WP Engine is a company providing Managed WordPress service. But isn’t WordPress one of the easiest applications to setup and manage? What exactly do they do? Do we really need someone to manage our WordPress site? These were the thoughts I have when I first heard about WP Engine a couple of years ago.
WP Engine is a managed hosting provider specializing in WordPress only, which focuses on 3 main areas i.e. security, speed and scalability. As you might have guessed, such service is by no means cheap.
Size: 10GB Space, Unlimited Bandwidth, 25,000 visits/month
Special: Fully managed WordPress hosting
Offer: Click on this special link and get 2 months of web hosting for FREE when you pre-pay for 1 year
So why would someone be willing to spend at least $29 per month on website hosting when they can easily get a reliable hosting at just a few bucks?! Well, at first glance, it seems that WP Engine does offer almost the same stuff as other major hosting providers.
But after understanding them a little more plus a couple of emails later, I believe they are truly in a different playing field. And that they are bringing WordPress management to a whole new level. The key word here is “managed WordPress service“.
Who is WP Engine
WP Engine was founded in 2010 by Jason Cohen and Ben Metcalfe and is based in Austin, Texas. Yes, they are less than 3 years old. But judging by the responses they have received and the clients they have signed up, they are doing something very right. There have been many praises for WP Engine. Their clients include big names like FourSquare, Soundcloud, Williams-Sonoma, GAP, WooThemes and lots more.
Right, you have a WordPress website. So far, there were no major issues with it. On top of that, traffic was increasing too. Things are looking up. But then suddenly, you realized that the loading speed has suffered somewhat and problems seemed to be popping up here and there. This leads to emails and calls to your hosting provider and numerous visits to forums trying to figure out how to “fix” the problems.
Here’s where this WordPress hosting company comes in. They provide a Managed WordPress hosting service. What this means is that they specialize in hosting WordPress websites and make your WordPress management simpler and much more efficient! You don’t have to crack your brain over how to optimize your website for speed and scalability. Some of the services they provide that you will appreciate include:
Staging and Temporary Site
You can easily test new themes or design changes. They make PHP editing simpler while providing a staging site for you to test the codes before going life.
You can do away with caching plugins because they will SLOW your website down. Yes, WP Engine has their own EverCache technology that will take care of your site’s speed for you… automatically!
Expert WordPress Support
Great support. Their responses are great and very professional. Forget about emailing them a few times before getting the support team to even understand your problems. All of these guys here are WordPress experts.
Daily backup of your files and database at no extra cost. You can revert back to a backup copy easily if there is a need. You can really sleep easily at night!
Data Center Choices
You have a choice of 3 data centers i.e. Texas, US or London, UK or Tokyo, Japan. This helps reduces latency and increases loading speed.
Hacker Cleanup Guarantee
WP Engine’s Managed Hosting manages all your malware and security matters. And their Hacker Cleanup Guarantee assures that should your website ever get hacked, they will arrange to not only remove the malware but also restore your site to its pre-hacking condition.
Some questions you may have
I’m pretty sure you have some burning questions that you would like to find out more.
How much do they cost?
If you have just one WordPress site, then it makes sense to take WP Engine’s cheapest plan, which is the Personal Plan costing $29 per month. In return, you will be getting 1 WP install and maximum 25,000 visits per month and 10GB of storage.
The Professional Plan lets you host up to 10 WordPress sites with 100,000 visits or less per month. Storage is at 20GB while CDN comes free with this plan.
The Business Plan costs $249 per month and is meant for professional blogs and large businesses. It comes with a maximum of 25 WordPress sites and up to 400,000 visits per month. This plan also offers dedicated IP and telephone support.
For larger organizations or those who require customization for extreme traffic, the Premium Plan is available with unlimited installations. Price can be negotiated when other features are agreed upon.
For a limited time only, you can get 2 months of your hosting for FREE when you pre-pay for 1 year. This is a huge saving, so do consider paying for a year if you are signing up with them! All the above plans come with a 60-day money back guarantee and unlimited data transfer too.
Why only WordPress?
Because WordPress is the number one blogging and CMS platform. And by focusing on WordPress, WP Engine reasoned that they can hire WordPress experts and be of greater value to their customers.
Does WP Engine provide assistance in moving my sites?
Yes and you will have the assistance of one of WP Engine’s engineers in the moving.
WP Engine Drawbacks
Of course, there are a number of things that you should be aware of before you go ahead and sign up with them.
WP Engine’s cost is at least 4x of what many major shared hosting providers are offering. However, you are not comparing apple to apple. The cheaper hosting providers offer servers that are shared to the maximum but WP Engine do not overload their servers. And you get more optimized WordPress sites with support from experts. If you think that these plans are not for you, not to worry as they have risk-free hosting for 60 days.
Support is NOT 24/7
While their support is top-notch, they don’t offer 24/7 support nor live chat (for now). But having said that, I don’t think it’s such a serious dent to their service as their system is in such good order that you don’t really have much major issues to require immediate attention. Furthermore, their FAQ covers many different topics so chances are you can find the answers there.
Without Email Hosting
WP Engine does not offer email hosting. So if you wish to have your own email@yourdomain,com, then you would need to find the email hosting elsewhere. Or you can opt for free webmails e.g. Gmail as recommended by WP Engine.
Why is WP Engine recommended
Despite the above drawbacks, WP Engine still offers valuable services. Many feel that WP Engine not only relieve them of some headaches as their websites grow but also gives them the reliability and security they want. How do you know if WP Engine is right for you? Well, do you desire the following?
Reliable WordPress web hosting
WP Engine has 100% uptime record. Unbelievable but true!
They have their own caching system that is speedier than those open-source caching plugins you can find on the Internet.
A host that won’t shut your website down just because you have a sudden traffic surge
You never know when your site might just get a promotional boost!
Secure hosting platform
With hackers and malware attacks on the rise, we can never be too careful especially if your site is generating huge income for you.
Let the web host handle all the tedious management tasks.
Honestly, WP Engine’s hosting services are not for everyone. The one complaint that I hear so often is that they are expensive. Well, they are compared to the others but you get what you pay for. If the above criteria are not that crucial for your websites then chances are you won’t need WP Engine. For example, if you are a beginner, then I would strongly recommend you to check out Bluehost, WebhostingHub, or HostGator.
WordPress is a great application and has adequate features (and is flexible enough) to suit websites of various sizes. However, as your website grows and your traffic increases, you will realize that you need to utilize WordPress’ potential to the fullest. And sometimes, this may be tricky.
To have WP Engine’s services is like having a full-time butler managing your home for you instead of you having to do all the housework! WP Engine ensures that you have a customized and stable version of WordPress where managing it is a breeze. And not to mention reliable and secure too. So, if these fit your requirements, then why not check them out!