Should You Use the WP Engine Startup Plan for Hassle-Free WordPress Management?

in Web Hosting

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If you’re a blogger or small business owner looking for a reliable and high-performing web hosting solution, WP Engine’s StartUp plan might be the perfect fit for you. With its user-friendly interface, robust security features, and top-notch customer support, it’s a very popular choice for WordPress users. In this WP Engine StartUp review, I’ll look closely at it and explore its features, pricing, and performance to help you decide if it’s the right WordPress hosting solution for your website.

In my existing WP Engine review, I have covered the key features and pros and cons of this premium fully managed WordPress hosting service. Here I will zoom in on their StartUp plan.

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!

https://www.reddit.com/r/blog/wordpress/comments/ulv0ty/wp_engine_worth_the_dollars/
https://www.reddit.com/r/blog/wordpress/comments/10hb720/wp_engine_competitor/

WP Engine breaks the mold somewhat because it isn’t particularly cheap. But that’s not its aim. Its goal is to provide stellar managed WordPress and Woocommerce hosting with premium features for a reasonable price. And it does it really quite well.

Here’s the full rundown of what it offers and how its WP hosting performs.

wp engine startup review 2024

TL;DR: WP Engine Startup plan is perfect for WordPress and WooCommerce hosting newbies that prioritize quality over cost. You pay a bit more, but you get a fast, reliable service and premium features in return.

However, established businesses and high-traffic websites will find this plan too limited and will likely find a higher-tier WP Engine plan more suitable.

What is the WP Engine Startup Plan?

What is the WP Engine Startup Plan?

The WP Engine Startup plan is WP Engine’s most basic managed WordPress hosting plan for powering WordPress and WooCommerce website. While the number of features you get may be limited on this plan, you also pay the lowest price, so it’s ideal for anyone light on budget.

And what is WP Engine exactly?

WP Engine is an award-winning web hosting provider specializing in managed hosting needs. The platform offers a range of hosting options ranging from solutions for small businesses right up to enterprise level. 

technology partners

The hosting company has invested in cutting-edge technology to provide super-fast speeds and an ultra-reliable service to its 185,000 customers.

While it may not be the biggest or the cheapest hosting platform out there, it’s also not trying to be. Its focus is on providing high-quality WordPress solutions and tools backed by an experienced team of WordPress professionals.

Startup Plan Pricing

wp engine startup plan pricing

WP Engine offers a startup plan for both WordPress and WopoCommerce:

  • WordPress Startup plan: $25/month or $20/month paid annually
  • WooCommerce Startup plan: $29/month or $24/month paid annually
PlanMonthly priceMonthly price paid annually
WordPress$25/month$20/month (best deal)
WooCommerce$29/month$24/month (best deal)

Both managed WordPress hosting plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can try them risk-free.

There is also a range of add-ons that you can choose to include:

  • Additional WordPress websites: $20
  • Automated WordPress plugin updates (Smart Plugin Manager): $3 for WordPress (automatically included with WooCommerce
  • Global Edge Security: $18 for WordPress / $30 for WooCommerce
  • Site monitoring: $5

Want to take advantage of what WP Engine has to offer? Start with the Startup plan here. Learn more about WP Engine pricing here.

Features at a Glance

WP Engine Startup Plan Features

WP Engine’s startup plan is available for both WordPress sites and WooCommerce sites. So, while the two startup plans are similar, there are a few differences to take note of where WooCommerce is concerned.

Here’s what you get for your money:

  • Hosting for one site
  • Up to 25,000 visits per month
  • Up to 10 GB storage and 50 GB bandwidth
  • Chat-based support
  • Ten premium themes included
  • Customizable themes and workflow tools
  • Automated WordPress plugins maintenance with advanced security
  • Daily backups and on-demand backups
  • Optimized site speed and caching (up to 40% faster)
  • Free SSL certificate and SSH certificates and automatic PHP updates
  • One-click staging environments
  • Free site migration
  • Award-winning 24/7/365 customer support

WooCommerce specific features (you get everything noted above plus the following):

  • EverCache technology for 2x faster page speed
  • Live Cart fragments elimination
  • 1-click store creation with a WooCommerce premium theme

Why Choose This Plan?

So is the WP Engine Startup plan worth it? Let’s dive into what stands out about the platform.

A Managed Service for a Decent Price

It takes a lot of work and technical skill to keep on top of a WordPress site, and it’s so easy for something to go wrong. I know this too well, having totally trashed a WordPress site before, thanks to a dodgy plugin.

With WP Engine’s managed service, you don’t have to worry about delving into the technicalities of keeping your site running smoothly.

What stands out about WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting here is that the managed services aren’t limited to the higher-priced plans. You have it all on the Startup plan, including automatic optimization, critical updates, and site backups.

Furthermore, you also have a dedicated support team on hand to help you troubleshoot and resolve any WordPress or WooCommerce issues and backend maintenance for you. Although, 

I will point out here that the startup plan is limited to chat support only. Phone support is only available on the higher plans. Despite this, WP Engine’s support team is available 24/7, and WP Engine has support agents in several time zones, so you don’t have to set your alarm for 3 am to reach someone.

Fast Loading Speeds

wp engine speed page load times

WP Engine has a world-class infrastructure to help your site be as speedy as possible. The company has data centers located in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, so you’re not going to worry about them becoming overloaded or finding one in your local area.

Its servers also run on the latest version of PHP, which can handle 3x more requests per second, and the multiple caching layers EverCache is built specifically for WordPress. This means it is designed to handle thousands of simultaneous hits without ever having to install additional caching plugins.

wp engine evercache

Finally, automatic WordPress core updates and security patches allow you to worry less about whether your site is optimized and more about growing your business.

Premium WordPress Themes

StudioPress Navigation Pro theme
StudioPress Navigation Pro theme
StudioPress Infinity Pro theme
StudioPress Infinity Pro theme

A nice little extra is the addition of ten premium WordPress themes you can try out for size. They are all StudioPress themes are Gutenberg ready, meaning you get an intuitive and simple WordPress site-building tool.

Choose from:

  • Navigation Pro
  • Revolution Pro
  • Breakthrough Pro
  • Genesis Pro
  • Monochrome Pro
  • Altitude Pro
  • Infinity Pro
  • Authority Pro
  • Magazine Pro
  • Essence Pro

See live demos of all the included premium themes here.

I have to say, after checking out these themes, I’m impressed. It’s a good selection of well-designed and fast-loading themes with variations to suit most types of business, so you are likely to find something that appeals to you.

Daily Backups

One thing that irks me with basic hosting plans is that they rarely include sufficiently regular backups. Worse still, some providers don’t even include automatic backups, so it’s on you to remember to do it.

Backups are vital because they allow you to restore your data to a previous version if you become a victim of a malware attack or accidentally “break” your WordPress website by installing something dodgy.

If your website sees a lot of activity, then you need daily backups, so you don’t lose much data if you do need to revert to a previous version. And I’m pleased to report that the Startup plan includes daily backups, and better still, they’re done automatically, so you don’t even have to think about it.

And if a daily backup isn’t enough for you, then you can always do an additional manual backup whenever you feel the need.

One-Click Staging

One-Click Staging

Remember those dodgy plugins I talked about earlier? Well, they’re the culprit of a lot of WordPress problems. Some plugins just don’t play nicely with other plugins or your WordPress setup and can cause the entire site to crash. You don’t want that.

WP Engine provides you with a means to safely test out any changes you want to make before you apply them to your live website. One-click staging is where you create an exact copy of your website (in one click, no less!), so you can test out whatever you need on the copy without ruining the original. Neat huh?

Again, many hosting providers only make this available on the more expensive plans, but WP Engine provides this with its Startup plan.

WooCommerce Cart Fragment Elimination

The one thing guaranteed to put someone off your E-commerce store is slow performance. However, many online stores have their speeds adversely affected when “cart fragments” build up. 

Cart fragments are small pieces of data created when users add items to or update the cart. These data fragments get sent to the browser allowing it to update the cart without performing an entire page refresh.

The result is that these fragments can quickly build up and work to slow the site down, particularly if it is an E-commerce store with high numbers of products or web traffic.

To address this issue, WP Engine has introduced Live Cart, a piece of software that automatically optimizes cart fragments, so they don’t impact the speed or performance of the site.

This means your customers aren’t going to get frustrated when the page crashes or refuses to load, and you don’t subsequently miss out on the sale.

WP Engine Learning Resources

WP Engine Learning Resources

Hosting providers are generally lacking when it comes to learning resources and appear to frequently assume that people know what hosting platforms are and how to use them. As you and I know well, this definitely is not the case, and most people need at least a couple of tutorials to get to grips with things.

Not this web host! I’m pleased to report that WP Engine has an excellent resource center with step-by-step guides, videos, and articles that talk you through the features and tools. What’s more, they’re easy to understand and simple to follow – no technical knowledge required. 

10/10 here, for sure.

Who is WP Engine Startup Plan For?

Who is WP Engine Startup Plan For?

If you’re new to WordPress or WooCommerce and are just finding your feet in this world, then the Startup plan is for you.

While the plan does have several limitations, such as a maximum of 25,000 monthly visitors and 10 GB storage, this is still more than sufficient for new websites and for you to kickstart your business.

Conveniently, WP Engine allows you to upgrade your plan whenever you need to, so the hosting service scales with you as you scale.

Who isn’t the Startup plan for?

If you’re an established business or a large E-commerce store, you’re going to find the Startup plan far too limited for your needs. Therefore, I invite you to explore WP Engines’ higher-tier plans.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure
  • Speed and performance optimized, fast server response time and uptime SLA
  • Cloudflare Enterprise CDN, free SSL certificates, DDoS protection and a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • 24/7 support and an excellent resource center
  • Free premium themes included
  • A lot of premium features such as automatic backups and one-click install WordPress are included.

Cons

  • WP Engine’s prices aren’t for everyone
  • No free domain name included
  • 99.9% uptime only guaranteed on custom plans
  • Some WordPress site owners may find it expensive
  • Disallowed plugins

Questions & Answers

Our Verdict

Do I recommend WP Engine’s StartUp plan?

WP Engine is an excellent WordPress hosting provider, and its Startup plan is perfect for anyone starting out that wants reliability and premium tools from the outset. 

Take Your WordPress Site to the Next Level with WP Engine

Enjoy managed WordPress hosting, free CDN service, and free SSL certificate with WP Engine. Plus, get 35+ StudioPress themes and free site migration with all plans.

However, it’s certainly not the cheapest service, and some may find it expensive, especially if operating on a very tight budget. That said, you do get a lot of features for your money, so the additional cost is justified.

Ultimately, if you don’t want the headache of dealing with downtime, troubleshooting issues, or losing data, WP Engine’s Startup plan is a sound bet.

Reviewing WP Engine: 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.

Ibad Rehman

Ibad is a writer at Website Rating who specializes in the realm of web hosting and has previously worked at Cloudways and Convesio. His articles focus on educating readers about WordPress hosting and VPS, offering in-depth insights and analysis in these technical areas. His work is aimed at guiding users through the complexities of web hosting solutions.

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