A managed WordPress hosting service allows you to keep your site secure, while improving on its speed.
This is one of the principles of WP Engine – a large-scale, premium managed hosting service founded in 2010, designed for websites built with WordPress.
WP Engine helps you save time, money, and headaches that would otherwise be spent running your business or project by yourself.
It also provides extra features that most such hosting providers don’t, such as automatic plugin updates and daily backups, besides handling other technical tasks.
This gives you more time to focus on enhancing your targeted promotions and offering quality content for your business or project’s audiences.
WP Engine has three customer segments for general WordPress users, web developers, and small business owners, all with stable, lofty performance and stout security.
It’s an exceptional web host, but there are several reasons that would lead you to seek out alternatives. For example, it’s pricier than other hosts offering similar services, plus you can’t install some plugins in their plans.
It also doesn’t include email hosting, which means you can’t create branded email accounts.
So where should you host your site if not with WP Engine? We’re going to list 7 top picks of the best WP Engine alternatives you can go with that offer great features, security, speed, and reliability at affordable prices too.
FlyWheel is a strong WP Engine alternative that holds a substantial position on the WordPress hosting market. Its solution is compatible enough for different users including bloggers, designers, and developers, and manages over 72 million sites and domains to boot.
As one of the recommended hosts on WordPress.org, FlyWheel, which started in 2012, offers speed-optimized and finely-tuned managed hosting for web designers and developers alike.
Its experienced team consists of experts with skills in design, marketing, WP CMS, web developing and building infrastructure. This helps the company focus on offering quality, premium-class, and speedy web solutions for WordPress sites.
Its robust services ensure you get consistency in service, reliability and high-speed hosting, all at a more affordable rate than what WP Engine charges its customers.
FlyWheel’s multiple plans offer web hosting for small sites at just $14 monthly, while the Personal plan has near-similar specifications as WP Engine’s Basic plan, but it’s more about value than fancy features.
It also charges almost half the amount WP Engine charges for a CDN ($19.90 per month), and integrates with a caching tool installed on the server side, which means lower load times and better speed.
Free CDN is available for higher packages for both hosts though, but FlyWheel charges as little as $1 per 1,000 visits for overage usage, which is affordable if your site has huge traffic or sudden traffic spikes.
In terms of security, FlyWheel offers multi-layer features such as malicious IP blocking, Brute Force protection, and automatic WP updates with its preloaded web hosting service.
What’s more, its partnership with Sucuri – a reputable WordPress security software – means you get free malware scanning too, plus each plan comes with nightly backups stored on Google Cloud, and free SSL.
You can also install a third-party SSL, unlike WP Engine that doesn’t allow this on its Basic plan. Your part is just to create a strong password to avoid any incidents due to weak logins, and FlyWheel will do the rest, including installing core updates as soon as possible.
FlyWheel also offers a collaboration feature, which is ideal for teams, and comes in handy where you have to create multiple logins or password sharing with your members.
This way, you can also add more team members and specify control, while FlyWheel offers them automatic access without security compromises.
If you want to check out how your site will look like before committing, you can create a demo site on FlyWheel’s server at no cost.
Customer support is available weekdays from 9am to 5pm, via phone, open ticket, or email, but you can use the live chat (not 24/7) and get a response to your issue.
SiteGround has grown to become one of the best web hosting service providers today.
It’s known for its affordable and competitive WordPress hosting, customer support service options, and excellence as seen from its portfolio of more than 2 million domains, and counting.
It also offers faster, secure and up-to-date services, plus its backup system, plugin for speed optimization, and security protocols.
With SiteGround, you can install multiple applications on its hosting, unlike WP Engine, using a one-click installer as you would with Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and Magento, among others.
Its cutting-edge hardware ensures you get faster service. For example, it uses SSDs to process databases and other files that are speedier than HDD drives.
It also has technologies like NGINX, PHP 7, HTTP/2, and SuperCacher, among other speed-friendly technologies that reduce load time.
Advanced cached features are available with the higher plans, so you can further reduce loading time, but you can activate the built-in CloudFlare CDN for more optimization.
SiteGround owns multiple data centers so your audience can render data much faster where there are centers closer to them.
For stability, SiteGround has the Linux container that allocates resources intelligently, so that your site’s speed is faster with an incredible 99.99 percent uptime, sometimes even 100 percent.
In terms of security, SiteGround offers an AI system that prevents any unauthorized access, like Brute Force attacks, which many other hosts don’t offer protection against. It also provides free SSL, daily backup system, pro-monitoring, and account isolation.
SiteGround’s customer support is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, and support ticket.
All its plans have free email hosting, which WP Engine doesn’t include in any of its plans, so you can create branded email accounts.
However, while you may get a lot more with SiteGround at lower prices, it limits the CPU cycles and numbers of visitors, but traffic surges are managed using its LXC technology, which also maintains the server’s efficiency.
This is another strong contender against WP Engine, with exceptional managed WordPress hosting. All its plans are backed by the Google cloud infrastructure, which means it can control speed and uptime, among other crucial hosting features.
Since 2013, Kinsta has been delivering ultimate speeds to its users thanks to Linux containers technology, NGINX, PHP 7.0+, and MariaDB, among other resource isolation features.
All these work together to ensure you won’t worry about outages on your site from a shortage of resources.
Kinsta’s plans offer automatic scalability, so your site can stay up and running even with huge surges in traffic. It also outdoes WP Engine and other providers in locations with low latency as it has 18 locations globally, and you can pick any data center at no extra cost.
If you’re looking for security, Kinsta offers you peace of mind as it keeps its systems updated while offering complete assistance in the event of a hacker attack, thanks to the 24/7 rapid response team that helps with undesired events.
Secure HTTPs connection is integrated for free so you can turn it on with a click and encrypt SSL, plus there are free backup services with manual and/or automatic options.
Kinsta also offers developers premium services like staging area, SSH access, Git, and various PHP versions among other features. It also has a site cloning feature on all its plans, except for the Starter plan.
An in-house dashboard is available and it’s easy to operate, plus there’s a multi-user feature that you can use with your team to assign roles like developers or admin, with access to specific websites.
Support is available 24/7, 365 days a year, via email, chat, and other channels, so you can chat with their excellent support team, which backs enterprise and Fortune 500 clients. It also doesn’t offer different support tiers, so everyone is on the same level and gets the same expertise available to them.
Pricing is available in ten tiers, from just $30 per month, as you scale up to its Enterprise plan, and custom solutions.
The plans have no hard limits on bandwidth, but they limit total visits, and the very basic plan offers you 20,000 monthly visits, free SSL integration and CDN, 5GB storage and 1 website.
This is a stark contrast to WP Engine, which may come with lower price tags, but you pay more if you need add-ons. For example, Kinsta offers Geo-IP for free on all its plans, while WP Engine charges you $15 for it.
If you’re running a WooCommerce site, Kinsta will ensure smooth running thanks to its essential features and optimized services.
Plus, its server-level caching can be bypassed automatically where required, especially on checkout pages. It also backs up your data in five ways: hourly, every six hours, 24 hours, or manually, so everything is secure.
4. WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting (formerly Traffic Planet Hosting) may not be the first name that comes to mind like other popular WordPress hosting services, but it’s a robust and rock solid service provider, with affordable prices compared to the competition.
Founded in 2013, this web host set out to offer top-in-class, excellent WordPress optimized hosting for sites with small to large traffic, with servers that can handle huge traffic surges. It also doesn’t overload its own servers with many customers on one machine just to maintain performance.
Like WP Engine, this host provides managed plans devoted to WordPress, but offers domain registration services at incredible prices, making it a strong alternative to WP Engine.
For just $10.99 per year, you can get a .com domain with free lifetime privacy guard.
It also hosts your site fully on SSD servers, plus you get a 99.95 percent uptime guarantee, and security initiatives that manage against DDoS attacks and daily scans that detect and hunt down viruses or vulnerabilities.
A free unlimited SSL certificate is available, with 28 days auto-backup on all accounts. If you want to migrate your site, WPX Hosting doesn’t charge you for it, plus you can create custom email accounts at no cost too.
Its pricing structure is unbeatable compared to the competition, so if you’re a newbie and want to create various small projects, WPX’s Business plan would be great for you.
It also allows you to host five sites with 50GB bandwidth and 10 GB storage, plus you can choose from UK or US data centers and find the server nearest to your target audience.
Unlike WP Engine, you can use plugins for free, and enjoy seamless services including free backup, security and cache plugin installations. To tighten your security, WPX recommends using iThemes, Sucuri, or Wordfence.
However, it only offers free MaxCDN for the first year to ThriveThemes users. Customer support is available, though not 24/7, but like SiteGround, you get expert level support via live chat, phone, or support ticket, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Since 2010, Pressable has been offering developers, marketers, and businesses alike specialized services for the WordPress platform, just as WP Engine, so you can’t use their servers on any other platform.
However, if you’re building an eCommerce store on Pressable’s robust platform, you can get WooCommerce hosting that’s fast and secure too.
Pressable has lower prices than the competition, with more monthly visits than WP Engine offers, plus you can host a maximum of 5 domains with unlimited storage, and up to 100 or more sites on its higher plans.
You won’t need to install caching plugins to optimize your speed, like you would with traditional shared hosting, as Pressable’s caching technique is built-in, so it renders data fast via cached web pages. This also helps boost your site’s performance.
Pressable also offers free premium MaxCDN, compared to WP Engine that charges for its CDN. Plus, security is available via a combination of nightly automatic scanning to detect and remove malware, and firewall app for your site’s security.
You also won’t have to do updates on your own, which is cumbersome and time-consuming, as Pressable handles all WordPress updates, so you can focus on your core work. SSL and daily backups are also available for free, regardless of the plan you pick.
Like Kinsta, Pressable also offers site cloning in case you want to set up similar sites to your current one, and developers can use the staging feature to test updates without interfering with the main website.
The Jetpack premium version is also offered at no cost, as with DreamHost’s service, and if you’re working with a team, you can use the collaborator tool to give access to your teammates instead of creating several logins.
If you want to migrate your site, there’s a tool for that, though it requires some details, but it’s still doable.
Customer support is available via phone (although it’s only for presale queries), and a ticketing system that’s available 24/7, but you have to be a Pressable customer.
You won’t get live chat any time you want though, as it’s only fixed within business hours, but you can always send an email or explore the knowledgebase for quick fixes or troubleshooting assistance.
Pressable organizes its pricing plans according to Basic, Moderate, and High Volume use.
It doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but there’s a 15-day trial account if you’d like to test the quality of its services before you commit.
This is one of the oldest web hosting providers on the market, since 1997, that’s recommended by WordPress.org, and manages more than 1.5 million sites on its platform.
One of its unique features is DreamPress, which offers all the features you need to create your blog or business website. It also offers excellent performance and reliability, which gave it a name in the WordPress managed space.
DreamHost features several technologies like NGINX, PHP7, Brotli, and SSDs, plus caching systems like Varnish for fast provisioning, and object cache. It’s also a reliable and trustworthy host when it comes to speed.
Plus, you get limited free bandwidth at a low price, and an unlimited number of visitors. The Basic plan lets you host one site and offers 10GB-SSD storage, and you can install any type of plugin, unlike WP Engine, which bans plugins like backup, caching, broken links, and others.
Security is a priority for DreamHost as it provides a firewall, timely response against DDoS attacks, Let’s Encrypt SSL, and automatic updates, so you can have peace of mind.
For developers, features like SSH access, Git, and cron jobs are available, plus much more so they have a nice playground on which to create great sites.
Other goodies that come with DreamHost include unlimited IMAP/POP/SMTP email accounts to create or host unlimited accounts, unlike other services that you have to buy email storage for your branded email accounts.
It also offers dedicated, cloud, VPS, shared, and domain registration services, the latter of which comes at standard rates with free WHOIS guard that protects your data from public access or spammers.
You can get a free domain name for a year if you go with their annual plans, and if you keep your domain with WHOIS, you get it completely free.
Unfortunately, DreamHost charges $99 for automatic migration of your site, which most other providers offer for free. You can do it manually and save money though, as it’s not as difficult to do, especially if you use their tutorials on knowledgebase.
Customer support is available round-the-clock via email, live chat (though only available for paid customers) knowledgebase, and discussion forums.
Phone support isn’t as straightforward. For instance, there’s a ‘Request a callback’ feature, but it’ll cost you on the Basic plan, while other plans offer some limited free call support.
The pricing doesn’t limit you on monthly page views, for example, the Basic plan gives unlimited monthly visits, and free Jetpack Premium subscription per month.
MediaTemple offers shared WordPress hosting since 1998, when it was founded to serve designers, entrepreneurs, developers, and enterprises with reliable hosting services.
The “Grid” hosting is designed from a blend of cloud capabilities, powered by Amazon AWS, and offers various packages like dedicated, managed, VPS, and cloud server.
Your site will thus be hosted on multiple servers, which translates to maximum security and availability, besides the uptime guarantee they offer.
MediaTemple’s features are akin to WP Engine’s but at a lower sum. The Personal plan is the smallest, but comes with value-adds such as 250,000 monthly visits, 50GB SSD storage, and unlimited data transfers for only $20 per month.
You can save more by going with annual plans, or high-duration purchases, and host two websites while you’re at it.
Security is provided through malware detection and removal, DDoS protection, automatic backup, and restore, plus you get automatic core updates to PHP, WordPress, and MySQL. However, they don’t offer free SSL with the smallest plan, but the Pro plan has two free SSL only for the first year.
Unlike SiteGround, you don’t get to use plugins like backup, caching or security, and others, so it’s not as flexible.
Support is available via live chat, phone, social media (Twitter), and email, but there’s a community page with videos and articles on any topic you’d like help with.
As you can see, there are so many WP Engine alternatives you can pick from, which offer security, reliability, stability, plugin accessibility, and so much more, including affordable pricing, that WP Engine doesn’t.
WP Engine is a leading WordPress hosting service, but its pricing can dent your wallet too.
Whether you want to build a small or large site, and are expecting many visitors once you’re set up and running, you can choose from any of our seven picks to get you started, based on your needs and objectives.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.