WPEngine Premium Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine, a Premium, managed WordPress hosting company is one of the first companies we started covering.

They were also one of the first two Premium managed WordPress Hosting companies as far as we can tell.  We initially met their team at a BlogWorld 3-4 years ago.

A couple things we love about WPEngine…

  1. They are fast, bottom line, no doubt about it.
  2. They offer one of the easiest to use ‘1 click staging’ tools and they offer it standard on all their plans.

While their speed is excellent, they are a Premium hosting company.  Their prices set the upper limits of the scale in managed WordPress hosting.  Plus, starting in late 2013 they started issuing overage charges based on a metric they call ‘visits’, which include many things that require the server to respond.  The WP Engine classification of a visit does not match that of Google Analytics.

TIPS! – Essential to be happy with WP Engine (click to expand)

Run your domain name through a free Cloudflare account...
Protect against image hotlinking...
Run your images through a CDN...

Dig in and learn more about WP Engine

WP Engine faqs

Yes. Sometimes.

In general, WP Engine often offers a discount that provides 2-3 free months of hosting if hosting is paid at least 1 year in advance.

Right now WP Engine is offering a 3 month discount if you use the following code when you sign up for an annual plan:

OctoberPress14

wpe-octoberpress14-wht-300x250

There are some limitations on this coupon code for WP Engine:

  • The discount expires on October 31, 2014
  • It is only available for new customers that sign up for a Personal, Professional, or Business Plan.
  • Enterprise plans are not eligible.
  • People that are affiliates of WP Engine are also not eligible,
    • Ergo you can’t go out and sign up for an affiliate account, then sign up for a plan getting a 3 month discount along with an affiliate commission.

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Yes.

WP Engine offers one of the easiest to use 1 Click Staging tools we have seen so far.

The Staging site that is created is virtually a copy and a working copy at that of your entire site, running on a different sub domain url.  You won’t have to edit anything in mysql, nor will you have to play with the hosts file, setup a domain yourself or anything else.

When you are done testing something out on Staging, if you like you can push those changes into your live site.  There are several options available that enable you to only update files, such as theme or plugin files that have changed or been added, or only update database tables or both.

There are a few limitations.

The copy of the live site into the staging site usually only includes the most recent 12 months worth of images from the media library, aka /uploads/ folder in WordPress.  If you want more images in your staging site, you will need to transfer these via SFTP.

Plus, to our knowledge WP Engine does not offer the equivalent of a ‘File Manager’ as might be found on other hosts that use cPanel.  This means that you cannot easily copy files on the server from one site (live site) to another (staging site).  You will have to download and re upload.

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The number of domains depends on the plan, sort of.  Specifically WP Engine counts things based on the number of WordPress installs.

Ancient WordPress History – Usually one WordPress install is done for one domain.  But occassionally, especially in the old days of WordPress, it was not uncommon for a domain to have multiple WordPress installs running in different folders on the same domain.  Sometimes multisite, um sites still do this creating different sections within a single site on a domain.

1 WordPress Install Personal Plan

The entry level ‘Personal Plan’ only allows one domain.

TIP! Need just 2 domains?  It is possible to order or add on a second domain for an extra $14.95 per month.  Both domains will also have the ability to create staging accounts or sub domains. Although these domains will have to split the available number of visits for the Personal plan which is 25,000 visits.  That is not a whole lot of visits and visits are not measured the way Google Analytics measures unique visits so do be very very careful.

Up to 10 WordPress Installs Professional Plan

The Professional Plan allows someone to have as many as 10 domains.  These domains will have to split the available number of visits, which is 100,000 visits.  That averages to 10k visits per domain, which is not very much.  This is probably a fit for people that have one semi popular site and several other sites that get very little traffic.  From our experience we would categorize a site as semi popular if it has about 15-20k pageviews per month although that is a very rough estimate and we can’t be held responsible or liable if you try to use that to gauge your own potential activity.

Up to 25 WordPress Installs – Business Plans

The Business Plan allows someone to have as many as 10 domains.  These domains will have to split the available number of visits, which is 400,000 visits.

Enterprise Plans for everything else +25 or millions of visits

In general, everything else is usually going to fit under an Enterprise Plan, but if you have a specific exception or strange situation, you should talk to WP Engines pre sales people first.

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Nope!

You will probably need to source a separate email plan, maybe something like Google Business Apps or Microsoft Office 365 email.

We use Google Business Apps ourselves.

Google Business Apps starts at $5 per user per month and Microsoft Office 365 starts at $3.99.  Both include other tools and storage in addition to email hosting.

If you have a really old Godaddy account already, you might be grandfathered into their old email hosting options.  These can only be viewed when you are logged in to an existing/old account.  Officially they have discontinued their old email hosting plans which cost significantly less, offered many more email accounts, but didn’t offer the types of document and file sharing capabilities.

Plus we think that the spam fighting tools on the newer services of both Google Business Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are far superior.

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Yes.

They do offer managed WordPress hosting services.  In fact, their service might better be described as Premium managed WordPress hosting services both due to their price points and target markets and also for the mostly full service solutions they offer including 1 click staging, some of the faster servers in the managed WordPress hosting arena, and close attention to backups and security.

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No.

WP Engine does offer a migration service, which is managed through a third party.  It runs for about $300.

They do offer a guide to migrating your own site in the form of several very well crafted blog articles.  The guides are solid and anyone that has moved a site, worked with a DNS propagation or WordPress in general can probably manage them.  But unlike some competitors they do not offer either a free migration or free migration tool.

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Sometimes.

WP Engine offers a free CDN on Professional and higher plans that start out at $99 per month.

The WP Engine Personal plan that starts at $29.95 does not include a free CDN.  A CDN purchased via WP Engine can be added on for $19.95 per month.

TIP! Buy the CDN right away if images in search engines are important to your site. If you think there is a remote possibility that you may need a CDN for images, for example, then it is highly advisable that you purchase it when you launch your account with WP Engine.  If your images are indexed through search engines like Google Images and they identify the original file location url, its very difficult if not impossible to get the search engines to remove those images later when they are alternatively served up via a CDN.  This has led to additional overage charges on WP Engine in the past.

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No.

SSL certificates are not available with their personal plans currently.

SSL certificates are available with their Professional plans and higher.  They can be purchased via WP Engine for $49 for standard SSL and $199 for wildcard SSL certificates.  These renew yearly.

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If we have missed something important to you, or if some of our information is dated, we would love your feedback on how we might update our information or answer your questions more completely. Please contact us or leave a comment to make this happen!