WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Hong Kong
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has become a super-confusing place.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the website 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 compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Hong Kong
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present client 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 discussed. All data & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert 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 promise “spectacular 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 Hong Kong
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more intricate your website is, the more intricate the solutions to speed become.
From the box, 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 fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you require a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining 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 quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Hong Kong
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, but they also supply global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Hong Kong
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Hong Kong
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & altered 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 hard feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the fine operations of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Hong Kong
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). But they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly straightforward:
- 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Hong Kong
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same price from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k gos to per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback 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 & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is incredible.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your installation can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly charge 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Hong Kong
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is an essential element, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, 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), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host Hong Kong
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions however likewise on producing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly considering that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I don’t utilize them for this site since I do not require a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Hong Kong
All that stated, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Host Hong Kong
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a huge deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist troubleshoot 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 they do all this. And most of the times, support will just take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Hong Kong
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in regards to reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise costly to pay based on a variety of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs lots of plugins for full performance.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Additionally, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email service provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for performance & not needing to think too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Hong Kong
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of a lot of the functions you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than 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 option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more flexibility/ better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Hong Kong