WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Mysql
While they have a lot of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all differ in services supplied. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a separate 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 offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, but as a whole, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. 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 Mysql
I’ve used WP Engine for various tasks considering that 2012. I do not use them for my main websites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational 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 Mysql
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily 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 somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, customized style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does imply that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to stay quickly as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … however either you or a developer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have tailored servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Mysql
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for one of my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s nice to have that type of speed right from package, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the site 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 may get with other services given that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they also provide global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Mysql
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Mysql
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a huge 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 actually grown & altered 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 hard aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a business treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with in fact knew the fine functions of WordPress and has actually 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 customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Mysql
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge neighborhood releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s discouraging, laborious & an usually costly scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Mysql
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact 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 per month.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However 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 worth & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole monthly charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular 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 entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or designer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Mysql
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some spending plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that process take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, clients, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Mysql
WP Engine excels not just on current features but likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered radically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to integrate best 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 fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this site since I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Mysql
All that stated, here are some of the larger image disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. Which difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can cause some designers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or just not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Web Host Mysql
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to enjoy that video several 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 really going to be a big deal (once you surpass the knowing curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever actually stops being quirky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site lists to help 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And in most cases, support will just take care of everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Mysql
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very genuine physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for good reasons, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured enables less adaptability too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
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 allow on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your website needs many plugins for full performance.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email company mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based on the functions you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Mysql
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with standard caching) handled 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 manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include many of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You can’t utilize them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest total, however what is best for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want 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 set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Host Mysql