WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Hacking Scams
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Hacking Scams
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a various technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Hacking Scams
I have actually used WP Engine for various jobs considering that 2012. I do not utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Hacking Scams
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 site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly 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 few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site does not mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain fast as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host Hacking Scams
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing 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 among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, extra scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services since you are complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control 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 provide international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Hacking Scams
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Hacking Scams
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually connected with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just 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 taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Hacking Scams
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, 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 business arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website protected 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 occurs. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, laborious & a generally expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Hacking Scams
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup plan 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, 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 plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, generally as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But 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 worth & factor in your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
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 regular monthly cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly 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 whole monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better allocated far from technical issues, 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 a financial investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Hacking Scams
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a fit 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 client type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any prior routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of client.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host Hacking Scams
WP Engine excels not just on present functions but also on developing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the market *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to integrate best 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t use them for this site due to the fact that I do not require many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Hacking Scams
All that stated, here are a few of the larger image drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can cause some designers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the general user. Web Host Hacking Scams
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to watch 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 backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
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 why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after all of it.
But, 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 numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Hacking Scams
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
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; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site 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 lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Hacking Scams
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that doesn’t even include a lot of the functions you don’t 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 costs & technical execution 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 sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly 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 on your goals, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer an excellent service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at 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. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Host Hacking Scams