WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Video Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Speed Up Video Website
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And 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 set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services customized to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site 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 options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Video Website
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects given that 2012. I don’t use them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Video Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complex your website is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you require a larger, much better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul 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 might simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Speed Up Video Website
They don’t 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 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 puffed up style, extra 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 begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements 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, however they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Video 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 Video Website
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & 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 thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know 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 treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually been able 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 shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Video Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Video Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just 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 entire monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Video Website
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, numerous of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Speed Up Video Website
WP Engine stands out not just on present functions however likewise on developing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have changed radically since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I don’t 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. Speed Up Video Website
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be quite made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like many customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Speed Up Video Website
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to see that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a huge deal (as soon as you surpass the knowing curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of website lists to assist fix 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Speed Up Video Website
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot truly do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Speed Up Video Website
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t 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 limitations requires extra expenses & technical implementation 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 websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site 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 best total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a strong product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more flexibility/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Speed Up Video Website