WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host For Posting Website
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host For Posting Website
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, however as an entire, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host For Posting Website
I’ve used WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “sensational 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 For Posting Website
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget-friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, much better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … but either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Host For Posting Website
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or complicated the site gets.
*Note 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 might get with other services considering that you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host For Posting Website
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host For Posting Website
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, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 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 said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever know 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 point out in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and proficiency.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has connected with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host For Posting Website
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still ultimately 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 happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host For Posting Website
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only 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 exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both 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 had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation 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 whole monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or designer time repairing problems.
Essentially, 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 actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host For Posting Website
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients 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 first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. 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 assure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host For Posting Website
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on producing new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate 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 best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid since they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host For Posting Website
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website available to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like many custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host For Posting Website
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to watch that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to assist repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host For Posting Website
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & 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 rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based on a number of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Service. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are wanting to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for performance & not having to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host For Posting Website
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the cost. You can’t use 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 spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but what is best for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions 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 wish to worry about hosting issues.
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 install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive client service.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Host For Posting Website