay $49 per month or you can choose to get 2 months of managed hosting for free by paying for an entire year at $590.

The Startup plan will be $25 per month or two months of free service if you decide to pay the annual price of $300.

3. Save your URLs, access the SFTP information, migrate websites

After this point, you can read the Terms of Service box and click the Create My Site button, and you will be almost ready to start building the website the whole world can visit.

For WP Engine to prepare its robust server for your website, you will need to make sure you save the blog and login URLs (as well as the username), as these elements will be used further throughout the launch process.

After you click the Create My Site button, you will be directed to a page displaying a thank you message for you signing up and a notification for you to watch your emails for more information about accessing your WP Engine account.

You will be notified that your website will be fully functional in less than 15 minutes and that you can email them on a specific email if any troubles occur.

Under the displayed blog and login URLs, username, and password, you will find the message notifying you that you can access your WordPress install by using SFTP, while the details on your SFTP information and how to point your domain name to WP Engine can be accessed navigating to your WordPress Admin page and going under the WP Engine plugin page.

For migrating a current website from WordPress.com or WordPress.org, you will need to read the self-migration documentation after you sign up.

After about a minute or two, you will receive two emails from WP Engine, with the first email containing important onboarding information and the second asking you to subscribe to the WP Engine Account and Technical Updates Newsletter.

We would strongly suggest that you subscribe as you will receive valuable information about technical updates, pricing updates, new features, and more related to your account.

4. Finish it off

After clicking on the link from the welcome email, you will be directed to the WP Engine dashboard login page where you can log in using the email and password that you entered into the sign-up form.

Now, you need to get to the WordPress dashboard and click the install name for your new website and then click the WordPress Admin from the left-hand column.

You will be steered to the WordPress login page where you can use the username and password that you entered into the form and your login URL.

And, there it is.

WP Engine Alternatives

1. SiteGround

Best Cheap Hosting Solution from the Yearly Billing Model.

SiteGround is the Best Cheap Hosting Solution from the Yearly Billing Model

SiteGround is an all-around great WordPress hosting solution for users that value a mix of good performance & support and advanced WordPress-specific features.

With very good website loading speeds and a knowledgeable support team, you will get one of the top WP Engine alternatives for just $3.99 per month in their StartUp plan, which is one-sixth of WP Engine's price.

To get the benefits of this cheap hosting program, you will need to purchase one of their yearly hosting plans, however, you will receive free WordPress migrations, a one-click WordPress staging site setup, a free in-house caching tool SuperCacher, Git installation, and more.

Two of the most popular web hosting service providers which are often compared are Bluehost and SiteGround, and you might steer towards the first one more if you prioritize more versatile security and cPanel features along with beginner-friendliness.

Pricing

The StartUp plan will cost you $3.99 per month.

SiteGround Web Hosting Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Load your website 4X faster through the SSD and Google Cloud hosting
  • Quick server response across the world
  • Free daily backups (30 days shared / 7 days cloud)
  • Unmetered traffic in the StartUp plan
  • Free SSL, CDN, and email in the StartUp plan
  • Out-of-the-box caching
  • Unlimited databases
  • Free WP migrator
  • WP-CLI and SSH

Not considering the advanced WordPress features, you won't find better prices if you don't mind paying the yearly charge, while the always knowledgeable support will be constantly at your disposal.

2. Kinsta

Best-Performing WP Engine Alternative.

Kinsta is the Best Performing WP Engine Alternative

Apart from being the best-performing WP Engine alternative, Kinsta comes with the most user-friendly hosting dashboard, as well as automatic updates, easy one-click staging sites, NGINX, server-level caching, PHP 7.2+, free site migrations, regular uptime checks, and more.

Focusing on performance optimization, Kinsta will host your website on the premium tier of the Google Cloud Platform (the same infrastructure Google uses to power its products).

Kinsta offers plenty of optional add-ons for any plan, and these include the NGINX reverse proxy, Redis open-source, in-memory data structure store used as a database, cache, and message broker, and more.

Kinsta Dashboard
Ssource: Kinsta

Pricing

The Starter plan is $30 per month.

Kinsta Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Simplistic custom hosting dashboard
  • Automatic daily backups and one-click restores
  • Premium tier of the Google Cloud Platform
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Server-level caching
  • View detailed statistics, manage DNS settings and billing details through MyKinsta
  • Hack fix guarantee
  • Free premium DNS from Amazon Route 53
  • Free CDN from KeyCDN

A performance-optimization-oriented web hosting service with a simplistic interface that is a joy to use, as well as premium cloud storage, CDN, and DNS like Kinsta is not only delightful to use but has some of the highest scores for general and WordPress-specific support.

3. HostGator

Best WordPress Hosting Solution for Beginners.

HostGator is the Best WordPress Hosting Solution for Beginners

If you are a beginner WordPress user who could benefit from one-on-one tutorials to first get you up and running, as well as an easily digestible user interface and low pricing, then there is no better digital experience platform than Hostgator.

Apart from being one of the best domain registrar platforms with over 400K customers, HostGator is one of the cheapest WordPress hosting giants on the market.

Hostgator's WordPress hosting Starter plan comes with 100K visits per month, 1GB backups, free SSL certificates, and free domain capacity for just $5,95 per month.

But, also, you get unmetered bandwidth, free email, and one-click WordPress installs among other things, which makes their customer figures of over 9 million domains and 400K customers quite understandable.

The great amount of Hostagtor reviews you can find online alone can tell you more about its rock-solid reputation as one of the oldest web hosting service providers.

HostGator best domain registrar platforms
Source: Shoutmeloud

Pricing

The Starter plan is $5.95 per month.

HostGator Pricing Plan

Pros

  • Daily backups
  • SiteLock Fix
  • Unmetered bandwidth and 100K visits per month in the Starter Plan
  • 100% free migration by web pros
  • One-click WordPress installs
  • Free domain and email
  • $150 Google Ads spend match credit
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

With HostGator, you will be ready to hit the ground running with WordPress already installed, scale resources and manage accounts through the simple control panel, utilize the free site migration, domain, email, and advanced site security for just $5.95.

WP Engine Reviews FAQ

Is WP Engine a good web host?

There are plenty of cheap hosting solutions out there, and WP Engine certainly doesn't fall under one, but the performance-oriented service that WP Engine provides more than justifies the price.

WP Engine is a top tier-quality WordPress hosting solution that boasts excellent and consistent uptime, daily backups, cloud platform flexibility, simplified website management process, multi-site, massive storage spacing, advanced caching capabilities, real-time threat detection, WordPress-specific security, and much more.

With WP Engine, you will get your website up and running in no time, while the range of payment schemes it supports allows you to tailor how complex you need your plans to be.

The company was founded by a team of WordPress experts and their support team consists of a highly attentive, knowledgeable team of experts ready to assist you in any cause.

Considering this, it is safe to say that WP Engine covers all major pain points and provides access to the most valuable WordPress website hosting and maintenance features in the industry, which is why it is absolutely a good web host.

Is WP Engine good for beginners?

First off, unlike many of its competitors, WP Engine offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is reassuring for beginners who are concerned that they won't have the time to get the full grasp of the platform and decide whether the price is justifiable in the trial period.

Not only is WP Engine risk-free for beginners to try, but the premium hosting solution has some extra features like automatic backups, security scanning, and automatic WordPress updates that will take off the stress of managing a website from beginner hosts.

Features such as development and staging environments are easy to use and developer-friendly, while the ability to transfer websites to clients and similar features make maintaining the website's health and performance at a high level easy for a beginner.

WP Engine definitely delivers on its promise of providing a stable and easily-handled high-performance WordPress hosting environment.

Which is better: Bluehost vs WP Engine?

Bluehost is an affordable shared WordPress hosting solution, while WP Engine is a premium managed WordPress hosting solution with more expensive plans and more advanced features.

Choosing between the two depends on the website capacity you expect and aim for, so let's take a look at the WP Engine's $25 per month Startup Plan and Bluehost's $4,46 per month Plus plan.

While of course, WP Engine will perform better at a five times larger price, is the performance difference enough to justify the price gap and how necessary the enhanced functionality is?

Under different page loading speed testing experiments, we have concluded that it takes WP Engine around 1.80 seconds to fully load a page, versus Bluehost's 2.93 seconds.

The continuous tests throughout multiple days showed a slight increase in this page loading speed difference, with the result eventually showing that WP Engine loads a website half the time faster than Bluehost can on average.

Additionally, however, WP Engine provides plenty of other valuable features like automatic backups and easy staging sites that elevate the user experience immensely.

They also use different backend dashboards with Bluehost using a combination of their custom dashboard and cPanel while WP Engine uses an entirely custom dashboard.

Finally, while WP Engine is more expensive, they let you pay month-to-month, unlike Bluehost which requires you to pay for a year upfront.

Besides loading your sites faster which has a great impact on the user experience and various metrics like bounce rates, you get the managed hosting privileges, custom dashboard, and a more flexible payment schedule, which is why we recommend WP Engine over Bluehost as your WordPress hosting solution.

Why is WP Engine so fast?

WP Engine works constantly on finding ways to improve speed for its customers, with their proprietary EverCache caching technology being built with WordPress-specific rules designed to move hundreds of millions of hits per day easily.

All this results in your website running faster with less strain on the resources, while WP Engine provides a free CDN and global data centers for consistently fast experiences to global audiences.

With WP Engine's solutions like Global Edge Security, even the most popular and traffic-enduring websites will load fast and stay fast on WP Engine.

WP Engine can accomplish an average 27% increase in speed when you switch to their hosting plans.

While various WordPress plugins allow you to disable the WordPress default options you aren't using, combine and compress files, optimize your images, and more, WP Engine includes all these functionalities in its standard features and makes a lot of these plugins unnecessary.

Can I make money with WP Engine?

With WP Engine being the driving force behind your website having excellent uptime and exemplary visitor satisfaction rates, it is not hard to utilize this platform to make money by promoting various services.

You can easily generate revenue on your WP Engine-hosted WordPress website through affiliate links and ads by allowing you to earn commissions on sales of other people's products facilitated through your website.

But, apart from including links to someone's products in your posts and providing disclosure that they are affiliate links, you can run ads that are tailored to your content and audience through tools like AdSense.

Sharing your writing, design, business coaching knowledge can also present a profitable opportunity as these are all natural fits for online one-on-one courses and entrepreneur mentorship programs.

No matter if you are a landscaper or you run an HVAC repair company, these strategies can be applied in all businesses as long as you research the demand for your knowledge and identify the place where your potential customers hang out.

For this strategy to work, you will need to establish yourself as an expert in your field through blogs, podcasts, and videos giving away a portion of your knowledge for free.

Adding a booking capability to your website through a WordPress plugin can help your customers reach you in a reserved timeframe, which is what a feature like Booking Calendar is for.

Online consulting is another potentially lucrative way of earning a significant amount of money without a mandatory professional certificate or good education, as long as you exert hard work and confidence, and get familiar with the basics of how to start a consulting business in the 2021 environment.

If there is enough demand and strategically-placed marketing work, you will no doubt cash in on your lucrative service through a WP Engine-hosted website as a platform through which you meet your clients, and even if your business is seasonal like landscaping, you can smooth out the income oscillations.

Can I cancel WP Engine at any time?

Yes, you can cancel WP Engine at any time, and they will be very understanding of it, and you will only be asked to submit any feedback that you might have which is used by the employees to improve upon and create the best possible digital experience platform.

Rather than at your next renewal date, the cancellation takes effect immediately upon request, which is why WP Engine recommends downloading backups of all your environments before requesting a cancellation.

Only, be aware that emails containing your backups will expire, so you need to make sure you download your backup zip to your local machine from the email.

Add-ons like Global Edge Security, Smart Plugin Manager, and Genesis Pro can be canceled independently while maintaining your WP Engine hosting while canceling your SSL purchase through WP Engine requires you to cancel within 30 days of purchase with the help of the Billing team.

For downgrading a plan, you can simply select another plan that you consider better fitting or ask the account managers to help you choose, and purchase your plan through the plans page in the user portal, and the whole process usually causes zero migrations or downtime.

Which WP Engine plan is best?

While the StartUp Plan ($25 per month) does come with 30+ premium themes, free automated migrations, daily backups, staging options, as well as plenty of additional features like PHP 7.4 support, transferrable sites, EverCache, LargeFS, global CDN, and more, it is a great jump in the capacity that the Professional Plan brings for $49 with triple the allowed monthly visits, and double and a half times the bandwidth.

For this amount of website amplification, we consider the Professional Plan to be the best WP Engine has to offer, as the more enterprise-level plans aren't for everyone and you can easily scale up to them when you increase your business needs.

How can I migrate my website to WP Engine?

One of WP Engine's great features is the automated migration tool, which you can easily apply to migrate your website's content and database from another platform over to WP Engine in one click.

For those unable or simply don't want to use the automatic migration plugin, you can go by the following steps to migrate your website manually.

First, you need to log into the User Portal and click on the environment name you wish to migrate to, select site migration, and click on the manual migration option.

First off, the export part of the process creates a copy of your website's content and saves it to your local machine, after which the content is used in the second import portion of the process.

You will need to export the database and wp-content from your existing website, after which both data sets acquired are taken through the import process and loaded onto WP Engine's servers.

Lastly, if you wish to upload the content yourself, you can utilize the SFTP and SSH gateways.

WP Engine Reviews: Should You Buy It?

Here are some real and honest reviews of WP Engine from different clients:

“Hands down preferred hosting for WordPress” – Jennifer H, Designer, Developer & CEO

“Their chat support is always available and ready to help whenever you need it. Many of their techs go above and beyond, helping to troubleshoot and identify issues. Overall, the hosting service is great – stable, secure, and reliable.” – Jennifer H, Designer, Developer & CEO

“Simply the best for WordPress hosting” – Kim K, Mid-Market

“WP Engine has the most awesome support staff – they always resolve the question or issue and it does not matter what time of day, I get the same great support. WP Engine has all the tools you need – staging and development sites, access to your database with phpMyAdmin (how can hosting companies not offer that – but they do!). The process to migrate a site is dead simple.” – Kim K, Mid-Market

There is no shortage of reviews like the one above online, as WP Engine is the industry standard for a WordPress digital experience platform that gives companies of all sizes the WordPress-specific tools, high performance, tech innovation that are deployed by an award-winning team of WordPress experts.

The premium managed WordPress hosting platform provides the consistent high-level performance and reliability required by the biggest brands while remaining affordable and easily accessible.

Trusted by more than 120K customers across 150 countries, WP Engine can no doubt surpass your expectations of a high-end managed WordPress hosting solution that will serve you for years to come.

Written by
Martin Luenendonk
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