WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Speed Up Wp Website
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Speed Up Wp Website
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer support.” Here is their promo pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Speed Up Wp Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes 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. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining 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 combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Speed Up Wp Website
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, 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 consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also supply international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Speed Up Wp 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 Wp Website
Customer support has actually 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, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big 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 company has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based upon their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really knew the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Speed Up Wp Website
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required 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 nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately 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 takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally 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 warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Speed Up Wp Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, generally as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is amazing.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Speed Up Wp Website
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, 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 developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is frustrated at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is an essential factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site at one time.
They do not have any previous routines 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 provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Speed Up Wp Website
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but also on developing brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And many stand due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Speed Up Wp Website
All that said, here are a few of the bigger image downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the general user. Speed Up Wp Website
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to see that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of website lists to assist repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Speed Up Wp Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or extremely real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less flexibility too. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The very 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 utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Speed Up Wp Website
Many shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, but exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Speed Up Wp Website