7 Best WP Engine Alternatives in 2021 (No. #1 is Awesome)

WordPress is a really powerful platform for managing websites, but it can also be time-consuming and difficult to use, especially when you’re running a business.

So some hosting providers offer managed WordPress hosting: they take care of the tricky bits of WordPress while also providing hosting, allowing customers to focus fully on their website’s content and design rather than pesky maintenance issues.

WP Engine is one of the industry’s leaders in the niche of managed WordPress hosting. By providing high-level WordPress management and hosting, WP Engine has managed to net a lot of high level customers:wpengine alts-wpengine customers2

But although WP Engine is known to provide very high quality managed WordPress hosting, it’s not necessarily the best for every customer.

Why do people want alternatives to WP Engine?

First, let me briefly talk about what WP Engine actually offers. It’ll help us stay on the same page as to how these alternatives really differ from WP Engine.

WP Engine offers three main types of managed WordPress plans, and each type has four pricing tiers.

The first set of plans is called Managed Hosting, and it’s both the most affordable and the most basic in features:wpengine alts-pricing

After that, there’s Managed Hosting Plus and Secure Hosting. These sets of plans are very similar to the plans shown above, but are a bit more advanced and higher priced.

Specifically: Managed Hosting Plus offers more features related to automated plugin updates and Security included those features along with additional security measures.

However, the range of resources for all three sets of plans are the same: from 10GB of storage, 50GB of bandwidth on the first tier to 50GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth on the fourth tier. Also, you can get a custom version of each plan if you meet certain requirements.

One of the main reasons people seek alternatives to WP Engine is the cost and what you get for it.

hostingpill7 Best WP Engine Alternatives
  1. Bluehost
  2. Flywheel
  3. BigScoots
  4. WPX
  5. Rocket
  6. Liquid Web
  7. Dreamhost

Okay, with that cleared up, let’s get into the 7 best WP Engine alternatives. First up…

1. Bluehost

wpengine alts-bluehostBluehost is one of the biggest web hosting providers in the world, powering over 2 MILLION websites.

If you’re curious about Bluehost overall, or its other plans aside from managed WordPress, you can check out my full review of them here.

But despite being known as a leading all-around host, Bluehost also offers managed WordPress plans. The short version of why it’s a good alternative to WP Engine?

Even if it’s not as fully-featured as WP Engine, it still manages to offer most of the same features, along with a much larger degree of resources, for lower cost.

Advantages over WP Engine

  • One of just 3 hosting platforms officially recommended by WordPress.org
  • Comes with 100+ free WordPress themes, rather than WP Engine’s 30+ (though some of them may not be as high quality)
  • All plans include unlimited sites, domains, storage, and traffic limits
  • First-term prices are noticeably lower than WP Engine’s; even upon renewal, they provide better value by providing more resources (as noted above) and comparable features

2. Flywheel

wpengine alts-flywheelLike WP Engine, Flywheel isn’t a really big all-around hosting provider, and it offers only managed WordPress products.

Because it focuses exclusively on high-end managed WordPress hosting, Flywheel offers similar pricing, but also similar levels of quality and customer service quality.

You can check out my review of Flywheel to get a full rundown of what it offers.

But the short version here is, it offers some things that WP Engine doesn’t. For example…

Advantages over WP Engine

  • Much lower priced starting option, at $13 a month—although the resources are also smaller, it’s a much better option for smaller sites/businesses
  • Managed WooCommerce plans for those who want to use WordPress with the powerful WooCommerce shopping cart plugin
  • In addition to offering site staging—the ability to make a sandbox version of your site to test new ideas without affecting the real version, which WP Engine also offers—you can clone your site for various purposes
  • Users on any plan can pay extra for automated plugin updates—on WP Engine, users must upgrade plans

3. BigScoots

wpengine alts-bigscoots1Like WP Engine and Flywheel, BigScoots specializes in offering ONLY managed hosting products. Unlike them, however, it offers more than just managed WordPress.

If you’re interested in BigScoots, checkout my overall review of its managed hosting for a detailed breakdown of its pros and cons.

Anyway, BigScoots delivers high levels of quality and customer care because of its focus (like Flywheel and WP Engine). It’s not exactly lower cost, but it does offer some other advantages.

Advantages over WP Engine

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Simpler pricing/product offerings
  • First tier is a bit pricier than WP Engine’s first tier, but offers considerably more bandwidth and monthly traffic—the second and third tiers even more so
  • Each initial WP site migration to BigScoots is handled directly by professionals, whereas WP Engine handles initial site migration by including an automated plugin

4. WPX

wpengine alts-wpxWPX is yet another provider that specializes solely in managed WordPress. However, it stands out a bit for offering a bit more bang for the buck in terms of resources and more flexibility.

If you’re curious, you can check out my in-depth review of WPX for more details. Otherwise:

Advantages over WP Engine

  • Average customer support response time is 30 seconds—and the responders are WordPress experts
  • First tier allows up to 5 websites and 100GB of bandwidth for similar/lower cost
  • Unlimited free site migrations to WPX
  • Custom content delivery network, or CDN to boost performance (all options listed here offer CDN, but WPX offers more flexibility)

5. Rocket

wpengine alts-rocketRocket, also known as Rocket.net, is another host offering exclusively managed WordPress platforms. Its price range is similar to that of WP Engine and the other options listed.

However, it stands out by packing in more and better features without significantly increased cost.

For that reason, it’s no surprise we’ve found Rocket to be one of the best managed WordPress hosting options overall. You can check out my review of Rocket for a comprehensive look into it.

Advantages over WP Engine

  • Significantly better value on bandwidth/traffic: first tier alone allows for up to 250,000 monthly visits and the second allows for a million, with the fourth tier allowing 5 million
  • Choice of data center location
  • In addition to CDN, premium edge network: direct relationships with ISP networks resulting in faster connectivity wherever your traffic is
  • Option for automated plugin and theme updates (at no extra cost)

6. Liquid Web

wpengine alts-liquid webLiquid Web specializes in managed hosting products overall. It’s established a reputation for being very high-end, providing enterprise-level quality for smaller and medium-sized businesses.

Its managed WordPress plans are offered and run by its WordPress-specialist subsidiary company, Nexcess.

If you’re curious about Liquid Web’s managed WordPress offering, you can check out my in-depth experience with it here. If you’re interested in Liquid Web more broadly, I’ve got you covered there too.

As for why Liquid Web’s a good alternative to WP Engine…the short version is that its plans just offer more bang for the buck.

Advantages over WP Engine

  • Significantly more bandwidth available for each tier, starting at 2TB. There’s also more storage for each tier
  • Also generally lower-cost, especially with our special offer code
  • Automated plugin updates included
  • Auto-scaling ensures that your site will never crash or not have enough resources with a surge in traffic

7. Dreamhost

wpengine alts-dreamhostDreamhost is a bit more like Bluehost than most of the other options here: like Bluehost, Dreamhost is an all-around web hosting company.

However, it does offer managed WordPress plans with great value, low pricing, and overall pretty good performance. And like Bluehost, Dreamhost is one of just three providers officially recommended by WordPress.org itself.

For a deep dive into Dreamhost, you can check out my review of the company. And if you’re confused about whether it’s better for you than Bluehost or not, I’ve also got a detailed comparison for you.

Otherwise:

Advantages over WP Engine

  • One of just three hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org
  • Much lower starting price than WP Engine or the vast majority of managed WordPress products, and smaller price range overall
  • Despite lower prices, significantly more storage (30GB to start with) and bandwidth (the first tier alone is built for ~100,000 monthly visitors)
  • Despite lower prices, most of the same overall features as WP Engine and other leading names (even if not as completely robust)

Conclusion

And there you have it!

As you can see, other leading platforms have a lot of similarities with WP Engine’s offering, but the differences that do exist can make them MUCH better (or worse) for you personally.

So when all’s been said and done, what’s the BEST alternative to WP Engine?

Overall, the best alternative is Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting. That’s because Bluehost offers the best combination of value for the price (in terms of resources and features), without sacrificing on performance or helpful customer support.

However, that’s more the best option overall than the best option for every single person:

Some may prefer to go with a smaller provider that’s dedicated solely to WordPress. In that case, Rocket is probably best.

If you’re still unsure, don’t worry. There is no single best option, and it depends on what you prioritize most.

You can check out my analysis of the best managed WordPress providers for another scoop on what the best in this niche is, or the best hosts for WordPress overall (which includes non-managed options).

Ultimately though, you should be happy—because there are some great managed WordPress providers out there!

Happy hosting!