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You might have noticed that other blogging sites love to talk about website hosting for blogs. And honestly, it makes sense as proper hosting can make or break a website experience.

While I do recommend Bluehost for blogging and to get a fast start with WordPress. But what if you are a small/medium-sized business or need to level up your blogs site performance? Only two choices I recommend, Pressable and WP Engine. But which one is better?

Pressable Vs WP Engine – The Background

For those looking to level up their web hosting, you’ve likely heard that WP Engine is the gold standard. And for the longest time, I would have agreed and I still do but times change and so does the competition.

However.

I’m all about finding the right tool for the right job. By being as efficient as possible, its easier to focus our time doing what we love. As someone who has been in the agency realm for years, finding the right WordPress hosting provider for a growing business that doesn’t break the bank is tough.

Over the years when I have helped out countless companies pick a managed WordPress hosting provider, my #1 choice was strictly WP Engine.

I soon realized that most of my clients have deeper wallets compared to growing bloggers, small businesses and even some medium-sized businesses.

But what about small and medium-size businesses looking for max value?

Speaking for myself, I love WP Engine but I wanted to do some due diligence as I have a few business websites that I host so finding the right host is critical.

Aside from price, there are other factors to consider when selecting a WordPress host.

  • Security
  • Backups
  • Speed
  • Downtime
  • Site Integration / Customer Support / Setup / Etc

Ideally, customers should be able to find your site and to take action without any interruption. Getting a managed WordPress host like Pressable or WP Engine takes care of most of these concerns.

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What is Managed WordPress Hosting?

For those who aren’t familiar with managed WordPress hosting, here are some of the reason I recommend it for just about anyone that is looking to grow their website.

  1. Running a WordPress site is no longer a “set it and forget it” game. Marketing, design, social media, SEO are all items that need to be addressed for a successful website. The key factor that most businesses forget about is site speed.
  2. If someone is browsing your site and views the services that a business has to offer, the last thing you want is for them to wait 5-10 seconds to load each page. Slow load times = fast exits.
  3. Most web hosting companies offer very affordable options that are a great fit for bloggers or those starting out ($3-$8/month). But they use a shared server so speeds can vary on websites pages that are heavy on graphics and images.
  4. Managed WordPress hosting companies already have a framework set up in which they handle more of the day-to-day stuff that allows site owners to be more hands-off. From site backups to caching, they are able to handle the load.
  5. In some cases, paying a bit extra for a managed WordPress host can save thousands each year as you likely won’t need to hire a ‘webmaster’ to be on standby every month.

Regardless of which WordPress host you select, I frequently recommend managed hosting compared to standard web hosting at some point as your site grows.

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Pressable vs. WP Engine – Managed WordPress Hosting Breakdown

I’ll spare you the details if you don’t want to keep reading, but I strongly prefer Pressable over WP Engine in a majority of cases.

This isn’t a joke. Pressable is better than WP Engine for probably 80-90% of those looking for a managed WordPress hosting solution.

Mark my words, Pressable will become a major player in the managed WordPress hosting space and faster than you think.

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Pressable vs. WP Engine: The History

Pressable has been around since 2010 and is based out of Texas. I’m honestly surprised that after 9 years it’s only been until recently where they are gaining traction. It might be that they have spent the time to improve their product. I guess the name change from “ZippyKid” in 2013 might have something to do with that.

WP Engine has also been around since 2010 and grown to be a BEAST in the realm of managed WordPress Hosting. WP Engine seems to have pioneered the visibility of hosting for WordPress. Just in the past year alone, they have been bringing in over $100 million in recurring annual revenue.

IMO, it seems that WP Engine has been very savvy with their branding, marketing, and raising funds to scale much faster compared to Pressable.

Winner: WP Engine…slightly…due to its growth over the last decade

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Pressable vs WP Engine – Site Speed Review

As someone that has used Pressable – I’ve been very impressed with their website speed. My average load time from a previous hosting company that represents a gator (not saying it) was 5-14 seconds per page.

When I made the switch to Pressable my speed lowered to less than 2 seconds on the same pages. Even less than 1 second on smaller sized pages. 

pressable site speed performance wordpress pages

2018 Managed WordPress Hosting Award Winner

Not only will that improve the user experience of your site, but you’ll likely see an uptick in your organic SEO traffic. Fast sites are a major ranking factor in showing up on the top of Google. Fast = Traffic.

pressable site speed test results 1.07 second load time

Pressable Site Speed Results

For WP Engine (which I’ve also used) – They boast a lot regarding how they have dedicated WordPress teams to continually optimize the WordPress experience for the fastest speeds.

It clearly shows, all of my old clients that use WP Engine rave about the dramatic increase in speed and how it’s improved their site experience. As for my personal experience, here is the load time from an old client.

WP Engine site speed test results 885ms load speed

WP Engine Speed Test Results

I know I’m not comparing apples to apples, but the biggest reason why the Pressable site speed is slower was the initial connect time of .3 seconds.

Winner: WP Engine by a slim margin

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Pressable vs WP Engine Pricing & Cost

For most small businesses and entrepreneurs, having one or more sites isn’t that uncommon. So I want to take that into consideration as a majority of us aren’t looking to make 100+ sites.

How much does Pressable cost? Pressable comes in with a very reasonable $25/month ($20.83/month if paid annually). Some of the benefits that come with this are:

Pressable wordpress hosting price chart $25 cheapest plan

$25 For Up to 5 Sites

As your website continues to grow and build, pricing goes up accordingly. For $90 a month you get up to 400K pageviews. So, how does WP Engine compare? Get started with Pressable today and get a free site migration.

WP Engine – WP Engine has a higher price for entry starting at $35/month ($29.10/mo if paid annually)

SPECIAL: As of the most recent update, you can save 20% when you go to WP Engine by clicking here. This means that the annual plan will be $280 instead of $350/year. Because this is a promo, I won’t take that into consideration in this review.

  • You can only have 1 site at this price tier, any additional site is $20 extra. So for two sites, it’s $55/month compared to $25/month on Pressable.
  • 20K visits/month
  • Free site transfers
  • Free CDN
  • Free SSL
  • Chat Support Available
wp engine pricing chart $35 for one site

WP Engine Pricing Comparison Chart

The biggest drawback that I cannot get past is that for 5 sites it cost $115/month. Compare that to the $25/month for Pressable.

As you start scaling, if you have 400K visitors a month you’ll spend $290/month ($200 more than Pressable each month, totally to a $2400/year difference in cost).

Winner: Pressable by a wide margin, especially if you plan to have more than 1 site. I honestly don’t know how long Pressable will keep their pricing, but this is a game changer and is very friendly for those looking to dive into a managed WordPress hosting solution.

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Pressable vs. WP Engine – Site Migration Process Reviewed

I would say that a good number of people that make the switch to a new hosting provider are looking for an upgrade in service. This means that a seamless migration/website transfer is a must.

The last thing a business or any type of company wants is a headache when moving a website to a new web host. Trust me on this one, it’s quite often a pain, even with plugins and processes in place.

Pressable – My initial impression was “HOLY. BALLS”! When you decide to do a site migration, all you need is submit your login/FTP information.

site migration request pressable easy site move

Full-Service WordPress Migration

That’s all. Pressable will take care of the rest. You’ll be assigned a ticket and about 2-6 hours their staff will fully migrate your old site to their staging site.

When you are ready to push the site out of staging you press, “push site live”. Aside from changing our CNAME, this is a set it and forget it solution.

WP Engine – I will say, I’m impressed with their new plugin to automatically make migration very simple. Before it involved following a set of instructions or using chat which would cause some frustration (I would know, lol).

WP Engine WordPress Migration

While this still requires you to have some basic tech knowledge, the plugin is now fairly painless experience. Well played WP Engine.

But again, depending on your tech savviness, the plugin solution might not be up your alley. Since WP Engine won’t do a full-service migration for free, you are looking to shell out some extra dough.

Winner – Pressable

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Pressable vs WP Engine – Customer Service Review

Whenever a site happens to go down, usually having fast customer service with the knowledge and speed to resolve any issue can make or break a relationship.

Pressable – I was thoroughly impressed with how frequent reps and technicians reach out and always seem to be proactive in finding problems/solutions. After I signed up and got my first site up and running, I even got a call from a rep who was more than willing to assist.

That said, if you have a basic plan, expect some lead times to hear back. You do not have a chat support option (although it does show on my dashboard as a basic plan). You can either fill out a ticket or call via phone.

WP Engine – Their support is knowledgeable and they are easily able to resolve more technical problems in real time. 24/7 chat support along with multiple methods of communication is world class. Most problems I’ve had they were able to resolve within minutes.

Winner – WP Engine (Pressable is good, but when push comes to shove WP Engine is world class for what you are paying)

BONUS: If you do decide to go the WP Engine Route – Take advantage of their 20% off deal on all hosting (This means that the annual plan will be $280 instead of $350).

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Pressable vs. WP Engine – User Experience Review

This category is for those who ‘kind of’ want to get familiar with the hosting backend. Often working your way around the platform can help utilize functionality for your WordPress host.

Pressable 

pressable add new site experience backend view

Pressable Backend Site Experience

I find Pressable’s experience to be simple. There are no bells and whistles. You pick the website you want to tweak/setup and you have a few options to push it live and change URLs.

When you get started it isn’t as intuitive as I would like, but there are documentation and support to help you out. Pretty straightforward overall with no complaints.

WP Engine

wp engine dashboard and backend installs and tracking

WP Engine Dashboard

WP Engine has a fairly intuitive interface. You are able to view dashboards regarding traffic, bandwidth, storage, etc.

From setting up redirects to pushing your site live, all documentation is readily available. For those who want to get more technical, there is a lot more than you are able to do.

The WP Engine dashboard feels more “complete”. You can tell they spent a lot of time creating a user-friendly experience.

Winner: WP Engine (For some of you who like barebones, you can make a case for Pressable based on preference)

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Pressable vs WP Engine – SSL Certificates

Between both of these hosting companies, they all offer free SSL certificates. However, if you plan to have a subdomain, it can start to get sticky.

Pressable – To my best recollection, all SSLs are free regardless of domain, subdomain/site.

website hosting ssl encription pressable


WP Engine
– SSLs are free for each site. But if you plan to have subdomains, you’ll need to pay for an SSL Certificate if you intend to use subdomains along with your root domain. Based on their SSL page, subdomains (trees.example.com) = free SSL unless you have a root domain (example.com).

Again, this is another cost incurred by WP Engine (varies based on the SSL you receive). This isn’t meant to scare you, but rather help gather proper expectations.

Winner: Pressable

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Pressable vs WP Engine – Freebies Offered

Both WordPress managed hosting companies try to sweeten the pot by partnering with other companies to offer discounts or freebies. The differences in freebies offered are varied.

Unique Pressable Freebies Offered

  1. Completely Free Migrations
  2. Consultive Onboarding
  3. Premium Jetpack Plugin ($99/year value)

Unique WP Engine Freebies Offered

  1. Genesis Framework ($60)
  2. StudioPress Themes ($70+)
  3. Unlimited Premium Themes
  4. Standard 24/7 Chat Support

Winner: WP Engine. While the onboarding/migration freebies are nice, having the ability to select hundreds of premium themes to test on the Genesis Framework and use is a pretty damn good freebie offered.

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Pressable vs WP Engine – Other Hosting Features & Benefits

These two are great managed WordPress hosting providers. I would say that a majority of you care about the main comparisons but I don’t want to neglect the other benefits which both managed WordPress hosts have.

  • Free Staging Sites – Great for when you want to to make changes before going live. This doesn’t count as a “website” on either platform.
  • Automatic Backups – WP Engine does have a “one-click” restore feature that is pretty cool. Pressable you need to log-in and restore a backup. With the Jetpack plugin & the automatic backups by Pressable, you are we well covered.
  • No need for caching plugins – Both hosts have teams to focus on top-notch speed to have an optimized WordPress site right out of the gate.
  • Hacking scans — WP Engine has its own scanning software while Pressable uses the premium Jetpack plugin to protect your site.
  • Free CDNs — Both sites offer free CDNs right out of the gate.
  • Multi-Site Configuration – Both offer this, Pressable is included for free.
  • SSL certificates — Both sites do a great job in providing

Winner: Tie

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Pressable Review vs WP Engine Review: The Final Results

I’ve rated each site based on metrics that matter to me. I’m not a badass dev, just a guy who likes fast websites and easy solutions that is budget conscious. 

Metric Pressable WP Engine
History 9.1 9.2
Site Speed 8.9 9.4
Cost / Pricing 9.5 6.8
Site Migration 9.9 8.8
Customer Service 8.8 9.6
User Experience 7.5 8.0
SSL Certificates 9.0 8.8
Freebies Offered 7.7 8.5
AVERAGE SCORE 8.8 8.6

Overall Winner – Pressables’ low price point, hands-off migrations, and flexibility with multiple sites are ideal for those wanting to get into managed WordPress hosting. If you want to have more than one site, Pressable provides the biggest value overall.

The price to feature ratio on Pressable is out of this world. It’s a lot easier to get started on Pressable plus they scale fairly well in regards to pricing.

IMO, 80%+ of the time picking Pressable is the optimal choice. You get 95% of the value for a fraction of the price. The other 20% of the time WP Engine would be a viable choice.

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Get Pressable or WP Engine for Your SPECIFIC Needs

I can already hear some folk say, “WHAT? WP ENGINE IS BETTER THAN PRESSABLE. THEY EVEN WON MOST METRICS”.

True. There is one thing that I have mentioned fairly often: Ideal Target Audience

A vast majority website owners don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend each month. As a matter of fact, most site owners want to invest wisely. So while WP engine is a tier above Pressable in some areas, IMO these are negligible with respect to “bang for your buck”.

I won’t leave you high and dry though. Use the section below to best to identify the ideal managed WordPress hosting solution for you.

Pressable is ideal for those who are/prefer:

  • Small & Medium Businesses – Primarily those that understand that good hosting is important that won’t have any problems for years.
  • Growing Blogs looking to take a step-up in site performance.
  • Non-Tech Savy People that want more of a ‘hands-off’ approach to web hosting.
  • Entrepreneurs looking to save money.
  • Multiple Site Owners – The savings add up if you have multiple sites
  • Owners looking for a top performing host but without the premium cost.
  • People that don’t want to deal with the headache of migration or site setup.
  • Simple, no frills but great hosting.
  • Ideal for the 80-90% of people that don’t want to deal with low-quality web hosts with inconsistent speeds but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg just to have a website. This is the most value-driven option for people that don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for pretty damn good WordPress hosting.

WP Engine is ideal for those who are/prefer:

  • Prestige – WP Engine works with the biggest companies in the world and has a great reputation. That’s something Pressable can’t tout at the moment.
  • Customer support – It’s world-class, bar none. Migrations can be a pain, but for most problems, they can take care of it.
  • Scalability – Because they are the market leader, you will have no problems if your business starts scaling or are migrating a site that has a lot of traffic.
  • Single Sites – If you only ever plan to have 1 site, I wouldn’t fault you for going to WP engine.
  • Medium/Large/Enterprise Businesses – While Pressable is capable, WP Engine has a longer track record of working with major clients.
  • Ideal for 10-20% of those that want a top-tier solution that cost doesn’t matter. Site speed, security, etc. are all performance-based categories that matter.

BONUS: If you do decide to go the WP Engine Route – Take advantage of their 20% off deal on all hosting (This means that the annual plan will be $280 instead of $350).

So there you have it. Hopefully, I’ve helped out those who are looking for a step up in your WordPress hosting by showing two of my top managed hosts. I’m currently using Pressable for my current sites and I really don’t plan to move elsewhere.

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