WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host And Email
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. 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 actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host And Email
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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. Web Host And Email
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need 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 help to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … but either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host And Email
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host And Email
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host And Email
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position 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 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 said, the tough feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however 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 a financial investment or an expense.
I like to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with actually knew the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host And Email
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s frustrating, tiresome & a normally costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host And Email
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost 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 whole regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s really 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 concentrate on their core markets. Web Host And Email
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host And Email
WP Engine excels not just on current functions however also on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered drastically since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & projects with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid because they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. 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. Web Host And Email
All that stated, here are some of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever explain best practice for the basic user. Web Host And Email
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (once you get past the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of website checklists 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.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in many cases, support will just look after all of it.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host And Email
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit more to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting expenses 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes further if your site needs many 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 planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up needing 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 prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host And Email
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 sees 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 sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even consist of much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best general, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a great service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to stress over 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 guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host And Email