WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promo 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. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional 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 good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, however they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge emphasis 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 & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough feature of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I want to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all three require a financial investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem 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 indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is 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 launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials are relatively simple:
- 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & 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 check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website 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 manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial factor, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not 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 guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but also on developing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many are valid due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the general user. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled 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 prices is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also expensive to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot 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 wanting to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Crazyegg Speed-Up-Your-Website