WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Nz Webmail
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host Nz Webmail
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short variation: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it is necessary to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, generally with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Nz Webmail
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Nz Webmail
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of basic plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually extra plugins, customized theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t suggest that you need a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however often it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you might simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires aid to stay quickly as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a designer should implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Host Nz Webmail
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform because their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to start packing the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or complex 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 since you are totally free to concentrate 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 incorporated CDN, but they also provide global information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Nz Webmail
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Nz Webmail
Customer support has actually 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, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of customer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to try to find access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact knew the great operations of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, 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, however he had the ability to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after several problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Nz Webmail
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that even though security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe 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 (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & a typically costly situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Nz Webmail
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots 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 site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee 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 individual or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Nz Webmail
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers 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 want to focus on advancement & 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 website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is a key aspect, particularly being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd client type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and intend on launching a near-complete website at one time.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, numerous of the enhancements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Nz Webmail
WP Engine excels not only on existing features however also on creating new, innovative hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically because I began observing the market *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & tasks 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 very best fit for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some consumers. I do not use them for this website since I do not need much of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Nz Webmail
All that said, here are some of the bigger image drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather complicated– especially if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the public or merely not allowing the functions 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 platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host Nz Webmail
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to view that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the knowing curve). However for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site checklists to help troubleshoot 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not 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 anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Nz Webmail
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of minimizing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also connected to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those bans limit adaptability and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect additional hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs many plugins for full performance.
The very same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending 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 actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally spending for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Nz Webmail
Numerous shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,specifically if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a great service with a solid product. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
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 set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Nz Webmail