WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Cheapest Web Hosting
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 particularly for WordPress. Cheapest Web Hosting
While they have plenty of competitors 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 cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, 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 short variation: They all vary in services provided. 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 really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website 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 choices, but as a whole, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Cheapest Web Hosting
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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. Cheapest Web Hosting
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Cheapest Web Hosting
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right out of package, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Cheapest Web Hosting
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Cheapest Web Hosting
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 actually 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 customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Cheapest Web Hosting
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). 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 Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected is still ultimately 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 occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically costly situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Cheapest Web Hosting
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install 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 just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. 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 sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge 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 month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Cheapest Web Hosting
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior routines or customs brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Cheapest Web Hosting
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually altered significantly because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to incorporate best practices into application & projects with designers.
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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Cheapest Web Hosting
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– especially if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can cause some developers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Cheapest Web Hosting
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Cheapest Web Hosting
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those bans restrict adaptability and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates 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 look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Cheapest Web Hosting
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive option, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Cheapest Web Hosting