WP Engine Review
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When it comes to the creation and management of websites, no Content Management System (CMS) is, perhaps, as popular as WordPress. W3Techs, a technology usage analysis site whose reports are updated on a daily basis, indicated on the 7th of December 2016 that WordPress currently commands about 27.2% of the global population of websites. This translates into about 58.5% of the CMS market. Think that’s not impressive?
- Then consider the fact that the second placed Content Management System, Joomla, is used by only 3.4% of the monitored sites, giving it a CMS market share of around 7.2%.
- WordPress is clearly the winner in terms of popularity. If the above percentages are not impressive enough, let us put it another way; a staggering 5 million blogs had been created using WordPress as of September 2014. You can just imagine what the numbers are now, two years down the line.
WordPress is the biggest Content Management System in the world.
Not surprisingly, a number of companies have sought to capitalize on the popularity of WordPress. Look up any Web Hosting Services provider, including big names such as Bluehost, HostGator, DreamHost, Rackspace and many more, and you will discover that WordPress Hosting is always offered as one of the available products.
- However, of all these companies, none handles Managed WordPress Hosting better than WP Engine. That is hardly surprising, considering that where other companies offer a wide range of products and services, WP Engine is purely WordPress. The company has over 50,000 clients in more than 120 countries across the globe, making it one of the largest businesses of its kind.
- Having a hosting company that specializes in one specific product offers a number of advantages. You know, as a client, that you are dealing with people who really understand what they are doing and, as you shall see later on in this WP Engine review, having to deal with highly specialized people reduces the aches of web hosting, particularly when it comes to Customer Support.
WP Engine Specializes in WordPress Hosting
So, what can you expect should you decide to either move to, or create a new website with WP Engine?
- As mentioned earlier, WP Engine is all about WordPress hosting. If you have come to them looking for something else, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you have come looking for a superior WordPress hosting platform, then, you have probably made the best decision that you could ever make about hosting for your site. So, which WordPress Hosting Plans are available at WP Engine?
The one thing that has made WordPress so popular is that it is Open Source and is simple enough to be accessible to everyone, including beginner bloggers and established professionals. However, do the plans that are available at WP Engine reflect all these facts?
- The Personal Plan
The Personal Plan is WP Engine’s entry level WordPress Hosting offering. The one thing that you are likely to notice about it is that it is not, dare we say, competitively priced, particularly for beginners who, in most instances, are looking to create simple websites at the lowest possible prices. Beginning at $29 per month, the Personal Plan is more expensive than entry level offerings at other hosts.
- As an example, you can get traditional Shared Hosting at Bluehost for only $2.95 per month. However, even here, WordPress Hosting tends to be much more expensive. The lowest priced WordPress Hosting plan at Bluehost starts at $19.99 per month.
- We have, in recent days, carried out a number of reviews, including of hosting giants such as HostGator, Network Solutions, DreamHost and Bluehost. The cheapest WordPress Hosting Plan that we have come across so far has been at InMotion. Starting at $5.99, the price is entry level enough to be accessible to people who are looking to create simple blogs.
WP Engine’s WordPress Hosting plans
Specialized WordPress Hosting
- While the Personal Plan is priced above what you would be charged by most of the competition, you do have to remember, however, that WP Engine specializes in WordPress. This could, therefore, be the price that you have to pay for having your website or blog hosted by experts. And, as you shall see, there is more to hosting than just the price;
WP Engine’s entry level plan comes packed with a number of useful features. When you sign up, you can expect;
- Up to 25 000 visits per month
- 1 install
- Shared WordPress Hosting
- 10GB Storage
- 24/7 Chat Support
- Staging (Create a copy of your site for testing
- PHP 7 Ready
- CDN (For an additional $19.95 per month.
- Free SSL Certificates
The Free SSL Certificates, in particular, should turn out to be useful, considering the fact that people around the world are fast becoming conscious of the many threats that exist on the internet. Securing your site adds credibility to your brand and gives the transacting public confidence in the fact that none of their personal information will be compromised through interaction with your website.
Personal Plan: The Cons
- The fact that you can only have one WordPress installation reduces this plan’s appeal.
- Storage could turn out to be a problem, considering the fact that the world has been moving more and more towards the consumption of multimedia data.
- A huge drawback with this plan is that you have to pay an additional $19.95 for the Content Delivery Network (CDN). That translates into almost twenty dollars for something that should now come basic with every web hosting plan. The time that a web page takes to get loaded onto a computing device has become important, not only due to the fact that it has a bearing on user engagement and satisfaction, but also because it is taken into consideration by Search Engines when assigning a rank to a page.
- If you are transferring your site from another host, there is also the fact that you cannot import your SSL certificates with the Personal Plan.
- You also do not get 24/7 phone and ticket support, which is rather strange, considering that one would expect there to be an equal level of Customer Support, regardless of the chosen plan.
- One gets the feeling, overall, that this is a plan that strives to be entry level, both in terms of price and in terms of features, but ends up failing in both regards.
- The Professional Plan
WP Engine’s next offering on its WordPress Hosting portfolio is the Professional Plan. Beginning at $99 per month, there is clearly a huge price disparity between it and the Personal Plan. As the name implies, this is a plan that has been put together for those whose hosting requirements are a bit more serious. So, how does it stack up against the Personal Plan?
- The Professional Plan allows for up to 100,000 visits per month (from 25K)
- The number of installs is bumped from 1 to 10.
- Infrastructure is still shared.
- Storage is increased from 10GB to 20GB
- A CDN is included in the plan, which is a huge plus, although, we suspect, that it could be a significant contributor to the increase in price.
- It also allows you to import SSL certificates, if you are transferring from another host.
- You also get 24/7 phone support, although ticket support is still excluded.
- The Business Plan
WP Engine’s business plan is where things really get interesting (Okay, we admit they were already interesting). Should you choose this plan, you will have to pay $249 per month. However, you also get the following;
- Up to 400 thousand visits.
- 25 installs
- 30GB local storage
You also get everything else that is in the first two plans, with the addition of the fact that the Business Plan comes GeoIP enabled. This gives you the ability to dynamically serve visitors to your site based on their geographic location.
- The Premium Plan
WP Engine’s Premium Plan ups the ante when it comes to pricing, by asking you to call the given number for a quote. You can be sure that it will be above the Business Plan’s $249. This is definitely hosting for professionals and allows for up to 1 million visits per month. If you have a site that generates that much traffic, then you probably can afford whatever it is that you are going to be quoted.
- Unlike the previous three plans, the Premium Plan offers Dedicated hosting, which should give you the flexibility and scalability that is not available with Shared hosting.
- Storage can be up to 300GB. We are not sure, however, whether or not this will be enough for the kind of audiences that are targeted by this plan.
- You also get 24/7 phone and chat support, although, surprisingly enough, you don’t get 24/7 ticket support.
- The Enterprise Plan
The last of WP Engine’s offerings is the Enterprise Plan. It has practically everything that is on offer at the web host; 24/7 ticket, phone and chat support, up to 5 million visits, 150 installs, dedicated servers and 1000GB “Free” CDN.
WP ENgine: The Pros
WP Engine prides itself in being able to deliver content at lightning speeds. This is essential, considering that poor performance leads to higher bounce rates and poor Search Engine rankings. The company has multiple data centers, which allows for redundancy and better performance. You also get Daily Backups, which is important, and a powerful firewall that has been designed to guard against most threats. In addition, the company also offers free Malware Scans with every plan, which should add another layer of security for your website.
As mentioned earlier, the price is not entry level enough to be entry level. WP Engine has also turned some essential hosting elements, such as support, optional. What that means is that should something go wrong, your options in terms of getting help are limited, depending on whether or not you were willing to fork out money for the higher priced plans.
Conclusion: We Highly Recommend WP Hosting
Despite these shortfalls, we have to say that we highly recommend WP Engine for WordPress hosting. Although not the best option for individuals, the company is a suitable host for small to mediums sized businesses whose websites generate a respectable amount of traffic.