WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Best Web Host Kenya
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Best Web Host Kenya
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Best Web Host Kenya
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion 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. Best Web Host Kenya
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a designer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Best Web Host Kenya
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Best Web Host Kenya
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Best Web Host Kenya
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Best Web Host Kenya
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are relatively straightforward:
- 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally 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 happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally expensive circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Best Web Host Kenya
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Best Web Host Kenya
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Best Web Host Kenya
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but likewise on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this website since I do not need many of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Best Web Host Kenya
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or just not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they currently do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Best Web Host Kenya
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial offer (when you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help repair all sorts of problems.
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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Best Web Host Kenya
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of reducing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Best Web Host Kenya
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t want to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Best Web Host Kenya