WP Engine Review – A Real Hassle Free Managed WordPress Hosting?
The idea of an exclusive hosting service for WordPresss sounds so perfect! As the classic quote says stay focus on one thing at a time and give your best to that one thing. I believe this quote has brought WP Engine to where they are today!
By offering hosting services to only WordPress-powered websites alone, WP Engine manages to scope down their technical focus, and therefore come out with very interesting and practical web host features that will bring your website one step further. WP Engine is meant for those who care about security, performance and scalability.
Sadly, WP Engines only serves WordPress. If you are not using WordPress, you should continue checking out other hosting services.
So Who Is WP Engine & What Do They Do?
Jason is the founder of Smart Bear Software and maker of Code Collaborator, the world’s most popular tool for peer code review and winner of the Jolt Award; while Aaron write WordPress Bible, and is most known for his blog, Technosailor.com (open in new window). He has been an active member of the WordPress community since 2004 as a core contributor, developer, user and consultant. The list goes on and on and you can read their detailed biblio at the about-page.
Why Do You Care About WP Engine?
WP Engine has your back cover, so to speak. So what are the bots and nuts used?
Home-server Strategy Offer Nothing But SPEED
WP Engine uses a home-server strategy. They believe that cluster and grid servers are slow. So your website will be assigned to a dedicated home server. All your website activity is served from this one server, shared with other bloggers. Of cause the problem with this is that your website will be down when your home-server is down. When that happens, traffics will be routed to other people’s home server and reroute back when the home server is fixed. All these routing happens automatically.
WP Engine Offers Fully Managed CDN Services
In WP Engine, CDN service is not only offered but also fully managed. Meaning there will be nil technical work at your end. They will do all the configurations and ensure your site is loaded into the CDN network.
Personalized Security For Your WordPress
Hackers and attackers do exist. I have websites got hacked before too. It feels not good at all when you know strangers have got into your backyard or even worse your bedroom, and have gone through all your files and personal belongings! Imagine your websites and hard work are just 1 thin line away from deletion! That sucks!
The rule of thumb to stop all these is indeed easy – get all your WordPress, plugins up to date and you will be literally safe. But how many of us keep forgetting to do that!
What WP Engine offers is that they take care of all of those. They will make sure all your plugins and WordPress up to date. On top of that, they have multiple components to monitor the incoming traffics and safeguard the servers. These components consist of some well known sophisticated system and their own proprietary system. Among them are: DoS appliance (to stop DoS atttacks), Firewall, IDS (Instrusion Detection System) – a system that detects malicious activity and lastly their own proprietary rule engine.
In fact this security service of WP Engine is arguable. Think of this – What makes WP Engine so special when I can do it myself (updating wordpress and plugins); and most web host have their security system (to stop malicious activities)? Yes, what make them so special? Let me put it this way, no doubt all web host fight against hackers and attackers; what WP Engine differ from others is that they offer a personal touch service. They look into your WordPress installation and safeguard it, case-by-case, customer-by-customer. It works like the security services around your neighbourhood. One is guarded community (normal web host) and one is personal bodyguard (WP Engine). Both do the same job; to protect you but whom does it better? Arguable.
What Doesn’t Sound Right with WP Engine?
Price is an issue. Charging at $49/month that is a lot! You can easily get a web host with top-notch features with only $8/month. You better make sure the bucks that you are paying worth all the hassle that you save.
You can only host WordPress in WP Engine. In another word, you will not be able to switch to Joomla or Drupal, or even a shopping cart or other Content Management System.
Unfortunately WP Engine is not just another web hosting provider who pack everything in one nice package. WP Engine focus only in WordPress tuning and hosting. That means other than that, you are on your own including hosting your email! This is quite an unfortunate drawback but to solve this you can use free services like gmail and yahoo mail. Better yet you can host your email with a separated email hosting. I’m pretty sure the guys in WP Engine will suggest a perfect solution to this.
WP Engine Customers’ Review
It’s a relief to come to WP Engine “After hosting several high traffic WordPress sites it’s a relief to come to WP Engine. At SoundCloud we were looking for a hassle free provider to set up our blogs at, which we found in these guys. Swift replies, but also very open to feedback and eager to improve. Almost like unicorns!” – Roel van der Ven, SoundCloud
My blog survive the traffic spike “I self-hosted WordPress for years until I started experiencing crashes every time a post made it to the first page of HackerNews. I switched to WP Engine right before speaking at a major event. Not only did my blog survive the traffic spike, but I’ve doubled the number of subscribers since then and haven’t experienced a single outage yet. It’s nice to pay someone to handle all the hosting BS that we’re no good at. They’re WordPress Pros.” – Ash Maurya, Author of “Running Lean”
Beyond the call-of-duty customer service “Let me know any way I can help by expressing fan-hood. Active beyond the call-of-duty customer service like this backs up the aggressive marketing copy. Muchas gracias.” – David Anderson, ImportantMedia.org
Keep our plugins and still scale “We had an expensive server that we had to maintain because we needed plugins and scalability. WP Engine let us leave that box, keep our plugins and still scale.” – Infochimps
WPEngine is delivering a great hosting experience all around “I’ve really, really liked working with WPEngine and think what you guys are doing and offering are top notch. I’m not a WordPress or hosting expert by any stretch, but I’ve been around long enough to have a number of not so great experiences. WPEngine is delivering a great hosting experience all around. Thank you.” – Andrew Macauley
Conclusions: Is WP Engine Recommended?
Looking from the point view of a webmaster, WP Engine is definitely recommended. WP Engine is the kind of web host that offer real value. It’s really difficult to locate one nowadays. I am especially impressed with the level of transparency with their product. I am also impressed with the way they do the sales talk – transparent and sincere. It doesn’t sound like a rip off to me at all.
However from the point view of a businessman, $49/month is definitely a NO go! Not until the value of WP Engine is proven. In this case, WP Engine does his part. You have no obligation to stay with them, no contract; no penalty. You choose to continue their service at the end of every month. WP Engine literally works to earn your business month by month. Also to get started, you will have the first 15 days free as trial period. $49/month is definitely a high price, but after all, quality comes with a price.