WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Email Accounts
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host Email Accounts
While they have a lot of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Email Accounts
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a current client 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 upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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. Web Host Email Accounts
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website does not mean that you need a larger, much better server. It does mean 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 particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Host Email Accounts
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform due to the fact that 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, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services because you are free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also provide worldwide data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Email Accounts
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Email Accounts
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has 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 rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to adeptly help us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Email Accounts
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Host Email Accounts
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more sees (ie, basically as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation 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 entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly 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 whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Email Accounts
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can assure 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 interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is an essential element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Email Accounts
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have changed radically given that I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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 everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Email Accounts
All that stated, here are a few of the larger photo drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that difference can be rather made complex– especially if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the general user. Web Host Email Accounts
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Email Accounts
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (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 rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t really do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Email Accounts
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even include many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, but what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to fret about hosting problems.
If handled 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 consider their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Host Email Accounts