WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Wpengine Vs Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site does not indicate that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with really understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped clients who have been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a typically expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
WP Engine stands out not just on current features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed significantly given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
All that said, here are some of the larger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And in most cases, support will simply take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Wpengine Vs Godaddy
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are planning to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Wpengine Vs Godaddy