WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting WordPress Migration Price
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. WordPress Migration Price
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price 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 options, 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 necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. WordPress Migration Price
I have actually utilized WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client 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. WordPress Migration Price
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. WordPress Migration Price
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed factors that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. WordPress Migration Price
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support WordPress Migration Price
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never ever understand 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 point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the great functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (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 just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. WordPress Migration Price
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However 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 huge neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t 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 & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically pricey situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. WordPress Migration Price
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole 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 discuss any personal or designer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. WordPress Migration Price
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site 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 intend on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. WordPress Migration Price
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have changed significantly since I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into application & jobs 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. WordPress Migration Price
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website available to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. WordPress Migration Price
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to help 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 for the most parts, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. WordPress Migration Price
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit more to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for excellent reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile 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 permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. WordPress Migration Price
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t 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 notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers 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 plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. 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 test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. WordPress Migration Price