I wanted to create this WPengine review in order to give you my own personal experience with them over the past 3 years. There are a lot of very detailed reviews of WPengine out there already, but I noticed the best reviews are several years old. So, as of October of 2017, here is my own personal WPengine review.
My Technical Expertise With Web Hosting
Before I get into this WPengine review, I want to set the record straight. This review is not for those looking for technical details or technical reasons why WPengine is the best web host for WordPress.
I don’t ever claim to understand the “backend” stuff or how web servers even really work. I’m just a marketer and a blogger, and quite frankly, I don’t want to spend my time worrying about computer code and web servers. So, if you’re a non-techie like I am and just want to focus on making sure your websites and blogs are in safe hands, this is probably the WPengine review for you.
As you’ll see later in this review, one of the reasons I actually like WPengine is they seem to be made for those of us who don’t want to have to deal with the technical side of things. While WPengine does certainly cost more than most web hosts, they also have a very good “hand holding” approach.
Why I Switched To WPengine Hosting In The First Place
But then the problems started. Just about everything a hosting company can do wrong, HostGator managed to do. My sites went down, they got hacked, site speed went from good to poor, and worst of all, customer service became nearly non-existent (think: waiting on hold for an hour only be to disconnected).
The reason I say that customer service was the worst part is because as someone who doesn’t know how to manage the backend of web servers, I was very reliant on getting high quality help from “experts” but HostGator really stopped coming through for me. I ended up having to spend so much money on premium plugins, site security services to prevent hacking, and freelance programmers to help me fix the issues I was having with HostGator that I might as well been using a more premium service.
Then, finally, I was receiving enough traffic that HostGator wanted me to pay a whole heck of a lot more for a “dedicated server” to run my sites on. By that point, I had enough and was ready to switch.
In addition to my experiences with HostGator, I used literally more than a dozen web hosts back when I was attempting to run a private blog network (PBN). I had nearly 50 websites all hosted in several different places including well known web hosts and very cheap unknown hosts. Let me tell you, those cheap web hosting services are a nightmare! It was one of the many things that destroyed my PBN. Simply trying to manage all the web servers was eating up my days.
Low and behold, I was just done with cheaper web hosting services. I wanted to go with a premium service.
Why I Chose WPengine Out Of All My Options
I learned a lot with my experience at HostGator. Since I knew so little about how to run the backend of web servers, I realized that I needed to have the absolute best of the best hosting my sites. If I wasn’t going to learn how to manage web servers by myself, which I had no interest in doing (still have no interest), then I needed to make sure those managing my sites for me were competent and more importantly, were able to address issues in a quick manner 24/7/365. I wasn’t about to sit on hold for hours on end again.
My decision into going with WPengine was made primarily on recommendations from those I work with who DO have a lot of knowledge of web servers and different hosting companies. I’m talking about websites that receive 20x the traffic all of my sites combined receive, and they were very happy with WPengine.
I also wanted to make sure I was going with a hosting company that ONLY dealt with WordPress. I wanted WordPress experts to be able to help me not only with hosting issues, but also specific WordPress related issues as I do break my WordPress sites from time-to-time (did I mention I’m not a very big “tech” guy?).
Of course, the price was relatively high, so I also wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have to go out and hire extra services like I was doing on HostGator. WPengine promised to provide me with everything from website backups to a CDN (content delivery network which increases site speed) to site security to staging areas where I could safely work on sites without breaking the live versions.
WPengine seemed to fit the bill on all of these things, so I went out and searched for WPengine reviews just like you’re doing right now. As I’m sure you’ve found out, not everyone has had perfect experiences with WPengine and a few of the realy negative reviews make me cringe, especially since I basically have to trust WPengine to do the right thing as my technical knowhow is low.
However, I noticed that the vast majority of people seemed to have an excellent experience with WPengine. All of these things, combined with personal recommendations from people I trust, made me finally pull the trigger on WPengine.
How My Experience Has Been With WPengine
When I first signed up with WPengine, I was on a shared server under the Business Plan (20% discount in that link). Eventually, my combined site traffic reached the 400k visitor limit, so I upgraded to the Premium Plan and got my very own dedicated server. I now have 27 installs on my dedicated WPengine server and over the past 3 years, I have experienced nearly zero issues.
The issues I’ve had have been extremely minor and the majority of the issues I’ve had have been my fault to begin with. They just come in and clean up the messes I’ve made.
When it comes to customer service, that’s where WPengine has really shined for me. I even had to call them up on Christmas Day last year and they answered my call right away and took care of my issue. I also usually work late at night – I might start at 6pm and stop working at 4am or 5am, so 24/7 customer support was important to me. WPengine has come through every single time.
I started off by mostly using their live chat support as I generally hate talking on the phone (weird personality trait), but I now find myself usually just calling up WPengine. They don’t make me feel like an idiot, they are obviously based right here in the U.S., and my issues usually get resolved VERY quickly and much faster than the chat support.
I’ve read in other places where people have complained about site speed, but I have had none and I have found their content delivery network to be as fast as promised.
My sites have NEVER gone down unexpectedly (not once in the 3 years I’ve used them, although there were a couple very short planned outages) and I have NEVER been hacked since switching to WPengine.
I guess what I like most about WPengine is 99% of the time, I don’t even have to think about it. Sometimes they send me emails stating they will be updating something, improving security, or switching me to a new physical server, but they take care of it all. As a non-technical guy, this is the most important thing for me. Just make it work and let me run my business. That’s what they do.
The below WPengine review video is not mine, but I agree with pretty much everything this guy says except for the customer support issues he’s had (I’m one of the guys he mentions who raves about their customer support). I thought this was a great comprehensive and honest video overview of the service though, so I wanted to share it here.
What I Don’t Like About WPengine
You know, I like to create balanced reviews. No product or service is perfect in my mind and they can all be improved, but I have really been very happy with WPengine. My biggest complain, of course, would be with how much they charge. Even their shared server plans are pricey, but my dedicated server is costing me about $500 per month. Of course, if you divide that by my 27 installed sites on WPengine, it comes out to less than $20 per site to be hosted on my own dedicated and fully managed server, so is it really that bad? It’s still pricey, but for me it has been well worth the lack of headaches.
If I was more of a techie, maybe I would notice more things that I feel could be improved. I noticed most of the complaints about WPengine are from those who have a lot of knowledge of web servers and notice coding issues or things that could be vastly improved.
They may be right, and honestly, I’d be none the wiser.
All I know is my sites have always been up, have never been hacked, and when I accidentally break something or don’t know what I’m doing, they are there to help me 24/7/365. Honestly, I don’t really care about what kind of code they are using or how they are managing my sites as long as they are safe, secure, and stay online.
Concluding My WPengine Review
As I’ve made very clear, I can’t give you the technical specifications about WPengine, nor can I tell you why their servers are superior in terms of how they code things or maintain the servers. None of that is within my expertise.
But for someone who needs his hand held when it comes to WordPress hosting, I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience over these past few years. Everything has mostly just taken care of itself in the background. What more could I want?