Finding a reliable and cost effective WordPress hosting service provider can be a daunting task at the best of times. As you might well have discovered, the internet is quite literally flooded with web hosting options, and this can obviously make things rather difficult when it comes to finding the sort of service that best fits your own personal needs and requirements the most. Could WP Engine reviews help you to choose the right answer?
WP Engine – A Brief Description
WP Engine is a WordPress hosting company based in Austin, Texas. The company essentially offers an All-In-One hosting service that has been developed specifically for the WordPress platform over the course of several years. WP Engine has established a rock solid reputation concerning their services, including their customer service. People who switch to WP Engine can quite literally just sit back while others do all the dirty work for them. They even have a third party partner site to assist you when you move your site across.
These days, there are tens of thousands of websites being hacked every single day, but this is rarely something that happens when you have WP Engine hosting. Your site is continually scanned for any sort of hacking activity. The company guarantees their customers that they will do everything in their power in order to protect against hackers. In fact, in the unlikely event that your site does get hacked, experienced WP Engine technicians will fix it immediately, 100% free of charge. To further enhance security, all WordPress security updates are automatically installed.
Unlike many other WordPress hosting services, WP Engine also includes a one-click backup and restore feature which is made available at no additional charge. This alone can save webmasters a considerable amount of time, and in many cases, a great deal of money as well. Another very nifty feature is the easy to use “staging area” which is made available to all customers. In short, this completely eliminates the risk of you crashing your site if you decide to change themes; deploy new pages and etc.
With four different hosting packages to choose from, and a rock solid reputation, WP Engine seems like a good choice, but let’s take a look at a few key points.
WP Engine advertises plenty of benefits to be had if you host with them, but here are some that I certainly feel are more important than others:
- Expert Customer Support – According to the company’s official website, every staff member is a WordPress expert, including those who deal with customer service.
- Moving your Site – While WP Engine cannot move your site for you, assistance is available from one of their 3rd party partners.
- Feature Selection – WP Engine continually strives to include valuable new features based on feedback they receive from their customers.
- EverCache Technology – This can dramatically improve page-load time, a quality which is believed to influence search engine rankings.
WP Engine are fortunate enough to enjoy an almost endless stream of glittering reviews from their customers, with many customers vowing to never use any other hosting service again. Below are some of the things that are most frequently mentioned in customer reviews:
- Designed and maintained specifically for WordPress sites – Many customers have praised the fact that WP Engine is a dedicated WordPress hosting service, and say that this alone makes life considerably easier. “Anything and everything I could ever want for my WordPress site is right there in one place”, said one customer.
- Simplicity – WP Engine has gone to great lengths to keep things as simple as possible. Their service has been designed to be extremely user friendly, and they have obviously achieved that goal. Many customers report that they were initially surprised by the “bare bones” appearance that greets you when you enter the administration panel, but that they quickly discovered that only non-essential features are absent.
- Speed – Nearly all the customer reviews I’ve studied mention speed and stability. Even the less enthusiastic reviews tend to comment on how much faster their sites loaded after switching to WP Engine. A lot of customers also point out that the increase in speed is clearly noticeable with all aspects of their sites. On the admin side, images upload and are processed up to five times faster when compared to many other hosting services.
- Security – Enhanced security features are mentioned in most reviews. WP Engine scans all sites continuously for signs of hacking activity, and if any such activity is detected, their highly experienced team of technicians immediately addresses the issue. WP Engine staff is so confident in their level of security, that they are willing to repair any sites free of charge in the unlikely event of them being hacked. To further boost security, all WordPress security updates are proactively installed by the company. This high level of security has clearly helped to attract many customers, based on what is said in so many reviews.
- Customer support – Anyone who reads a few reviews about this company will soon discover just how much praise they receive for their customer service efforts. Regardless of what sort of problem you have, when you submit a customer support ticket you can expect to get a response within less than three hours. Many customers actually report that response time is typical around one to two hours. There has also been a lot said about the quality of their customer support, and the fact that your problem is always solved there and then, and without the need for any further communication. Customers who require immediate assistance can also use the very quick and efficient live chat feature
- Plugins and themes – WP Engine offer what they call “Curated Plugins & Themes”. If you are familiar with WordPress sites, you will already know that there are literally tens of thousands of plugins and themes available, and this can be very confusing for many people. WP Engine can save you from a great deal of frustration by recommending the best plugins and themes based on their own extensive experience. While this might not be a top selling point, it is clearly something which countless customers find very helpful.
To give credit where it is due, I should say that WP Engine has had very few negative reviews. In fact, if it is negative reviews you are looking for; you will really have to dig deep. I have spent hours reading through WP Engine reviews, and all apart from one or two have been very favorable. However, there are a few things that have attracted negative comments.
- WP Engine homepage links – In some reviews I studied, customers complained that WP Engine had placed a link in their page footers without asking for permission to do so. However, I have only come across a few similar complaints. Additionally, I got a distinct impression that one particular blogger who reported this, might very well have a hidden agenda.
- Expensive – A number of customers have commented on the cost, saying that it is a bit expensive if you only need it for personal use. Given the number of similar comments I have come across, I think the company should perhaps consider reducing the price for personal use.
- Compatibility – Due to the extremely tight security environment under which WP Engine sites work, some of the plugins may not be compatible and hence may not work. For example, the membership plugin DAP (Digital Access Pass) is not compatible with WP Engine. In case you need to install certain specific plugins or themes, then it is better to check with the plugin/theme developers and/or WP Engine Support about the compatibility before investing in this hosting.
WP Engine offers four different types of packages:
While some people have commented that the “Personal” package should cost less than it currently does, most customers feel that the level of service they enjoy justifies the somewhat higher cost. One blogger I stumbled across even went as far as saying, “30% more expensive; 400% better”. Everyone has their own expectations and requirements, so only customers can decide whether or not they believe the price is right for them.
WP Engine is an American company with their head office based in Austin, Texas. They offer international WordPress hosting, although it should be noted that all communication is done in English, which in certain circumstances could be a bit problematic for site owners who are not fluent in English.
Would I personally recommend WP Engine to others? If your blog were just a sideline hobby, then I probably wouldn’t recommend it due to the relatively high cost. However, if you take your online presence seriously, then I would have no hesitation in recommending WP Engine. The enhanced security features; the significant increase in speed, and the fact that everything is so user friendly, all help to make it a perfect choice. I would also recommend doing two things before signing up for the service:
- Search for a discount coupon – Because WP Engine charges more than some of their competitors, I would recommend looking for a discount coupon before signing up for the service. This will allow you to test their services at a heavily discounted rate, usually for a period of three months.
- Contact customer support – I always recommend contacting Customer Service before signing up for anything that isn’t free. If you are going to be paying for a service that includes good customer service, then I personally think it is wise to test their help desk before you commit.
If you wish to learn more about WP Engine and the sort of features included in their WordPress hosting packages, then