WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Bitcoin
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides 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 different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Bitcoin
I’ve used WP Engine for numerous projects given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Bitcoin
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website does not mean that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need 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 quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Bitcoin
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, extra scripts, a lot of 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 great to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note 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 might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Bitcoin
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Bitcoin
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 hard thing about customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with really understood the great workings 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 throughout my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Bitcoin
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But 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 very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still eventually 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations 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 never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Bitcoin
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, but 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 developer’s) time, their rates is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes each month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly fee 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 charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Bitcoin
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing basic website maintenance. 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 annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Bitcoin
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web advancement finest practices have changed radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to incorporate finest practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need much of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Bitcoin
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the public or simply not allowing 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 lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Web Host Bitcoin
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to enjoy that video numerous 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of problems.
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 many cases, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Bitcoin
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of lowering & increasing complexity.
This con is also 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 need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting costs 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 allow on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The exact same goes for 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 utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Bitcoin
Numerous shared hosting servers can handle the exact 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) dealt with more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
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 test to simplify things. Web Host Bitcoin