Recently, I got my hands on with WP Engine managed WordPress hosting and the experience was mind blowing. Believe me, this was the best hosting experience in my life. I was kicking myself that if I had lots of money, I would a got WP Engine plans for sure.
- Super fast and heavily reliable managed WordPress hosting.
- Unbelievable up-time, test site was never down in a month.
- Hacks and crashes are fixed for free.
- One click backup and restoration are pain-free.
- Really reliable support team.
- Hosting plans are very costly when compared to other hosting packages all over the internet (shared hosting, VPS hosting are lot cheaper than managed hosting).
- Support tickets close down sooner than expected.
WP Engine – How it all started
WP Engine was established in the year of 2010 and has built a solid reputation in just 3 year of launch. It quickly built a reputation around itself for being a fast, reliable and hassle free WordPress hosting solution with great support.
Many companies have invested their money on WP Engine, including Auttomatic. A total of $1.2 million was invested over WP Engine by November,2011.
WP Engine has also unveiled their own WordPress based news website called Torque Mag.The editor of Torque Michelle Oznowicz said about her vision for Torque is “Fierce sense of editorial Independence”
WP Engine offers four kind of Managed WordPress Hosting plans:
- Personal plan - This is the plan for people who are hosting only one WordPress blog or website and are seeing high amount of traffic on their blog. At $29 a month it includes 1 WordPress install, 25,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 10 GB local storage.
- Professional plan - At $99 this plan allows you to have 10 WordPress install, 100,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 20 GB local storage.
- Business plan - At $249 this plan allows you to have 25 WordPress install, 400,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 30 GB local storage.
- Premium Plan - This plan is customized plan with unlimited WordPress installations and unlimited visitors a month. You have to get a quote for getting a price.
Each plan comes with these universal features
- Stage & Deploy with Git
- Managed Upgrades
- Daily Backups
- One-Click Restore-Points
- Enterprise Architecture
- No Caching Plugins!
- International Data Centers
- Top-Shelf Hardware
- Malware Scanning
- “Surprising” Support
- Money-Back Guarantee
- No Lock-In
CDN support is also given at $5 extra for the personal plan. Other plans have CDN services for no extra cost.
You can run multiple websites and blogs on the professional, business and premium plans but not on the personal plan. Dedicated IP can be used on all plans except personal plan and yes, you have to pay an extra $5 for the IP, if you are a professional plan user. The last two plans provides the feature for free.
Telephone support is only available to business plan and premium plan user.
For this review, My test site was running on a personal plan.
WP Engine review – Features
WP Engine offers a plethora of features that are very handy to use.
- WordPress-specific support
- Hacks fixed for free
- One-click backup and restore
- Evercache technology
- Site migration (for a fee)
- Plans that are risk-free for 60 days
- Selective list of WordPress plugins and themes for best performance and user experience.
- Sandbox mode or Staging area, to test your website’s functioning before launch.
- Data center choice is also available. You can select Newark in the US, London in Europe or Tokyo in Asia as your preferred data center.
- CDN service for maximum speed.
No website is 100% secure, they can be hacked. Even the US government can make a website 100% secure. WP Engine has done an excellent job of keeping your blog or website hosted with them, secured. If by any chances your website or blog is compromised, WP Engine cleans the mess by themselves and bring back your website to its glory days without any extra charge. It’s a 100% free work they do for webmasters. Saying all this, I want to add that hacking into a blog that is hosted by WP Engine is a tedious task and most of them will fail at doing so.
The daily backup feature is also a boon for your website hosted on WP Engine. People here, backup your data daily and also allows you to have one-click backup when ever you want to. Now, even if you screw your website, you can revert back to the normal by just a click or some emails.
You don’t have to worry about your plugins and themes when you restore your WordPress installation cause once you have restored your website, they come back automatically with all your personal preferences intact.
One of the killer features that WP Engine provides is the staging area. Suppose you want to try out a new plugin or a new WordPress theme. What do we normally do, we upload to our live website and look if the website is working the way it normally works. Well sometimes it messes up all your blog. Now what WP engine has done is that, that they have introduced a feature called WordPress staging area. Where you can install plugins and themes and test it on other area without disturbing the live website.
This feature will allow you fully customize the theme and plugin in accordance to the live site and then go live with the new changes, therefore avoiding pissing the visitors off.
WP Engine is one of the few company that offers WordPress CDN services with it. There are some host that WP engine has chosen for your website to work with. If you have a large website, it comes in free, but if you have a small blog then you might have to fork out $5 a month for it.
Some of the issues we have here is,
The personal plan should be provided with free CDN and email web hosting. But, WP Engine does not do that. All the more, WP Engine does not provide any plans with email hosting. They tell you use Google apps service for mail hosting. WP Engine itself host their mail service using Google App service. They also recommend Zoho Mail if you are looking an alternative to Google App services.
WP Engine also disallow some WordPress plugin for security and speed reasons, but provides the alternative themselves.
Some of the famous plugins that are banned by this Managed WordPress hosting company are:
- WP Super cache
- WP total cache
- WP DB Manger
- Yet another related post plugin and more,
Some of you might be disappointed with WP Engine for doing this, but believe me, they provide their own services in these departments for optimum performance of your blog or website. Therefore there is no need to be disappointed, you can only try it to learn more.
Instead you will get a good set of WP Engine plugins and alternative to your favorite plugins.
WP Engine Review – Usability and Control panel
WP Engine had a cluttered control panel when it first rolled out, but after many complains from users they have unveiled a new control panel that is great and takes usability to a whole new level.
Once you have logged into your account, you can check a whole lot of stuff there. Like settings for your domain, CDN, redirect rules, backup points, error logs and phpMyAdmin.
When you sign up for an account, you get a fresh WordPress installation with Akismet installed. You get a SFTP account with no direct access to direct control of phpMyAdmin, but you can use it via account page.
It is a managed WordPress hosting therefore you can never expect full control of your server and its file, these things are in the hand of the company that is providing with the hosting service. If you are looking for a dedicated server where you have the full control of your WordPress installation with the server, you should look elsewhere like Hostgator and Bluehost.
WP Engine customer support
Customer support and customer support. This is the thing that needs to be rock solid, else you can never new customers for your product. If you have a good customer support system, then you are tend to get more customers easily.
Once I signed up for an account on WP Engine, I was frustrated with them. They don’t provide live chat and telephone support to every customer, are you kidding me. I am paying $384 and you are doing this to me. Well, it took some time to settle down.
Until my first issue struck me down, I had problems with some designs on my blog. My sharing buttons were not alligned properly on my theme and I checked the codes to find it was a server-based problem. I got to them via a ticket submission.
They replied me in 90 minutes as the mail tells me, but I replied back to them in about 2 days as I had some family stuff going on in my home. To my astonishment, the ticket was closed and I learnt that these tickets are valid for only 24 hours and that pissed me.
So I had to sent another ticket and this time they solved the problem. Well I am not saying they have a bad support team, but there method of support is not that great for the money they take.
After that I never had any new problem with them, for the month I used WP Engine, they were awesome all time.
I would only suggest the support team to add a telephonic number for all their customers regardless of what plan they choose and even for new customers. This will get them more leads and conversion than now.
Other than this, they are good in solving problems. They will do all the work in minutes and get back to you with a confirmation mail saying your problem is dealt with and solved.
WP Engine – That speed my god!
This WP Engine review, scores max points here, the speed factor. I have never seen my blogs open faster than on WP Engine, it is that fast of a WordPress host.
Over the whole review period my blog was up for 100% of the time. There was no down-time for my blog and I experienced my first super fast blogging experience.
Blog response time were good but not the best by any means possible. I had an average response time of 700 ms, which is much better than the internet average of 2 seconds. Google recommends that a server response time should be lower than 200 ms, but that does not happen if you don’t a great servers like the ones, Google, Facebook and Youtube have.
My total website loaded in 1.2 seconds, this speed is faster than 80% of website over the internet. All this made this WP Engine Review worth it. I have used most of the major web hosting services with WordPress, but believe me WP Engine offers the fastest speed of all and great optimization for WordPress blogs and website.
WP Engine Review – Conclusion
There is no surprise that WP Engine is one of the fastest growing managed WordPress web hosting company. It promised speed, security and capability and it has delivered all of them. There is absolutely no WP Engine Competitor out there.
Though I would say, their support system is not that good and has some issues, but lets face it, no company is perfect. They should look forward of changing this or else they can struggle with their sky rocketing growth on the internet as a hosting provider.
The pricing is more than one can imagine, but when you want speed and security bar none, this is the service you can look for. You can save a lot of money if you go for this service and just concentrate on what you are going to do, blogging and writing. Lets face it, When you buy other packages, you go for premium plugins, themes and tools that will grow your website or blog, but here in WP Engine everything is there from the very beginning. All these tools, plugins and themes are curated for the best performance and are free of cost.
So, what are you waiting for, this WP Engine Review is over and you can learn more (although we have covered everything for you). Click the button below to learn more about WP Engine.
Disclaimer: We used a regular sign up method to write this WP Engine review and they did know about the review. Therefore, no special treatment and tweaks were done on our WP Engine account and the results and the WP Engine review shared with you is absolutely genuine.