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…

wp engine real user review 2013

UPDATE: WP Engine announces Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promo this 2013!

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.

wp engine reviewClick image for larger view.

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.

The Pros

  • 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…

The Cons

  • 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.

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  • http://jenaisleonline.com/ Jena Isle

    Now, you’ve nearly convinced me. But $29 a month is too expensive for me. How much additional money did you earn? Just curious. Would it be enough to pay the hosting? :D

    • http://whatswithjeff.com jeff

      Way enough for my hosting needs. I don’t have a day time job anymore and I rely fully on my online business for a living. That’s why it is important to for me to have a reliable host. Every second of my site going offline is costing me money. So can’t afford that to happen. If ever my other sites would increase their traffic I am going to upgrade to a business plan since I will be migrating my other sites to WP Engine as well. :)

      • http://www.eyes4tech.com/ Arsie Organo

        I guess you are earning a lot nowadays Jeff that’s why you can afford your hosting plans. It’s almost the same price of having a CDN.

        • http://whatswithjeff.com jeff

          Hi Arsie!
          Long time no see (heard). Not really. perhaps I’m just earning what most bloggers here in Ph earns. I haven’t really cranked up my earnings. And I’m planning to focus more on affiliate marketing this 2013. It was a difficult decision for my to more from a shared hosting to a managed hosting. But the decision was just right. If I haven’t transferred, my site would probably be dying now. Or I might be paying a much higher fee for a VPS or Dedicated Setup.
          Are you still on a shared hosting? WP Engine’s professional plan has a built in CDN and other perks too. But right now I’m satisfied with their personal plan.

  • http://jenaisleonline.com/ Jena Isle

    By the way, thanks for your comment on my contest article on Blog Engage.

    • http://whatswithjeff.com jeff

      Thanks for visiting also Jena.

  • http://www.blogengage.com/blogger/ bbrian017

    What blows my mind is how your hosting company would take down your site with a 25% cpu usage when it’s not really that mad and I’m sure 100% it’s peaking not a constant usage. It’s great the plugin has managed to reduce the cpu usage. I have a dedicated server for blog engage the site you commented on earlier and I’m always hitting 45 – 70 [percent usage this is how servers work. The blog isn’t where the load comes from it’s the main site where the members submit their links.

    • http://whatswithjeff.com jeff

      That’s why I transferred. They said, it’s on their TOS but I didn’t bother reading it since I’m going to transfer anyway.
      Haven’t tried a dedicated server yet. I don’t have a site for that kind of hosting yet. Perhaps in the near future. For now, I am happy with a managed hosting for wordpress. Thanks for dropping by brian.

  • http://www.korreport.com/ Megan

    Thanks for sharing $29 a month is not that bad

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  • Luke

    Hi jeff. After reading your review I gave wp engine a shot. And you were right! I was impressed with their service not to mention the improvements that my sites gained. Thanks a lot man!

  • http://highperformancelawnservices.com/ Kamran

    Hi,

    Great Managed WordPress service in reasonable price. i like this services because it is loaded with many features.

    Thank
    Kamran

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  • Kris

    How is it you were able to sign up for the $29.00 plan? From the graph of traffic you are showing, you seem to be well above their limits for that plan and the next tier up.

    • http://whatswithjeff.com jeff

      Yes, I was above the limits already. But WP Engine was considerate enough to run my blog on the same plan for a few months, after that I moved to a higher plan to have more resources.

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