WPEngine Review [2020] + $75 Bonus For Free

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David V worked for years to build his website brand. He finally started to get large amounts of traffic, his social media was taking off, and he was making money.

And then it all came screeching to a halt.

Any time he tried to load his site, he would get a 503 error. He contacted his host and they took three days to respond. They finally told him he was under a distributed denial of service attack - hackers were overloading his website, crashing it by hitting it 1.5 million times per hour.

And what's worse?

They didn't offer him any real solution. So David had to take matters into his own hands, and he fixed his problem with one change.

He switched to WPEngine. Within hours, WPEngine ended the DDOS attack, and he realized after that his site was now loading 4 times faster than before.

In this review, I'll help you see if you, like David, would be a good fit for WPEngine. I'll cover features, and give ratings based on who you are, rather than a 'one-size-fits-all' review.


If you decide it is for you, I'll give you $75 Wordpress Builder Scholarship for free

Let me explain:

After you sign up for WPEngine, I give you $75 to pay for other services and products you need to build your Wordpress site.

For example, some entrepreneurs and website owners have me pay for:

  • Facebook ads to get traffic to their Wordpress website..

  • Email marketing software to convert their web visitors into loyal fans who come back to the site with every email. 

  • Themes or plugins to turbo boost their site.

In other words, you can use the scholarship to grow your website, whether that’s with traffic, software, design or more.

All you have to do is buy WPEngine through the unique ExpertSumo link, which I will email to you - just click the yellow button and tell me where to send it.

Too Good To Be True Warning (Or, "What's in it for ExpertSumo?")

I get this feedback a lot... a free scholarship seems too good to be true.   Let’s crush that doubt with two truth bombs:

Truth Bomb #1: ExpertSumo is not a charity - I do get something valuable out of this.

Even though I am basically giving away $75, I still benefit financially in two ways:

Small Benefit: When you buy WPEngine through ExpertSumo, they give me a commission.

Big Benefit: $75 is a cheap investment to connect with a growing entrepreneur / website owner.

I will try to become your friend (prepare for me to lay on the charm and follow you on social media).

And as your business grows, I will offer services, promote your products, introduce you to my network, recommend other products you could buy, or people you could hire.

A real relationship with a successful entrepreneur is worth 100x more than a measly $75.

Summary:  You don’t need to trust my altruism.  You can trust my self-interest.

Truth Bomb #2: If you can’t trust ExpertSumo, trust other entrepreneurs I've helped:

Kathryn used her scholarship on advertisements.

Susan used her scholarship on a training course to learn web design.

So, before you read the rest of the review:

1. Click the yellow button and submit your information to opt-in to the $75 scholarship.  Do it now, before you forget. You won't lose your place or be redirected.

ALSO, there's no pressure to move forward or buy WPEngine - submitting your email is just taking advantage of a potential $75 opportunity if you DO eventually buy WPEngine.

2. Read the rest of the review after you've submitted your email.

3. If you decide WPEngine is NOT for you, respond to the email I sent you.  I will help you find the right product, and match you with a different scholarship you can take advantage of.

Okay, on to the review!

Table of Contents

Rapid Summary: What is WPEngine?

WPEngine is a web host that specializes exclusively on hosting websites built with Wordpress.

Their customers range from small blogs to large businesses, like AMD, Skype, Soundcloud and the Seattle Times. As of November 2019, they had over 400,000 sites on their platform.

Also, they don't just offer hosting to their customers. As part of their services, they also give each of their hosting customers dozens of premium Wordpress themes for free. Everything they offer is to make the Wordpress experience easy to manage, secure, and scalable.

BUT, they aren't for everyone. I estimate that over half of our readers on this page are NOT a good fit for WPEngine, which is why I split our ratings into categories below.

Our WPEngine Rating

Determine which category you fit into best to make your decision.

If you feel like you don't fit any, message me by clicking the blue message button in the bottom right corner of the screen and I'll help you out!

WPEngine for Bloggers

OVERALL: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.

PRICING: ★★★☆☆ - 3/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.


WPEngine isn't really a 4/5 rating... it's more like a 3/5 rating if you're brand new, and a 5/5 rating if your a bigger (or growing) site.

If you're new, the plan you're looking at is the startup plan, which has tons of features, and is limited at 25,000 visits per month. It costs $29 a month, or $350 a year.

That's pretty expensive when you compare it to a cheaper host like Bluehost, which is 10x cheaper at $2.95 a month. The WPEngine features are awesome, but might not be a priority when you're starting out.

But on the other end of the spectrum, WPEngine will save a larger or rapidly growing site a ton money in terms of hiring developers, debugging and more.

I personally have had two Wordpress sites crash because of a bad plugin. One sent me into a hours long panic as I tried to get my site up with my developer.

The other was on WPEngine, which meant that the crash never actually hit my live site - it was contained in their testing area they set up for each user.

Another note: WPEngine offers over 30 different premium themes to their users for free, which is great for starting bloggers who don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a Wordpress theme.


The main issue is pricing.

If your site is new and you don't expect it to quickly go viral, there's nothing wrong with cheap hosting. You can always migrate to WPEngine when you get bigger.

But if you have (or are planning on having) a large Wordpress site, WPEngine is a great choice. Again, WPEngine will help you migrate your site over to make the transition smooth.

Remember, if you decide to buy WPEngine, click the yellow button and tell me where to send your link so you can get your $75 Wordpress Builder Scholarship bonus.

WPEngine for eCommerce:

OVERALL: ★★☆☆☆ - 2/5 stars.

PRICING: ★★★☆☆ - 2/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★☆☆ - 3/5 stars.


WPEngine isn’t designed with eCommerce in mind, but it can be used to host WooCommerce, the Wordpress eCommerce platform.

WPEngine has their dev, staging, and prod environments as a feature (which I cover in more detail later), but this is helpful for a site owner who is WooCommerce who is frequently making tweaks and adjustments to their site.

They also have automated SSL certificates, which you need in order to take customer payment information.


You CAN use WPEngine to host your eCommerce site... but it doesn't mean you should.

I suggest Shopify to anyone who is looking for an eCommerce solution (and ExpertSumo also offers a bonus to Shopify customers).

Here's why:

WPEngine was built specifically for Wordpress sites, which are best used for content based websites.

Likewise, Shopify was built specifically for eCommerce. So go with them.

...unless you're absolutely in love with WooCommerce as your solution, then WPEngine is probably the host you should get.

WPEngine for News Organizations:

OVERALL: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.

PRICING: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.


WPEngine's features are built around how to manage a high traffic, constantly updating, content driven Wordpress site. Content heavy sites like news sites are the perfect match.

WPEngine will help a news organization scale as much as possible without a full time IT person on staff. Managing things like security, staging, CDNs - allowing the team to focus on content rather than tech.

That pricing difference between a full time employee and WPEngine is huge for growing news organizations working on slim margins.


This is a no brainer - buy WPEngine. And remember, get our unique link so I can help you boost one of your breaking news stories.

Side note: it's important to note that WPEngine doesn't do email management and some people comment on that as a negative for organizations, but...

...I honestly have no idea why anyone would want to manage their own email server instead of just pushing it to Google Apps. It's cheap and your news org is able to use Gmail for your business emails.

WPEngine for SMBs:

OVERALL: ★★☆☆☆ - 2/5 stars.

PRICING: ★☆☆☆☆ - 1/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.


WPEngine actively markets itself as a solution for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), and so you’d think they would have a higher score.

However, I graded this from the perspective of most SMBs I've worked with - their websites fall into one of two categories:

1. The online pamphlet. Some small businesses don't need a dynamic website, and their success doesn't depend on their online presence. They just need a professional looking website that explains a little bit about them and displays contact information.

Their goal is to set up their website and not deal with it again.

2. The lead generator. Most of the rest of the small businesses I work with need their website to do one thing - generate leads.

You can use WPEngine to create both of these types of sites, but the awesome WPEngine features don't matter as much for these kinds of SMB websites...


If all you need is an online pamphlet, WPEngine is too expensive - get cheaper hosting through Bluehost (and remember to get our Bluehost bonus).

And if you need a lead generator, then I suggest buying something specifically designed for creating lead generating websites. I suggest ClickFunnels (I have a ClickFunnels bonus too).

WPEngine for Enterprises:

OVERALL: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.

PRICING: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.


WPEngine makes sense for enterprise sized companies for three main reasons:

The easy-to-manage CDN, the security features, and the dev and staging environments make sense for enterprises because...

CDNs are important for high traffic sites, and you won't need to have someone from IT manage it. The security features are important for 'highly visible' targets, like the websites of well-known companies, and the dev and staging environments make sure there is no downtime when the codebase needs to be updated.


Buy WPEngine. Other large companies like Soundcloud and Skype are customers. And while there other alternatives to WPEngine on the market, not all of them have the same mixture of pricing and functionality.

For enterprise-grade managed WordPress hosting, they’re priced in the middle of the market while offering top-tier functionality and performance.

WPEngine for Agencies:

OVERALL: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.

PRICING: ★★★★★ - 5/5 stars.

EASE OF USE: ★★★★☆ - 4/5 stars.


WPEngine allows agencies to host multiple different clients on a single plan, as long as they spring for their growth plan or above, which starts at $115/month.

WPEngine likes to think of itself as a partner to its agency clients. They even offer a dedicated agency partner program which comes in a range of tiers and includes everything from access to their partner portal to featured listings in their partner directory, lead referrals and bespoke marketing campaigns carried out in partnership between the two companies.


WPEngine as a host for the agency itself is fine. WPEngine for agencies that are targeting clients with Wordpress websites is a great choice. It's a very good value-add service that takes up very few extra resources from your agency to manage.

WPEngine Pricing

WPEngine pricing ranges from $29.17 per month to $290 per month, with custom packages for larger sites.

They also offer risk-free 60 day trials so that potential customers can give the service a try before they commit to it.

And remember, ExpertSumo gives a bonus scholarship of $75 to all our readers who are new WPEngine customers, and you can't find this bonus anywhere else. So remember to tell me where to send your unique WPEngine link so you can claim the bonus.

WPEngine Startup Plan:

Price: $35 a month, or $29.17 a month ($350 a year) if you pay for the full year up front.

For smaller websites (less than 1,000 visits a day), looking for all of the WPEngine features.

Overage charges are +$2 per +1,000 extra visitors.


  • Up to 25,000 visits/month

  • 10 GB storage

  • 50 GB bandwidth/month

  • 1 website

  • 24/7 chat support

  • Global content delivery network (CDN)

  • Automated SSL certificates

WPEngine Growth Plan

Price: $115 a month, or $95.83 a month ($1,150 a year) if you pay for the full year up front.

For people who have outgrown the Startup Plan and need either more storage, more traffic, or more websites.

Overage charges are +$2 per +1,000 extra visitors.


  • Up to 100,000 visits/month

  • 20 GB storage

  • 200 GB bandwidth/month

  • 5 websites

  • 24/7 chat and phone support

  • Global content delivery network (CDN)

  • Automated and imported SSL certificates

WPEngine Scale Plan

Price: $290 a month, or $241.67 a month, ($2900 a year), if you pay for the full year up front.

This plan is the largest off-the-shelf plan that WPEngine offers and is designed for enterprises and companies that are experiencing rapid growth and which need a scalable web host to cater to that.

Overage charges are +$2 per +1,000 extra visitors.


  • Up to 400,000 visits/month

  • 30 GB storage

  • 400 GB bandwidth/month

  • 15 websites

  • 24/7 chat and phone support

  • Global content delivery network (CDN)

  • Automated and imported SSL certificates

WPEngine Custom Plans

Pricing: not listed - need to request a quote.

WPEngine says this is “for large businesses and mission-critical sites”, delivering high performance and managed onboarding to make switching your existing site to WPEngine a breeze.


  • Millions of visits/month

  • 100 GB – 1 TB storage

  • 400 GB+ bandwidth

  • 25 websites

  • 24/7 chat and phone support

  • Global content delivery network (CDN)

  • Automated and imported SSL certificates

  • Launch readiness assessment

  • Consultative onboarding

WPEngine Features, Pros and Cons

These are the most important features to look at when making your decision on whether to buy or find an alternative to WPEngine.

Free Premium WordPress Themes

Every WPEngine plan includes a selection of Premium WordPress themes worth over $2,000 in value. You still might want to create your own custom theme, but the majority of WPEngine users will be able to build their ideal website using these themes.

You can browse their gallery of themes before signing up to get a feel for whether any of them might be right for you, and they also allow you to sort their themes by categories, features and layouts.


These are free, and you'd have to spend thousands to get a similar collection of themes. Very few hosting providers add this as a benefit to their users.


You may want your own custom theme developed if your site is extremely complex. If you're looking for high quality designers and developers to help you, I suggest Toptal. I've used them before, and while they aren't cheap, they are great at what they do.

Backups and Staging Environments

Most web hosts only offer backups as an extra paid service, but at WPEngine they offer it for free as part of your hosting plan.

Backups are taken on a daily basis, and are stored for 30 days. They also make it easy for you to take backups of your own – something that I'd highly recommend.

As well as offering backups, they also make it easy for you to create a clone of your site to test and develop new features. This means that even if you do make a mistake and have to restore a backup, it doesn’t affect the main website.


Free backups and staging means you can always 'undo' whatever you've done to your website - which is critical if you're constantly updating and creating pages and plugins.


none, this is a great feature.

Free Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Caching

WPEngine speeds up each of their customers sites by integrating those sites with a global CDN and their proprietary caching solution, called EverCache.

If you aren't technical, the CDN speeds up your website by storing copies of your website data in data centers all over the world. Then when your visitor goes to your website, it automatically pulls your website data from the closest datacenter to your visitor.

Caching speeds up your website by quietly uploading parts of your site to your user's computer, so that when they revisit any page of your site, they only need to download the parts of the page that are new.

Using this system, WPEngine is also able to protect your site from DDOS attacks by re-routing bad bots away from your site.


While CDN pricing across all competitors is affordable, the set-up can be miserable if you do it yourself outside of WPEngine. The second biggest benefit is how much time you'll save trying to implement this when you go with WPEngine.

The biggest benefit is the jump in site speed you'll see. Site speed affects both your conversion rate, and your SEO. WPEngine will help you improve both by implementing these two tools.


WPEngine only allows you to use their specific caching system, so you're out of luck if you want to use another solution.

Advanced Security

WPEngine is fanatical about security. Each of their plans includes a range of built-in security features such as automated threat detection and blocking which automatically identify suspicious behavior.

The company’s employees even play an active role in future WordPress development by taking part in the community and providing feedback each time a core patch is developed.

The downside is that they also occasionally ban customers from using certain plugins if they’ve identified a vulnerability.

They’ll also automatically patch your core WordPress installation, which can help you to stay on top of security vulnerabilities but... that can occasionally cause glitches if you’ve heavily modified your site.

They offer automated backups and DDoS protection, too.


WPEngine is more focused on security than most of Wordpress hosting providers. And I personally have never experienced any security issues on my WPEngine sites (and I have on other hosting providers.


Their reviews of plugins and themes can be overzealous and cause false positives.

Some plugins are banned. And very occasionally their automatic updates can break code for highly customized sites.

No Email Hosting

This is not a feature, but a missing feature: WPEngine doesn't offer email hosting like most other web hosting providers. They can do some very basic email functionality, but even they suggest finding another provider.

I bring this up, because it's usually cited as a weakness of WPEngine but I think that's unfair.


You shouldn't be running your email hosting through your web host anyway - Use Google Apps to manage the email for your business.


None - this shouldn't be the reason why anyone would rule out WPEngine.


As you’ve probably noticed by now, while WPEngine has a lot to offer, but it's not for everyone. So I've created a couple of quizzes to help you to get a better feel for whether WPEngine makes sense for you.

Is WPEngine Right For You?

First, what's your hosting budget?


WPEngine isn't for you - the costs are too high. Instead, consider Bluehost, a great 'budget pick' for hosting.

They don't have the same features, and if you grow big, you'll end up switching back to something like WPEngine, but until then, it's a great, low cost choice for starting out.


WPEngine could work. The entry level plans are a management price ($35 a month), and you will save money based on the fact that WPEngine takes care of things like security, setup, and themes, instead of you having to pay for it.

And, that security and stability could cost you a lot more down the road if you get hacked using a different web host.

What is your technical skill level?


WPEngine is built with non-technical people in mind. They take care of security, CDN setup, SSL setup and other technical issues for your site so you don't have to.


WPEngine will actually help you a lot. If you're updating plugins or tweaking themes by yourself, you absolutely need their 'dev', 'staging', and 'production' environments feature.

This way, you can make your changes by yourself, contained away from your live site (in your test area), and check if any changes crash the site, before you ever go live. This saves you the panic of getting a real developer to come in an clean up your mess because you screwed up a child theme and your site went blank (speaking from experience).


WPEngine isn't targeted to the technical (despite it's very cool 'dev', 'staging' and 'production' environments features). If you're truly techy and you're looking for cheap hosting for a project, I'd prefer a solution more like Heroku, Digital Ocean or ec2.

So, does WPEngine seem like it's right for your business?

If so, make sure to claim your bonus from me before you buy by clicking the button below.

Is WPEngine Worth It?

WPEngine plans will cost you anywhere from $29.17 to $290 a month, based on storage, visitors, and other additional features. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to determine if WPEngine would be worth it for your business.

Business Model ROI - WPEngine is NOT a budget web host, which could be a problem if you are on a tight budget...

Which of these best describes your business?


WPEngine has a lot of features, but it is hosting built and priced for a business. Instead, consider setting up a free option like a Facebook page or Medium page, or using a lower cost host with less features, like Bluehost.


WPEngine costs a minimum of 1/10th of a penny per visitor. Using just Adsense on a non-commercial site might only earn you 2/10ths or 3/10ths of a penny per visitor (RPMs or $2-$3).

This would mean a huge percentage of your revenue is being eaten up by WPEngine costs. Find a cheaper host like Bluehost, or if you've got some technical skills, Digital Ocean or AWS.


If you think you can get high combined RPM rates (+$10) from your ad networks, then WPEngine is a great choice for you. Pick WPEngine. And remember to get your bonus.


Taking payments or personally identifying information makes you a greater target for security breaches, and WPEngine is great at managing the security of your site. WPEngine is a great choice.

Full Project Scope ROI: WPEngine provides features that other hosts don't. Are you getting a better deal by bundling these features with WPEngine instead of buying them from different vendors?

Which of these best describes you?


If you don't need any of these features, then it's possible that WPEngine is to complex for your needs. Consider Bluehost.


WPEngine provides a free SSL certificate, and installs it for you. SSL certificates prices can range from $4 to $200 a year. So if you are comparing WPEngine to another host that doesn't provide SSL certificates, remember that the free SLL certificate makes WPEngine cheaper than it appears.


WPEngine offers dozens of very high quality Wordpress themes, including a drag-and-drop builder theme. This will cost you hundreds of dollars to get this same quality of theme if you buy it outside of WPEngine.


WPEngine offers a 'dev', 'staging', and 'production' environment for you so you never accidentally crash your site. They also scan for vulnerable plugins. Consider that you'll likely need to hire a PHP develop at least once during your site's lifetime to fix a crash you might've avoided with WPEngine.


Wordpress site backup services range from inexpensive and time-consuming, to expensive and completely managed. If you site has a lot of content and customization, you have to have this, and WPEngine offers it for free.

So, does WPEngine seem like it would be worth it to your business?

If so, claim your bonus:

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of hosting plans are available?

WPEngine offers four different hosting plans:

  • Startup Hosting: $35/month for sites with up to 25,000 monthly visitors

  • Growth Hosting: $115/month for sites with up to 100,000 monthly visitors

  • Scale Hosting: $290/month for sites with up to 400,000 monthly visitors

  • Custom Hosting: Custom plans for sites with more than 400,000 monthly visitors

Going over traffic limits costs $2 per +1000 visitors.

Is WPEngine a scam?

No, they’re a reputable web host that’s seriously worth considering if you’re on the market for a more premium provider.

BUT, some users have been upset by their extra fees if you go over your monthly traffic limits, so remember you will need to upgrade as your site gets more popular.

Does WPEngine use cPanel?

WPEngine uses its own proprietary control panel to allow you to administer your account, but it doesn’t provide access to cPanel. Many of the same functions are still available, but if you’re unsure of anything then be sure to reach out to their customer service team to check.

Can I host more than one website with WPEngine?

This depends upon which plan you go with. Their startup plan only supports a single website, so if you want to host multiple sites then you’ll need to upgrade to their $115/month growth plan, which supports up to five different websites.

What happens if I exceed my resource limits?

If you exceed the resource limits that are assigned to you within your hosting plan, you’re going to have to pay an additional fee for the privilege. This is called “overage pricing”. For best results, upgrade your plan as you start to approach the limits instead of regularly paying overage fees.

Can I set up SSL certificates?

Yes! All of WPEngine’s plans include SSL certificate functionality by default. They even offer up a one-click installer.

Can I set up email accounts and/or register a domain name?

No. WPEngine requires you to register domain names and set up email addresses elsewhere, but personally I don't know why anyone wouldn't use Google Apps to manage their email - check it out here.

Can I set up an eCommerce site with WPEngine?

You can, but it needs to be a Wordpress eCommerce site - you'll probably need to use WooCommerce.

If you're trying to do eCommerce, I strongly suggest something specifically designed for eCommerce, rather than using Wordpress. My suggestion is Shopify, and I have a Shopify bonus for all our ExpertSumo readers here.

Does WPEngine have a website builder?


WPEngine offers dozens of premium themes for free to their users, including their Genesis framework. You can use Genesis to create custom Wordpress layouts without coding.

I think Genesis is slightly more clunky than other website builders, but it get's the job done.

Does WPEngine offer any guarantees?

Yes, the company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee to all new customers, and their SLA also guarantees a minimum uptime of 99.95%.

Are there any coupons for WPEngine?

WPEngine will occasionally run promotions, but ExpertSumo is the only steady promotion that gives you a $75 scholarship if you sign up for WPEngine with our special link - you just have to let me know where to send it.

WPEngine Coaching and Support

WPEngine offers each of their plans includes 24/7 text support from their WordPress experts, and the $115/month growth plan also includes round-the-clock phone support. If you need hands-on help from a developer, they can even point you in the direction of one of their partners.

They also have a couple of other tools and resources which are worth mentioning:

Speed Test: This tool is designed to help you to take a benchmark of how quickly (or not!) your WordPress site is loading.

Resource Centre: From blog posts to white papers and more, this section includes all of the company’s thought-leadership and documentation.

How to Get Started

There are three main paths you can take next:

Keep researching:

Deciding which web host to go with is an important decision. Go to the official WPEngine site to learn more, but before you do, remember to sign up for your bonus link so you don't forget to claim your $75 scholarship if you do sign up for WPEngine.

Go with one of the alternatives

Earlier in this article, I took a look at a few of the different types of customer that WPEngine serves and made recommendations of some alternatives when they’re not quite up to scratch. I mentioned Bluehost and Shopify several times.

If WPEngine isn't a fit, check those products out, and then come back here to claim the exclusive ExpertSumo bonuses I have for those products (Shopify bonuses, Bluehost bonuses).

Go with WPEngine (and get your bonus!)

If WPEngine is a good fit for you and you’re ready to jump in and get started, you can sign up through our link and claim the $75 scholarship!

if you still have questions about WPEngine then be sure to click that little blue question mark in the bottom right corner of your screen and drop me a message. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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