Start your WP Engines!
Updated June 11, 2016

Start your WP Engines!

Robert Allen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with WP Engine

We use WP Engine as a host for client sites when their needs justify the feature set. For our high-end clients, having a managed host is the obvious choice, and WP Engine is priced as the premium provider of those services. For clients looking to make a living from their website, the security and stability of WP Engine makes it an essential tool.
  • WP Engine makes development incredibly easy with their built-in live/staging server features.
  • WP Engine handles backups and some software updates automatically, which reduces the amount of manual management dramatically.
  • The user interface is not very intuitive, which means new staff members require more training than I'd like.
  • The way they manage production/development servers and FTP access is somewhere between nebulous and tragically unique.
  • Their premium pricing is surely worthwhile, but it is significantly higher than virtually all of their competitors, without much obvious distinction in feature sets.
  • Some very basic features like spinning up a second instance require a PHONE CALL to their BILLING department to enable. What is this, 1990?
  • WP Engine reduces our time investment and upkeep costs which increases our margins.
  • WP Engine simplifies site management with a built-in development server, which saves us headaches.
  • WP Engine itself is positioned as a premium service, which allows us to use their branding as a tool to close sales.
By usability, DigitalOcean wins. I love DigitalOcean for a lot of reasons, but their setup process is clunky and their feature set is fairly limited. Their setup requires technical competence but after that they are a breeze to work with. For what they do, DigitalOcean is perfect. WP Engine is in a different class. Their products are aimed at somewhere between novices and experts depending on the specific feature, their UI is clunky and clearly designed by engineers, but their customer support is excellent. This is an odd comparison given the distinct feature sets.

By features, WP Engine wins. There is no comparison. DigitalOcean is a simple server with simple functionality and stellar hardware. WP Engine is a complex product with a ton of bells and whistles, though they run on dated hardware (shared HDD instead of VPS SSD). DigitalOcean has virtually no features, WP Engine has all of them.
We recommend WP Engine for clients who intend to use their site to make a living, who want reliability and uptime they can count on, and who don't want to worry about hiring server security or upkeep experts. The cost savings of using WP Engine over hiring a server security expert is justification alone. However, for clients who want a simple site hosted as a 'brochure' for their services or cost is a constraint, we recommend using DigitalOcean.