For an online store, you need a fast website , a product that is secure, performant, and can support varying levels of traffic. You can optimize your website however you want, but the key to a reliable, fast and secure website is high-quality hosting. Usually, this means signing up with a managed hosting company, but it's also important to find a host with top-of-the-line hardware, a content delivery network, and an overall robust infrastructure. Shared hosting rarely cuts it for a growing online store. That's why we're going to do a WP Engine review, as it's one of the leading managed WordPress hosts, all users have access to the platform with best-in-class technology partners like Google Cloud and AWS, as well as keeping your website running at all times Good functionality.
In this WP Engine hosting review, we'll cover what makes WP Engine stand out, including its features, pricing, and customer service. In addition to all of this, we'll also explore WP Engine's platform like it uptime/downtime, security measures, and whether you can choose the location of your data center. Read on for our WP Engine review to learn more.
WP Engine Review: Products and Features
ngine mainly provides WordPress hosting services, but they are broken down into multiple products. For example, you might want to choose an ecommerce hosting product where WP Engine installs and manages updates to the WooCommerce plugin. On the other hand, you might just want regular WordPress hosting with hosting elements like PHP updates, caching, and site backups. No matter what your needs, it will appear that WP Engine has something for everyone.
Here are the products you can choose from:
WordPress Enterprise Hosting
Enterprise WordPress Platform
Agency and Freelancer Tools
Headless WordPress Platform
The vast majority of clients' businesses require basic WordPress hosting. However, it's not uncommon to need WooCommerce hosting, or even something like enterprise hosting, if you're scaling fast. We also love agency and freelancer tools for developers who need to deliver WordPress site builds to clients.
In our WP Engine review, we'll be looking primarily at WordPress features and WooCommerce hosting. Check out our favorite features below:
PHP, WordPress and Plugins
WordPress requires many updates if you host it yourself. From actual WordPress updates to PHP updates that pop up from time to time, don't forget to have updated plugins and themes for WordPress installed. The problem with all these updates is that you often have to do the upgrade manually - if you don't, it leaves your site open to security holes and bugs.
This is one of the reasons why managed WordPress hosting is so useful. You often pay a little extra for managed hosting, but it saves you time and protects your website (which could save you thousands, thousands, or millions of dollars in the future).
WP Engine hosting offers automatic PHP and WordPress updates on all of its plans. You can run your business on your own without continuing to use the WordPress dashboard to check for updates. It's all handled for you, so security and bug fixes happen automatically. WP Engine also sells automated plugin updates for an additional fee. We don't like this surcharge, but at least WP Engine offers options. Just expect to pay $3-17 per month depending on your plan (Pro plans already have plugins including updates).
Regardless, our WP Engine review email list shows that the host makes sure WordPress, PHP, and plugins are all up to date.
Customizable themes and workflow options for building your site
Building a website on WordPress usually requires a theme and some plugins, maybe a drag-and-drop builder and a hired developer if you want to go the highly customized route. When making a self-hosted WordPress site, these elements often have to be brought together. So you need to pay for plugins for website builders, web hosting, WordPress themes, etc. You need to build the functionality you need.
WP Engine reduces many of these expenses and the mobile part by offering free WordPress themes, workflow tools, and even integrations with the most popular website builders. The online store pricing plans also feature ecommerce-ready WordPress themes to ensure you can build an online store in minutes.
Now, themes don't suddenly make you a website designer, but they certainly help. You no longer need to hunt around for premium themes to buy, and there are various tools for designing your website, launching your WordPress site with one click, and integrating with other popular tools like CRM and payment processors.
The great part about premium themes is that they are StudioPress themes, one of the most famous brands of WordPress themes and frameworks for building powerful blogs, online stores, and business websites. You can use these for free and launch your website with the Genesis framework and it won't cost you anything extra because every WP Engine customer can use them. If you don't like the themes, you can simply turn to another theme developer and still install something online from elsewhere.
One-click staging site and backup
Developing a website usually involves working in a staging environment where changes you make don't appear on the live front-end version of the website. Staging is essential for all WordPress development operations, for example, if you want to test a plugin or theme, or if you plan to add things like new promotional banners to your store's homepage. All of these changes should go through a staging process to see how they look, how elements affect the functionality of your site, and possibly send these changes to stakeholders before publishing.
We're excited to see all this staging environment accessible to WP Engine users. This means you can view your website in its current form, allowing you to run final tests before launch and see its functionality right away. This can help you make a stronger website, avoid breaking your website, and give you time to spot bugs or content errors. After the staging process, WP Engine provides a one-click solution to push these changes to the live environment. You don't even need any development experience as it's all handled in a user-friendly dashboard.
Ongoing security measures and threat blocking
Aside from speed and pricing, security should always be one of the top priorities when looking for a web host. Premium hosts, like those that offer VPS, cloud hosting, and managed hosting, tend to focus more on security because they don't simply put all client websites on a shared server. WP Engine is no different in this regard as it provides consistent security protocols to scan your website, identify threats and block them when they arise.
Additionally, WP Engine features features like disk write protection, disk write limits, and user enumeration to block actions that might cause problems with your website. We also like how WP Engine has a list of disallowed plugins, reducing the chance of some poorly coded plugins crashing your site or causing conflicts with other plugins or themes.
Probably the most important part is that WP Engine users place their websites in a dedicated hosting environment. You don't share with hundreds of other websites on one server, so your resources are isolated from other files. WP Engine has partnered with some of the biggest names in the game, including AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Google Cloud Platform, to ensure that the actual servers are in secure locations, they are physically protected, and have proper cooling systems installed.
Overall, our WP Engine review shows that the host has enterprise-grade security systems that all users can use. This includes backups, firewalls, DDoS protection, malware monitoring, and free SSL certificates you install on your ecommerce store. Pair that with a dedicated server and WordPress updates, and we feel WP Engine is pretty much the safest hosting solution.