WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Java
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply 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 managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional 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 understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This evaluation 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 Java
I’ve used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present customer on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business discussed. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational 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 Java
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site doesn’t indicate that you need a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Java
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin filling the page.
It’s nice to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also offer worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Java
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Java
Client support has 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, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult aspect of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never know if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all 3 need an investment of loan, time and know-how.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing far 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 offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually communicated with in fact understood the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able 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 throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Java
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support issues,specifically because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However 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 entire Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are relatively 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 observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, 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 safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Because you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Java
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense 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 & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better allocated far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Java
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key factor, especially having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive 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 Java
WP Engine stands out not just on current features but also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & tasks with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has actually been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine grievances 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 everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not require much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Java
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be rather complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they likewise don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the distinct backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever discuss best practice for the general user. Web Host Java
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous 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 custom backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (when you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to help repair 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 just look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Java
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for excellent reasons, however those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send out, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to element additional 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 website on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website needs many plugins for complete functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, 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.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Java
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best overall, however what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to fret about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host Java