WP Engine is a real WordPress heavyweight in the USA! The company was founded in 2010 with a clear focus on WordPress cloud hosting. The largest pure WordPress hosting provider has meanwhile not only taken over the popular Genesis Framework, but also its provider StudioPress including 200.000 customers and all themes and in October 2018 also Array Themes and Atomic Blocks, a specialist for flexible themes for Gutenberg. In addition, the WordPress hoster flywheel is also part of WP Engine, which is still represented on the market with its own range of products.
The technology at WP Engine
The technology of WP Engine is really state of the art. Web servers make NGINX hosting PHP-7-capable incl. HTTP/2 and rely on the in-house EverCache (a combination of Memcached with mcrouter and the Varnish Cache is used). As storage system WP Engine has developed its own LargeFS (on cluster basis), which can offer virtually unlimited storage space on Amazon S3. Included in all tariffs is the use of the worldwide Content Delivery Network (CDN). Although WP Engine is based in the USA, you can choose Frankfurt, for example, as the data center location for your website. The cloud servers come from the Google infrastructure and therefore have excellent worldwide connections.
In terms of security, WP Engine offers daily backups and automatic WordPress updates. An own system via AppArmor can dynamically detect and block malicious behavior and threats.
Attention: Not allowed plugins!
WP Engine is one of the few Managed WP Hosters to have a list of non-permitted plug-ins that could endanger the stability of the system or lead to undesired behavior. This complete list of prohibited plugins can be found at: https://wpengine.com/de/support/disallowed-plugins/
According to the WP Engine most caching plugins do not work with their own caching solution. Therefore plugins like WP Super Cache, WP File Cache, W3 Total Cache, WordFence, etc. are automatically disabled. I think this is understandable and reasonable. I myself use NGINX Full Page Cache, so hard disk caching via a plugin would only be an unnecessary additional layer. The usual backup plugins are also deactivated, since they are indeed very inefficient and WP Engine makes backups every night anyway. These include WP DB Backup, WP DB Manager, BackupWordPress and VersionPress.
My conclusion about WP Engine
I think WP Engine is a good managed WordPress hoster, but it has some limitations in terms of plugins for the stability of the system. In terms of price WP Engine is really interesting for the offered performance (Cloud Server, CDN, Caching). The phone support and chat support are available around the clock and very competent. For really busy websites WP Engine as a complete package has in my opinion a good price-performance ratio. If you can live with the forbidden plugins or without them, you can host here in a very reasonable way.