WP Engine Review
Note: I no longer update this site. For more info, please read my WP Engine review at WHSR.
Founded by Aaron Brazell and Jason Cohen in July 2010, WP Engine is a powerful hosting platform for WordPress users that focuses on three main WordPress site issues: Security, Speed, and Scalability.
WP Engine is a relative new web host compare to others in my review. However, with brilliant management and some strategic market position, it has attracted many influencers and big names in the WordPress community. We have seen the folks behind WordPress.com, Automattic, made a strategic investment to the company in late 2011. HTC, FourSquare, Balsamiq, SoundCloud are some of the popular brands that are now WP Engine-hosted; so are some well-known personal blogs, including this, this, this and this too, switched over.
What’s WP Engine All About?
In case you missed it, here’s again: WP Engine is a WordPress-only hosting.
Some readers were confused when I first talked about WP Engine at WHSR – Many just can’t accept the idea of pure WordPress focus hosting service. For better understanding, it’s best to just quote WP Engine own words directly:
WP Engine is the premier managed WordPress hosting company. We offer fast WordPress hosting that is beloved by hundreds of bloggers and website owners. We work with huge, popular sites as well as small business owners who care about their customers’ experience. Perhaps best of all is our tech support, where only WordPress experts answer questions. As Mikhail Baryshnikov says, “Try it. You’ll like it.”
When asked about why focus on WordPress only during our interview session, WP Engine Co-Founder Jason said:
Focusing only on WordPress means we can do a fantastic job. For example we hire WordPress experts only, so everyone at the company is helpful and knowledgeable when you call into tech support. Lots of hosting companies answer the phone on the first ring and call that “good service.” Of course if the person on the other end can’t debug the WordPress problem, at the end of the day it’s not helpful.
We know what we’re good at — and what we’re NOT good at! — and we do only the former.
That’s how it affects you — the customer. How it affects the back-end business is that we can be more profitable because we don’t have to diversify technology or talent. American Airlines can’t make money because they service 20 kinds of planes; Southwest and JetBlue are profitable and run only a few models. We’re like the latter; most hosting companies are the former.
Special Promotion On WP Engine
Unfortunately, I do not have any exclusive deals with WP Engine hence there is no special discount for you. But, the company is running some promotion at this time of writing. If you signup to WP Engine on a yearly basis, you’ll get 2 months free – pay 12 months, get hosting for 14 months.
WP Engine Hosting – Benefits
So what is causing all the buzz? For reference purpose, here are the key advantages of WP Engine Hosting.
- Managed By WordPress Specialists From founder to the managers and the support staffs, WP Engine is filled with WP experts and specialists. It is truly the web host with the best WordPress supports.
- Vividly Optimized Servers WP Engine, like their own words, is proven repeatedly by different bloggers and webmasters to be insanely fast.
- Scalability, Never Worry About Getting Too Popular –WP Engine promises never pull the plug and guarantees users 100% server uptime – All thanks to the wonder of cloud computing technology.
- Secured Hosting Environment At WP Engine, site upgrades and malware scansare done automatically, backup is done daily, and the company guarantees a hacker-free hosting environment. Users have basically zero things to worry about when it comes to site security with WP Engine.
- Assistance With Moving Your Sites Too lazy/dumb/tired/busy to move your site? WP Engine is there to take care of your WP migration.
WP Engine Hosting – Drawbacks
- Costly Host For Users With Multiple Websites WP Engine hosting plans – Personal ($29/mo), Professional ($99/mo), and Business ($249/mo) – support 1/10/25 domains respectively. If you are running a number of low traffics sites then it is much better to host them with the usual ‘unlimited hosting’ that normally cost $8 to $12 per month.
- No Email Hosting While most web hosting companies include email hosting in their service plans, oddly WP Engine does not provide any email hosting services. If you need an email.
My Experience With WP Engine Hosting
I knew about WP Engine back in 2011 when I did an interview with the company’s co-founder Jason Cohen. A year after the interview, in mid February 2012, I moved one of my sites, WebHostingSecretRevealed.com, to them; and it remain hosted on WP Engine until today.
My experience with WP Engine is (almost) nothing but pleasure. The company indeed lives up to its promises and there are tons of good things to share. For one, my site migration was ultra smooth. I did nothing but send a few simple instructions to the tech guy at WP Engine and the site is up and running on its new host the very next day.
Huge Improvement In Site Load Time
Secondly, and more importantly, my site WHSR now loads faster than ever. I’m quite a WordPress fan boy but I am not that much of a programmer. So, there isn’t much hacking or optimization onWordPress besides of installing some caching plugins. Needless to say, WHSR loads in average speed when it was hosted on its old host.
Not now anymore.
Things changed dramatically ever since I moved. The site’s response time improved significantly (almost 100% as measured by Pingdom, see image) right after the migration without any fine-tuning from my side.
Cost Efficient Hosting Option
While WP Engine’s price tags may have driven some users away, I found it to be very cost-efficient (given that I am hosting only one domain).
Let’s do some math. How much does a reliable WordPress security or maintenance plugin cost? VaultPress, for example, charge $40/mo; BackupBuddy, for another example, costs $75 the least. Add that up with your ordinary hosting costs – say Hostgator, $7.95/mo, that’s roughly $50 – $80 monthly for operating your WordPress blog in safe hand.
Now, on the other hand, WP Engine entry level plan costs $29/mo (for single WordPress site). This price includes various securities and maintenance features including daily backup, malware scanning, one-click restore point, managed upgrades, and hacker free guarantees.
Still think WP Engine is expensive? Well, think again.
Conclusion –So Who Should Go With WP Engine?
I do not recommend WP Engine to those who are new to blogging (go WebHostingHub or iPage instead – you’ll thank me for the much cheaper option). Also, if you are running bunch of low traffics WordPress sites; then there is no point to move over to WP Engine – it’s just too costly (go Hostgator instead). WP Engine is truly a rare gem for WordPress users but it’s just not the best option for you.
WP Engine is your cup of tea, if…
- If you are running a single WordPress site with medium to high level traffics;
- If you think there is a possibility of your site hitting the front page of Reddit or Stumble Upon;
- If you are paying your rent with the income from your WordPress site;
- If you are always worry of hackers and DDos attacks;
- If you don’t like handling the tedious WordPress maintenance job;
Then WP Engine Hosting is undoubtedly the right host for you. Make the move as I did with WHSR and quit worrying about your site being hacked or down due to traffic surge.
Order WP Engine
To order or visit WP Engine online, follow: http://www.wpengine.com