WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Manager Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host Manager Godaddy
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, 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 content + functionality.
Every competitor 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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a various technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Manager Godaddy
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer service.” Here is their promotion 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 Manager Godaddy
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 complicated the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not imply that you need a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of services … but either you or a designer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host Manager Godaddy
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of 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 loading the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services because you are complimentary 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 just supplies an incorporated CDN, however they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Manager Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Manager Godaddy
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business 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 said, the tough feature of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is because they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the vital part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to try to find access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Manager Godaddy
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially because their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll display in the drawbacks). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire 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 an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge neighborhood launching updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial 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. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site protected is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & an usually expensive situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Manager Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits each 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 out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as numerous as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes monthly. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Manager Godaddy
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine handles the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous standard site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is an essential aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a start-up site owner that has the spending plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
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 offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, numerous of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Manager Godaddy
WP Engine stands out not just on existing functions however likewise on creating brand-new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have changed radically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand enough web development to integrate best practices into implementation & 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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous are valid because they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website because I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Manager Godaddy
All that said, here are some of the larger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. 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 gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open to the general public or simply not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner clients than they already do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Web Host Manager Godaddy
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for most, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to assist repair 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 that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Manager Godaddy
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather consistent.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or very real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal company; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to element additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses 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 use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up having to do an agonizing migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates 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 pricing based on the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally visiting often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Manager Godaddy
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be quite a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier 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 limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, however what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at 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 present host & want more freedom/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Host Manager Godaddy