WPEngine vs Pressidium – Which is the Best Managed WordPress Host?

Looking for web hosts can often be overwhelming. There are way too many niches and special services being offered all over the net. This can be especially impactful for web designers who are just starting out, or scaling up their web presence for the first time.

Making sure your choice of web host is capable of meeting the requirements of your website is one of the best first steps you can take. Having appropriately priced hosting with support and functionality that matches your needs can make every step of the process easier. It’s just a question of being able to tell the good from the bad.

In order to figure out what we need, we’re going to be taking a look at two different hosts, and seeing how they stack up side-by-side. This allows us to take a bite-sized look at what we need to focus on, and allows us to really see what each company has to offer. It also is a good way for us to decide which is better.

Today, we’re taking a look at WPEngine and Pressidium. These are two well-known hosts with good reviews and competitive rates. They both focus their energies on WordPress-based hosting, and their features and stats reflect this. All their plans are built with WordPress in mind, and they promise lightning-fast speeds and well-optimized WordPress functionality.

That being said, there are probably more than a few ways in which both of these companies tend to fall short of the competition. So let’s get started by taking a look at WPEngine, who they are, and what they’re about.

What is WPEngine?

A lot of websites are powered by WordPress these days. Many hosts are actually focusing on providing optimized plans designed for WordPress-based websites. WPEngine is among one of the leading WordPress-based hosts out there today.

According to their own website, 30% of all websites are built with WordPress, and 27% of the top 10,000 sites by traffic also use WordPress. These numbers speak for themselves. WordPress is a powerful tool that can power a very capable website when used properly.

WPEngine tries to make this process as simple and capable as possible, providing a wide variety of WordPress-oriented plans and services. They also have a good reputation for customer service and ease-of-use, which makes them an excellent choice for both newbies and experienced web designers alike.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the different advantages WPEngine has to offer.

Pros of WPEngine

  • WordPress optimization. WordPress is a powerful tool that can build very high-performing websites with lots of features and content hosting possibilities. In order to keep your WordPress site performing at peak efficiency, WPEngine’s server hardware and feature sets are designed to power even the most plugin-heavy WordPress installs. Their options of both shared and VPS-based plans is a good thing to keep in mind, as well, as this adds a large amount of versatility to WPEngine’s pricing structure and scaling ability.
  • StudioPress themes. There are a host of premium themes, including mobile-responsive themes, available through StudioPress. Using these themes with your site will give you an easy-to-apply functional and aesthetic advantage over other designers who have to create their own themes or pay extra for premium ones through another service. Many of these StudioPress themes come with built-in SEO and security features.
  • Readiness assessments. WPEngine has a crack team of experts at their disposal ready to perform assessments on your site to make sure it’s ship-shape before going live. This can be a huge attraction for people who are just starting out, or who tend to do a lot of experimentation with their website design and features. The tests themselves are performed through code compatibility testing and site staging.
  • WPEngine has a lot of content features which are geotargeted toward certain geographical areas. This allows you to customize the way people in different parts of the world engage with your content, allowing you to easily reach an amazing amount of readers with your website functionality.
  • Customer support. WPEngine’s support has great customer reviews, and is available through 24/7 phone and live chat support. They also offer a large library of learning resources designed to get new web designers and experienced veterans alike acclimated to the ins and outs of the service.
  • Global presence. With servers based in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, WPEngine is capable of offering awesome speeds and server accessibility no matter where in the world you are based. Having this kind of global presence means WPEngine will always be able to give you the best performance for the market in which you are present and active.
  • Wide range of partnerships. WPEngine is partnered with a wide range of other services, and offers a myriad of innovations as a result. Their various partners include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others. All of their content provided through partnerships is optimized for use with WordPress, and provide a lot of extra features which many competitors can’t match.

There’s obviously a lot to like about WPEngine’s services. They have excellent customer support, onboarding resources, and a global presence that basically guarantees good performance and makes sense for your geographical market.

Their pricing structure is also quite versatile, but we’ll get to that in a moment. There are obviously some other ways in which WPEngine doesn’t compare so favorably to the competition, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to make any decisions without rounding out our research.

To that end, let’s take a look at the ways in which WPEngine tends to fall short.

Cons of WPEngine

  • Less versatile than some competitors. WPEngine offers a wide range of plans specialized for use with WordPress. While this makes them very versatile and scalable for WordPress-based websites, their functionality isn’t so attractive for websites that won’t be using the WordPress platform. Since both of the sites we’re looking at today are focused on WordPress optimization, this isn’t such a bit deal, but it can still be a good thing to keep in mind going forward.
  • Since WPEngine offers such a wide range of features, sometimes through partnerships with other services, some of their interface and features can be a bit difficult to get used to. While the system is designed to be easy-to-use, there are still aspects of it that will take a bit of time to learn how to use effectively.
  • Some restrictions. In order to offer the best speeds and uptime on the market, WPEngine places some slight limitations on the different installs and plugins you can use for your WordPress site. While this is pretty standard, and allows WPEngine to offer the kind of top-notch WordPress optimization that they’re known for, it’s still kind of disappointing when working with such a potentially versatile platform.

Despite these flaws, WPEngine remains a very competitive option. They provide powerful WordPress hosting with a global presence and affordable price points. Newer users will get a lot of mileage out of the various shared plans, while more experienced or larger-scale web hosts still have a lot of room and options for scaling up their online presence.

The cons that go along with WPEngine aren’t too damning, either. Most of this stuff isn’t too big a deal, and it’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to powerful WordPress hosting. That being said, however, it’s difficult to get a good idea of how these features compare without taking a look at the competition.

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at Pressidium.

What Is Pressidium?

Pressidium is a managed WordPress hosting solution whose vision is to “design and perfect and industry-leading managed hosting service for our favorite platform – WordPress”. They provide an enterprise WordPress platform trusted by tech startups and fortune 500 companies alike. They’re considered to be superior to competing managed WordPress hosts, and they promise quality of service, speed, security, and performance.

Launched in 2014 by a team of veteran web designers, they have grown into a well-known and well-reviewed hosting solution. They were awarded Top Tier WordPress Hosting Performance in 2015 and 2016 by Review Signal.com. There’s a lot of hype surrounding Pressidium, and they seem to be delivering on most of it.

One thing to consider, however, is that Pressidium charges its users based on the amount of visits their sites get. This is obviously a little different from how other companies handle it, where they would normally offer greater amounts of visits along with their larger plans.

This is obviously something you’ll want to keep in mind as we discuss the other particulars of this company. That being said, we won’t really know until we take a look, so let’s see some of the advantages that Pressidium has to offer us.

Pros of Pressidium

  • Easy payment. Pressidium accepts all major forms of payment, which makes it a little easier to deal with billing. While most companies are fairly good at keeping up with major payment methods, some of them can fall short.
  • 60-day money back guarantee. Like any good web host, Pressidium has a money-back guarantee for their services if you cancel within 60 days. This is about twice as long as the 30-day guarantee that most companies offer. It’s nice to have a decent guarantee in place, in order to minimize risk. As always, read their refund policy yourself to make sure you know what you’re getting.
  • Pressidium has data centers in Japan, North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Oceania. This allows them to provide very high speeds no matter where in the world you live. Their reviews vary somewhat in terms of speed, but the vast majority of users seem to be more than satisfied with what Pressidium is capable of providing.
  • Pressidium has very competitive price points that we will get into more later on when we touch on the comparisons. Their actual prices compare favorably to WPEngine at almost every price point, and the different plans they have are a bit more versatile than the plans offered by WPEngine in terms of scale.
  • Ease-of-use. Both Pressidium’s free migration service and their actual interface are well-reviewed by users across the internet. While they don’t use the industry-standard cPanel interface, their interface is comprehensive and known to be easy to learn and master.
  • Bot-filtering system. All of Pressidium’s plans come with a Bad-bots filtering system which protects your website against bot activity and such. This is nice if the content on your website is likely to attract bot activity, or if your user base is really sensitive to the presence of bot activity.
  • Pressidium promises 99.95% uptime, and the tests done by other users online seem to confirm this statistic. 99.95% is a very good score, although not the best. It’s important to note that most of the reviews online actually claim they got 100% uptime during their testing period.
  • Pressidium promises hassle-free threat prevention. They have things like managed auto-updates, bot filtering, and firewalls in place to make sure your website is secure. They also have a security blog that goes into all the details about how they keep your site secure. Overall, Pressidium definitely seems trustworthy with their claims in this respect.
  • Free migration. Pressidium provides free migration onto their services, like any other good host. Pressidium also has a lot of good press about the actual migration process, saying that it’s very easy and the support during the process was phenomenal. This is a nice touch if you’re looking for a good host to jump on over to.
  • Free CDN, SSL, and backups. Along with their other security and support features, Pressidium’s plans offer free CDN, SSL, and site backups. These are for ensuring that your website works properly with all the security features that it needs. It’s nice to be able to get these features for free from the web host itself, instead of having to pay a third party.

Pressidium is kind of a well-kept secret in the hosting industry. Their uptime stats and extensive feature set are very nice, especially with their snazzy technical blog included to satisfy anybody with more advanced questions.

The free offers and such that they offer are also a nice touch. However, we have to remember what they said about their cost-per-visit. This is obviously an overall disadvantage, but it really depends on the type of website you’re looking to build.

Because of their prices and functionality, it seems like Pressidium would be a fairly powerful option for the right user. That being said, it will be difficult to get a good idea of what we’re dealing with until we take a look at the disadvantages that go along with Pressidium.

Admittedly, there isn’t much here. They’re a pretty solid host in-and-out. However, there are a few things we were able to identify.

Cons of Pressidium

  • Pay-per-visit system. This is the main drawback to Pressidium, although it may not be as bad as it seems. It really depends on your site. Although most WordPress websites are designed to work through advertising revenue, some business models allow you to profit in other ways. Since page views will be the main determining factor in your bottom line in almost any scenario, it makes sense to shell out a little extra for more views. This factor will come into play a bit more prominently when we take a look at price, since it will allow us to demonstrate how these fees-per-view will affect the actual prices.
  • Price points aimed at business market. Although Pressidium offers a few options for smaller-scale websites, the majority of its plans are designed for enterprise scale, and you can tell where a lot of their attention goes as a company. Who can blame them? Large-scale projects are more demanding and more profitable, after all. If you happen to need larger-scale hosting, this will probably be a plus for you. Otherwise, it can be something to consider if you’re looking for a smaller-scale host.
  • No email hosting. Unlike a lot of other hosting companies, Pressidium doesn’t offer email hosting on their platform. This is a bit of a bummer, since the site is so top-notch in almost every other regard. That being said, it’s not such a big deal to get your email hosted elsewhere, it’s just a shame to have to go to two different places for something that could be offered by one.

Like with WPEngine, there’s not much here to raise too many red flags. The biggest downside to Pressidium seems to be their pay-per-visit system. It’s an interesting quirk, and might even work out to the advantage of certain websites, but overall, it’s just one more thing you have to keep track of.

Most other hosts already charge you extra for views over a certain limit associated with your plan, so this isn’t too big a deal when you look at it in context, but we really won’t get a concrete idea of what we’re dealing with until we get down to our nitty-gritty comparison.

In order to determine which of these sites beats the other out, we’re going to look at them side-by-side, and compare them using a few different criteria. We’re going to be breaking it down according to Functionality, Security, and Price.

Functionality Comparison

Both websites offer top-notch WordPress hosting, accompanied by all the powerful features and support networks that you would expect from this niche. Both companies have a wide range of competitive plans that cover the necessary functionality for a wide range of business scales.

They also both have functionality designed to accommodate resellers and other website designers who might have some different needs compared to other WordPress users. What they don’t have are options for non-WordPress hosting. This shouldn’t be too big a deal, since you’re probably looking for WordPress hosting anyway, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind if you want to change your online presence in the future.

We’re going to call Pressidium the winner here due to their superior uptime and competitive features.

Support Comparison

Again, both of these websites have very good customer reviews for their support teams. They both offer extensive knowledge and support bases on their actual websites, to help you deal with smaller support issues. When you do need the attention of an actual human, however, Pressidium simply has ticket support available for members.

WPEngine, on the other hand, offers 24/7 support over phone and live chat. Even though both companies are well-known for good customer service, we’re going to call WPEngine the clear winner here by merit of this fact alone.

Price Comparison

This is the real make-or-break moment for a lot of potential customers. There’s no point in springing for the best options available if you break the bank in doing so. In order to really tie in the value of the pros and cons we’ve been going over, we’re going to put WPEngine and Kinsta’s price structures side-by-side and highlight a few key areas of interest in terms of price.

  • WPEngine offers “startup” plans from $35 per month, “growth” plans from $115 per month, “scale” plans from $290 per month, and custom plans for people that need even more scale and reliability.
    • The prices may seem a bit steep compared to Bluehost’s but the functionality is much more versatile. The “startup” plan gives you 25,000 visits, 10GB storage, 50GB in monthly bandwidth, and 1 website. It also throws in the Genesis Framework, StudioPress Themes, and support options I mentioned earlier.
    • The “growth” plan bumps this up to 100,000 visits, 20GB storage, 200GB monthly bandwidth, and 5 sites.
    • The “scale” plan is a whopping $290 per month, and includes 400,000 visits, 30GB storage, 400GB of bandwidth, and 15 websites.
    • They also have a “custom” plan for people who require much more powerful websites. This bumps the visits into the millions, the storage into the 1TB area, the bandwidth above 400GB per month, and up to 25 websites.
  • Pressidium Offers plans starting at $21 per month and scaling up to $500 per month, with larger “Enterprise” plans available for $750+ per month.
    • Their “Micro” plan gives you 1 WordPress install, 5GB of storage, staging environment, backups, SSL and other features I mentioned above.
    • Their “Personal” plan bumps this up to $42 per month, which gives you 3 installs, 10GB of storage, and all the other goodies.
    • The “Professional” package is $125 per month, giving you 10 installs, and 20 GB of storage.
    • The “Business” plan is $250 per month, with 25 installs, and 30GB of storage.
    • Their largest standard plan is the “Business Plus” plan, for $500 per month, with 50 installs and 40GB of storage.

Obviously, both companies offer competitive features for the lower price points. Pressidium offers a cheaper plan, but lacks some of the features of WPEngine’s lower-price plan.

In the end, it will depend on the type of website you desire. Websites of any scale will have a good experience with either one of these hosts, although smaller-scale web designers can probably find a smaller host that’s better for them.

As always, if there’s something we missed, or if you’ve had a different experience with these hosts, feel free to let us know!

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