WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Gratis
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides 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 website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as a whole, 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, but it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a various approach. 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 Gratis
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their discount 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 Gratis
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a slow website doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming 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 huge enough when you may simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Gratis
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, extra 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay that way no matter how huge or complicated the site 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 given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Gratis
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Gratis
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position 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 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 stated, the tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 require a financial investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with really knew the fine operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of problems (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Gratis
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means 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. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large neighborhood releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything 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 whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Host Gratis
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k check outs per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is remarkable.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes on a monthly basis. 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any individual or developer time fixing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Gratis
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host Gratis
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web development best practices have changed radically because I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into application & tasks with developers.
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 a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid since they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this site because I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Gratis
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting companies, they also don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the 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 novice clients than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host Gratis
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Gratis
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good factors, however those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good 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 pricing is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also pricey to pay based on a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish 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 versatile you wish 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 permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for performance & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Gratis
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget 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 strong product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to stress over hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. 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 present host & want more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host Gratis