WP Engine Hosting has kind of taken the hosting world by storm. The company is new, having only been in business since 2010. But they have shown they are ready to compete with the largest hosts in the world. But how do they compete–or maybe even excel past competitors? They raise their prices! And they focus on WordPress hosting, since this is the leading CMS on the internet.
Many hosts offer the lowest possible price for their service. How do they compensate for this? How do they make up the difference to turn a profit? They sell more hosting per server. Here is an example to see how it works.
- If it costs a host $50/month to keep up a server and they sell 50 x $5/month hosting packages, they will profit $200.
- If it costs a host $50/month to keep up a server and they sell 20 x$5/month hosting packages, they will only profit $50.
Do you see why it would be in a host’s best interest to sell more/server? (While this analogy doesn’t always still hold true because many hosts have a “cloud” of servers, you get the idea.) WP Engine’s cheapest plan is $29/month, which is much higher for other hosts offering similar packages. This does not mean you are over-paying for service. I have personally researched and found numerous reviews that show a large decrease in page load time after switching over to WP Engine from other competing hosts.
What’s the big deal with load time anyway?
There are a couple reasons why a decrease in load time should be a top priority for site owners, particularly those who are business-owners and make money from their online presence.
- One of the Google ranking metrics is site load time. This comes straight from Matt Cutts–Googler in charge of the algorithm.
- The longer your customers have to wait for your website to load, the less likely they are to purchase hosting from you. It may seem like a fraction of a second wouldn’t make much difference, but it does. Especially if your customers are navigating several pages on your site.
WP Packages Available
Here are the packages available from WP Engine:
For small to medium sites, the “Personal” plan should be sufficient. Even if you aren’t sure, you can start with this plan and see how it works. The great thing about WP Engine is that they will not suspend your site, even if you go over the 25k visits/month. They will work with you to upgrade your plan.
For those with larger sites, the “Professional” and “Business” plans are available. If your site gets more than 400k visits/month, you can contact WP Engine and inquire about their “Enterprise” package.
Pros: Reliable, Fast, Built-in Caching (no plug-ins needed), Daily Backups, Malware Scanning
Cons: Price, No add-on domains for personal plan, only compatible with WordPress
Overall: Great for business websites, well-established sites, and pretty much any site where speed is important. Note: they only offer WordPress hosting, so sites running on other CMS or hand-coded should find other hosting. WP Engine is one of those companies where you get what you pay for. You can certainly find cheaper hosting, but WP Engine understands that sometimes cutting costs means sacrificing quality. Plus all the built-in add-ons they offer make the higher price negligible. We recommend them if you are need a fast, reliable solution for a medium-to-large website.