WP Engine Alternatives

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are many managed WordPress hosting services to choose from considering that WordPress controls most of the content management system market, with over 30 percent of all websites in the world running on it[1]. So, when a hosting service manages to stand out from the pack and convince countless WordPress users to choose it over the competition, everyone pays attention and hype starts to build up.

Being one of the best-known and most often recommended managed WordPress hosting services in the world, WP Engine has successfully grabbed its fair share of the WordPress market. But does WP Engine really live up to its reputation, or are there some WP Engine alternatives that are even better? Read on to find out which WP Engine competitors win best WP Engine alternative!

alternatives to wpengine

Alternatives to WP Engine

Looking for WP Engine Alternatives? These top rated WPEngine competitors provide premium managed WordPress hosting with great support, performance and pricing! There’s no shortage of managed WordPress hosting services to choose from, so let’s take a look at the top 10 best alternatives to WP Engine to see what each of them has to offer.

1. Siteground

SiteGround WP EngineFounded in 2004 and headquartered in Bulgaria, SiteGround is a large web hosting company trusted by the owners of nearly 2 million domains. It has data centers on three different continents, offering excellent global coverage and fast speeds. All data centers have their own power generators as the first line of defense against power outages, and onsite security personal guards against physical attacks and makes it impossible even for SiteGround employees to access important parts of the infrastructure without authorization.

SiteGround stores all files and databases on high-performance SSD drives, which are up to 1,000 times faster compared with traditional hard drives. Just like WP Engine, all SiteGround plans include a free CDN service, provided by Cloudflare. All users can activate it from cPanel, but there are certain limitations to it. For example, the free version of Cloudflare comes with only three page-specific rules, and it doesn’t include a web application firewall and various advanced speed features. The good news is that users can upgrade to Cloudflare Plus for a fairly reasonable price of around $10.

Thanks to its robust global infrastructure, SiteGround is able to offer an uptime of 99.99 percent, which should be enough to meet the needs of even the most demanding WordPress users out there. All servers are proactively monitored, and problems are typically fixed a long time before they can cause any serious harm, let alone downtime. SiteGround automatically backs up all files on its servers, and it also allows its users to instantly create backups anytime they need to.

Considering everything we’ve said so far, you might be surprised to learn just how affordable the managed WordPress hosting service offered by SiteGround is. Prices start at just $3.95 a month for 1 website, 10 GB of storage, and 10,000 monthly visits, and they go up to $11.95 a month for unlimited websites, 30 GB of storage, and 100,000 monthly visits, making SiteGround far more affordable and a better value than WP Engine.

Signup for SiteGround

2. Flywheel

Flywheel WP EngineFlywheel describes itself as a managed WordPress hosting service built for freelancers, enterprise teams, designers, and agencies. It was founded in 2012, and it didn’t take a long time to convince thousands of WordPress users to migrate their websites to its servers. Convincing them wasn’t too difficult because Flywheel has many compelling arguments that speak in its favor.

Instead of being a traditional hosting service, Flywheel is better described as a platform for building and managing WordPress sites. What’s the difference? Well, traditional hosting services require quite of a lot of technical knowledge to navigate. Yes, some are better than others, but they are all too complicated and confusing for someone who has never published a website on the internet or manually installed WordPress on a server.

Flywheel has built a beautiful and highly intuitive user interface to hide all the complicated bits, allowing anyone to create and manage a professional WordPress website with ease. Common WordPress themes and plugins are provided as convenient starter sets that can be installed with a simple click, and users can make changes to their sites without immediately pushing them to production thanks to built-in support for staging.

Besides convenience, Flywheel also offers an assortment of technical features that together provide the foundation of a reliable hosting service. They include protection against brute-force attacks, automatic WordPress updates, IP blocking, nightly backups, global availability, and fast speeds. Flywheel is tuned from the ground up for WordPress, and it shows in how the CMS performs. Pages load instantly thanks to Flywheel’s Varnish caching engine, which is custom configured for the needs of WordPress sites, and all popular plugins work without a hitch thanks to custom server configurations.

Even though Flywheel isn’t nearly as affordable as SiteGround, it’s still considerably cheaper than WP Engine. The most affordable single-site plan costs $14 a month, and it includes 5,000 monthly visits, 5 GB of storage, 250 GB of bandwidth, 24/7 live chat support, no overage charges, a free SSL certificate, and an optional CDN. Freelancers and agencies that would like to manage multiple WordPress installations can pay $92 or $229 a month for the Freelance and Agency plan respectively or request a made-to-order plan.

Signup for Flywheel

3. Kinsta

Kinsta WP EngineOur third most favorite WP Engine alternative is Kinsta. This popular managed WordPress hosting service started in 2013, when it was founded by veteran WordPress developers who wanted to improve the quality of WordPress hosting by offering a more secure, stable, and fast service at prices most WordPress users could afford.

While Kinsta is definitely secure, stable, and fast, it’s not exactly affordable. The cheapest plan costs just $5 less than the cheapest plan offered by WP Engine, $30 a month, and it includes 1 website, 20,000 visits, 5 GB of storage, and a free SSL certificate and CDN. Customers who would like to host 10 WordPress sites should be ready to spend $200 a month, and Kinsta’s prices certainly don’t stop there. Yes, it’s possible to get 2 months of service for free with annual payments, but even that doesn’t make Kinsta affordable.

The good news is that, just like with WP Engine, the steep prices are well justified. All Kinsta users benefit from its high-security network, which is powered by 18 global data centers and Google Cloud Platform, employing the latest technology to stop cyber attacks dead in their tracks.

With Kinsta, you don’t have to worry about your data or the availability of your site because full backups are performed at least once a day and all websites are checked every 2 minutes to see if they’re accessible from the internet. When Kinsta detects that something is wrong, they are always quick to act and transparent with their customers. All customer support experts employed by Kinsta are knowledgeable in what they do, and English is their native language.

One of the most often praised features of Kinsta is called MyKinsta. This purpose-built platform greatly simplifies website management by providing access to detailed statistics and common settings in one place. MyKinsta is a gift from heaven for all WordPress administrators because it allows them to manage WordPress sites with absolute ease and precision.

Signup for Kinsta

4. WPX Hosting

WPX Hosting WP EngineEven if you haven’t heard about WPX Hosting before, there’s a good chance that you know its CEO, Terry Kyle. Over the last decade, Kyle created many successful projects, including Traffic Planet, Backlinks Hydra, SEO Traffic Hacks, Backlinks Forum, Cloudboss Pro, Bluechip Backlinks, Monster Truck SEO, and Wayback Rebuilder, just to name a few. To say that Kyle is a legend in the SEO community would be an understatement, so there’s no wonder that so many SEO experts and practitioners trust his hosting service when they want to rank high in search engines.

Indeed, the main reason why Kyle decided to start his own hosting company was the poor state of WordPress hosting services back in 2013. To give WordPress users a better alternative, WPX Hosting provides superior page loading speeds through high-performance SSD servers that are well-equipped to handle even the heaviest loads. All customer support questions are answered by real human beings either via live chat or ticket support, and customer support is available at any time of the day or night.

When billed annually, prices start at $20.83 a month and go up to $83.25 a month. The most affordable hosting plan includes 5 websites, 10 GB of storage, 100 GB of bandwidth, and WPX Cloud CDN, which is a custom content delivery network created by WPX Hosting to guarantee blazing-fast loading speeds and flawless availability.

5. Cloudways

Cloudways WP EngineCloudways is an excellent managed WordPress hosting service for businesses and individuals who know what they’re doing. As far as we know, there’s no other hosting service that lets you choose between 5 different cloud infrastructure providers (DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform). Those with tighter budgets can go with DigitalOcean, which starts at $10 a month, while those with deeper pockets can pay $35.51 for AWS to enjoy what’s arguably the most scalable cloud infrastructure in the world.

The abundance of choice makes Cloudways perfect for agile teams that want to unleash their full growth potential without tying themselves down with inflexible infrastructure. With Cloudways, teams can get a website online in just a few minutes, scale it depending on their needs, and manage it with absolute ease.

Being a provider of managed hosting services, Cloudways takes care of everything from security to integration to monitoring, allowing its customers to stay focused on their goals. Most issues are solved with auto-healing restarts, and regular security patching ensures that all managed cloud servers are safe against malware and other cyber attacks. Thanks to built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL support, website owners can obtain an SSL certificate with a click to convince visitors of their trustworthiness.

6. DreamHost

DreamHost WP EngineDreamHost is a huge name in the web hosting game, but it proves that not all large hosting services are inherently bad. Founded in 1996, DreamHost now employs approximately 200 people and serves 400,000 customers. It boasts a high level of customer satisfaction, and its managed WordPress hosting plan, called DreamPress, is often recommended to WordPress users who want to save money on web hosting without making any major compromises.

With DreamHost, for just $2.59 a month, you can host a single website and enjoy perks such as unlimited traffic, fast SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, and pre-installed WordPress. Those who would like to host an unlimited number of websites can pay $7.95 a month for a slightly beefier plan that even includes a free domain name. All plans come with an astonishing 97-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to test the hosting through and through.

Should you ever decide that shared hosting is no longer enough for you, DreamHost can offer you several VPS hosting plans, fully-managed dedicated server hosting, and a wide choice of all-SSD cloud servers. In other words, DreamHost is a WordPress hosting service that can grow with you and always fit your budget.

Signup for DreamHost

7. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting WP EngineInMotion Hosting has been around since 2001, and it’s one of the most established names in the hosting industry. Perhaps because of its long history, the service has been able to perfect its infrastructure, and it now offers an uptime that exceeds 99.99 percent. Besides its excellent availability, InMotion Hosting is also known for its fast server speeds. If you care about search engine optimization and want your website to load as fast as possible, InMotion Hosting is a great choice how to convince search engines that your website is worth featuring on the first search results page.

You probably won’t need to visit the customer support center more than once to understand why InMotion Hosting is generally considered to be a leader when it comes to customer support. Multiple customer support channels are available, including live chat, Skype, and even a dedicated phone line, and the people who provide the support are all expertly trained professionals who know how to speak to customers and solve even the most difficult hosting problems.

InMotion Hosting starts at $7.26 a month for a hosting plan with a free domain, 1 website, 20,000 monthly visitors, 40 GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and a drag-and-drop WordPress page builder with countless free themes and plugins.

Signup for InMotion Hosting

8. HostGator

HostGator WP EngineHostGator is another big name in the hosting industry, hosting over 9 million domains for more than 400,000 customers. One reason why HostGator has been able to convince so many people to join it is the fact that prices start at just $2.75 a month. Even HostGator’s business plan, which includes unlimited domains, unmetered bandwidth, and a free dedicated IP address, isn’t too expensive, costing just $5.95 a month.

$5.95 a month is also what HostGator charges for its WordPress cloud hosting, which promises 2.5x faster load times thanks to a modern cloud architecture that leverages a powerful CDN. HostGator even created a custom cloud interface to help its customers get WordPress up and running as soon as possible. If you’re already hosting your WordPress site elsewhere, HostGator will help you migrate it to its servers for free, which may come in handy if your technical skills are limited or you don’t have the time to handle the entire migration process yourself.

HostGator is often criticized for its below-average load times and ample use of various pricing tricks. The prices we’ve mentioned? They include a discount that all new customers receive on the first invoice only, which is why they are so attractive. Most smaller hosting services refuse to trick their customers this way, and it’s a shame that HostGator isn’t more honest with its customers because it’s otherwise a pretty good service.

Signup for HostGator

9. Bluehost

Bluehost WP EngineBluehost was launched in 2003, and it’s owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), which owns nearly 100 other hosting businesses, including HostGator, PureHost, and iPage, just to give three examples. At the time of writing this article, Bluehost is powering over 2 million websites around the world, making it one of the 20 largest web hosting companies in the world. These days, customers typically prefer smaller hosting services, which are known to offer better customer support and greater reliability, but Bluehost shows that even large hosting providers can be recommendable.

Shared WordPress hosting with Bluehost starts at $3.95 if you factor in the promotional price for the first term only. The standard price of the least expensive shared plan is $8.99 a month when billed annually, $8.49 a month when billed every two years, and $7.99 a month when billed every three years, and the plan includes 1 website, 5 email accounts, 50 GB of storage, up to 25 subdomains, and up to 20 MySQL databases. The most expensive shared plan costs $25.99 a month when billed annually, $24.99 a month when billed every two years, $23.99 a month when billed every three years, and it’s almost unlimited.

Bluehost pleasantly surprises with its 24/7 customer support center, which provides live chat support and multiple direct phone customer support lines. You can expect your questions to be answered promptly, professionally, and in perfect English.

Signup for Bluehost

10. GoDaddy

GoDaddy WP EngineTrusted by millions of customers and employing over 6,000 people worldwide, GoDaddy is arguably one of the most recognized providers of web services in the world, and its marketing campaign and affiliate program have a lot to do with the success. Even though GoDaddy, is most popular as a domain registrar, it also has a lot to offer when it comes to web hosting.

GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting starts at $6.79 a month and includes 1 website, 10 GB of storage, up to 25,000 monthly visits, and a free domain name. The same plan renews for $8.99 a month, which is still not bad considering that all plans include pre-built sites and drag-and-drop page editor, free 24/7 support, access to free themes and plugins, automatic WordPress security updates, free daily backups, a one-click migration tool, and money-back guarantee.

GoDaddy is geared toward the average Joe, and you should be ready to encounter a large number of upsells as well as high renewal fees if you decide to go with GoDaddy. Perhaps due to its size, it usually takes GoDaddy a while to support modern technologies, but that’s to be expected from such a huge provider of web services.

Signup for GoDaddy

Migrating Away From WP Engine

Migrating Your Site Away from WP Engine

If you’ve just decided that WP Engine is not worth your money, you probably have a few questions concerning the migration process to another hosting service.

Will I Lose My Data When I Move Away from WP Engine?

No, provided you follow a few simple steps, you will be able to migrate your WordPress website to a different hosting environment without losing your data.

How Can I Migrate My Site Away from WP Engine?

WP Engine describes how to migrate a website to a different hosting environment on its website:

  1. Go to the User Portal and create a backup.
  2. Wait for the backup process to complete and click on the “Download Zip” option.
  3. Give WP Engine a short while to send the zip file to your inbox.
  4. When it arrives, download it and extract it somewhere on your desktop.
  5. Go to the new folder and delete the following files:
    • wp-content/mu-plugins/mu-plugin.php
    • wp-content/mu-plugins/wpengine-common/
    • wp-content/mu-plugins/slt-force-strong-passwords.php
    • wp-content/mu-plugins/force-strong-passwords/
    • wp-content/mu-plugins/stop-long-comments.php
    • wp-content/advanced-cache.php
    • wp-content/object-cache.php
  6. Upload the rest of your site’s files to your new hosting environment.
  7. Import the database found in wp-content/mysql.sql to your new hosting environment.
  8. To include your new site’s database credentials, replace wp-config.php with the default WordPress template.

You might also want to back up your FTP and do a couple extra tweaks, all of which are described in detail on this site.

Can I Move My WordPress Website Back to WP Engine?

Yes, it’s extremely simple to move any existing WordPress site to WP Engine thanks to its WP Engine Migration plugin. The plugin takes care of all the nitty-gritty aspects of migrating a WordPress site to WP Engine, and using it could hardly be any simpler.

WP Engine: What People Like and Don’t Like About It

WP EngineThere’s no doubt that WP Engine is a shining example of how excellent managed WordPress hosting should look like, offering a complete solution for bloggers, entrepreneurs, companies, and everyone in between.

There’s a Lot to Like

Over 90,000 customers in more than 140 countries have decided to go with WP Engine because they enjoy excellent speed provided by optimized servers, state-of-the-art security measures with real-time security threat detection capabilities, 24/7 customer support from expertly trained native English speakers who know what they’re talking about, daily site backups, access to a global CDN, proprietary caching technology, detailed performance reports, and much more.

Thanks to its partnerships with  Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, WP Engine is able to provide reliable managed WordPress hosting at any scale, making it suitable for anyone from small mom-and-pop shops to multinational corporations with thousands of employees spread across all continents.

WP Engine sees itself not only as a better WordPress hosting service but also as a better company. All companies are fundamentally about people, and no company can be truly great unless it employs great people and fosters great company culture.

That’s why WP Engine codified five core values that light the way for its actions. The company is committed to always doing the right thing, which includes learning from its mistakes, listening to its customers, and acting ethically, and remaining accountable. Customers are always at the center of WP Engine’s attention, and the goal is to turn as many of them into life-long advocates as possible by building lasting relationships and choosing long-term investment over short-term gain.

WP Engine is one of the most inclusive WordPress hosting services out there. 40 percent of its C-Suite is female, 30 percent don’t have a college degree, 29 percent are non-white ethnicity, and 8 percent identify as LGBTQ. No wonder then that WP Engine was selected as one of the best places to work for four years in a row by Austin Business Journal and for two years in a row by Austin American-Statesman, another major newspaper in Austin, where WP Engine is located.

Good Things Come at a Price

Since the very beginning, WP Engine has positioned itself as a managed WordPress hosting service that refuses to make compromises. Whereas most other hosting services start at less than $10 a month, the least expensive WP Engine plan will set you back $35 every month. What’s worse, the plan includes only 1 website. Clearly, that’s the price to pay if you want automated SSL certificates, access to a global CDN, 24/7 live customer support, and other useful perks, or is it?

Well, that depends on what your needs are. If you’re a business that wants to host a WordPress site but doesn’t want to employ someone to manage it, WP Engine is an excellent choice because its steep price is fairly easy to justify. However, the situation is completely different when it comes to people starting blogs, running one-person companies, or helping non-profits with building their online presence.

In those cases, it doesn’t make much sense to potentially spend hundreds of dollars every single month for features that are not really needed when a more affordable—which is not to say bad—managed WordPress hosting service would work just as well.

Conclusion

WP Engine is a fantastic managed WordPress hosting service, but its high price places it out of the reach of most ordinary WordPress users. The good news is that excellent alternatives do exist, and they’re not hard to find.

SiteGround is by far our favorite alternative to WP Engine because it offers fantastic speeds, impeccable reliability, and outstanding global coverage at only a small fraction of what you would pay for WP Engine. Both Flywheel and Kinsta stand out with their unique approach to managed WordPress hosting, and are strong competitors to WP Engine, however they are nowhere near as affordable as SiteGround.

Regardless of which WP Engine alternative you choose, keep in mind that you can usually get a better deal by paying annually instead of monthly. If you’re managing a small site with a more centralized user base, you most likely don’t need a CDN, so it makes sense to select a hosting service where you can choose it as an optional paid extra.

Signup for SiteGround

References

1. ^ Usage of content management systems for websites