Don’t get me wrong. I was a WPEngine customer and I really love quality of the service. However, I soon realized that this hosting is not suitable for all bloggers. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t spend your hard-earned money for the service.
1. Expensive Plans
As WPEngine is a managed WP hosting service, we all should expect a higher price as compared to VPS or shared hosting. However, the price they are offering is quite unaffordable for most newbie bloggers. The cheapest plan, Personal, starts at $29 per month but it supports only 1 WordPress installation, 25k visits, 10GB of storage and you will have to pay extra $20 for CDN service. If you have multiple websites, you will have to pay $99/month for the Professional plan, it offers 10 WordPress installations, 100k visitors and 20GB of storage. The price goes up to $249/month for Business plan and even higher for Business and Enterprise plans.
2. Overage Charge
I feel like WPEngine is trying to scam customers in this case. When I contacted them for some pre-sale questions, they just asked me to check stats in my Google Analytics account. My site has the 73,024 sessions, 63,875 users and 91,508 pageviews in the last month. The customer staff suggested that I just need to look at the number of Users, so the Pro plan is suitable for my site and I even could add a couple more low-traffic sites to the hosting. I was so confident setting up my site on WPEngine and then I received a surprising bill at the end of the month. I had to pay extra $50 for overage visits.
After some research, I figured out that WPEngine has a different way to count a visit. You can read the complicated rules in this post. Notably, they count in a lot of visits from bots and images even though I enabled CloudFlare already. The visit count reached over 150,000 during that month and I was billed overages at $1/1000 visitors over plan. You can see that the total number of visits is almost twice the number of users shown in my Google Analytics account. So I had to pay $150 for hosting on WPEngine in 1 month, which is equal to 1 year of hosting on Digital Ocean.
3. Disallowed Plugins
WPEngine forbids some WordPress plugins because they collide with their service. If you are using one of the following plugins, you will need to remove or find alternatives: WP Super Cache, WP File Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WordFence, WP DB Backup, WP DB Manager, BackupWordPress, VersionPress, Broken Link Checker, MyReviewPlugin, LinkMan, Fuzzy SEO Booster, WP PostViews, Tweet Blender, Dynamic Related Posts, SEO Auto Links & Related Posts, Yet Another Related Posts Plugin, Similar Posts, Contextual Related Posts, No Revisions, Force Strong Passwords, Bad Behavior.
4. No DNS
DNS is the system translating domain name to IP address. Since WPEngine doesn’t provide DNS services, you don’t have nameservers and can’t host DNS records for your domain name. WPEngine recommends configuring DNS records with domain registrars or using CloudFlare.
5. No Email
This is actually a minor issue because most of us are using email services powered by Google Apps or Zoho Email service.
Those are just a few downsides of hosting on WPEngine. If you have a good budget, this is undoubtedly among the best hosting services out there. Are you a WPEngine customer? What do you love and hate about the service.