WP Engine Review 2021: Is It The Next Best Managed Web Hosting Provider?

You were probably this close to clicking the get started button when you asked yourself, what will I get into if I purchase WP Engine as my hosting provider?

Don’t worry. Let me put your heart at ease and walk you through everything you need to know about WP Engine

Hi there! My name is Kath, and for this article I will be sharing with you my honest review on WP Engine. I purchased and tested out this hosting provider so you could have a closer look without spending a cent.

WP Engine is a hosting provider for platforms like WordPress. With its commitment to innovation and service, WP Engine has proven itself to be one of the leaders of its industry.

But of course, this provider is not perfect for everyone. After all, everyone has their own way of defining the “perfect host” based on specific aspects.

And I cannot stress enough how important it is to find a hosting provider that perfectly fits the needs and goals you have for your website.

With that, I will be sharing with you my unbiased opinion on WP Engine based on the following 4 main criteria to check out if this is the perfect hosting provider for you.

  • WP Engine Set-up and Ease of Use
    • To see if navigating through their interface fits your level of ease, I ran some basic installations and tasks for you.
  • WP Engine Speed & Uptime Performance
    • To check out if its performance is up to standard, I tested the speed and uptime performance before and after adding designs, plugins, and other free features. 
  • WP Engine Customer Support
    • To test their promptness and capability, I asked the customer support basic questions and concerns that you may ask when working with them.
  • WP Engine Pricing 
    • To see if WP Engine is worth your money, I compared their hosting plans based on the services and features they offer.

Finally, I’ll help you decide if WP Engine is the best hosting provider that suits your goals and needs  by providing my overall recommendation I came up with after running those tests.

I will also be giving individual ratings per criteria to provide a general insight on specific features the hosting provider has.

So I’d stick around if I were you. You might end up missing out on what could possibly be one of the best hosting providers out there.

What are you waiting for? Let’s go…

WP Engine Review: My Unbiased Review (The best or just another web host provider?)

WP Engine is known to be one of the top hosting providers for WordPress. 

Working with brands like WPBeginner and Soundcloud, and having notable partners like Hubspot and Cloudflare, WPEngine has cemented itself on top of its competitors in the industry.

With their drive to provide the best solutions for websites and apps, they have been helping businesses of all sizes prosper and grow for over 10 years.

Considering its great record, you can truly say that your business’ website is in safe hands.

If you find this interesting, click here to go to the WPEngine.com and check out their latest prices and services.

So let’s cut to the chase and check out their interface.

WP Engine Set-up and Ease of Use

After purchasing, I immediately reached the home page and I can see that its customer user interface’s design is clean and simple.

Comparing this to CPanel that is commonly used by other hosting providers, I find the interface a lot easier to navigate through.

In case you’re wondering what this CPanel is, click here to go to CPanel.net so you can have a clearer picture on how different it is with WP Engine’s Interface.

The numerous choices on the sidebar, however, can be quite overwhelming. The number of options and text can be too much for a new user.

But this is nothing too major once I get used to it.

Let’s move to installing WordPress using WP Engine.

Installing WordPress

To do this, I clicked Add Site on the upper right portion of the page.

Immediately, a pop appeared and I just typed in my Site Name, and clicked Add Site

Then I created a new site by typing in my site name and finally, clicked Create Environment.

Notice that .wpengine.com is attached after your site name. This is because WP Engine does not offer DNS. I’ll get to that soon if you continue to read along.

So what about installing an SSL certificate?

Installing an SSL certificate

To install the certificate, I clicked SSL on the right side bar, and proceeded to click get free certificates.

You might encounter the term SSL as you read along this article. Check out this article on SSL, so you’ll have a clearer view on what it is and how it works.

I made sure to agree to the terms and conditions, and clicked the Get Certificate again.

Finally, I just waited a few more minutes while the certificate was being set up.

Overall thoughts on WP Engine’s Set Up and Ease of Use

In terms of its set up and ease of use, I’d give WP Engine an 7.5 out of 10

I believe that the simplistic and responsive design of the user interface would benefit a lot of users, especially for beginners like you, because of the easy and smooth navigation around the site.

Unfortunately, I would take one mark away for the lack of options to purchase domain names and host emails. These make someone’s life a lot harder by demanding complex solutions.

Speaking of domain names, if you are planning to purchase domain names you can check out Namecheap.com for their present price and services. 

If you need some more info regarding this, feel free to check out these articles.

Another mark off for a much more difficult WordPress and SSL installation than any other hosting providers. 

I had to keep refreshing for updates when a task was being done on my site.

And the numerous buttons and redirects for the SSL option and the WordPress does not help either. These may only end up confusing you if you’re still a beginner.

WP Engine Speed & Uptime Performance (Tested)

Now I move to testing the WP Engine’s speed and uptime performance.

This is crucial if you do not want to drive away your audience with slow loading times. 

Speed (as tested in GT Metrix)

After installing the basic WordPress site, I immediately tested the site as it is using GT Metrix.

Want to know how fast your website is? Click here to go to GTMetrix.com to check your speed.

Although not the fastest, WP Engine was up to a good start with 0.8 seconds – less than a second of loading time.

I stepped it up a notch by adding some design elements to increase page size.

Usually, I would install WP Fastest Cache plugin to speed up the migration, but luckily enough, WP Engine provides Server Side Caching to make your website load quicker.

You can click here to got to WPEngine.com for you to know more about WP Engine’s server side caching.

Next, I downloaded the plugin Short Pixel to optimize my images.

You may go to ShortPixel.com to know more about this plugin.

And finally, I installed WP Engine’s free content delivery network (CDN) instead of my usual Cloud Flare CDN. This CDN increases my website performance for free.

This overall set-up is the closest you can get to an actual website set-up. And this was how everything looked liked when everything came together.

Checking it once again, the speed is now at 1.2 seconds making it one of the fastest hosting providers I’ve tested so far. It’s even an easy pass to Google’s ideal site load of 2-3 seconds.

Before we move on, do you like what you’re seeing so far? Then you’re definitely going to love this! 

Check out WPEngine.com for a chance to get special discounts on their offers.

Uptime Performance (as tested in UptimeRobot)

Along with the impressive speed, WP Engine’s uptime performance was just perfect.

Upon testing it on UptimeRobot, WP Engine managed to get a 100% for the past 30 days. There wasn’t even a single downtime for 82 straight days.

Overall thoughts on WPEngine’s Speed & Uptime Performance

WPEngine’s Speed & Uptime Performance is a definite 10 out of 10.

I honestly see no faults in this area. The speed is by far one of the best I had ever tested and the uptime performance is just solid.

WP Engine Customer Support

WP Engine’s Customer Support runs 24/7 via email live chat and phone support

To test them out, I prepared 3 questions concerning virus and malware, domain name purchase, and SSL certificate assistance for a newbie.

You can click here to go to WPEngine.com and try out their customer support.

Virus and Malware Assistance

I reached out to support stating that my website has a virus. Response was immediate and they instantly ran a virus scan for me. 

They were even willing to remove malware for me free of charge as guarantee that any site under WP Engine would be malware and virus free

This is one of the few hosting providers I’ve tested that was willing to remove malware for free. This only impressed me more.

Domain Name Purchase

I then asked them about the cost for a domain name renewal. While WP Engine does not provide DNS, they still responded to my concern quickly which honestly still delights me.

Okay. What is this DNS that I’ve been talking about? Feel free to read Cloudflare’s article on DNS – what it is and how it works.

SSL Certificate Installation Assistance

Unfortunately, the frustrations start here. 

I asked for their assistance in installing an SSL certificate while pretending to be a newbie at it.

It took them nearly 20 minutes to install my SSL certificate, which shouldn’t take awhile.

The support staff did not even bother to check if my DNS was already pointing to WP Engine, and kept insisting that he was already ready to install the certificate.

To make matters worse, he just sent me an article on SSL certificate installation, and left me to figure things out myself.

Overall thoughts on WPEngine’s Customer Support

Overall, I would give WPEngine’s Customer Support 8 out of 10 for its splendid responsiveness.

To check out the average response time, I contacted support at three different times of the day to base it on its entirety and not just on fast responses during peak hours.

With an average of a 13-second wait time, WP Engine’s customer service has one the fastest response times I had encountered among hosting providers. 

I believe that waiting time should only be 5 minutes max and yet they went way beyond expectations.

Even though there was one downside with the handling of the last question, I generally find the support team friendly and very accommodating.

WP Engine Pricing (What’s in store for you)

Loving what you see about WP Engine so far? Check out the WPEngine.com and get their current best discounted offers I found just for you.

Checking out the discounted offers, WP Engine currently has 4 main plans namely startup growth, scale, and the newly added professional

If you cannot find what you’re looking for, WP Engine also offers a custom plan. All you need is to get in touch with WP Engine to discuss some details.

Which plan is best for me?

Now with these 4 plans, the main differences that you would have to look out for are the number of websites, number of visits, and storage. 

The other features are pretty much the same across the four plans which practically makes the decision-making a lot easier for you. 

All you need now is decide how many websites you need.

If you are only starting out with your business, I recommend you choose the start up plan.

If you are an individual practicing a service or an established freelancer, the professional plan may work better for you.

If you are an established agency or individual aiming for growth, the growth or scale plan will definitely be the best choice for you with the amount of websites they offer.

Another thing to consider is your current traffic

If you have little to no traffic right now, it’s best to just purchase the startup plan

But if you plan on migrating a website that currently has a lot of traffic, I would recommend you purchase either the professional, growth, or scale plans considering their allowed monthly visits of 75,000, 100,000 and 400,000 respectively.

Is WP Engine starting to look really good for your site? Spend less for greater value by checking out WPEngine.com, and grab their best offers for you.

Annually Vs Monthly

WP Engine offers 2 pricing options which are monthly and annually. If I try to switch the options, there would be a different set of prices.

I would recommend choosing the longer plan to cut extra expenses.

Other features

If you are no longer satisfied with WP Engine’s service, they provide a 60-Day money back guarantee – a lot longer than the usual 30 Days other hosting providers give.

WP Engine also provides the standard and desired features like automated backups and auto migration. 

But I have to let you know that auto migration is not the migration we usually know in which the staff does the work for us.

Another brilliant feature by the hosting provider is their Free Content Delivery Network. It is a great alternative to CloudFlare, and is believed to be a lot faster.

As mentioned before, WP Engine does not provide any domain name services. So creating a domain and hosting for a website simultaneously cannot be possible.

However, if you need domain names you can check out Namecheap.com for their present price and services. 

And if you need more references you can check out an article on How to Buy a Domain Name Using Namecheap.

Overall thoughts on WPEngine’s Pricing

I would give WP Engine’s Pricing a score of 9 out of 10 for providing a lot of the needed features for a WordPress site, and freely giving their own CDN and automatic backup.

I also like the fact that they have their own servers, and provide server side caching, which may be faster than any caching plugin in WordPress.

The only mark I took off from them was from the absence of a free website migration, where their team personally transfers your website from another hosting for you.

To me, this should be a requirement for any managed WordPress Hosts because a lot people usually move from their shared hosting plans. 

I can see WP Engine being left out since most of their competitors would offer this for free.

Final Thoughts: Is WP Engine worth your time and money?

Should you really consider having WP Engine as your hosting provider?

My overall rating of WP Engine is 9 out of 10 because of their reasonable price, spectacular performance, and other great features.

I would definitely recommend this to you if you are a beginner or a veteran user looking for a managed WordPress hosting provider with all-around performance and features.

But, if you do not have enough budget to spend, it would be best to find other hosting providers that offer plans fit for your finances, like Hostinger.

Not so convinced about Hostinger? Check out this article on Hostinger and Bluehost and their comparison in terms of price and value.

After all, picking the right provider is very important for your business.

If you liked what you’ve seen on WP Engine, click here to reach WPEngine.com and grab their special offers.

So what do you think of WP Engine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

I will be looking forward to your interesting response.

If you found WP Engine interesting, you might find yourself liking the following articles:

And if you still need references for picking the perfect hosting provider, here are 3 articles comparing different hosting providers with each other.

Hope you found this article helpful.

I’ll wait for you in the next one 🙂

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