WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed 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 website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but 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 price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
I have actually used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful 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. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate 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 couple of small images, you’ll be great with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra 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, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note 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 because you are free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis 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 business has 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 hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually knew the great operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is 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 community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is simple, 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 site safe and secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, reliable 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 strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, 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 a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic site maintenance. 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 irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, specifically 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 budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because 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 good suitable for some consumers. I don’t use 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. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks 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. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the general user. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view 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 customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to reducing & 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 have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for excellent factors, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing 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 pricey to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect 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 allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your website requires many plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail company mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually spending for efficiency & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include many of the features you do not 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 implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
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 what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ much better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Search Engine Optimization Wp Plugins