WP Engine Review - The WordPress Hoster That Started it All

WP Engine Review - The WordPress Hoster That Started it All

For me personally, WP Engine is the first WordPress hoster ever. There may have been some hosting packages based on WordPress before, but the web host was the first to really get serious about it back then. What do I mean specifically? WPEngine was the first to bring servers optimized exclusively for WordPress, completely forgoing common hosting standards. For me, WP Engine is and remains the first serious WordPress hoster until now.

Accordingly, it is also a matter of concern to me to introduce you to the pioneer among the WP hosters here a little closer. Just because WP Engine was one of the first WordPress hosters or maybe even the first at all (depending on the definition), the provider is not automatically recommendable.

In today’s post, I’ll tell you about the history of WP Engine, highlight the services in detail, compare current packages and finally tell you whether WP Engine is worth a recommendation or not.

Superlative WordPress Hosting

WP Engine Homepage Screenshot 2022
WP Engine Homepage Screenshot 2022

My WP Engine Review! When it comes to WordPress web hosting, sooner or later the name WP Engine comes up. This is due to the reasons I just mentioned because WP Engine was one of the first, if not the first WordPress hoster ever. Then, as now, it was always said in WordPress circles that WP Engine is the all-around carefree package of all WordPress hosters.

Servers that are so highly customized that they run perfectly. Plus largely automated processes, backups and staging. But most importantly, the web hosting always works smoothly in all aspects. So, what is promised in the package can actually be delivered. New at the time was that the hosting environment charged according to visitors. Today, this has long been standard with most WordPress hosters. The smallest plan includes 25,000 visitors per month, which should be more than sufficient for most blogs.

WP Engine is popular worldwide.
WP Engine is popular worldwide.

All of this was and still is a reason why WP Engine is considered the superlative of WordPress hosting. It has virtually everything you will ever need in WordPress hosting and combines it under one roof. So an all in one service for all your WordPress needs. But let’s take a closer look and take a look at the different plans.

WordPress hosting packages from WP Engine

WP Engine pricing with annual payment.
WP Engine pricing with annual payment.

When it comes to hosting, WP Engine basically delivers five different products, all of which use WordPress as their base.

However, these are aimed at completely different target groups and are divided into packages, each of which has specially tailored features for its intended use. Let’s take a quick look at what WP Engine currently has on offer.

Managed WordPressStartupProfessionalGrowthScale
Website131030
Visitors / month25.00075.000100.000400.000
Storage space10 GB15 GB20 GB50 GB
Bandwidth50 GB125 GB200 GB500 GB
Backupsyesyesyesyes
Stagingyesyesyesyes
Genesis Pro includednononono
$ 20,00 / month$ 39,00 / month$ 77,00 / month$ 193,00 / month
No setup fee, but the price increases in the second year. Prices for annual payment and plus VAT.

WordPress Hosting: The classic WordPress hosting has made WP Engine big. In the meantime, it is even officially called WordPress Hosting for Business, because the web host is increasingly aimed at businesses and larger customers, less at bloggers or private individuals. So, small and medium-sized businesses can find a reliable partner for hosting their WordPress website here.

eCommerce SolutionsStartupProfessionalGrowthScale
Website131030
Visitors / month25.00075.000100.000400.000
Storage space10 GB15 GB20 GB50 GB
Bandwidth50 GB125 GB200 GB500 GB
Backupsyesyesyesyes
Stagingyesyesyesyes
Genesis Pro includedyesyesyesyes
$ 24,00 / month$ 50,00 / month$ 93,00 / month$ 233,00 / month
No setup fee, but the price increases in the second year. Prices for annual payment and plus VAT.

WooCommerce Hosting: eCommerce has its very own hosting challenges to overcome. WP Engine knows this and offers the so-called WooCommerce Hosting. The same provides a special search for the store and many other extras that build specifically on eCommerce or WooCommerce for WordPress. In addition, Genesis Pro is included at no extra charge.

WP Engine Agentur Hosting
WP Engine Agency Hosting

Agency Hosting: WP Engine also offers a suitable package for freelancers and agencies. Here, you can manage your own clients, set up their WordPress blogs and make sure they all pay accordingly. This is always handy if you create many websites for clients yourself and would like to bundle this with a reliable partner.

Enterprise and Headless WordPress Hosting
Enterprise and Headless WordPress Hosting

WordPress Enterprise: WP Engine has something in store for larger customers, too. The WordPress Enterprise Hosting addresses large customers, with particularly high access numbers. WP Engine even talks about some of the Fortune 500 companies relying on their hosting here. So, nothing for bloggers or small businesses, but really only for the really big companies.

Headless WordPress: Finally, there is the so-called headless WordPress hosting. Headless WordPress means to run WordPress backend and frontend completely independent of each other and to create dynamic experiences. WP Engine has now also developed a solution for this.

That’s it. The five packages that WP Engine currently offers its customers. Most of them, unlike in the past, are no longer aimed at classic bloggers. Although the prices for the smallest package are fair, they are not a bargain. But we should also take a closer look at the prices now.

Not cheap but always and always fair

The lists of available features.
The lists of available features.

One thing I must clearly state and clarify. WP Engine is not a small hoster and not a low-budget hosting either. The provider basically leads the WordPress hosting and is one of the market leaders, if not the market leader in this field. In general, it is always difficult to say because exact figures are never published, however, this is my impression and this is how I experience the WordPress hoster.

Thus, WP Engine is of course not cheap, but also not as expensive as you might think based on the mentioned services. Currently, the smallest tariff starts at 20 USD and includes 25,000 visits. The WordPress eCommerce Hosting is available from 24 USD. This is always the monthly price, with annual payment. The latter gives you two months for free.

The web host pays attention to the number of monthly visitors, because more users also consume more resources. Short loading times are possible only if the booked plan also provide the necessary bandwidth then.

Included in the tariff is always one WordPress website. If you want to run multiple sites, you can add them individually. This currently costs 17 USD per site. But you can also increase the tariff itself. The latter is usually much cheaper and increases the possible visits at the same time. Just click yourself through the rates and see what WP Engine has to offer.

Very important is that the WordPress hoster gives you a 60-day money back guarantee. So if something doesn’t fit or you like the system and the handling only conditionally, you can cancel it promptly and get your money back. That is extremely fair, in my opinion. So why not just try it out and keep it if needed?

Backups, firewall and plugin updater

As extras, WP Engine also has one or the other interesting feature on offer. The automatic backups belong here already rather to the absolute standards of a WordPress hoster. Also the plugin update or the web application firewall are nice, but are simply expected, at least by me.

Staging, on the other hand, is still not standard everywhere. In this process, a copy of your WordPress blog is created, so to speak. Everything you change on the copy does not go live and is therefore not visible. Unless you transfer it to your live blog. Staging has become extremely important and useful because you can virtually always work on your content or themes offline and only release them when requested. Accidentally publishing something or risking a bug in the theme – that doesn’t exist anymore with staging.

In addition, the managed host provides several premium themes, among others the popular and powerful Genesis Framework. Ten premium themes are included. WP Engine is trying to become a complete package here, where no third-party providers or services are needed at all, because everything is already included in the WordPress hosting. Also, a more interesting strategy that stands out from previous WordPress hosters because it takes a service approach. If you have WP Engine, you don’t have to worry about anything, not even a theme.

WP Engine Features

The WordPress hoster comes with all the features you need for a fast and successful blog.

  • Automatic WordPress and PHP updates
  • Free SSL certificates
  • WordPress optimized WAF (firewall)
  • Activity logs & user permissions
  • Free automatic migration
  • One click staging sites
  • SSH access with WP-CLI, MySQL and bash
  • GIT and SFTP connections
  • Site performance monitoring
  • Transferable sites to share with clients
  • 10 premium StudioPress themes included
  • Genesis Framework (only included with e-commerce and above)
  • Free CDN included

The biggest plus, however, is the specialized platform that really only WordPress conjures up on the web. It is this perfection that makes your website faster than your competitors.

A certificate or and access via FTP you get yes with any web hosting.

WP Engine Cache

Caching settings
Caching settings

With a dynamic CMS like WordPress, caching becomes a must. That’s exactly why the WordPress hoster has created its own cache with custom settings. The servers use extensive caching by default. In fact, you can’t disable the cache completely at all, so you get enough options to empty the server cache.

The proprietary EverCache caching technology is designed specifically for WordPress needs, which means your site will run faster and use fewer resources. This functionality gives WPEngine a big edge over its competitors.

In the “Exclusion” tab, you can exclude certain pages from caching.

So you can save an additional plugin like WP Rocket or Swift Performance.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • From small to enterprise
  • Server also in Germany
  • Well suited for freelancers and agencies

Cons

  • Expensive with high traffic

WP Engine speed

Test environment: Kadence Coffee Beans
Test environment: Kadence Coffee Beans

For the test environment, I installed the free Kadence theme with the Coffee Shop starter template. Additionally the Kadence Blocks are necessary. I have uninstalled all other themes and plugins. PHP version 8.1 is active.

Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a basic metric for measuring connection setup time and web server responsiveness both in the lab and in practice.

WP Engine Time to First Byte: could not test..

WP Engine Alternatives

WP Engine Support

WP Engine offices around the world.
WP Engine offices around the world.

At WP Engine, you can get help by phone, live chat or by filling out a form. For existing customers, there is still the technical customer support via ticket system. Unfortunately, there is no office in Germany that you can call directly.

If you want to search for a solution to your problem yourself, you will find three contact points:

  • Resource Center
  • Support Center
  • Solution Center

Billing and Sales can also be reached by e-mail.

Frequently asked questions

WP Engine is certainly one of the fastest WordPress hosts in the world. With specialized server software, its own cache and CDN, you get a lot of benefits delivered free.

WP Engine TTFB - Very fast server response times
WP Engine TTFB – Very fast server response times

Compared to a non-specialized provider, you will notice the speed gain significantly.

No! WP Engine is just a web hosting provider that specializes on WordPress and also installs this CMS by default. WordPress, on the other hand, is a so-called content management system, a software that allows you to create your website and publish content. WordPress is freely available.

No, rather it is dedicated cloud hosting. This means that the resources you book are yours alone and you don’t have to share them with other customers.

Conclusion about WP Engine as a WordPress hoster

If you rely on WP Engine, you get the complete package in terms of WordPress hosting served. Here, everything is really already included and the performance is not only sufficient, but absolutely stable and always available. Thus, WP Engine is above all very reliable and always recommended when exactly that is more important than the actual price. But even there WP Engine is fair and not overpriced, at least not for what is offered.

I especially like the 60-day money back guarantee. Many WordPress hosts allow you a few days to try everything out. But that’s just not enough to get an impression of the performance and operation in everyday life. The sixty days, however, is. Here you can simply test a blog and then decide for yourself whether WP Engine permanently performs what is promised. Also, how the whole system can be managed and operated becomes more than clear during the sixty days.

Why the web hosting offers this long period quickly becomes clear when you then try it out for yourself. It simply always works smoothly, is extremely comprehensive in terms of features and extras, and runs at full speed all the time. In other words, once you’ve set it up and tried it out, you won’t want to leave. So go ahead! Just give it a try and see for yourself what WP Engine has to offer for your WordPress blog.

I hope my WP Engine review could help you a bit with your purchase decision.

WP Engine Review

Features
Usability
Price

WP Engine is one of the first highly specialized WordPress hosters. Very early, it was recognized that WordPress sets high standards and that these are best served with hardware and software that is precisely designed for it. The result are short waiting times and a fast page load.

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