WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in use today, and for good reason; perhaps no other platform offers the same level of universal support and flexibility. WP Engine is a testament to WordPress’ dominance over the competition – its a hosting service fully devoted to the platform.
This review looks specifically at the security capabilities of WP Engine, but we’ll also look at its key features, pricing, and setup in order to help you decide if it is the right solution for you.
WP Engine aims to be a one-stop-shop for all of your web hosting and platform needs. Its various tiers support site builds of all shapes and sizes, including a dedicated eCommerce suite (more on this below). Each plan allows for a certain amount of local storage, bandwidth, 24/7 phone and chat support (aside from the Startup plan, which is chat only), one-click staging, premium themes, and more.
Below is a full list of core features included in every plan
The various tiers will determine the exact feature set you’ll be provided with, which we’ll go into detail on in the section below.
There are four tiers to choose from when you sign up with WP Engine: Startup, Professional, Growth, and Scale. The pricing and plans page can be a bit confusing if you are new to hosting, so we’ll try to break things down succinctly below.
Put simply, the difference between tiers comes down to the number of managed WordPress sites you can have, as well as the scalability of each of those sites.
For instance, the Startup plan supports one site with 25,000 visits per month. The Professional allows three sites, each with 75,000 monthly visitors. Growth and Scale support 10/30 sites and 100,000/400,000 visitors, respectively.
Beyond this, you’ll need the Custom tier, which is a flexible option for those who need it. The starting rates of each plan are detailed below:
Essentially, it comes down to have much traffic you need to support, and the size of your site build itself. Most upstarts are probably going to be well-served by the Startup or Professional levels, while existing sites with built-in readership might need Growth or above. There are also a few additional, optional upgrades worth considering. These include automated plugin updates, additional site builds, and a dedicated security layer featuring SOC 2 and Managed WAF. For entrepreneurs looking for the most secure solution available, this might be worth the premium you’ll need to pay.
The ability to choose additional website support ala carte is also quite nice, though keep in mind you’ll still be limited in terms of cloud storage and visitors.
There are several factors to consider when evaluating a hosting service’s security capabilities. One important one is the ability to provide you with a Secure Socket Layer (SSL for short). This first line of defence is responsible for ensuring data security between your site and your user’s local environment.
Thankfully, WP Engine includes SSL for free with your subscription. This is a big plus, as many other services require users to pay for an SSL Certificate, so this is a substantial value add for WP Engine.
Beyond this, WP Engine features a full malware scanning layer with a firewall that is updated daily, allowing you some peace of mind that you’ll be protected from the latest threats on the web. Other notable security features include dedicated hacking support by trained WordPress professionals and real-time threat assessment and detection.
All of this comes together to create a compelling package for those looking for a security-minded hosting solution.
Uptime is one of the most essential things to consider when choosing a hosting provider. Essentially, this is a measure of how often your site will be online. While only the Custom tier includes a 99% uptime SLA, we’ve found that the service as a whole has excellent stability. During our tests, we found that our test site had zero instances of downtime over the course of two weeks.
Having a robust customer support service is crucial when your livelihood might rely on your site working as intended. WP Engine excels in this department, with 24/7 chat support available to all tiers and 24/7 phone support available to Professional plan members and above. Gating phone support off is something we aren’t the biggest fan of, and it’s important to keep in mind if you are a newer user who needs more guidance.
Aside from this, however, wait times were generally very low when we tested the customer service experience for ourselves. We asked a series of basic and in-depth questions about WP Engine’s functionality and configuration, and each question was answered in full detail.
Bringing everything together, it’s clear that WP Engine is a solid, fully-featured hosting solution for sites and businesses of all kinds. It won’t appeal to everyone – casual users might look elsewhere – but for those who need flexibility, it’s hard to recommend another service over WP Engine.