WP Engine is a web hosting provider that specialises in WordPress, which is a hugely popular content management system that you can use to build a website with minimal coding. In contrast to many other web hosting services, WP Engine focuses solely on managed WordPress plans, so if you’re looking for virtual private servers or dedicated servers, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
But if you plan to build your creative site using the WordPress platform, WP Engine could be one of the best places to do it. In our WP Engine review, we look at what makes this service different to help you decide whether it’s a good choice for your next website project.
WP Engine review: Plans and pricing
WP Engine has three plans, each payable monthly or annually. If you pay annually, you get two months for free each year.
The cheapest plan is $30/month and includes 10GB of storage, 50GB of bandwidth, and support for a single website that gets up to 25,000 visits per month.
The Growth plan starts at $115/month and allows for up to 10 sites. You get 200GB of bandwidth/month, 20GB of storage, and support for up to 100,000 visits per month. Even higher capacity is available in the Scale plan, which starts at $290/month.
This places WP Engine at a price point much higher than most competitors, but what you’re paying for are all the additional WordPress features. It includes over 25 professional themes from StudioPress, staging environments (so you can test changes to your site before making them live), and several features to make WordPress perform well. Still, for basic portfolio sites, it’s difficult to justify paying WP Engine’s high prices.
WP Engine review: Features
WP Engine is a complete WordPress platform with a focus on creative agility, ecosystem integration, enterprise performance, and actionable intelligence. Basically, it has a long list of design and development tools, multiple plugins, and site analytics to monitor performance. Your website is hosted on cloud infrastructure, so it’s infinitely scalable and much less likely to go down for maintenance.
Design and development tools
WP Engine has many tools for developing WordPress websites. Most of them are aimed at website developers; you get isolated staging environments so you can test out new features before putting them live, there’s support for Git development tools, and WP Engine experts are available to advise on code compatibility and best practices.
For designers, there are 36 premium StudioPress themes included, making the building of a beautiful WordPress site even easier.
WordPress open framework
WP Engine gives you access to tens of thousands of WordPress plugins so you can quickly build a powerful, personalised WordPress website. In our testing, we found the WP Engine Automated Migration tool to be particularly good for transferring an existing WordPress website to WP Engine.
One of the top reasons to choose WP Engine for a WordPress site is scalability and performance. WP Engine runs on Amazon Web Services, a huge data centre network that spans the globe. With this fully managed content delivery network at your disposal, your site will stay up and running for longer, load more quickly, and grow with you as your needs change.
WP Engine review: Interface and in use
Getting started with WP is quite easy. Once you’ve paid for your service, you’ll be asked where you want your website to be hosted, as WP Engine has seven data centres around the world. It’s a nice touch that shows WP Engine’s commitment to high-performing WordPress websites.
That said, creating a WordPress website on WP Engine is a little more difficult than on some other web hosts that hold your hand throughout the process. WP Engine expects you to know a little about how WordPress and web hosting work in general.
WP Engine review: Support
One issue with building a WordPress website is getting to grips with all the themes, plugins, layouts, and tools at your disposal, as it can be overwhelming. WP Engine recognises this and offers an excellent support site to assist you. There are thousands of articles covering every aspect of building and maintaining a WordPress website, and we like that there are support articles for WordPress features that other hosts often find too niche to cover.
Training content is top notch too. There are hundreds of videos available that take you through the setup and maintenance of an outstanding WordPress website. If you prefer, there’s also 24/7 live chat support. In our testing, we found the support to be above and beyond what we receive from other web hosting companies, and the technical support agents’ knowledge of WordPress can be of great assistance when you need it.
Should I host my website at WP Engine?
WP Engine’s laser focus on WordPress makes it less versatile than some other hosts if you want to use different software, but if you’ve already got your heart set on WordPress, then it should be in your web host shortlist.
Its extensive features, like staging environments, an integrated content delivery network, and automated backups, put it a cut above the rest of the WordPress hosting crowd, but they also bump up the price significantly. Most creatives won’t need most of these cool features and may be better served by a cheaper WordPress hosting company.
WP Engine excels as a professional WordPress hosting provider, so if your wallet can stretch to pay for it, it’s worth considering.