WP Engine Review: Super Duper Fast and Secure Managed WordPress Web Hosting

WP Engine

WPMU Rating

4.1/5

The Good

  • Super duper fast! Testing showed our test site was down for just 1 minute over the past 30 days.
  • All accounts comes with a staging area were you can test new plugins and themes.
  • Hacks are fixed for free.
  • One-click backup and restore saves you a lot of headaches.

The Bad

  • Hosting plans with WP Engine are expensive compared to other shared hosts. Expect your wallet to feel a little lighter each month.
  • The support team closes tickets too soon.

Our Verdict

  • Price: 3/5
  • Usability: 4.5/5
  • Customer service: 3/5
  • Speed: 5/5
  • Features: 5/5
  • Overall: 4.1/5

The Bottom Line

It's no surprise WP Engine has dominated the managed WordPress hosting space. The company promises speed, security and capability – and delivers.

While their services don't come cheap, you have to weigh up how much time you spend managing your websites compared to how much money you are willing to spend to reclaim that time. Despite my dissatisfaction with support, WP Engine is a fantastic hosting option for WordPress sites.

WP Engine: A Bit of History

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WP Engine team
WP Engine has been around since 2010 offering secure, speedy web hosting.

Headquarters: Texas, United States

Employees: 65

Founded in July 2010, WP Engine provides enterprise-level hosting and has quickly built a reputation as a solid and reliable managed WordPress host with a focus on speed, security and capability.

In November 2011, WP Engine raised $1.2 million in funding led by Silverton Partners, along with angels Eric Ries, Loic Le Meur, Dharmesh Shah, Jeremy Benken, Bill Boebel, Rob Walling. Automattic also made a strategic investment in WP Engine.

In turn, WP Engine was Automattic’s launch partner when it announced its VIP Support for Web Hosts program.

Last weekend, WP Engine entered the WordPress news space with its own offering, Torque Magazine, and surprised punters with the revelation it had bought out WP Daily.

Torque logo.
WP Engine has launched its own news site, Torque.

Editor Michelle Oznowicz announced the online magazine in a Letter From the Editor on July 26. She said her vision for Torque included a “fierce sense of editorial independence.”

“We are published by WP Engine, but I was brought on from the outside in order to spearhead and manage an autonomous publication, not to promote a brand,” Oznowicz wrote.

“Torque will not shy away from controversy. Instead, when we feature biased or opinionated pieces, we will always try to represent both sides of an issue.”

Cost

WP Engine offers four Managed WordPress hosting plans:

  • Personal – $29 a month – 1 WordPress install, 25,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 10 GB local storage
  • Professional – $99 a month – 10 WordPress install, 100,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 20 GB local storage
  • Business – $249 a month – 25 WordPress install, 400,000 visits a month, unlimited data transfer, 30 GB local storage
  • Premium – Customized plan with unlimited WordPress installs and unlimited millions of visits a month

Each plan comes with:

  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • Stage & Deploy with Git
  • Managed Upgrades
  • Daily Backups
  • One-Click Restore-Points
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • No Caching Plugins!
  • International Data Centers
  • Top-Shelf Hardware
  • Firewall
  • Malware Scanning
  • “Surprising” Support
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • No Lock-In
WP Engine 60-day money back guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with WP Engine’s services you can take advantage of the company’s 60-day money back guarantee.

CDN comes with the Professional, Business and Premium plans but is $19.95 a month with the Personal plan.

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The Professional, Business and Premium plans also come with SSL support and WordPress Multisite.

Dedicated IPs come with the Business and Premium plans but is $5 a month with the Professional plan and it’s unavailable with the Personal plan.

Telephone support is available with the Business and Premium plans.

The Premium plan also includes unlimited installations and dedicated hardware.

For this review, I signed up for a Personal plan.

Features

WP Engine offers some pretty tasty features:

  • WordPress-specific support
  • Hacks fixed for free
  • One-click backup and restore
  • Evercache technology
  • Site migration (for a fee)
  • Plans that are risk-free for 60 days
  • Staging area
  • WordPress deployment via GIT
  • Bundled CDN
  • You choice of data centre – Newark in the US, London in Europe or Tokyo in Asia
  • Curated plugins and themes

WP Engine takes security seriously, so much so the host has even put money on its ability to secure your website. No site is 100 per cent hack-proof, but if your WP Engine site is hacked they will cover the cost of cleaning up the mess. It’s the only web host I’ve come across with this kind of security guarantee and would no doubt give a lot of customers peace of mind.

WP Engine hacking guarantee
WP Engine promises to protect your site and even offers to un-hack your site for free.

Daily backups and one-click backup and restore are another couple of fantastic features that ensure if you screw up your website you can go back in time and fix it. Along with caching facilities, you don’t have to worry about installing third-party plugins because WP Engine looks after all of that for you.

Another fantastic feature is the staging area. Whenever you need to update a plugin or change your theme you can test it out in the staging area before it goes live on your site. It’s a place where you can break things without worrying about affecting your live site.

WP Engine is also the only hosting company I’ve reviewed that offers CDN as part of its base service. It’s a feature other hosts often bundle with plans for large site and if you want it for a smaller site you need to fork out extra cash. It’s definitely a feature that set WP Engine apart from other web host.

The only issue I have with WP Engine is that it doesn’t offer email hosting. The company uses the Google Apps service for its own email and recommends its customers do the same. The company also suggests Zoho Mail as a competitive alternative.

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The host also has a list of disallowed plugins that are banned because they “collide” with the solutions WP Engine has put into place as part of its services.

The list includes caching plugins such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache and backup plugins including WP DB Backup and WP DB Manager. While most users would be disappointed and even sceptical about giving up plugins they have used for many years to manage their site, there’s a certain trust you have to place in the functionality of WP Engine’s services. And in the long run, it means there’s another set of plugins you don’t have to worry about keeping an eye on.

The high cost of WP Engine services also takes into account potential spikes in traffic to your site. The company ensures users have enough resources to handle heavy traffic whereas if you were with another shared host you would overload your server and your site would go down.

Usability

WP Engine account page

The first time I logged in to my WP Engine account I had to hunt around for the login page and eventually found it buried at the bottom of the homepage.

Since signing up for a WP Engine account, the company has updated its account page. It’s heaps cleaner and easier to use compared to the old account page and includes information on the average number of visits to your site and bandwidth use as well as the host’s system status, links to the WP Engine blog and the company’s latest tweets.

The account page allows you to check the settings for your domain, CDN, redirect rules, backup points, error logs and phpMyAdmin.

It’s a simple user portal that provides only very basic settings because WP Engine takes care of the rest.

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When you sign up for an account you get a fresh WordPress install with Akismet pre-installed. Other than that, you get an SFTP account. You don’t get direct access to phpMyAdmin but you can use phpMyAdmin on your account page.

WP Engine hassle-free WordPress hosting
There are whingers out there who complain about WP Engine managing their site. If you don’t want managed hosting then don’t sign up for managed hosting.

I’ve read complaints on some blogs and review sites about WP Engine making changes to their users’ accounts without informing them. Did those users miss the part where WP Engine is a MANAGED host? If you want full control over your hosting, it’s best to avoid WP Engine and any other managed host for that matter. And when WP Engine makes changes to your account, don’t complain because you gave them permission to make changes the minute you signed up for an account.

Customer Service

WP Engine provides a comprehensive Support Garage filled with information tackling every aspect of their hosting services. There is also a support area where you can submit a request, but you have to login in with a username and password different to your account details.

WP Engine doesn’t offer live chat and phone support is only available on the Business and Premium plans.

It wasn’t long before I had to contact Support for help. The day after I signed up for a Personal account I received an email about issues with my credit card. I was sent a follow up email the next day and before I had a chance to respond or update my credit card details the ticket was closed after just 24 hours.

WP Engine Zendesk
You need to login to the Zendesk for WP Engine support tickets.

I went ahead and updated my credit card details but there wasn’t any kind of confirmation on the next page after I clicked “Okay” or even an email notification. So all I could do was hope for the best.

Well, my updated billing details didn’t work and I found out the hard way, or should I say our CEO James Farmer found out the hard way. I had used a company credit card and WP Engine had attempted to debit the card six times before the bank cancelled the card. James had attempted to use the credit card in Los Angeles after a long-haul flight (flying to LA from Melbourne takes a whole day!) and was left short of cash…

So I emailed WP Engine to find out why they were messing around with my billing. A support member said the billing address didn’t match the address on the test site’s account. I had used the same card to sign up for other web hosts without any problems so I was frustrated that the card wasn’t working due to whatever security measures WP Engine has in place for its transactions. I ended up having to use another card.

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I received a follow up ticket checking on my account the next day, but before I had a chance to respond the ticket was automatically closed. I found this incredibly frustrating, particularly as I’m based in another timezone. It would be great if WP Engine could extend the timeframe for its tickets.

Speed

I monitored the test site using Pingdom and I have to say, WP Engine’s uptime and response times were almost faultless.

Over the lifetime of the account, the site was up 99.99 per cent of the time, with downtime of just 8 minutes five times. Impressive. In the past seven days, the site experienced uptime of 100 per cent. And in the past 30 days:

WP Engine uptime

WP Engine’s uptime put other web hosts I tested to shame.

Response times were pretty good, but by no means the best.

Over the lifetime of the account the overall average was 747 milliseconds. The fastest average was 1093 milliseconds and the slowest average was 627 milliseconds. During the past seven days, the fastest average was 684 milliseconds and the slowest average was 1188 milliseconds. The overall average was 717 milliseconds. Over the past 30 days:

WP Engine response times

Disclaimer: In putting together this review, we bought our WP Engine review account just like any other customer – via the sign-up link on the homepage. We didn’t let WP Engine in on the fact we were reviewing their services to avoid any special treatment.

Have you used WP Engine? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

To read the reviews in this series:
To read the reviews in this series:

Image credits: José Goulão.

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Comments (49)

  1. I’ve used WPEngine for several projects, and I’ll add two comments:

    1. Their system is not built to handle medium-to-large multi-site networks. I migrated a network of ~500 sites to WPEngine, and ran into all sorts of issues. Most notable is that their caching layer can’t handle that many sites, and our only resolution was completely disabling it.

    2. Support is SLOW at best, and unhelpful at worst. I opened a trouble ticket on February 8th regarding the caching issue mentioned above, and gave up on February 22nd because we were unable to come to a resolution.

    Their infrastructure seems fine, although I certainly ran into issues, and like the article says, it’s not the fastest out there. I wouldn’t really recommend WPEngine to anyone.

    • I’d be curious what specific kinds of support requests you’ve found slow?

      Personally I’ve submitted 100+ support requests (half of those probably being request for git push) and support times have always been <24hrs, usually <1hr.

      Git push used to take 12-24 hours, but lately has been getting setup in 15-30 min!

      SSL with your own cert still can take a couple days, but SSL through WPE is super quick. Again this has gotten way faster in the last 6 months than a year ago.

      Every time I've had a site down situation (rare and almost always my fault) has been late a night and after I submitted a ticket I've immediately followed it up with a phone call that was answered by CK (9/10 times) or quickly returned (1/10). Seriously CK is like an angel in the middle of the night when I've done something stupid and can't even get in to sFTP or PHPMyAdmin. In all cases whatever my issue was got resolved on the call or very soon after by someone else.

  2. Ditto on the support…I’ve found it to be hit or miss. At times, I would get a response in several hours that was very helpful. At other times, it would take literally DAYS for a response. And, though I always try to write very clearly, there has been a few times where I was left with the feeling that the support agent had not read my ticket very carefully…which is all the more frustrating when you know it might take another day or two for the next go around.

    But overall they seem like a great group and I am satisfied with the hosting. I still recommend it to my clients (I have 4 or 5 on WPE so far).

    I love the staging area and use it a lot. One caveat: WPE’s backup service does not cover the staging area. I found this out the hard way when I accidentally pushed the production site into staging instead of the other way around, and overwrote about a week of work. FORTUNATELY I was using Backup Buddy (which WPE discourages) which saved the day.

    Thanks for the excellent review!

    • I’m glad you said that, because I’ve had the exact same experience: I submit a ticket, and then a day later I get a response that makes it seem like they didn’t really read the original ticket, or didn’t dig into the issue any more than the absolute bare minimum. It’s so frustrating, because you know that it’s going to take another whole day to get the next response.

  3. Hi Raelene – love the in-depth unbiased review.

    “It’s no surprise WP Engine has dominated the managed WordPress hosting space. The company promises speed, security and capability – and delivers.”

    It would be nice to see some competition out there – maybe that would bring the price down, but my guess is that newcomers use the same sort of pricing as WP Engine.

    Synthesis by StudioPress is just as expensive.

    Time will tell.

    • There is definitely competition in managed WP hosting, with more sprouting up every day. I’ve got to say having clients on all of them (Synth, ZK, Pagely & WPE) for nearly 2 years now. WP Engine is by far the best in terms of support and reliability.

      So much so we moved all our own sites and development sites to WPE. I used to think WPE was expensive but I’m come to appreciate what I pay for beyond just a fast server: namely solid continuous backups & Sucuri security monitoring.

      I’ve gotten to the point I never recommend BlueHost anymore as cheap hosting because by the time you make it secure (not DIY secure, managed secure with ValutPress, Sucuri, etc…) it’s more expensive than WPE.

      • +1 to BlueHost, or any other shared hosting for that matter, not being cheap once you secure it properly. Doing so takes 1) your valuable time and 2) your hard earned money. With the amount of time it takes to set all that stuff up, you’re better off leaving it to the professionals. Securing servers is what folks at Sucuri do for a living. Server tuning is what folks at WP Engine do for a living. Even if you’re a WordPress developer by trade, you don’t inherently do those things for a living.

  4. Loving the hosting reviews Raelene. I do wish they could all be listed together under one category or tag or something though. It’d be nice to see them all at a glance.

    Regarding this particular review, I think you nailed it. I’ve been using WP Engine for a few months now and I think I’m getting what I pay for. I feel very safe with my mission critical sites on their servers. The backup and restore features are rad. The new admin area is a big improvement.

    The support had me running in circles as well, though it we ultimately got where we needed to. To be fair though it was a pretty unusual issue I was having, and I have only had to deal with that one issue so far.

  5. Raelene, just curious. In other reviews you’ve mentioned which WP plugins were preinstalled on the various hosts. Which plugins does WP Engine preinstall?

    • 2 “Must-Use” plugins:

      Force Strong Passwords, and their WP Engine System plugin for WP Engine-specific services and options. They also have “Limit Login Attempts” hard-coded into their WP installation.

      In addition, they also add a mandatory “WPEngine” admin user.

  6. I will say they are the only host on which I tell my clients they don’t need my security plugin (Better WP Security).

    They know their work well and they implement that knowledge better than anyone out there.

  7. I’ve been using WP Engine for over a year. Every one of the 530k pageviews has been delivered in sub-second response. So your sense of speed in the review is right on.

    I know there were a few issues with support recently because of growth, but I never had an issue with the price because of the quality and speed of support I’ve gotten over the last year – from CDN to SSL to Caching questions.

    Before posting I did a bit of quick research on my support requests and I’ve submitted 26 tickets – so about one every other month. Now some of those were simple requests. Others were the 3 times it was down (< 15 min).

    Each time I received prompt replies by folks who had read the issues and were reacting. About 15 were resolved with a single interaction. That's fast and much better than my experience with other providers, including more expensive ones.

    In the end, their price is justified by the uptime – 99.97% for me with a single instance of an hour. I've been hosting sites for almost two decades and the price point for that level of service is a bargain.

    • For comparison’s sake:

      I’ve submitted 15 support requests. 7 of those 15 were solved on the same day they were submitted. Longest ticket length (submission to close) was 14 days. Average length was over 2.5 days. 2 tickets were never resolved.

      • I’ve submitted 6 and all were resolved within a couple of hours but one that took 2 days as a combination of me filing it over a weekend and asking the wrong question… which we eventually figured out.

        Not to mention the 10 or so other tickets my clients have submitted and even with my telling them what to put in responses (or what to submit in the first place) they have all been resolved within a couple of days, and most the same day.

    • I’ll add my comment as a reply to Chris’ because he’s such a smart guy!

      Seriously, though. I take a little bit of issue (very little, and in a constructive way) about the con of cost.

      Forgetting everything else, if you ever have an issue, or a plugin update takes down your systems, or whatever, you simply roll back to the last checkpoint and go. It’s so simple, anyone can do it. I look at it as paying for piece of mind, as paying insurance, however you want to phrase it.

      I’ve used Page.ly too. Support is a little more convoluted – there’s more than one place to get support, and though they do a backup every night, I have to email them for a restore. They also insert their own support system between me and my customers (who use Page.ly) which I don’t like, and again adds too much complexity.

      With WPEngine, any time I update a plugin I’m prompted to make a restore point (or opt-out). It’s so simple and having access to it without having to place a support request is great.

      By the way, I’m a page.ly reseller, and it’s a fantastic way to create a customer offering and provide a very high level of services that bundles hosting. I think WPEngine “only” does referral/affiliate types of commercial arrangements.

      David

    • I am very intimate with the support team at WP Engine. This isn’t because I work for WP Engine. On the contrary, they work for me.

      In the past 2 years I’ve asked (and had answered) 113 support tickets for various things on 48 WordPress installations. Some tickets span minutes, while more complicated troubleshooting tickets can take days to conclude. I can’t recall a single closed ticket where I felt like my needs weren’t addressed.

  8. I’ve been using WP Engine for a number of client sites and for hosting my personal sites for the past 15 months or so and I haven’t had any issues with the hosting or with support during that time. I’ve even contacted support on behalf of my clients (for sites that they own), had WPE move an install to another user’s account, installed SSL certs… lots of stuff. They’ve even checked out coding errors in a theme to let my client know what was breaking their site.

    Response times to new tickets haven’t been immediate, but usually within an hour or two maximum. And I consider that to be pretty dang fast considering the quality of the hosting (uptime, speed, extras) and size of the operation.

    They’ve been taking on tons of clients in the recent months and I’ve heard/read Ben Metcalfe and Jason Cohen talk about new hires to keep up with that expansion. I think if you’ve experience issues with support 1) it’s probably more due to growing pains than anything else, and 2) WPE would probably like to hear about it directly so they can make adjustments. In all my experiences with them it’s been a strong customer-first focus.

    The pricing is higher than what you’ll get with a Dreamhost or Hostgator… but the hosting is also *so* much better. And that managed part of the whole thing is so good for my clients who don’t have a sysadmin or dev on hand to fix things. I’d rather not sell service packages because of how much time that eats up… I’m happy to let the WPE staff handle those requests.

    • I was a bit disappointed with the support I got, but hopefully things will get better because it can be a deal breaker for some people when looking for hosting.

      A lot of people have had good experiences, though, as a lot of comments here show. Mine was just one experience, so it’s good to see what other users have experienced and compare.

  9. I’ve been on WPEngine for (what I think has been) 2+ years now, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve moved through their plans as my business grew, from their single site plan on up, and I am now on their “call for pricing” premium plan. I currently manage 50+ client sites, which I check for software updates every week, and I need a solution where I can do that efficiently. WPE makes that super easy, all the while having rollbacks if necessary….and trust me you need them.

    For a shop like mine, where we offer managed hosting as well as design and development, they have been the perfect partner…and very responsive with support. Granted, we are on a plan that comes packaged with a dedicated support rep, but I don’t recall every feeling like I waited too long. I guess if you are coming from one of the larger hosting companies, the instant gratification of speaking with someone on the phone is really great…but most of the time, they really don’t understand WordPress (i.e. you should install a caching plugin.)

    When we do have support requests, they are usually very obscure, and absolutely WP specific. The good thing about WPE support is that their staff knows WP better than I do, and know it well. So when shit goes really wrong, and I take the time to articulate the problem intelligently, I am able to work through the problem with someone who “gets it.” I think that is worth the extra money.

    Hope this helps. Saw a few negative comments, and I wanted to make sure we have a weighed out discussion here. I have nothing but good things to say about their support.

    @richstaats

  10. I find it surprising that numerous people mention bad support from WP Engine. It has been nothing but stellar for me.

    I usually feel bad when I open a new ticket because I’ve opened so many, though not because of any problem with WPE. All of my tickets have been around special cases with my own plugins or things that I have wanted to do that were out of the norm. They have always been immensely helpful.

    I have a ticket open with them right now about a bug that one of my plugin’s users is experiencing. It has nothing to do with my hosting account, but they’re still going above and beyond to help. That says a LOT.

    • I think it’s hard to judge any host by a few support requests. I know people that swear by GoDaddy because they had one positive support interaction… add my dozens of nightmares to the one good one and it’s a different story.

      I also think it depends on who is requesting the support. Not the case here, but I know people that think support is awful because they couldn’t/wouldn’t fix a broken plugin. What they expect is just crazy…

      That’s why while I love this review series, I value the support experience reported by those using a dozen hosts for multiple years over a small snapshot like this one. Here the really valuable data is the speed/response time/reliability info.

      • You’re spot on about the support experience people talk about in the comments of these reviews. It’s difficult to review a web host over several years (who has the time!), so it’s great to see so many comments here from people have have been with WP Engine a long time and can give examples of their experience.

    • It’s great to hear you’ve been well looked after! My experiences with support are just one example. I’m sure everyone has different stories about what they’ve encountered, so it’s great to have discussion in the comments.

  11. Dang! Sweet ass review! This is how ALL service providers ought to be reviewed imo.

    That said, I work with WPEngine on smaller sites and also with larger Education Enterprise level accounts and they handle the load well, from a performance perspective. Support has been responsive also. There have been times where additional support was needed, that I just wasn’t getting via email and was able to voice concerns on their FB community and my tickets were escalated as needed.

    The last bit, that I really can’t say enough about is how their team really steps up to help their customers out. In particular, their co-founder, Ben Metcalf. I reached out to him to help sort out a few concerns and questions I’ve been toiling away at with WPEngine. He got back to me in less than twenty minutes, got me in touch with someone who could help. That culture starts at the top, people.

    They walk the talk over there. Happy customer and they make me look good in front of my clients, too. Win.

  12. Nothing but a great experience with WP Engine. I’d be honest to say that the growth of the company has caused longer wait times on support, but that’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Humans run the company and humans work in the company so that’s a human problem.

    The benefit is that they wanted to find quality and expert level individuals for their support team. That’s a great value add to consultants like us.

    • I think Cody nailed it. WP Engine’s growth has created some instances where we might wait longer than we’d like. They’re hiring top-notch people as fast as they can to reduce the wait, though. In my experience, I’ve had a response to every ticket within a day, usually within a few hours. My longest ticket was 4 days and that was due to me getting the client’s SSL files gathered up.

      Even with an occasional delay, I would rate the service from WP Engine far above that I’ve had with any other hosting company. Add that to their performance & it’s a win all around.

  13. Thank you Raelene for taking the time to compile this awesome review! We’ve been reading your other reviews in anticipation of ours and appreciated the firm but fair way you’ve appraised everyone.

    From WP Engine’s perspective, we’re delighted the speed and uptime you received is in line with what all of our customers have come to expect and enjoy from us.

    Regarding support, on the billing issue we have very sensitive anti-fraud mechanisms in place and so if you did enter a credit card with an incorrect billing address this would have got flagged. I can’t comment on why that didn’t occur on other provider’s forms but we obviously take fraud very seriously, not only due to the financial impact but we also don’t want to host any content uploaded via fraudulent means.

    I stand by that decision and so while that did create a support ticket, 99.9% of our clients sign up with their correct details and experience no problems - presumably they are not reviewing us and thus trying to hide their address :) :)

    As other’s have mentioned, some support issues are really simple and easy to close. Others take longer, sometimes that’s because more experienced techs and WP experts needs to look into the issue. While that might take a little longer, it’s worth remembering that many other hosts will not even support many of the more complicated questions and WordPress-specific queries which we do.

    We’re also continuing to invest and grow our support team, usually by adding a new person every week – we’re up to 65 people right now (your review says 45, which is old. We have some other forthcoming announcements that should make support even faster.

    Finally it might be worth pointing out that another unique aspect of WP Engine’s managed WordPress offering is that wasn’t covered in the review is that we host many many Fortune 500s, brands, government agencies/depts, and large media sites. While other hosting companies claim they one or two, few have the range and breadth of large, significant Enterprise-type clients. I mention it because even if you are not an Enterprise customer, that level of quality and service cascades down to all plans and client levels and I think that is reflected in the positive comments above.

    Many thanks, Ben – co-founder WP Engine

    • Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      The credit card issue did cause a few dramas, though it’s good to know it’s because of added security.

      I’ll update the employee number :) How big are you planning to grow you support team? And what impact has adding a person a week had on the company?

      • The size of the support team will always track the size of the customer base, which is just growing and growing :) We win more clients, we employ even more support people (and sysadmins, billing, sales, etc).

        On growing so quickly: we have an amazing team and an inspiring company culture and so that helps keep us on the right track. I’d be delighted to talk to you more about it via email perhaps than a comment – I’m ben [at] wpengine etc.

        • Ben hi,

          Great service, but as mentioned earlier, could be a bit too expensive. You may see that due the price issue, the “best hosting” reward was given to page.ly.

          Would you like to offer us a good coupon for the pro / business programs. This could make us move our business to your service.

          O-

          • I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again and again, Page.ly is only cheaper on the basic plan. (And if you need FTP, then it’s the same price – which will if you are migrating).

            If your needs go beyond a single WP install, then WPEngine quickly becomes cheaper.

            The price comparisons of this review are misleading as the reviewer has only considered the intro level plans, and not even considered what even those plans offer (e.g. not FTP from Page.ly).

  14. I’ve been using WPENGINE since December 2011. I received a free account at the Las Vegas WordCamp. After a few tutorials and support questions, I had the hang of their system down. Then I started using the account as a test server. If it works on WP-ENGINE, it works anywhere. The company has a bad plugins list, and if I cant use them on WPENGINE I shouldnt use them anywhere else.

    I moved my site from Hostgator to WPENGINE the next day. I can have as many multisite installs as I want, all sub-directories if I want, where hostgator only lets me do One wildcard and one sub directory multisite install.

    Lastly, on their FB page, they are giving away awesome stickers and shirts and even pint glasses for chocolate milk. Not a lot of host are willing to do that. I’ll never leave WP-ENGINE!

  15. I have contacted WP Engine’s support exactly 9 times in the 18 months that I have been with them, and every single time they have handled the ticket in a way that exceeded my expectations.

    What stands out to me most is how Chrishaun handled my hot-headed remarks in one particular request. I was irritated about WP Engine moving from the 50,000 page views per month sports plan (mid 2012) to the 25,000 visitors per month plan. I felt like I was being had….

    Chrishaun politely and patiently explained to me how the 25,000 unique visitors per month could actually end up being a much better deal.

    Since that ticket, WP Engine support has also helped me track down an issue with the admin side of WordPress that ended up being in my theme and they have helped me fix an email formatting issue I was having with a plugin I developed.

    These guys go above and beyond with their support, and that’s why we love them so much!

  16. Best support I’ve ever experienced.

    14 tickets in 15 days. All satisfactorily resolved within a day or two.

    Interestingly, 14 different support agents which suggests a very big team of agents, thus their ability to respond promptly.

    I’ve found the more technical ones take longer for the initial response. E.g. I asked about a three way GIT sync and that took 25 hours to get a response.

    I haven’t had problems with them closing tickets prematurely, but they often mark them as solved on each response. But there’s no problem continuing the conversation.

    I’ve found because their support is so good, its’ made me more willing to submit more questions.

    It makes it feel like they are partners with a vested interest in my business.

    My business is developing WordPress plugins. And I know how tough it is to deliver consistent and reliable support. One day I hope my own support can be as good as WPengine’s.

    • Furthermore, I am in Australia, and I moved my work’s website from an Australian hosted VPS to WPEngine hosted in Japan, and load times are slightly faster.

      Had to move as site was crashing regularly because of MySQL timeouts which the host said wasn’t their problem to resolve – other than to suggest I bought even more resources. Was already paying $94/mth for 1.5GB RAM, plus $50 per month for support.

      And I only have two sites so far and will be increasing to 7, so could see costs really ballooning.

      Haven’t had a single MySQL timeout since switching to WPEngine and, being on the $99 plan, it’s significantly cheaper than that VPS and will handle the 7 sites I need to establish. And traffic projections indicate the 100,000 unique visitors will not be an issue.

  17. Greetings. I find it necessary to bring up a few points that are glaring omissions in this review, especially in light that it is from WPMU reviewer.

    I have only been with those folks for a couple of months. My main complaint is what I consider a major one. You can judge for yourselves.

    So, before signing up for the $99 plan, I carefully read their banned plugin page. Since I try to use WPMU plugins exclusively, wherever possible, I was most interested to see the limitations. After careful perusal I decided I could live within their parameters. I even made a call to sales to make sure that my goal of installing a 6,000 Multisite set-up would be permissible. No problem I was told. I was actually made to feel that my 6,000 sites would still have me in the “lightweight” division. Not in an insulting way, but intended more to create a sense of security that I would not be taxing my allotted resources. After a 20 minute conversation all my fears were allayed and I paid my money.

    So, how long do you think after starting to build my site that I was informed that the WPMU Multi-DB plugin was a no-no?

    Now, this is where I consider their support to be some of the best I have ever received and also some of the very worst.

    I called them, livid about the inability to utilize this plugin. I was less than friendly, considerate or in any mood to receive any BS so early in the AM. I get to speak to Tony. I have had numerous support contacts with Tony from day one – and they don’t come any better. I would want this guy to be working for me. After Tony allows be to blow my top (BECAUSE IF IT WAS ON THE BANNED PLUGIN PAGE – I WOULD HAVE NOT SIGNED UP – AND YES, I’M YELLING!!!), he politely informs me that while he understands my frustration, it is basically misplaced, and here’s why:

    ====================================
    1. We can’t list EVERY BANNED plug-in.
    ====================================

    Well, kinda – you can. You start with a known list and you add to it, DAILY, as new plugins are banned. Can’t only means – won’t try.

    Additionally if you are having a conversation with someone about having a 6,000 Multisite set-up and they inform you that they plan to use WPMU plugins, possibly I’m naive, but I would think the Multi-DB plugin ban might just spring to the forefront of your brain and find its way into the conversation. Maybe. Perhaps I expect too much of my fellow humanoids?

    ====================================
    2. Our resources are so cutting-edge, so scaleable, so optimized for performance that for a 6,000 site operation, you don’t even need the WPMU Multi-DB plugin. Our system basically does what the plugin does, so it’s redundant and conflicts with our internal optimization scripts (I’m paraphrasing the jargon).
    ====================================

    A. I have been in sales all of my life, but I cannot tell if that’s a load of snow or absolute fact. I suspect that as in most things the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    All in all, excellent support attention. So, why was it also the worst experience ever?

    Everything that Tony so nicely spent 20 minutes explaining to me was 20 minutes of his time that was unnecessarily wasted. You want to take 5 minutes to un-ruffle my feathers, that’s fine. To spend the additional 15 minutes trying to explain something that I truly feel should have been listed on their banned plugin page was unnecessary. Additionally, had it been listed, I would have continued my search for a hosting company that does not impede my progress, without offering a viable workaround. When queried Tony did inform me that there were DB options employing Amazon S3 and others, but offered no documentation to assist me, but saying when the time came their people would help. Hmmmmm. Care to put that in writing, Tony. :-)

    Maybe I’m a bit persnickety, but the lack of forthrightness in the way all of these companies promote their wares, is extremely unsatisfying and frustrating.

    In closing, I leave you with this example of a sales inquiry to DreamHost on the DreamPress hosting – after reading on the sales page, “Use any plugins.”:

    ====================================
    On Wed, 31 Jul 2013, you wrote:

    Greetings. A few questions, if I may.

    1. OK for Multisite?
    2. OK for WPMU Multi-DB plugin?
    3. How many installations per $24.95?

    I am sorry but we do not support Multisite/WPMU on DreamPress – here are
    the details on the service:

    http://wiki.dreamhost.com/DreamPress

    Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Thanks,
    John R.
    ====================================

    Read that response very carefully to catch how woefully ignorant it is. do you see it???

    I rest my case, although I forget what that was by this point. Thanks for listening. – Frank

    P.S. Also, of course the theme I am trying to use has thousands of downloads and support for the theme indicates no problems on any other hosting company, yet pages of error logs on WPE and breaks my WP admin access. Is it me???

  18. I have been using WPE for multiple clients over the past two years and their service and support has been top-notch. All my clients have the basic plan with one adding a CDN. I can call or submit a ticket and get immediate response and service. Yes, there have been a couple times when I have to ask twice about my support ticket only to find out it was a little more complicated a solution than a quick reply. So could they have said, “it’s going to take us a little bit to figure this out, we will get back to you in 24 hrs”, sure, but it wasn’t a big deal.

    Price: My clients have had no problem paying a little bit extra for a superior product over most inferior shared hosting solutions out there. And really, we should all be paying more for hosting than $6/month.

    Email: I am so happy that they don’t offer email! They are sticking to their core-competency and being awesome at it. That’s the kind of solution my clients want. Rock Solid Hosting!!

    I love that they have a banned plugin list. Sure, it could probably be updated but the fact that they even have one is a sign that they know there is plugin-crap out there and that they are delivering a superior product that doesn’t need server-taxing plugins like many shared hosts do.

    These guys are awesome and I refer all my clients to them. I have never felt more confident about my clients sites as I do at WPE. And no need for Better WP Security plugin!! Restore points are awesome! Staging server via one-click install? Who wouldn’t like that?!

  19. I’ve been using WP Engine for about 6 months and the support has been absolutely terrible. When I’m paying top dollar for hosting I expect much better. I’ve submitted around 20 tickets and NEVER had one resolved the same day. Most times, I don’t even get a response for 24 hours. Many of them dragged on for several days and the longest was a couple of weeks.

    Their LargeFS storage system should have a beta designation. There are many problems with it and it essentially renders the staging feature unusable as they are not synchronized because your media disappears on the staging site.

    Based on your roundup I’m going to see about moving my accounts to Page.ly. Thanks for the reviews.

    • Jon, strange that your experience has been consistently bad. Mine has been consistently very good. Here’s a screen shot of my tickets list which demonstrates them all attended to promptly. All these were resolved to my satisfaction. http://d.pr/i/TZ5t

  20. I’m not that techy, so if my review helps someone other than a technical wiz, I’ll leave my two cents.

    I’ve used WP Engine for about 8 months. (I used Hostgator and bluehost previously.) I’ve had nothing but a great experience, with only 1 exception when a server required a emergency changeover and our sites were down for 1/2 a day.

    Other than this one experience, I’ve never had tickets closed too soon…in fact, most times they double check before closing them.

    Expensive? Yes. Definitely. That is the only drawback for me, but I’m new to multisite, and that was driving factor for my decision. They’ve been a great host in helping me out with my many questions.

  21. Been using WPE as my primary host for years now. When I started with the company, my ticket was answer by the founder himself, which I took as a good sign. They’ve grown quickly in the past few years, but the support has remained solid and fast. They’ve got a few tiers now, which sometimes slows the process a tiny bit, but they are usually quick to escalate and never leave a problem unsolved. In an emergency, they offer phone support, but are so quick on Twitter that I usually just fire off a tweet, knowing the problem will be taken care of.

    The price is worth noting, but only if you don’t care about your websites. I always tell folks if it’s a ‘real website’ that it needs to be on WPE. Period.

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