WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Cheap
While they have plenty of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some merely 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 handled 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 offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Cheap
I have actually used WP Engine for different tasks considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary 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 pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All data & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful 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 Cheap
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a slow site does not suggest that you need a larger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Cheap
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because 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 provides an integrated CDN, however they likewise provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Cheap
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Cheap
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult feature of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never know if the story is due to the fact that they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of loan, time and proficiency.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with really knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Cheap
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing 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 best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped customers who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Cheap
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees 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 location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Basically, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Cheap
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Cheap
WP Engine stands out not only on existing functions but also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development finest practices have altered radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest practices into application & jobs 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not utilize them for this website because I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Cheap
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site available to the public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Host Cheap
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to see that video multiple 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 going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of website lists to assist repair 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Cheap
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related 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 consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured allows for less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional 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 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 further if your site needs numerous plugins for full performance.
The very 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 use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail 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 usually paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Cheap
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour duration 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 visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical implementation 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 rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, but exactly what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer 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 Cheap