I’ve used WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now, but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Pros of WP Engine
Speed & Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box – WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Now – the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said – the tough thing about customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
WordPress now powers over a third of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and only up to 25,000 visits per month. You can still get this plan with 10% to 35% discount using our WP Engine Coupon Code 2019 and WP Engine promo code.
For some site owners – if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
For the cheapest pricing of WP Engine, you can get it on special days like WP Engine black friday, WP Engine cyber monday sale etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision.
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically since I started observing the industry*. WP Engine has created tools to match.
Cons of WP Engine
Initial & Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated – especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
WP Engine is one of the leaders in Managed WordPress Hosting. Great fit for some customers who need performance & critical support above all else. Complexity and price make it less of a fit for others.