If you’re searching for handled WordPress hosting, 1 name you’ll probably notice is WP Engine. Many serious WordPress website owners rely on WP Engine to host their private, business, and enterprise wide websites.
Is it worth spending a more money for hosting? If you have been searching for honest WP Engine Reviews, here is my review of WP Engine and my firsthand experiences with using their hosting for the WordPress site.
What You Get with WP Engine
At the beginning of my review, I want to point out that when you purchase hosting in WP Engine you are obtaining a pure managed WordPress hosting plan.
Unlike many typical web hosting plans that have a domain name, email accounts, etc., WP Engine concentrates on supplying WordPress hosting exclusively–making them perfect for present WordPress sites that need a fully managed hosting solution with expert support, or for site owners who need an enterprise WordPress hosting plan.
That is not to say that you can’t start out using WP Engine for your first website. But just be sure to have your domain name and email available from a different source. After entering my information and registering, I got my welcome email.
Signing Up with WP Engine
When you sign up with WP Engine, you can choose your data center location (United State, United Kingdom, Japan).
And, though WP Engine states it may take up to 24 hours to your account arrangement to be finished, I received my Account Setup Completion email almost instantaneous!
You will be motivated to start after the procedure when you click on the Activation button in your Account Setup email.
Transferring Your Existing Site to WP Engine
To transfer your existing WordPress site over to WP Engine, you follow their Migration Checklist. You’ll be prompted to start following the process when you click the Activation button in your Account Setup email.
Here’s a list of the Migration Checklist measures:
1. Set up your SFTP access.
2. Enter your current site’s domain name.
3. Backup your site at your current web host.
4. Check to make sure you aren’t running disallowed plugins by WP Engine.
5. Make sure your WordPress Core, Plugins, and Themes are up to date.
6. Export your MySQL database from your prior web host.
7. Download wp-content folder.
8. Import database into WP Engine.
9. Import your wp-content folder into WP Engine using an SFTP client like FileZilla. (They recommend using a zipped version and then you click a button to notify support to complete the process.)
10. Preview your website at WP Engine to make sure everything is correct.
11. Synchronize your site—you only need to perform this step if certain content did not get transferred over.
12. Configure DNS. This is another step that may take some time to complete. Because WP Engine doesn’t use nameservers, the process may be different than what you’ve done in the past. I recommend you contact support via live chat and have them walk through this process with you.
13. Allow DNS to Propagate
14. You can optionally setup URL and domain redirects.
When utilizing the Migration Checklist procedure for moving a site to WP Engine was fairly straight-forward, there were a couple of minor difficulties.
To begin with, it was somewhat confusing as the initial block of tasks onto the Migration Checklists lists three steps (i.e. 1/3 tasks completed, etc.). But, there are only two checkbox tasks out there.
For example, after copying your zipped wp-content folder to WP Engine, you’re supposed to click a button to notify Support to complete process.
The very first time I tried to do this, nothing happened–not certain what the issue was. Later, I went back and attempted the notify button again and this time it worked.
I am happy to say that the process took less than five minutes to finish. Support Engineer Jason promptly answered with a detailed reply (see below).
Regardless of the above problems, the WP Engine Migration Checklist process for transferring your website is still an effective way of shifting your WordPress site over.
With a few other managed WordPress hosting programs, I’ve had a great deal of trouble getting my websites moved into the new server. Actually with one managed hosting program, I was never able to transfer my website over.
WordPress Themes and Plugins
Even though the vast majority of WordPress plugins and topics may be utilized with your site at WP Engine, be aware there are some that are now allowed because of a potential conflict with their proprietary technologies.
For instance, since WP Engine utilizes their particular EverCache Technology for increased rate. Therefore, caching plugins have been disallowed to prevent conflicts and sub-optimal performance.
Fortunately in my case, the only plugin there was in issue with was the Hello Dolly plugin which had been installed by default in my previous site. I really was not even aware that this plugin was there since it wasn’t activated.
Basically, the email claims that you have 7 days before the disallowed plugin will be automatically deleted. In this time, you can go ahead and delete the plugin by yourself and find an option.
Because I did not care about the plug-in, I went ahead and deleted it myself. The following dayI received an email thanking me for my prompt action.
Now WP Engine has obtained StudioPress, one of the biggest advantages of getting one of the managed WordPress hosting plans is the addition of free StudioPress topics depending on the Genesis Framework.
StudioPress themes are some of the most effectively coded WordPress themes out there. And, the best part is that you can still use the themes even in the event that you decide later to transfer your site to another host.
WP Engine Dashboard Interface
Though WP Engine uses a more text based control panel port, it is extremely intuitive and user friendly. They have included some animated audio walk throughs on particular topics.
Clicking on the Installs tab of the greatest menu permits you to access functions connected with your web site install.
The Redirect Rules choice on the left sidebar menu is especially convenient since it lets you define domain redirects without having to make the changes to your htaccess file. Plus, you can also get phpMyAdmin and your WordPress Admin area via the links on the left side.
WP Engine Backup and Restore
WP Engine’s backup and restore attributes gets high marks. Additionally, the Backup Points work allows you to manually set a new backup point–which is recommended before you make changes to your site. You also have the choice to download zipped files of your copies to maintain yourself.
Optionally, you might also unzip your information and restore yourself through SFTP.
Development and Staging of Your Site
Another fantastic advantage of WP Engine’s handled WordPress hosting is the ability to check out changes to your site at a staging place before forcing them out to a true manufacturing website.
To copy your live website for your staging area, go to the WP Engine settings area on your WordPress admin dashboard. Click the Staging tab, then click the Copy site from Live to Espresso button.
Depending on the size of your website, it can take a while before the staging area is made. In my situation, the process only took a couple of minutes.
When your staging area is prepared, you can click the hyperlink to get it. When you’re ready to move your changes to production, click the Copy Website from Staging to Live button.
So far, the WP Engine Staging Area has worked out really well for me. It is absolutely one of my favorite features. The practice is very fast and efficient. All of my changes from the staging area have been successfully transferred into production with no difficulties.
WP Engine Utilities
In the Utilities area of the WP Engine dash, you get access to extra functionality that includes:
Password Protection — Allows you to limit viewing of your site. Great for blocking robots and traffic from your website as you’re working on it during pre-launch phase.
Reset File Permissions — lets you grant access to files you have uploaded by resetting their document permissions.
Multisite – Allows you to convert your website from a single site to a multisite environment with subsites.
Cache Options — It is possible to disable or enable object caching, plus clear your page cache from here.
WP Engine Security
WP Engine uses some strict security measures with their customer’s websites as well as their hardware environment. Another advantage of the managed hosting services is they are actively and continuously scanning for vulnerabilities and contract along with other security firms for added protection–that permits you to concentrate on other things like producing good content for your website!
Free SSL Certificates
With your WP Engine hosting program, you get free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates which you can easily ask from your Install dashboard.
Performance at WP Engine
There really is a noticeable difference in my website speed utilizing WP Engine. The optimized environment together with their EverCache technology has enhanced my webpage loading times. I analyzed my site over at webpagetest.org and under are my results.
WP Engine Customer Support
WP Engine Support also gets a high score from me. I had to contact support a few times when I was transferring my site to WP Engine and that I could easily tell that their support engineers are aware of what they’re talking about and doing. Along with their expertise, I was likewise impressed by their promptness to solve any questions or issues I had.
WP Engine Transferable Installs and Billing Transfer
In addition to those who need fully managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine is also a great selection for developers who have to work on sites for their customers.
Together with the Transferable Installs attribute, you can create an infinite number of development sites where you could build and test a website out for your client. Then, once you’re ready, you can transfer this website to your client’s WP Engine account.
I truly think developers will love the Transferable Install feature.
Here’s an interview I recently did with David Vogelpohl, VP of Internet Strategy at WP Engine.
While the managed WordPress hosting area continues to grow with other businesses coming out with especially labeled WordPress offerings, WP Engine remains the leader in this category.
According to my experience using their managed hosting services, I must concur with many in the WordPress community that WP Engine is the ultimate solution for websites requiring fully controlled WordPress performance and service.
WP Engine’s focus is now on their new Digital Experience Platform. In conditions of their hosting programs, the Digital Experience Network contributes to more attributes being contained –albeit at somewhat higher costs.
Here’s a look at the current hosting plan lineup in WP Engine:
Regardless of the increase in pricing, WP Engine remains the overall leader in superior handled WordPress hosting in our opinion. And, we’re still able to provide you with a great discount! See below.
Backup Factors allow for easy backup and restore of site.
Staging Area is very good for testing out new changes to your site.
Proprietary EverCache Technology results in faster site performance.
Transferable Installs and Billing Transport are Fantastic for developers.
Some restrictions on plugins.