WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Node Js
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: 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 set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, generally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different method. This evaluation will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Node Js
I have actually used WP Engine for various jobs because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), however I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning 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 Node Js
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into site speed, however the general rule is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these functions integrated with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow site doesn’t suggest that you require a bigger, much better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as easy as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quick as you grow. There are lots of services … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They likewise have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Node Js
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the additional 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, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, however they likewise offer worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Node Js
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Node Js
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never know if the story is since they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I prefer to try to find gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing much better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site via chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with actually understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Node Js
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially due to the fact that their custom-made platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very 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 use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just 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 basically 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 occurs. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security problems worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a generally costly circumstance (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Node Js
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly 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 discuss any individual or developer time repairing problems.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Node Js
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 kinds of customers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous basic website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly 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 Node Js
WP Engine stands out not only on current features however also on producing new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new developer features that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know enough web advancement to incorporate best practices into application & projects with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this site due to the fact that I do not need a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Node Js
All that said, here are a few of the bigger picture disadvantages of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the unique backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site open to the public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the general user. Web Host Node Js
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to enjoy that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you get past the learning curve). However for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help repair all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after everything.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. 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 don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Node Js
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also expensive to pay based upon a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor 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 deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Company. And this point goes further if your site requires numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for performance & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices 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 site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and generally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Node Js
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr duration 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 visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of a number of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the price. You can’t use them to spread out the expense of your plan,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a terrific service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to stress over hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve valued their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer support.
And last but not least, 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 Node Js