WPEngine Review 2013: A Real Experience From a Customer
WPEngine Review: Can it really make your site perform better?
First of all, I just want to say that this WPEngine review is based on my actual experience with the WordPress managed hosting company. It’s not some cooked-up hyped review with false claims. In fact, this site itself is hosted on WP Engine. In this review, find out some details about the web host, why I transferred and decided to stay with them, the pros and cons, and my verdict about the company. Please do continue reading below…
Why I Gave WPEngine a Shot
Sometime in May and June, I was having some problems with my old web host company. The major problem was they took my site down for a while because of a violation of TOS. When I asked their support, they told me that my site was consuming a lot of resources, more than 20% of their CPU, and they had to take it down or suspend my account. They told me that it has nothing to do with my traffic (but I doubt it) and I need to uninstall some plugins that are straining their servers. But those plugins where essential to my site. That was also the time when my site’s traffic was increasing steadily. Then it happened again after 1 week, my site went down and it was supposed to be the day when I get to attract new visitors. I asked them what’s the problem this time and they said that again violation of TOS, and they took my site down again resulting to a lot of lost traffic and potential income. Not only that my SERPs was also affected. They suggested that I should consider a VPS or Dedicated Server. But I think my site was not ready for a Dedicated Server yet and not to mention its too expensive.
I had no choice but to look for another web host. Someone suggested that I should try a WordPress Managed Hosting since I am primarily using WordPress as my CMS for all my sites. I was looking for a WordPress hosting that could accommodate my site’s growing traffic, at the same time provide full support specially when it comes to WordPress. And comparing the different managed WordPress hosting, I decided to go with WP Engine with my two fingers crossed.
WPEngine was offering a coupon code (see the latest code here), so I gave it a shot. I tried the personal plan just for this site. It’s $29/month but since I used a coupon code I was able to save some money. Plus they were offering a 60 day guarantee just in case I’m not satisfied with their services.
I do not understand why others where having difficulty with the migration process, perhaps its because they are used to CPanel and WPEngine is not using CPanel. But I just followed the instructions found on their site and I migrated my site without any problems. I contacted their support and ask if everything was okay, then after they have checked it, they gave me a green signal. I just need to redirect my domain and point it to WPEngine since the domain is hosted in another hosting company. After a few days my site was hosted on WP Engine, I started to see some improvements. Traffic went up and my site was, surprisingly, faster than before. And it’s not even using CDN! See the screen shot below.
You can see the difference in my site’s performance before and after. The gap between my old web hosting and WP Engine was during the time Hostgator asked me to remove the plugins that were straining there server, including the Jetpack. That’s why traffic was not recorded. It was also the time I migrated to WPEngine. You can also notice the traffic spikes. It’s definitely beyond a personal plan could handle but they did not shut down my site.
What’s so great about WPEngine?
WP Engine is all about speed, performance and security. WP Engine has made my site’s performance faster, resulting in better SERPs, thus traffic also grew. Did you know that faster site performs better than slow-poke sites? Slow performing sites tend to have a low SERPs ranking.
I do not have to bother myself with tweaking using WP Super Cache or WP Total Cache. In fact, WP Engine told me to uninstall them, because they are the ones who will be taking care of that for you. It’s their job to make your site faster and perform better, and that it’s true until today. My highest record traffic so far was 73,607 views in one day. That will never happen if I am still with old web host.
WPEngine also takes care of you site’s security, making sure that you are protected from hacking, injections and other things that could hurt your site. I think those are the benefits of getting a fully managed WordPress hosting, without additional cost. You do not have to worry about managing your site. Everything is handled for you. The only thing that I have to worry now is getting more content for my site.
If you want to view the different plans and features included in WPEngine Managed Hosting you can check it here.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention before about the Staging Area, one of the top features of WPEngine. I actually created an article about Staging Area here. You can read from there if you can, but basically a Staging area is a place where you can create a copy of your site or take a snapshot of your blog, and place it in another location (“staging area”). Then you can make changes, test some things without affecting your live site. Pretty cool huh?! No more “site under construction” or “site under maintenance” if you want to change something. A really powerful feature which your typical shared web hosting service doesn’t have.
WPEngine Review: Pros and Cons
In a gist below are the pros and cons I observed during my stay with WP Engine.
- 99.99% Up time guarantee.
- Makes your site perform faster thus getting advantage over other sites.
- Customer support are friendly and can surely address you WordPress related problems.
- Highly Secure and Scalable.
- Staging Area
- No need to use caching or security plugins.
- Makes your site run and load faster even without CDN (for personal plans.)
- CDN is already included in Professional up to Premium plans.
- Can handle traffic spikes.
- They won’t suspend or take down your site even if your site’s traffic surpassed the expected average monthly visits.
- Cheaper solution compared to a VPS or Dedicated Server
- Fully Managed
- And lots more…
- There is no email hosting. But there are lots of free alternative.
- For those who are used to CPanel, WP Engine does not use CPanel. So you might need to adjust a little bit. But everything is simplified with WP Engine. No need to worry about complicated stuff. I’m not even sure if this is a con.
WPEngine Review: Conclusion
What can I say, I’m impressed and satisfied with their services. It’s true that WPEngine is more expensive compared to a shared web hosting. But it’s definitely cheaper compared to other managed hosting, VPS or Dedicated setup. If you are running a personal blog, a small business or even a medium sized business, that is based on WordPress, then WPEngine is definitely a hosting that you should consider. It’s a secure and robust WordPress managed hosting company that will make your site go faster like never before. I think my site has finally found a home and it’s with WP Engine.
If you plan to try out WPEngine today, be sure to check out their latest WP Engine coupon code.