Top Alternatives to WP Engine for Premium WordPress Hosting

in Comparisons, Web Hosting

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Are you in the market for premium managed WordPress hosting? If that’s a resounding yes, you’ll love today’s comparison post where I give you the best WP Engine alternatives ⇣

If you’ve been around WordPress circles for a while, you must have come across, one of the most popular managed WordPress hosts for all types of users.

Quick summary:

  • Best overall: Kinsta ⇣ offers managed WordPress hosting with cutting-edge features in terms of performance, speed, security, and reliability. It’s the #1 WP Engine alternative.
  • Runner-up, Best Overall: Liquid Web ⇣ offers plenty of affordable hosting options, including managed cloud, dedicated servers, VPS hosting, as well as managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting.
  • Cheaper managed WordPress hosting alternative to WP Engine: SiteGround ⇣ GoGeek plan is a cheap WP Engine alternative offering top performance, super-fast page speeds, tight security, and solid reliability and support.

Reddit is a great place to learn more about WP Engine. Here are a few Reddit posts that I think you’ll find interesting. Check them out and join the discussion!

WP Engine is not the only managed WordPress host out there. Many WP Engine alternatives are offering you all manner of features, plans, and prices.

Top WP Engine Alternatives in 2024

Here are the top 7 best WP Engine alternatives right now. I hope you find the perfect company to host and manage your WordPress website.

1. Kinsta

kinsta homepage

Kinsta is a brilliant company that provides premium WordPress hosting for everyone regardless of the size of your business. Their managed WordPress hosting solutions run on cutting-edge tech backed by exceptional customer service. The company was launched on Dec 1, 2013, by renowned WordPress developer and programmer Mark Gavalda.

Since then, Kinsta has grown into a large hosting platform that powers thousands of websites in over 128 countries around the globe. It employs 50+ talented creatives who are dedicated to offering you the absolute best service as far as WordPress hosting goes.

And customers, such as Becky below, have great things to say:

Absolutely fantastic – cannot rate highly enough in terms of speed, support, and UI. I went from WP Engine to Flywheel, then to Kinsta, and couldn’t be happier. – Rebecca Taubert

They offer a wide range of options and variable plans that are great for all businesses, small or large. Below, find a couple of features that Kinsta offers.

Main Features

  • Daily automated backups
  • Free site migrations
  • Ultimate speed
  • Google Cloud platform infrastructure
  • Redesigned and easy-to-use control panel
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easily upgrade or downgrade
  • 2 months free if you pay yearly
  • PHP 8, Nginx, LXD containers, and MariaDB
  • Robust security network including DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, SSL support, etc
  • Uptime monitoring with a 99.9% guarantee
  • Fabulous customer support provided by caring WordPress experts
  • 23 global locations
  • Cloudflare Enterprise integration
  • Staging environments
  • Self-healing technology
  • Ready my Kinsta review for more information

Kinsta Plans

Kinsta offers you 10 powerful plans. All plans come with free migrations and a hack-fix guarantee.

  • Starter plan that costs $35/month for 1 website, 25,000 visits/month, and 10 GB SSD space
  • Pro plan, which costs $70/month for 2 websites, 50,000 visits/month, and 20 GB SSD space
  • Business 1 plan costs $115/month for 5 websites, 100,000 monthly visits, and 30 GB of storage
  • Business 2 plan going for $225/month for 10 websites, 250,000 visits/month, and 40 GB SSD space
  • Business 3 plan that sets you back $340 per month for 20 websites, 400,000 visits/month, and 50 GB of SSD space
  • Business 4 plan at a monthly price of $450 for 40 websites, 600,000 visits/month, and 60 GB SSD space
  • Enterprise 1 plan, which comes in at $675/month, 1,000,000 monthly visits, and 100 GB disk space
  • Enterprise 2 plan costs $1000/month for 80 websites, 1,500,000 visits/month, and 150 GB of disk space
  • Enterprise 3 plan at $1,350 monthly, 120 websites, 2,000,000 visits/month, and 200 GB space
  • Enterprise 4 plan costing $1,650 a month, 150 websites, 2,500,000 visits/month, and 250 GB space
  • Custom plans for agencies and enterprises if you need more features

As you can see, Kinsta offers you a more extensive range of plans than WP Engine covering all types of needs, from small businesses to agencies and large enterprises, among others.


Kinsta Pros

Kinsta is without a doubt a leader in the managed WordPress hosting space. They offer a lot of advantages as a revered hosting service. Here are the pros:

  • Free SSL & CDN
  • Fast and secure servers (PHP 8, HTTP/3)
  • Powerful server-side caching means you don’t extra caching plugins
  • Hack and malware removal
  • Backup retention for 14 to 30 days
  • Automatic DB optimization
  • SSD storage

Kinsta Cons

While Kinsta strives to be perfect, they fall short in some areas:

  • No email hosting
  • No phone support, just live chat
  • No domain registrations – You’ll need to register your domain names with a registrar
  • Some plugins are not allowed

Why Kinsta is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives?

Why would you choose Kinsta over WP Engine? Well, it’s not a cheaper alternative, but it offers you more features and better performance than WP Engine. Additionally, it features an incredibly easy-to-use admin dashboard. Go with Kinsta if you’re looking for excellent website performance (speed and uptime), and ease of use.

2. Liquid Web

liquid web

Founded by Matthew Hill in 1997, Liquid Web is a reliable website hosting company based in Lansing, Michigan, United States. They have a great reputation and have over 32,000 customers and 1 million sites across +130 countries.

The website hosting platform offers a lot of hosting options, including managed cloud, dedicated servers, VPS hosting, VMware Private Cloud, as well as managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting. Their hosting solutions are perfect for any type of business, whether large or small.

Whether you’re a freelancer, agency, reseller, large enterprise, e-store owner, or app developer, you’ll find the perfect hosting for your needs at Liquid Web. They don’t offer shared hosting at all costs, meaning their managed hosting plans are a bit pricey.

Main Features

Liquid Web has been in service for over 20 years, which means they have perfected the art and science of website hosting. They are best known for the following features:

  • A wide range of hosting options (They have the biggest catalog of products I have seen today)
  • Fully managed web hosting services including security updates, software patches, and the works
  • Impressive page speeds using PHP 8, HTTP/3, PHP workers, and plugins
  • Website staging
  • Nightly backups that you can retain for 30 days
  • Free image optimization plugin that improves speeds
  • Premium tools such as BeaverBuilder, IconicWP, Jilt, GlewAnalytics, AffiliateWP, iThemes sync, and iThemes Security Pro
  • Free site migrations
  • 100% uptime guarantee or they’ll refund you 10X the amount
  • 1-click or automatic scaling
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Full server access and tons of developer tools
  • Industry’s best support with a 59-second response guarantee
  • A fully featured managed WordPress dashboard for easier site administration
  • Specialized WooCommerce hosting
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Check out my Liquid Web review for more details

Liquid Web Plans

Liquid Web offers you a great deal of website hosting products. For the scope of today’s post, however, we only cover managed WordPress plans:

  • Spark plan that costs $12.67/month for 1 website, 15 GB storage, and 2 TB bandwidth/month
  • Spark+ costs $39/month for 3 websites, 25 GB storage, and 2.5 TB bandwidth/month
  • Maker plan costs $79/month for 5 websites, 40 GB storage, and 3 TB bandwidth per month
  • Designer plan for $109/month for 10 sites, 60 GB storage, and 4 TB bandwidth
  • Builder plan for $149/month for 25 websites, 100 GB and 5 TB bandwidth
  • Producer plan, which goes at $299/month for 50 sites, 300 GB disk space, and 5 TB bandwidth
  • Executive plan that retails at $549/month for 100 websites, 500 GB disk space, and 10 TB bandwidth
  • Enterprise plan that sets you back $999/mo for 250 sites, 800 GB of storage, and 10 TB bandwidth

Managed WordPress and WooCommerce plans come with a free 14-day trial (no credit card required), meaning you can test the waters without any risk. But are there pros and cons?

liquidweb features

Liquid Web Pros

Liquid Web is a fantastic alternative to WP Engine, and here’s why:

  • High website performance thanks to PHP Workers, SSD, PHP8, HTTP/2, Let’s Encrypt SSL, and Nginx
  • Free image optimization plugin
  • Seamless scalability
  • Generous resources for lower-level plans
  • No limits on monthly visits and pageviews
  • No overage fees
  • No plugin or theme restrictions
  • Generous compensation for downtime
  • Cheaper beginner plan than WP Engine

Liquid Web Cons

As you’d expect, Liquid Web comes with some limitations that might keep you searching for a better WP Engine alternative.

  • Other than the Starter plan, Liquid Web high-level plans are beyond the budget of most beginners
  • No shared hosting – On the flip side, they can focus on their managed hosting products
  • Email hosting is a premium add-on that starts at $1 per month
  • No money-back guarantee

Why Liquid Web is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives?

The guys at Liquid Web have been in the managed hosting space for longer and have honed their tech chops to offer you an unrivaled WordPress hosting experience. Their entry plan is most certainly cheaper than WP Engine and offers you more powerful features dollar for dollar. Also, if you are interested in other types of hosting (not just managed WordPress hosting), you’ll fare better at Liquid Web than WP Engine.

3. Flywheel

flywheel homepage

Since 2012, the founders of Flywheel Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker, and Rick Knudtson have grown the company from a simple outfit to a renowned brand that’s now a subsidiary of WP Engine. Who would have thought we would be pitting a parent company against its subsidiary?

As of now, Flywheel has more than 200 employees and over 28,000 customers across the globe. The company is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. It has remote offices in other locations, including Portland, Los Angeles, Denver, Sunset Beach, Scotland, Stuttgart, Camberley, Ahmedabad, Melbourne, and Sidney.

Flywheel’s primary focus is to help web designers to forge forward with robust managed WordPress hosting. Flywheel offers stellar hosting services at competitive prices, one of their main selling point. On top of that, they offer Local by Flywheel, a proprietary tool that you can use to build and deploy WordPress websites quickly.

Main Features

Flywheel comes with a long list of amazing features. Here is a glimpse of what to expect:

  • Free SSL certificates
  • Powerful local development tool
  • Staging environment
  • Site cloning
  • Demo sites
  • Blueprints that allow you to replicate websites quickly
  • Automatic nightly backups
  • Free site migrations
  • Cloud platform
  • Fastly CDN and FlyCache
  • Global availability with data centers across the world
  • Superb support powered by friendly WordPress experts
  • All-in-One STFP
  • 30+ StudioPress themes
  • Genesis Framework
  • Seamless team collaboration tools
  • Billing transfer feature that lets you transfer billing to your web design clients
  • A project management tool that streamlines your development workflows

Flywheel Plans

Flywheel offers a clear pricing structure with plans suitable for small blogs, budding freelancers, agencies, mission-critical projects, and enterprises.

  • Tiny plan at $13/month for 1 website, 5,000 monthly visits, 5 GB disk, and 20 GB bandwidth
  • Starter plan that costs $25 a month for 1 website, 25,000 visits a month, 10 GB disk space, and 50 GB bandwidth
  • Freelance plan at $96/month for 10 websites, 100,000 monthly visits, 20 GB storage, and 200 GB bandwidth
  • Agency plan for $242 per month for 30 websites, 400,000 monthly visits, 50 GB disk, and 500 GB bandwidth
  • Custom plans for users with bigger needs

We always recommend going for a plan that suits your specific website needs. Gladly, Flywheel offers you enough options to cover the most demanding requirements. Let’s move on and cover some of the pros of hosting your WordPress website at Flywheel.

flywheel features

Flywheel Pros

Flywheel is an incredible managed WordPress hosting company that wins in many areas. Here are the pros:

  • Exceptional customer service with 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support
  • Robust cloud infrastructure that ensures consistently high performance
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Partnership with Sucuri ensures you have the best security for your WP site
  • If you’re hacked, Flywheel will fix your site immediately at no extra cost
  • Functional and easy-to-use interface made with designers in mind
  • Email accounts

Flywheel Cons

Flywheel is a great company, yes, but no one is perfect, so here are a couple of cons:

  • You cannot access SSH
  • Built-in Git deployment is unavailable, which can inconvenience some developers
  • Some plugins are not allowed

Why Flywheel is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives

For a company that is a subsidiary of WP Engine, the only significant difference is in the pricing. If you’re looking to host a single site on WP Engine, you’ll part with at least $30 a month. At Flywheel, you can either choose the $13-a-month Tiny plan or the $25/month Starter plan. Both hosting companies offer nearly similar features. I would go with Flywheel for the cheapest plan if I were looking to host a small website. There are no differences in pricing for the other plans between Flywheel and WP Engine.

4. SiteGround (GoGeek Plan)

SiteGround is a popular hosting company for many website owners whether beginners or pros. They offer a wide range of features and generous hosting packages that are ideal for all types of websites, big or small. The hosting provider also offers 3 managed WordPress and WooCommerce plans.

SiteGround competes favorably with other managed WordPress hosts thanks to top-of-the-drawer performance, super-fast page speeds, tight security, and 99.99% uptime. Additionally, they provide managed WordPress hosting at incredibly affordable prices, starting from as low as $7.99/month.

At the time of writing, they have a special price of just $2.99/month to get you through the door if you need only one website. If you need unlimited sites, you start at $4.99/month, which retails at $24.99 regularly. For the whole suite of features under managed WordPress hosting, you start at $7.99/month.

So, what do they offer at these great prices?

Main Features

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered traffic
  • Free WordPress installation
  • Free site migrations
  • WordPress autoupdates
  • Daily backup
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free CDN (content delivery network)
  • Free email
  • WP-CLI and SSH
  • Unlimited databases
  • 100% renewable energy match
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Staging + Git
  • On-demand backup copies
  • Speed-boosting caching
  • Collaborating tools
  • Priority support
  • White-label clients
  • My SiteGround review covers much more information

SiteGround Plans

SiteGround offers you three fantastic managed WordPress hosting plans. The most expensive of the three offers you the best value for money compared to WP Engine:

  • Startup plan at a special price of $2.99/month (regular $14.99/month) for 1 website, 10 GB web space, and 10,000 monthly visits
  • GrowBig plan at $4.99/month (regular $24.99/month) for unlimited websites, 20 GB web space, and 100,000 visits per month
  • GoGeek plan at $7.99/month (regular $39.99/month) for unlimited websites, 40 GB web space, and 400,000 visits per month
siteground features

SiteGround Pros

SiteGround GoGeek offers you a great deal as far as managed WordPress hosting goes. They offer a lot of features at a great price. What are the pros?

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Strong uptime since inception
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Multiple data centers in 3 continents
  • Super-fast web pages
  • Robust security features
  • Cheap entry prices (up to 60% OFF!)

SiteGround Cons

SiteGround is a fantastic solution for diverse hosting needs. Still, just like any other company, they come with cons:

  • Limited storage space
  • Higher price for the second term
  • Strict data over-usage policy

Why SiteGround is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives

SiteGround is a cheaper alternative to WP Engine, so it would make a great choice if you must host your website on a budget. However, you must be ready to pay yearly, to enjoy the huge discounts. If you want to pay monthly, you might want to consider another WP Engine alternative. All the same, SiteGround gives you excellent performance, speeds, security, and customer support.

5. Bluehost (Pro Plan)


Bluehost is a leading provider of shared hosting in the industry. The company has been around since 2003 and has continued to support more than 2 million websites all over the planet. Many beginners usually start at Bluehost due to their dirt-cheap prices, and persistent marketing efforts.

Their products include shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, shared WordPress hosting, e-commerce hosting, and, most recently, managed WordPress hosting aptly dubbed WP Pro. It’s Bluehost’s stab at a niche that is growing exponentially with competitors striving hard to provide better services.

Bluehost aced shared hosting, but can they win when it comes to managed WordPress hosting? Let us learn more.

Main Features

Bluehost Pro plan ships with the following features:

  • All-in-one hosting dashboard and marketing center
  • Email marketing, social media, and SEO tools included
  • Optimized performance for blazing site speeds
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 100+ free WordPress themes
  • Daily scheduled backups
  • Malware detection and removal
  • Domain privacy and protection
  • 1 Office 365 mailbox (free for 30 days)
  • Unlimited websites and domains
  • Staging environment
  • No traffic limits
  • Unlimited web storage
  • Find out more about WP Pro in my Bluehost review

Bluehost Plans

Bluehost offers you four managed WordPress hosting plans:

  • Basic plan that starts at $2.95/month (normally $10.99/month)
  • Choice Plus plan, which starts at $5.45/month (normally $19.99/month)
  • Online Store plan starting at $9.95/month (normally $24.95/month)
  • Pro plan starts at $13.95/month (normally $28.99/month)
bluehost templates

Bluehost Pros

If you’re considering Bluehost’s Pro plan, what are the advantages?

  • Automated backups (Bluehost shared hosting doesn’t have great backups, so this is an added plus)
  • Ability to host your website on servers optimized for WordPress
  • Access to Jetpack basic, premium, or pro depending on your plan
  • No traffic, bandwidth, or storage limits
  • A revamped account management dashboard
  • Optional WordPress, themes, and plugin updates
  • Ability to host unlimited websites
  • Full support for ManageWP

Bluehost Cons

As it were, Bluehost managed WordPress hosting comes with several cons:

  • Suboptimal page load times
  • Bluehost overall support sucks since you often have to wait for long periods
  • Pricing – You need to pay for three years upfront to enjoy the competitive prices. Many WP Engine alternatives on our list allow you to pay monthly without a huge increase in price

Why Bluehost WP Pro is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives

In terms of support and performance, Bluehost has nothing on WP Engine. On the other hand, Bluehost offers cheaper prices provided you are willing to pay for longer terms. If you can commit for three years at a time, you’ll enjoy low rates.

6. Cloudways


Cloudways is an impressive managed WordPress hosting service that’s all about empowering individuals, teams, and businesses by simplifying hosting experiences. The company was founded by Aaqib Gadit, Pere Hospital, and Uzair Gadit back in April 2012. It is headquartered in Mosta, Malta, and has offices in Spain and Dubai.

Thanks to a team of over 90 employees, Cloudways provides terrific managed WordPress hosting, which has earned the company an outstanding rating by reviewers from across the web. The company offers you a feature-rich app management platform that you can use to launch cloud servers for the deployment of all manner of apps, including WordPress.

Cloudways’ platform provisions from Google, Kyup, Amazon, Vultr, and DigitalOcean, and comes with a user-friendly UI that offers you CloudwaysBot, Git, SSH, free SSL, and a horde of other features. It is indeed a robust infrastructure that allows you to deploy beautiful WordPress websites in minutes.

Main Features

  • High availability cloud-based platform
  • Auto-scaling depending on your needs
  • Multi-cloud, multi-tier deployment
  • Onsite and offsite backups
  • Built-in CDN
  • ThunderStack caching engine that banks on Nginx, Apache, MemCache, Varnish, Redic Cache and PHP-FPM
  • Amazing 24/7 customer line with knowledgeable staff
  • Staging environments
  • Real-time insights thanks to CloudwaysBot
  • Superior security solution including dedicated firewalls, IP whitelisting, two-factor authentication, etc
  • Multiple add-ons and integrations
  • Get more details in my Cloudways review

Cloudways Plans

Cloudways offers you a lot of pricing plans depending on your needs and the data centers you choose. For instance, it will cost you $11/month for 1 GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25 GB storage, and 1 TB bandwidth if you go with DigitalOcean.

The same setup costs you $14 per month if you choose Linode data center locations and $16/per month if you choose Vultr. Cloudways offers AWS and Google data centers that cost a bit more to set up. The amount you pay for hosting depends on the options you choose.

Cloudways Pros

  • Choose from 5 cloud hosting services
  • Free trial
  • Pay hourly as you go or monthly
  • Insanely fast servers (I installed a demo site, and color me impressed)
  • 24/7 support with live chat
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Free site migrations
  • Dedicated IPs

Cloudways Cons

  • Cloud hosting so no email hosting. You will have to host your email accounts elsewhere
  • You don’t have the familiar cPanel or Plesk control panel. Don’t worry, however, setting up a server is straightforward. I did it in under a minute and it was my first time 🙂
cloudways features

Why Cloudways is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives

It is hard to determine a winner between Cloudways and WP Engine since both companies offer quite some service as far as managed WordPress goes. They can flat-out leave many managed WordPress hosting companies in the dust with a service like no other. However, Cloudways wins when it comes to plans and pricing with their flexible payment structure that allows you to pay as you go. You only pay for the resources you need.

7. Hostinger (WordPress Business Plan)

hostinger homepage

Last but not least we have Hostinger, a wonderful company that provides many hosting products including shared hosting, VPS, cloud hosting, and managed WordPress hosting. They offer the cheapest managed WordPress hosting of all the WP Engine alternatives on our list.

Don’t get me wrong, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad, because theirs is a stellar service that will impress you. They offer a wide range of features and powerful options for all manner of websites. To sweeten the deal, all their managed WordPress hosting plans allow you to install unlimited WordPress sites and come with unlimited bandwidth.

In other words, the folk over at Hostinger offers you the perfect hosting environment for your success. Here are some of the key features to expect.

Main Features

Hostinger is committed to helping you hit the ground running as far as hosting a fully managed WordPress website goes. Here’s a glimpse of the features they offer.

  • Unlimited websites on all plans
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Daily and weekly automated backups
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Top-level security
  • A growing collection of customizable WordPress themes
  • A wide array of plugins to supercharge your website
  • Hostinger platform is optimized for WordPress
  • Dedicated WordPress team that understands the ins and outs of the CMS
  • Remarkable 24/7 support team
  • LiteSpeed enterprise servers for fast-loading websites
  • SSD storage
  • Free site migrations
  • Detailed WordPress tutorials to help you with the onboarding process
  • Automatic updates
  • And much more we would be here all day if we listed all the brilliant features Hostinger offers

Hostinger Plans

Hostinger managed WordPress hosting comes with four fantastic packages to cover all of your needs.

  • Single WordPress plan that starts at $2.99/month ($3.99 when you renew) for 1 website, 50 GB disk space, 100 GB bandwidth, Jetpack Free, and weekly backups
  • WordPress Starter plan starting at $3.99/month ($6.99 when you renew) for 100 websites, 100 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily automated backups, and Jetpack Personal
  • Business WordPress plan, which starts at $8.99/month ($8.99 when you renew) for 100 websites, unlimited bandwidth, daily automated backups, and Jetpack Premium
  • WordPress Pro plan, which starts at $9.99/month ($19.99 when you renew) for 300 websites, 200 GB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited free SSL.
hostinger data centers

Hostinger Pros

As with any hosting company offering managed WordPress hosting, Hostinger comes with a couple of pros.

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime SSL certificate included for free
  • Free domain name
  • Fast load times
  • 99.95% uptime
  • Cloudflare CDN
  • Industry-standard pricing tricks but still pretty affordable
  • Stellar multilingual support
  • Developer friendly features

Hostinger Cons

  • Let’s Encrypt SSL must be installed on addon domains manually
  • You must have an account with Hostinger to access support
  • No phone support

Why Hostinger is One of the Best WP Engine Alternatives

Hostinger offers a solid hosting experience at a fraction of the cost. It’s an ideal managed WordPress host for beginners without big budgets for WP Engine. If you need above-average performance, speed, and security without the enormous costs that come with WP Engine, Hostinger is worth checking out.

Worst Web Hosts (Stay Away!)

There are a lot of web hosting providers out there, and it can be hard to know which ones to avoid. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the worst web hosting services in 2024, so you can know which companies to steer clear of.

1. PowWeb


PowWeb is an affordable web host that offers an easy way to launch your first website. On paper, they offer everything you need to launch your first site: a free domain name, unlimited disk space, a one-click install for WordPress, and a control panel.

PowWeb offers only one web plan for their web hosting service. This might look good to you if you’re building your first website. After all, they offer unlimited disk space and have no limits for bandwidth.

But there are strict fair-usage limits on server resources. This means, if your website all of a sudden gets a huge surge in traffic after going viral on Reddit, PowWeb will shut it down! Yes, that happens! Shared web hosting providers who lure you in with cheap prices shut your website down as soon as it gets a small surge in traffic. And when that happens, with other web hosts, you can simply upgrade your plan, but with PowWeb, there’s no other higher plan.

Read more

I would only recommend going with PowWeb if you’re just starting and are building your first website. But even if that’s the case, other web hosts offer affordable monthly plans. With other web hosts, you might need to pay a dollar more every month, but you won’t have to sign up for an annual plan, and you’ll get better service.

One of the only redeeming features of this web host is its cheap price, but to get that price you’ll need to pay upfront for 12 months or more. One thing I do like about this web host is that you get unlimited disk space, unlimited mailboxes (email addresses), and no supposed bandwidth limits.

But it doesn’t matter how many things PowWeb does right, there are just too many poor 1 and 2-star reviews plastered all over the internet about how terrible this service is. All those reviews make PowWeb look like a horror show!

If you are looking for a good web host, I would highly recommend looking elsewhere. Why not go with a web host that’s not still living in the year 2002? Not only does its website look ancient, it still uses Flash on some of its pages. Browsers dropped support for Flash years ago.

PowWeb’s pricing is cheaper than a lot of other web hosts, but it also doesn’t offer as much as those other web hosts. First of all, PowWeb’s service isn’t scalable. They only have one plan. Other web hosts have multiple plans to make sure you can scale your website with just one click. They also have great support.

Web hosts like SiteGround and Bluehost are known for their customer support. Their teams help you out with anything and everything when your website breaks down. I’ve been building websites for the last 10 years, and there’s no way I would ever recommend PowWeb to anyone for any use case. Stay away!

2. FatCow


For an affordable price of $4.08 per month, FatCow offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, a website builder, and unlimited email addresses on your domain name. Now, of course, there are fair-usage limits. But this pricing is only available if you go for a term longer than 12 months.

Although the pricing seems affordable at a first glance, be aware that their renewal prices are much higher than the price you sign up for. FatCow charges more than twice the sign-up price when you renew your plan. If you want to save money, it would be a good idea to go for an annual plan to lock in the cheaper sign-up price for the first year.

But why would you? FatCow may not be the worst web host in the market, but they are also not the best. For the same price, you can get web hosting that offers even better support, faster server speeds, and more scalable service.

Read more

One thing I don’t like or understand about FatCow is that they only have one plan. And even though this plan seems to be enough for someone who’s just starting, it doesn’t seem like a good idea for any serious business owner.

No serious business owner would think that a plan that is suitable for a hobby site is a good idea for their business. Any web host that sells “unlimited” plans is lying. They hide behind legal jargon that enforces dozens and dozens of limits on how many resources your website can use.

So, It begs the question: who is this plan or this service designed for? If it’s not for serious business owners, then is it just for hobbyists and people building their first website? 

One good thing about FatCow is that they offer you a free domain name for the first year. The customer support may not be the best available but is better than some of their competitors. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you decide you’re done with FatCow within the first 30 days.

Another good thing about FatCow is that they offer an affordable plan for WordPress websites. If you’re a fan of WordPress, there might be something for you in FatCow’s WordPress plans. They are built on top of the regular plan but with some basic features that might be helpful for a WordPress site. Same as the regular plan, you get unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and email addresses. You also get a free domain name for the first year.

If you are looking for a reliable, scalable web host for your business, I wouldn’t recommend FatCow unless they wrote me a million-dollar check. Look, I am not saying they are the worst. Far from it! FatCow may be suitable for some use cases, but if you are serious about growing your business online, I can’t recommend this web host. Other web hosts might cost a dollar or two more every month but offer a lot more features and are much more suitable if you run a “serious” business.

3. Netfirms


Netfirms is a shared web host that caters to small businesses. They used to be a giant in the industry and were one of the highest web hosts.

If you look at their history, Netfirms used to be a great web host. But they are no longer what they used to be. They got acquired by a giant web hosting company, and now their service no longer seems competitive. And their pricing is just outrageous. You can find better web hosting services for much cheaper prices.

If you still believe for some reason that Netfirms might be worth a try, just look at all the horrible reviews about their service on the internet. According to the dozens of 1-star reviews I’ve skimmed, their support is terrible, and the service has been going downhill ever since they got acquired.

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Most Netfirms reviews you’ll read all start the same way. They praise how good Netfirms was about a decade ago, and then they go on to talk about how the service is now a dumpster fire!

If you take a look at Netfirms’ offerings, you’ll notice that they are designed for beginners who are just getting started with building their first website. But even if that’s the case, there are better web hosts that cost less and offer more features.

One good thing about Netfirms plans is how generous they all are. You get unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts. You also get a free domain name. But all these features are common when it comes to Shared Hosting. Almost all shared web hosting providers offer “unlimited” plans.

Other than their Shared Web Hosting plans, Netfirms also offer Website Builder plans. It offers a simple drag-and-drop interface to build your website. But their basic starter plan limits you to only 6 pages. How generous! The templates are also really outdated.

If you’re looking for an easy website builder, I wouldn’t recommend Netfirms. Many website builders on the market are much more powerful and offer a lot more features. Some of them are even cheaper…

If you want to install WordPress, they offer an easy one-click solution to install it but they don’t have any plans that are optimized and designed specifically for WordPress sites. Their starter plan costs $4.95 a month but only allows one website. Their competitors allow unlimited websites for that same price.

The only reason I can think of to host my website with Netfirms is if I was being held hostage. Their pricing doesn’t seem real to me. It’s outdated and is much higher when compared to other web hosts. Not only that, their cheap prices are only introductory. That means you’ll need to pay much higher renewal prices after the first term. The renewal prices are twice the introductory sign-up prices. Stay away!

What is managed WordPress hosting?

Often, many users choose to go with an alternative (as opposed to WP Engine) due to some reasons, including their comparatively higher prices, and plugin restrictions.

But before we get lost in all of this, what is managed WordPress hosting? Well, it is a type of hosting where the website hosting platform takes care of all technical aspects of running your website.

what is managed wordpress hosting

Unlike shared hosting, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting, your managed WordPress hosting platform handles technical aspects such as updating WordPress, security, speed, backups, scalability, uptime, and so on.

The objective of managed WordPress hosting is to free you from the hassle of handling hosting complexities. In other words, this type of hosting allows you to focus on content creation, marketing, and other business tasks instead of tinkering with tech stuff.

Additionally, keep in mind that managed WordPress hosting is only for websites that run on WordPress.

As such, you get dedicated support from experienced WordPress experts, meaning you don’t waste time with customer reps who read from support manuals.

Such an approach saves you a great deal of time since you’re not working with terrible support that’s characteristic of typical website hosting companies.

With that out of the way, let us learn more about WP Engine and then cover the seven best WP Engine competitors suitable for your needs.

What is WP Engine

wp engine homepage

WP Engine is a reputable and well-known managed WordPress hosting provider with a long track record of superior hosting and stellar customer service.

The company was founded on May 1, 2010, by Ben Metcalfe, Cullen Wilson, and Jason Cohen. It is headquartered in Austin, Texas, United States, and has offices in San Antonio, San Francisco, London, and Limerick. Recently, WP Engine acquired Flywheel, Array Themes, and a few years back StudioPress, three reputable companies.

WP Engine is the first WordPress digital experience platform offering small businesses, agencies, and enterprises the agility, intelligence, and integrations they require to drive their businesses forward. They offer high-quality, managed WordPress hosting to over 120,000 customers in 140 countries across the globe.

If you’re looking for a tried and trusted managed WordPress host, you can never go wrong with WP Engine. They offer a robust platform to support any type of hosting need and four flexible plans that are perfect for your budget.

Main Features

  • Automatic site migrations
  • Genesis Framework and over 30 StudioPress fast WordPress themes
  • Git and SFTP connections
  • Site development, staging, and production environment
  • Award-winning 24/7/365 customer support powered by experienced WordPress experts
  • Automated daily backups
  • WordPress Core updates
  • Free CDN and SSL certificates
  • SSH gateway
  • GeoTargeting
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Global data centers
  • PHP 7.4 and HTTP/2 are ready
  • Proprietary EverCache for better site performance
  • Scalable architecture to handle traffic spikes
  • Threat detection, blocking, and disaster recover
  • And so much more! (my WP Engine review covers more information)

WP Engine Plans

WP Engine offers you up to six pricing plans perfect for WordPress websites of all sizes.

  • Startup plan that starts at $20/month for 1 website, 25,000 visits/month, 10 GB local storage, and 50 GB bandwidth/month (check out my review of WP Engine’s StartUp plan here)
  • Professional plan that starts at $39/month for 3 sites, 75,000 visits/month
  • Growth plan starting at $77/month for 10 websites, 100,000 visits/month
  • Scale plan that costs $193/month for 30 websites, 400,000 visits/month
  • Advanced plan for large businesses and mission-critical websites. Contact WP Engine for a custom quote
wp engine security features

WP Engine Pros

WP Engine is a great managed WordPress host that has a lot going for them. Here are a couple of pros that help the company to outshine some competitors.

  • 60-day money-back guarantee (They are really confident in their managed WordPress hosting service)
  • Enterprise-grade security with DDoS detection, firewalls, and more
  • Amazing world-class customer support
  • Free StudioPress themes save you more than $2000
  • Blazing fast website speed
  • Excellent caching options

WP Engine Cons

As great as WP Engine is, the famed managed WordPress host has shortcomings like any other company. Here are the cons that send users to alternatives.

  • WP Engine is expensive
  • Some plugins and themes are not allowed
  • Exceeding the number of monthly visitors attracts additional charges
  • No email hosting included

WP Engine is a fantastic managed WordPress host if you’re looking for high performance, fast speeds, and military-grade security. It’s an excellent choice for large businesses and professional websites but could be overkill for small websites. Besides, you might want to steer clear of WP Engine if the plugins and themes you need are not supported. If you are on a tight budget, you’re better off with an alternative.

Questions & Answers

Our Verdict ⭐

All the managed WordPress hosting services on our list offer a great deal. All of them provide all the features you’d need to get your WordPress website online quickly. They offer fully hosting that saves you the trouble of dealing with the technicalities of hosting.

If you’re looking for the cheapest offer in town without compromising on performance, you’ll absolutely love Hostinger WordPress hosting. For the best value for your money, I highly recommend Siteground managed WordPress hosting.

The best WP Engine alternative for performance is Kinsta by far, followed closely by Flywheel, which is a subsidiary of WP Engine and their pricing and performance don’t differ that much.

Liquid Web is perfect for anyone looking for a robust hosting solution that goes beyond managed WordPress hosting. Their plans can be costly since they shun shared hosting. Choosing either is a matter of personal preference.

Bringing up the rear is Bluehost for poor support and performance. Their WP Pro is a great solution if you have a small website and don’t mind sluggish speeds and long waiting periods when you contact support.

Which among the list of the best WP Engine alternatives is your favorite managed WordPress hosting?

How We Review Web Hosts: Our Methodology

When we review web hosts, our evaluation is based on these criteria:

  1. Value for Money: What types of web hosting plans are on offer, and are they good value for money?
  2. User Friendliness: How user-friendly is the signup process, the onboarding, the dashboard? and so on.
  3. Customer Support: When we need help, how quickly can we get it, and is the support effective and helpful?
  4. Hosting Features: What unique features does the web host provide, and how do they stack up against competitors?
  5. Security: Are essential security measures like SSL certificates, DDoS protection, backup services, and malware/virus scans included?
  6. Speed and Uptime: Is the hosting service fast and reliable? What types of servers do they use, and how do they perform in tests?

For more details on our review process, click here.

About Author

Matt Ahlgren

Mathias Ahlgren is the CEO and founder of Website Rating, steering a global team of editors and writers. He holds a master's in information science and management. His career pivoted to SEO after early web development experiences during university. With over 15 years in SEO, digital marketing, and web developmens. His focus also includes website security, evidenced by a certificate in Cyber Security. This diverse expertise underpins his leadership at Website Rating.

WSR Team

The "WSR Team" is the collective group of expert editors and writers specializing in technology, internet security, digital marketing, and web development. Passionate about the digital realm, they produce well-researched, insightful, and accessible content. Their commitment to accuracy and clarity makes Website Rating a trusted resource for staying informed in the dynamic digital world.

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