WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress.
While they have plenty of competition in both hosting in general and in the managed WordPress hosting vertical, they are still the market leader in many ways with broad name recognition and cutting edge features.
Several of the bigger brands such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, InMotion and SiteGround all now offer various flavors of “WordPress Hosting.” They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se – but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting services do differently is offer a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed / security and more on the website content / functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way – that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros / cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for.
I’ve used WP Engine for various projects since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine structured as pros / cons.