Best WordPress Hosting in 2019 (Part II)

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    WP Engine Review from Our Experts

    WP Engine specializes in VIP managed WordPress hosting. As pioneers in the managed WordPress hosting industry, they boast an impressive customer list including Yelp, Asana, National Geographic, PBS, and MyFitnessPal. WP Engine is an ideal choice for those looking for hassle-free premium WordPress hosting. Read our expert WP Engine review to see if it’s the right choice for you.

    About WP Engine

    Founded in 2010, WP Engine is relatively new to the hosting world, but they’ve wasted no time in earning a stellar reputation. Serial entrepreneur Jason Cohen started WP Engine when he saw a need for specialized WordPress hosting due to the rising popularity of WordPress.

    WP Engine is Headquartered in Austin, Texas and now has over 400 employees. The company has won multiple awards for Best Place to Work in Austin and consistently contributes to the WordPress core and community.

    WP Engine Hosting Plans

    WP Engine only offers managed WordPress hosting. There are five different plans available: Startup, Growth, Scale, Premium, and Enterprise.

    All plans include unlimited data transfer. The plans differ based on:

    • number of WordPress installs
    • traffic volume (number of visits per month)
    • disk storage amount

    Premium and Enterprise plans include custom server environments.

    WP Engine includes some unique features for WordPress users that most hosts don’t offer, or charge extra for. These special features include:

    • Git version control
    • Staging: instantly create a copy of your site for testing
    • Easy transferable installs from free to paid accounts
    • Option to move to PHP 7, the latest version of PHP

    In our WP Engine review, we found that WP Engine offers the most advanced and comprehensive managed WordPress hosting features.

    Advanced Security Features

    WP Engine also offers a number of premium security features. The WordPress core is automatically updated to the latest version for you. WP Engine thoroughly tests any major core updates before upgrading their customers. They have a proprietary intrusion detection and prevention system to block any DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, JavaScript/SQL-injection attacks and more.

    They also partner with third-party security firms to conduct regular code reviews and security audits.

    Your security is guaranteed, so if you get hacked WP Engine will fix it for free.

    WP Engine offers advanced security and support features

    Support and Customer Service

    WP Engine has a support team of over 100 WordPress experts. They boast over 97% customer satisfaction with thousands of customer interactions per day.

    Support is available 24/7 via live chat for all customers. Phone support is available 24/7 with all plans except for the Personal plan. If an issue can’t be immediately resolved via chat or phone, the support staff will create an internal support ticket for you.

    Enterprise customers get access to 24/7 ticket support via email. Premium and Enterprise customers receive a consultative one-on-one onboarding experience as well.

    WP Engine also has a dedicated Customer Experience Operations team. They work to continually improve the WP Engine customer experience.

    CDN for Even Faster Loading

    WP Engine offers a CDN (content delivery network) in partnership with MaxCDN, making their hosting even faster.

    CDN is included for free with all WP Engine hosting plans which is a huge benefit and cost saving.

    36+ Premium WordPress Themes

    WP Engine recently acquired the popular premium WordPress theme company StudioPress

    Now all 36+ premium StudioPress themes and the famous Genesis framework is available to all WP Engine customers for free.

    Yes, you get all these great looking and well-coded themes at no additional costs – this is over $2000 in additional value for free!

    Money Back Guarantee

    WP Engine offers a generous 60 day money back guarantee. If you’re not happy with their service, you can cancel your account within the first 60 days and receive a full refund.

    The guarantee applies to the Personal, Professional, and Business plans only.

    WP Engine offers a 60 day money back guarantee

    Pros and Cons

    WP Engine is a popular web hosting company, but it may not be right for everyone. Consider these pros and cons before choosing a plan.

    Pros

    • Security – WP Engine keeps your site protected with many advanced security features that other hosts don’t offer.
    • Fast Loading Times – Servers are optimized just for WordPress, everything is cached at the server level, and you get access to their CDN.
    • Reliability – WP Engine’s proprietary front-end layer system can handle traffic spikes easily without slowing down your site.
    • WordPress Expert Support – WP Engine’s entire support staff is comprised of trained WordPress experts.
    • Rave Reviews – WP Engine is an incredibly popular host that gets great reviews from many customers for their reliability and excellent customer service.

    Cons

    • Disallowed Plugins – WP Engine does not allow you to install certain plugins on your WordPress site, either because they conflict with or duplicate WP Engine’s features, or cause a high server load. This includes many caching, backup, related post plugins, and others. You can see the full list of disallowed plugins here.
    • No Domain Registrations – WP Engine offers only hosting services, not domain registrations. This means you’ll have to register your domains with another company, which some users may find inconvenient.
    • Higher Costs – When comparing to shared hosting, WP Engine is more expensive, but the services they offer are well-worth the investment.

    WP Engine Performance Tests

    WPBeginner users trust our reviews because we only recommend products and services that we have used ourselves. We go and sign up for each top WordPress hosting company to thoroughly test their claims with our own industry-standard tests. 

    For this review, we created a WordPress website on WPEngine. Using the default Twenty Seventeen theme we filled the website with dummy data including media and images. This way our test site looked and behaved like an actual average WordPress site. 

    WP Engine Speed Test Results

    After setting up our test site, we first ran the speed test. Using the Pingdom tool we tested our sample site on WP Engine servers. 

    Here are the results: 

    WPEngine speed test results

    Our test site loaded in less than a second for a server in New York City, NY. That’s faster than 96% of all tested sites. Considering that we didn’t need to install any performance optimization this result is quite good. 

    WP Engine Load Impact Test

    Next, we wanted to check how WP Engine servers respond under peak traffic. To measure this we ran the Load Impact test. We gradually built up to 100 unique visitors at once to see how the server would handle increased requests from multiple connections at once.

    Here are the results: 

    WP Engine load impact test

    The green line represents page load time and the blue line represents number of users on the site. As you can see, our test site performed really well up to 80 users, after that it started to slow down.

    As you can see in the chart, that WP Engine server performance remained steady throughout the test as the numbers of users increased. 

    WP Engine Server Response Time

    The next thing we tested was the server response time from different geographic regions. For this test, we used a tool called Bitcatcha. 

    Here are WP Engine’s server response time results: 

    WP Engine server response time test

    As you can see in the screenshot, WP Engine server response time remained under less than half a second for all geographic locations. It was particularly great in the United States.

    Is WP Engine Right for You?

    Now that you have read through our entire WP Engine review and looked at the performance scores, you might be wondering whether WP Engine is the right web host for you.

    After reviewing WP Engine services in detail, we are awarding them with the title “Best Managed WordPress Hosting”.

    WP Engine is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a completely hassle-free web host for your WordPress site. For bloggers and businesses who want to stop wasting time on technical details and find a WordPress host that just works, WP Engine is perfect. Developers and freelancers will find that WP Engine’s advanced features will save them time on WordPress development for clients. And growing businesses will find plenty of room to scale up their hosting as their traffic increases.

    Ready to get started with WP Engine? Click here to select your WP Engine plan today.

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