Every web hosting company have their fault(s).Over time, though, a pattern begins to crop up that perhaps points to a set of underlying problems that are peculiar. That can be said of WP engine as well; over time, there has been a sort of semblance with most of the complaints labeled against WP Engine, and this post looks to examine these complaints. Are the complaints real? How is WP engine dealing with the issues? All these are questions that will be answered shortly.

The Complaints

Overage Charges

Overage charges are the extra cost you get to pay when your site draws in more visitors than the monthly limit of your plan. For example, if the monthly visits limit for your site is 100k, and you get let’s say 150k visits, then you are a candidate for overage charges. Having said that, overage charges aren’t the problems at all – if you use more resources than you estimated you needed, you should pay for it. Pretty standard! The crux of the problem lies in how the numbers of visitors to your site are calculated. It is very normal with WordPress engine hosting to have a different visitor count than what Google analytics (GA) records.

In their explanation as the reason for this, they reckon GA does the following:

  • Discard visitors with Javascript disabled on their browsers
  • Consider only human visitors “that matter for Ad traffic”, and not bots
  • Reset IP addresses after every month

WP engine does the opposite of the highlighted points above. They count visitors with Javascript disabled – which is fair, consider bots – rightly so, but with a caveat, and resets IP addresses every day – which actually eats into the visitor count. The fact is that all of these are well detailed and documented on their help page and nobody can complain that they are hidden charges. However, the notion of counting every bot visit can cause overage charges to be bloated. A single bot can scan your site multiple times every month, and treating bots as humans is not customer-friendly.

Customer Support

An informed and prompt resolution of your queries can be the difference with customer support. When either half is unavailable, customer support is at best described as lacking. A lot of users have complained about the dwindling strengths and effectiveness of WP engine hosting support system. In their words, “The once wonderful, prompt and technical support has given way to late, shabby and textbook copy and paste responses.” For a time, WP hosting service like WP Engine didn’t have live-chat on their site.

Reduced Flexibility

Certain plug-ins that can offer your site different capabilities is not accepted on the WP engine hosting service. The motive behind this is to create a regulated environment, and improve security; it notwithstanding puts a cap on the creativity and flexibility of some users. Imagine migrating your site from another host, and only to find out that certain functions have suddenly stopped because WP engine forbids some plug-in. For example, the “Yet Another Related Post” is not enabled in WP engine hosting service and a host of other as well.


Putting perspective on the complaints can be tough, but let’s first begin with the words from one of the founders of the company in response to their floundering standards:

“We closed our Series C financing in January and immediately put it to work in hiring in the Support Team. We’ve increased the team by 50% since then. It’s very hard to hire quickly and yet maintain our standards of both attitude (culture) and aptitude (ability).” – Jason Cohen

The above statement is taken from the “Growth is Hard” article by Jason Cohen. Growth has been really tough on them. I remember what I learnt during a business analytics class, quick growth can have a negative impact on the cash flow of businesses.

Solutions and changes

I love business owners that take responsibility for their flops, and the folks at WP engine do exactly that. And this only bodes well for many users of their services. To that end, they have implemented changes to curtail complaints from their customers. These changes include:

  • Improved customer support; they have added more staff, added live chat to the site, and increased access to engineers for more serious technical issues
  • In 2015, they announced via their blog that they have removed bot traffic from overage charges.

Take Away

WordPress engine hosting service is a fast-growing company and at such would undergo occasional “growing pains”. It is their response to these pains that gives users confidence, and WP engine responds well each time.