WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Limited Hong Kong
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then 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. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate 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 choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is very important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great 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 choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
I have actually used WP Engine for different projects since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites 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 pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying client or specialist 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 assure “spectacular speed, effective security, and best-in-class client service.” 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 Limited Hong Kong
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your site is, the more complex the services to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a few standard plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to get rid of the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal webhosting. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs because they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, extra 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 start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it stay that method 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 better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are totally free to focus on speed factors that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, but they also provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Limited 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 Limited Hong Kong
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they seem to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large neighborhood launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that although security on WordPress is simple, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your 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 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 update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost 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 might be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed problems or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Basically, if your time is much better designated away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can assure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic 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 growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some spending 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 aspect, especially having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy learning WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on introducing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any prior habits or customs brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming 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, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
WP Engine excels not only on current functions however also on producing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have altered radically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into application & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some customers. I do not utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be quite complicated– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the distinct backend can cause some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the basic user. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to help fix all sorts of problems.
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 most cases, support will just look after all of it.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those bans limit versatility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also expensive to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have 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 site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Business. And this point goes further if your website requires lots of plugins for full performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another e-mail 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 normally spending for performance & not needing to believe too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based on the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Limited Hong Kong
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include many of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to expand the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Limited Hong Kong