WP Engine offers top-tier managed WordPress hosting with a myriad of premium features. It provides best-in-class uptime performance with outstanding customer service. While higher priced than some competitors, the price tag is certainly justified. WP Engine is a fantastic solution if you don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of web hosting.
Who should choose WP Engine? Small businesses, developers, agencies, and marketers.
Looking for something more suited for beginners or at a more affordable price point? Our featured partners offer affordable shared hosting plans with tons of beginner-friendly features.
WP Engine Pros and Cons
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:
“Creating, downloading, and restoring backups is a breeze, which is perfect in case of emergencies. It’s easy to clone environments – we use three per website; One to host the live website that gets the traffic, a staging environment where our clients test content changes and preview our development changes, and a development environment for our team. The interface is very intuitive and integrates with many providers, such as being able to link with GoDaddy (and others) to configure an external domain easily.” –Dawid Zimny, Product Manager, NerdCow
What we like about 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.
What fell flat
- 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.
- Premium pricing: It is by no means an affordable web hosting service; however, it offers the best hosting for your WordPress site.
Digital.com’s Editorial Review
WP Engine offers exceptional uptime, security updates, cloud platform flexibility, one-click restore points, automatic caching, daily backups, and other premium features. It’s an outstanding option for WordPress hosting.
WP Engine publishes a year-in-review report to show customers how they continually strive to make improvements to their platform and reaffirm their Core Values: Built for Growth, Customer Inspired, Design Matters, Do The Right Thing, and Committed to Give Back. The platform made more than 50 upgrades and improvements in 2022. It also committed to offering more tools and services for the betterment of the broader WordPress community.
WP Engine Plans and Pricing
WP Engine offers three different levels of managed WordPress hosting, depending on your needs and budget. Within each type, there are multiple tiers based on the number of sites you’re hosting, the resources you use, an the features you need.
There are also several add-ons, including automated plugin updates, extra security, site monitoring, and performance boost.
Managed WordPress–starts at $20 per month
- Good for: hosting WordPress sites
Ecommerce–starts at $24 per month
- Good for: WooCommerce users
Custom–starts at $600 per month
- Good for: hosting numerous large sites, advanced security, and premium support
All WP Engine plans offer automated WordPress and PHP updates, one-click staging and backup, daily and on-demand backups, and 24/7 chat support.
WP Engine offers a plethora of premium features for your WordPress site. We were particularly impressed with their advanced security features and prompt customer support.
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 can find 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 the UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin, which will keep all your data safe in case of an attack or a breach.
Performance and Uptime
WP Engine guarantees 99.95% uptime, which goes up to 99.99% with an enhanced Service Level Agreement (SLA). The company has servers in North America, Europe, and Asia.
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 WP Engine 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 WP Engine 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.
WP Engine’s advanced security features detect and block over 26 billion cyber threats annually. With the help of a support team and an enterprise-grade add-on in Global Edge Security, WP Engine’s security is nearly impenetrable.
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. However, it’s not the only managed WordPress hosting provider–see all of our top picks to learn more about your options.
On top of that, WP Engine is overkill for brand new websites and most businesses, overall.
If you’re looking for something more suited to new sites and beginners at a more affordable price point, see how WP Engine compares to cheaper alternatives below.
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
What You Need to Know
Why should I use WP Engine?
It is good to use WP Engine if you’re a marketer, developer, or owner of a small business or agency. If your business needs more than traditional VPS and shared hosting services, WP Engine is one of the best options to manage updates, feel secure about your site’s protection, and scale your WordPress website.
Is WP Engine different from WordPress?
Yes. WordPress is a content management system used to create websites, while WP Engine is a tool used to host WordPress websites. WordPress is a tool that can function independently, while WP Engine needs to host a WordPress site to work. WP Engine-hosted sites, while more expensive, have better security and performance than WordPress-hosted sites.
Does WP Engine have phone support?
Yes. WP Engine offers 24/7 phone assistance across all its hosting plans except for the Startup plan. Live chat is available for all plans. WP Engine’s dedicated customer support team will give you an internal support ticket if your issue isn’t resolved through chat or phone.
Can I host a non-WordPress site on WP Engine?
No. As the name might suggest, WP Engine offers managed web hosting services exclusively to WordPress websites. If you have built your website on other content management systems, you will not be able to use WP Engine.
Can you register domain names with WP Engine?
No. WP Engine does not provide you with an option to register domain names or custom email addresses. You will need to register your domain name with a third-party registrar. Once you’ve purchased a domain, you can use WP Engine to host it.
Can I manage multiple WordPress sites on one WP Engine account?
Yes. Every plan except the basic Personal plan allows you to manage multiple domains on a single installation. WP Engine’s hosting packages come with a WordPress multisite function that lets you manage multiple websites on the same account.
How many data centers does WP Engine have?
WP Engine’s data centers are located all around the world. Their primary data center is in Houston, Texas. Other facilities are in London and Tokyo. WP Engine has servers on four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. These servers provide outstanding uptime. WP Engine guarantees 99.95% uptime that can go up to 99.99% with an enhanced SLA.
Will I get automated migration with my WP Engine plan?
WP Engine provides a free migration plugin that allows free WordPress website transfers. It can take up to 48 hours for automated migration to work, but smaller sites can be migrated within an hour or two.
How will WP Engine keep my WordPress site protected?
WP Engine provides various advanced security features to keep your website safe from cyberattacks and unwanted interceptions. Your WordPress site is constantly updated and monitored, and you will be notified of any vulnerabilities or suspicious activity. WP Engine has a dedicated team to run scans, daily backups, and inform users of any outdated plugins or potential security risks.
Do I get an SSL certificate with my WP Engine plan?
Yes. WP Engine provides a free SSL certificate with all their hosting plans. You can also upload third-party SSL certificates to your WordPress website.
How We Reviewed 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.