WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Iis Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to offer managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Iis Website
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great 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 “best fit” for. Speed Up Iis Website
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based upon 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 guarantee “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Speed Up Iis Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow website does not indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need 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 stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Speed Up Iis Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating 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 customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an integrated CDN, but they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Iis Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Speed Up Iis Website
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with 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 deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I want to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with really knew the great workings 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 client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Iis Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large neighborhood releasing updates & testing 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually 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 whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Iis Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Iis Website
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems 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 customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site 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 basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much 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 having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows 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 improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Speed Up Iis Website
WP Engine excels not only on present features however likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into implementation & tasks 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Iis Website
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Speed Up Iis Website
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I had to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help repair all sorts of concerns.
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 site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Iis Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want 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 permit on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found 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 think 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 great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Speed Up Iis Website
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of many of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And lastly, 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. Speed Up Iis Website