WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Joomla
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to provide handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Joomla
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all differ in services offered. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but 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 greater price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is necessary to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great however I take a different method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Joomla
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a current customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Joomla
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a few basic plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a budget-friendly shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are plenty of services … however either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Joomla
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up style, 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 determines how quickly the server returned enough data to begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just provides an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Joomla
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Joomla
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are really offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention 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 search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website via chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with in fact knew the fine operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Joomla
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). But they seem to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means 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 application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something occurs. Considering that you technically have an “set up” 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 companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty 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), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Host Joomla
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price 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 each month.
Both of which enable more storage & more sees (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that rates drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their rates is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your installation 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 monthly cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month 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 month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is much better allocated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Joomla
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, 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 really worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Joomla
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed drastically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into execution & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some customers. I do not use them for this website since I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Joomla
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite made complex– specifically if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they likewise do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can lead to some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the basic user. Web Host Joomla
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to enjoy that video several 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 substantial deal (when you get past the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever really stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist fix 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 they do all this. And in many cases, support will simply take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Joomla
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or extremely real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to specify what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, but those restrictions restrict adaptability and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting expenses 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 manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you cannot truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended 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 on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Joomla
Many shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to spread out the cost of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a fit 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 what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host Joomla