|WP Engine standout features|
|Performance||Superb, consistent real-world performance|
|Average load time||1950ms|
|Average response time||.152 Seconds|
|Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)||Yes|
|Support||24/7 live chat, phone, and email support|
What Are the Pros and Cons of WP Engine?
Many users like WP Engine because of its excellent performance, reliable customer support, and focus on security. However, there are some drawbacks with WP Engine such as being expensive. I asked a WP Engine power user to comment on his experiences with the web host and he had this to say:
Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of choosing WP Engine for hosting your website.
Pros of WP Engine
- 60-day money back guarantee: The company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and employs a dedicated team to monitor its security 24/7.
- Consistent and reliable performance: WP Engine offers 99.95% server uptime, which equates to only four to five hours of annual downtime.
- Excellent loading speeds: The hosting services offer superb loading speeds and its Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN), solid state drive (SSD), and NGINX technology ensure snappy web pages.
- Award-winning customer support: A great team provides 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email.
- Effective staging environment: The staging environment allows you to create duplicate versions of your site and test new themes, plugins, and other features.
Cons of WP Engine
- Exclusive to WordPress: WP Engine only offers its web hosting services to WordPress.
- No email hosting: The company does not provide its own email hosting service. You’ll have to use third-party services.
- No domain hosting: WP Engine does not sell domain names.
- Disallowed plugins: The platform claims that certain plugins negatively impact performance and security. View the full list of disallowed plugins.
- Premium pricing: It is by no means an affordable web hosting service; however, it offers the best hosting for your WordPress site.
Convenient workflow tools
All of WP Engine’s plans offer various workflow tools to make your website-building process more convenient. These tools include a free automated migration plugin, one-click staging sites, encrypted SSH access, GIT and secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) connections, and page performance monitoring.
Many website hosting companies offer site staging with their more expensive plans, while WP Engine allows this with all of their plans.
Site staging lets you create a duplicate version of your website where you can make changes to the layout, try new themes and plugins, and identify any errors before your site goes live.
However, WP Engine does not allow you to upload a non-WordPress website from Windows or Linux —it’s strictly a WordPress-based hosting service. You get WordPress pre-installed, so you don’t have to worry about installing additional plugins.
Free automated migrations
WP Engine offers you a free plugin that allows you to perform automated migrations for your WordPress site. This means you can migrate your WordPress website to the WP Engine without a hitch.
The plugin will do the work for you, so you can focus on other aspects of your website. WP Engine’s automated migration tool is a quick and easy way to migrate multiple WordPress websites.
Unlimited development sites
WP Engine refers to a “site” as a group of three environments:
These three environments offer full customizability to make your development workflow easier. You can also push or pull staging sites to or from your live site separately and safely.
We’ve already covered staging sites as a way to resolve errors or make changes to your website. Another option that WP Engine offers is to use independent development environments to create and test new sites.
Once you’re done, simply copy your changes to your live site. Since they work independently, the changes you make to one environment won’t affect the others.
Local is a powerful WordPress development tool that you can use to set up staging sites on your local device. It’s available for free with all WP Engine hosting plans.
The tool allows you to test your site through local staging environments — offline or online. What makes Local special is that it allows you to upload your new changes with one click, so you don’t have to go through any manual WordPress installation setups. You even get an SSL free.
Premium themes and block tools
Every WP Engine hosting plan comes with 10 themes that the Genesis Framework powers. All premium themes are optimized for performance and SEO, making your design and editing process more efficient.
10 premium StudioPress themes with Genesis Framework
You get 10 Premium StudioPress themes with WP Engine, no matter which plan you choose. All themes are Genesis-backed, which means you’ll need to install the Genesis Framework if you want to use any of the free themes.
You canfind the full list of available themes here. WP Engine constantly updates its list, so make sure you check in regularly to see if there are any new themes.
Advanced security features
WP Engine’s security detects and blocks 26 billion cyberattacks every year. The team constantly monitors your site to ensure it is safe. You also get automated WordPress plugin and PHP updates, along with multi-factor password authentication.
But that’s not all. WP Engine will include an enterprise-grade add-on called Global Edge Security. Available on all plans, this feature offers a Web Application Firewall (WAF) optimized for WordPress, advanced Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Mitigation, CDN, and SSL installation.
As part of your security, WP Engine will backup your WordPress site every day, which means you can go back and restore any previous versions of your website if you wish to. They also allow manual backups, so you can backup your site with a plugin. WP offers a number of free plugins, such as theUpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin, which will keep all your data safe in case of an attack or a breach.
Uptime and reliability
According to our tests, WP Engine servers have experienced zero downtime in the past 30 days, which is very impressive. This, combined with the fact that WPEngine offers a 99.95% uptime guarantee makes it clear it offers an exceptionally reliable hosting environment.
Site response times
One important aspect of a hosting company is how fast its servers respond to requests. This directly impacts how quickly your site loads for visitors. There are dozens of factors that influence the speed at which a hosting company’s servers respond. Finding a host that has consistently fast response times is important.
We found that WP Engine has a site loading time that is constantly under 2000ms, which is very good. This is made possible not just by its quality servers and backend configuration, but also by the fact that it offers a CDN to all its customers for added speed and reliability.
At the time of our testing, we found that WPEngine had a response time of 1954ms, which is quite good. Your results will vary based on where you test from, the time of day, congestion at your local ISP, and more. Of course, the site loading time will also depend on what you place on each of your pages.
Optimized WordPress tools
WP Engine offers a host of WordPress-optimized site-building tools for your convenience. These tools help with site migrations and transfers, staging environments, SSH access, GIT and SFTP connections, and page performance monitoring.
All of WP Engine’s hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate. But what is an SSL certificate, and do you even need one?
SSL is a cryptographic encryption security protocol. In simple terms, an SSL is a series of communications or instructions sent over a computer network. For example, your server and web browser exchange information, and an SSL will ensure that this information is being transferred securely and not intercepted by external parties.
Protecting your data
Available across all plans, WP Engine includes an enterprise-grade add-on called Global Edge Security, which uses multiple features to protect your WordPress website from over 72 million cyber attacks daily.
I was able to find answers to some of my questions in the user guides on the website. These guides are comprehensive and have answers to the most commonly asked questions.
WP Engine has also created a very useful support bot that sent me links to resolve a number of common problems. It also volunteered to help me speak to one of WP Engine’s human agents when I typed in “support.” Since these agents are available around the clock, it was very easy to get in touch with them even when I was working late at night.
Here are some of the recent improvements WP Engine made to its web hosting service:
- Optimized e-commerce hosting: The company launched a highly optimized e-commerce hosting plan with features like Gutenberg blocks and ElasticPress. These new features boosted loading speeds by up to 40% and increased sales by 360% on e-commerce sites.
- Complete headless WordPress: WP Engine launched Atlas, a ‘complete Headless WordPress platform’ that offers companies with large-scale digital needs headless architecture to bring in more site visitors, increase engagement, and boost revenue.
- DevRel team: They recruited StudioPress founder Brian Gardner to head their new Developer Relations (DevRel) team. Gardner is one of the pioneers of the modern theme ecosystem on WordPress.
- Free features: WP Engine made Local Pro’s premium features free in 2021. It also now offers the Genesis Framework and the Genesis sample theme free of cost.
- Improvements to smart plugin manager: This feature checks plugins for updates and ensures your site doesn’t crash when you need to make those updates. WP Engine gave Smart Plugin Manager a facelift with a new UI and other visibility enhancements. Most importantly, however, Smart Plugin Manager can now automate theme updates.
- UX upgrades: WP Engine upgraded its user portal to include new quick actions, caching features, and an “Effortless Add Site” feature. The new caching feature has led to a 30% reduction in related support tickets, while the “Effortless Add Site” feature now allows you to include new sites in your e-commerce plan with a couple of easy clicks.
Compare WP Engine Alternatives
With an estimated 330,000 web hosting providers worldwide, you have plenty of web hosts to choose from. See how WP Engine compares to other top-tier hosting companies that the team here at Digital.com recommends:
Frequently Asked Questions About WP Engine
Why should I use WP Engine?
Is WP Engine different from WordPress?
Does WP Engine have phone support?
Can I host a Non-WordPress site on WP Engine?
Can you register domain names with WP Engine?
Can I manage multiple WordPress sites on one WP Engine account?
How many data centers does WP Engine have?
Will I get automated migration with my WP Engine plan?
How will WP Engine keep my WordPress site protected?
Do I get an SSL certificate with my WP Engine plan?
How I Rated WP Engine
I test web hosts based on the following factors:
- Plan value: What plans are available, and do they offer a good value?
- Ease of use: Is the dashboard easy to navigate?
- Support: How fast can you get help when needed, and is support genuinely helpful?
- Features: What features does the host offer, and how do they compare to similar competitors?
- Security: Does the host offer SSL certificates, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection, backup services, and scans for viruses and malware?
- Speed and uptime: Does the provider offer a fast, stable environment for your website? How does it perform in tests, and what kind of servers does the hosting company use?
- Recent improvements: What has the host done lately to update its technology and services?
Learn more about our review methodology.