WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Pagely Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that 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 install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more 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. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are free 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 just offers an integrated CDN, but they also provide international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among 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 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 said, the difficult feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However 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 entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is simple, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site protected is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a generally pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost 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 monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each 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 might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed 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 concentrate on their core markets. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine excels not only on present functions however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly considering that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed 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 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 Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand because they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
All that stated, here are some of the larger 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 distinction can be quite made complex– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized 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 describe finest practice for the general user. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise costly to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting bills 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Pagely Vs Wp Engine
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires 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 projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Pagely Vs Wp Engine