Stackbit vs. WP Engine: Stackbit is a powerful WP Engine alternative where you own your content and easily edit it. Here’s how Stackbit and WP Engine compare to one another.

WP Engine is a dedicated hosting service for WordPress sites that was founded in 2010. The company takes care of technical upkeep and security for its clients, allowing both developers and business owners to concentrate their energies elsewhere. They also throw in premium StudioPress themes and the Genesis framework to provide additional value. Over 400,000 active WordPress sites choose WP Engine for their hosting needs.

WP Engine is a great service, but it has some limitations that you should be aware of. The company specializes in WordPress sites, meaning that they cannot help you if you have anything else. WP Engine also filters which plugins you can add to your site, limiting the functions and features your site can have. Most importantly, the costs associated with WP Engine can add up quickly. If you would like a powerful website that's easy to build and maintain, a Jamstack site managed by Stackbit is a viable alternative.

What is Stackbit anyway?

Stackbit is the world's first complete platform for the Jamstack, making some of the web's most powerful development tools accessible to a broad audience for the first time. If you don't know how to code, Stackbit Site Builder allows you to select a theme and customize it to create a beautiful website without any programming experience. Once you're live, you can make changes on Stackbit Studio: a WYSIWYG editing tool that allows anyone to handle day-to-day content management.

There are a lot of page builders with intuitive interfaces out there, but Stackbit stands out by also offering developer tools. If you work for an agency, you can create slick features for your clients that ensure they keep coming back to you even if they are handling mundane tasks themselves on Stackbit Studio. You can also access your site's code to expand its functionality. Most importantly, you will always own the code beneath a Jamstack site. Please keep reading to learn more about what the Jamstack and Stackbit can do.

How are Jamstack sites a great WP Engine alternative?

Before we discuss WP Engine itself, we should mention that all WP Engine sites are also WordPress sites. We covered WordPress sites in a previous review, noting that the platform involves a lot of maintenance headaches, security risks, a dated tech stack, hidden costs, and other drawbacks. WP Engine solves some of these maintenance and security issues, but the fees they charge can add up swiftly.

Indeed, price is often cited as the biggest weakness of WP Engine. Their Startup plan starts at $30 per month and includes 10 GB of storage and enough bandwidth to handle 25,000 monthly visitors. Their Growth plan costs considerably more at $115 per month and provides 20 GB of storage and 100,000 visitors. You also get multisite functionality for up to 10 WordPress sites. WP Engine's Scale plan costs a whopping $290 per month and offers 50 GB storage and enough bandwidth for 400,000 monthly visitors across up to 30 sites. If you need more than that, you can contact WP Engine's sales team for a custom quote. The first three packages do not involve dedicated servers, forcing you to spend a lot to share with other sites, which will affect site speed and performance. You will need to purchase your domain name from another company as well. It's also strange that even the $300 plan caps your storage and monthly traffic. 

WP Engine also limits the flexibility normally associated with WordPress sites. There are countless plugins and extensions that you can use to expand your site's functionality, but WP Engine will prevent you from using some of them. In contrast, Stackbit is not a walled garden. You are free to add extensions or even create your own as you see fit.

How does Stackbit make Jamstack sites more user-friendly?

Jamstack sites are created by combining several building blocks, including hosting tools, versioning tools, a headless content management system (or CMS), and a static site generator (SSG). This structure improves site performance by allowing users to render it as a single whole rather than waiting for individual elements to load piecemeal. It also leaves hackers with relatively few points of entry, especially when compared to WordPress sites with multiple third-party plugins. Unfortunately, it has been time-consuming and potentially challenging for developers to put these pieces together in the past. As a result, Jamstack sites weren't that accessible.

Stackbit solves this problem by providing a user-friendly interface for the Jamstack. If you own a restaurant and would like to handle site creation and maintenance yourself, Stackbit Site Builder and Stackbit Studio are ideal tools for you. Developers can also leverage Stackbit Studio to allow less experienced team members and clients to handle day-to-day content management, enabling them to focus on more sophisticated projects.

Stackbit also offers several handy features to make site management easier. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Ability to import your pre-existing site or create your own theme
  • Collaboration tools
  • Ability to share unpublished pages
  • Live previews of site edits
  • Front-end modular editing
  • Built-in mobile responsiveness

Conclusion: Jamstack and Stackbit or WP Engine?

We're not going to lie: if you want a WordPress site, WP Engine provides a great hosting service. Do you want a WordPress site though? Jamstack sites managed by Stackbit can provide comparable functionality for a fraction of the cost without compromising on ease of use. Give it a try today and do your part to make the web, better.