I’ve talked a lot about shared web hosting plans on this channel it’s the budget option when you’re choosing web hosting since you have to share server resources with other people but there’s a completely different category of web hosting usually referred to as managed or dedicated hosting where you get a server all of you owns that means no sharing. In this article, I want to talk about WP Engine a company that specializes in managed WordPress hosting can be the hero with low prices and amazing speed that’s able to make managed hosting the default choice? Or will it just be another black hole to suck all of your cash in the only way to find out is well to test out WP Engine plans! So, here’s everything you need to know before you buy.
wp engine prices
On their website, WP Engine claims they’re offering the best WordPress hosting based around a unique architecture that delivers speed, scalability, and security. On paper, this sounds amazing one little problem though their plans start at $25 a month and end at a staggering $828 a month.
First let’s make something clear if you’re a complete beginner this is your first website don’t even look at WP Engine It’s going to be overpriced and overwhelming for you it’s more meant as a tool for businesses e-commerce creative agencies or freelance developers if you’re a complete beginner I recommend you check out.
That being said if you’re familiar with hosting and you only need to create one website you don’t plan to create more these starter plans for $25 a month might be worth it for you the tools you get that I’ll cover a bit later will help you manage your website like a professional and remove a lot of manual labor and room for error the growth plan for $95 a month however is not worth it. It allows you to host 10 websites and in theory, it should work great for freelancers and small agencies the reality however is that there’s a major downside you barely get any resources to work with with the starter plan you get 10 gigabytes of storage for 1 website with the growth plan you get 10 times the amount of websites but only2 times the amount of storage see how there’s a problem…A measly 20 gigabytes of storage space shared between 10 websites is simply not enough on average this will allow you to create websites that take up around 2 gigabytes of space but here’s the problem an empty WordPress website already takes up from 500 megabytes to 1 gig so you just don’t have enough flexibility if you want to create something good.
If you plan to get WP Engine as a freelancer or an agency your best option is to buy the scale plan or above because with the scale plan you finally get enough websites to host as a business which is 30 and you get enough space and bandwidth to comfortably share the resources between all 30 websites while the $250 a month price tag might seem insane and honestly it is if you’re just hosting 1 website it’s actually quite cheap once we start to scale. If you’re hosting 20 to 30 websites that’s around $10 per month per website and you’re getting top-of-the-line performance so your clients won’t be disappointed would say that’s honestly quite a good deal.
Let’s spend some of that commission money and buy a WP Engine plan to test out I’ll get the starter plan for one 1website and I’ll perform all of the tests on it. I’ll also get the global edge security to see if it’s worth it and the smart plug-in manager just to make it a nice round of $700 for 1 year. One thing to be aware of is that Engine doesn’t even allow you to buy a domain name and you don’t get a domain name with any of their plans doesn’t even matter if you spend $100 or $1000 and this just goes to show that WP Engine isn’t really beginner-friendly Since you’ll need to buy a domain name elsewhere and then connect it to your WP Engine account
What to expert
Okay here’s how your dashboard will look after purchase it’s super simple and a clean design that actually I can get behind creating and managing your sites is also quite an easy task simply click the add site button type in the name you want to assign to the site and select which group it belongs to and this grouping tool shows that WP Engine is positioning itself as a service to manage multiple websites at once allowing you to create different groups for different clients or niches think of them as folders where you can put different websites in so you don’t lose track of which websites belongs to whom if that makes any sense I hope it does once you’re done filling in all of the information your website will be created automatically.
It will have a temporary domain name for example mine has emitreviewsite.wpengine.com and you’ll be able to access the WordPress dashboard right away Keep in mind, that WP Engine, as the name would suggest, Only allows you to use WordPress, but it’s a modded version of WordPress which comes with some “Quirks”. For one, you cannot install some plugins because they conflict with the internal systems of WP Engine it’s not a big deal it’s more to keep your site as fast as possible and reduce the risk of failure.
These mostly include caching, backup, and email management plugins. Okay so all of this is nice and good but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before so why the hell do these plans cost $25per a month for just a single website what are they doing special that shared web hosting plans just can’t offer? For one, when creating your website you’re actually getting three separate work environments one live version of your website called the production this is basically what the user sees at all times then you get the staging website it’s a copy of your production site users don’t see this site but since it’s a copy you can test any changes you make here before going live.
If something is wrong you would know beforehand and then there’s the development environment where you’re actually making all of the changes this allows you to work with multiple versions and multiple iterations of your website at the same time think of it like this. You make all of the changes on the development environment then you test those changes on the staging environment if everything’s okay then you move that to the live version and the user never sees any of your mistakes because well you tested for that. By the way, if you remember at the start of this article bought like $400 or $500 worth of extra tools to test out and I’ll get around to that a little bit later in this article.
Compare & Performance
But for now, I want to see how well the WP Engine base plan performs compared to something like shared web hosting to get a general idea of how well these$25 a month plans perform we first need a baseline something to compare it to. So, I’ve used my A2 Hosting and SiteGround shared web hosting plans that cost a little bit less than the WP Engine one around $15 bucks a month on average I’ve tested the exact same design on SiteGround A2 Hosting and WPEngine by creating demo sites. SiteGround loaded this site in around1.8 seconds A2 Hosting was pretty much the same coming in at 1.9 seconds However, WP Engine managed to load this site in 1.4 seconds 0.4 seconds might not seem like all that big of a difference but it trusts me it is a big difference it’s actually 22% faster and that’s with absolutely no users on my website at all. If we would scale the website up to thousands of users the 0.4-second difference scales together with the user account.
So, it’s a big deal WP Engine manages to offer better performance than shared web hosting plans even expensive ones in this case simply because you’re not sharing resources with other users, you’re getting the better, more consistent performance of your website for a similar cost that the top shared web hosting plans charge.
Just for fun, I’ve also sent some bots to my website to see how well it handles stress to be exact I’ve sent 50 bots for 5minutes to see if any slowdown happens during this period. To my surprise, yeah, a slowdown does happen and honestly, I wasn’t expecting this according to the tool that I’m using at50 users my website started to experience issues. Minimal, but still noticeable this shows that at least the cheapest plan is evaluated quite accurately and does perform best if you’re getting less than 25 000 monthly visits. I’ll be the first one to admit that 50 users don’t seem like a big number but it’s actually much larger than you would expect because this is 50 users at the same time you need to keep in mind that users usually stay on your website for seconds or minutes at a time.
So, keeping up constant 50 users on your website for all 24 hours while users keep leaving after like 10 or 15 seconds it’s quite a big accomplishment it needs hundreds of thousands of visits per month at least to keep these numbers I would say One extremely important feature when it comes to performance is the ability to choose the physical location of the server where your website files are being stored WP Engine has servers all over the world 7locations to be exact having your website files stored closer to your users will reduce the distance the information needs to travel and will load your site faster for that user and this isn’t some trivial barely noticeable speed increase sometimes having the server in the right location can mean seconds shaved of loading speeds for example here the bottom result is the test from the USA, the top result is the test from Canada. Same website, same design, different locations meaning different loading speeds
Okay so, let’s get to the juicy bits what are those features that I bought for $400 a year are they necessary, and are they any good the GES or global edge security is mainly used to reroute and sort traffic and helps defend against DDoS attacks a DDoS attack is when someone sends a bunch of bots to your site to make thousands of requests per second. Effectively draining your website resources so it either starts loading incredibly slow or crashes altogether. So, remember how previously we ran into issues with 50 bots on our website at the same time well imagine that just a billion times worse because these attacks can last for days and you’re getting hundreds of thousands of requests on your website every single millisecond and the worst part they’re not even that hard to do a teenager could look up a tutorial and mess with your website just for shits and giggles.
Global Edge Security makes sure this doesn’t happen by blocking bots changing your IP addresses using a firewall to sort through real traffic and fake traffic is it mandatory not but if you’re running a profitable website there’s always going to be people that want to hurt you. Competitors, ransom seekers, just bored teenagers all have the ability to take a crack at your site. So, extra security tools like these are highly recommended…IF you’re running a profitable website.
the other tool I purchased is called the smart plugin manager this effectively works as an auto-updater for your site it takes care of all the updates for your site automatically. But wait wait wait wait wait….. I can hear you asking.
Well, I can’t hear you but for this one very specific scenario let’s pretend that I do. Aren’t automatic updates a terrible idea for your website? Because you’re never sure if the update is compatible with other features on your website. In the past, I specifically had instances where my website would just completely break due to an update because suddenly things stopped working or started interfering with other things, and my website was just Nah I’m done with this I’m out.
Well…credit where credit is due the WP Engine engineers actually thought of this the way the smart plug-in manager works is it actually creates a copy of your site and tests all of the plugin updates automatically one by one on the copy. If everything works fine it goes ahead and updates the live version if you only have one site this tool is definitely not worth your money $100 a year for auto-updates is laughable. However, if you have like 10 or 20 or 100 websites this is an incredibly valuable tool in terms of security and time saved. Not having to manage updates for multiple sites by hand is definitely something your clients and you will appreciate.
Recommend WP Engine
I recommend WP Engine mostly to agencies freelancers or multi-site owners if you’ve never created a website before and you’re a complete beginner you will run into issues. So, I recommend you don’t choose WP Engine. And go with something easier like a stinger. They will take care of almost everything for you automatically leave a link for that down below. However, if you’ve created websites before if you’ve managed websites before and you want a fast, stable, feature-packed deal for your website the single website plan of WP Engine is worth a look. But only for small to mid-sized sites. Because you can’t really grow as the single site owner on WP Engine if you buy their more expensive plans it won’t make one of your sites faster. It will just give you the ability to host more websites and manage more websites if you just have one why do you need that if you actually want to grow one website to a largescale with a service like this I recommend you check out LiquidWeb, I actually have a review on my site If you plan to use WP Engine go ahead and use the links in the button down below to get a discount and help me make more content in the future. This really, really, really helps the site out. But for now, I hope you learned something I hope this article was helpful to you.