WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Of Php
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is essential to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different approach. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Of Php
I have actually utilized WP Engine for numerous projects since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Of Php
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complex your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features integrated with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish site does not indicate that you need a larger, better server. It does imply that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a developer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have customized servers with incredibly aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They likewise have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host Of Php
They don’t even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized 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 among my clients on WP Engine (who has a puffed up 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 information to start loading the page.
It’s great to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complicated the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services since you are totally free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Of Php
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Of Php
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a 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 lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard feature of customer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need an investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with really understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to looking after numerous issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Of Php
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But 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 whole Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively straightforward:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that even though security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine generally takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready 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 concerns worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally costly scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress install is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Of Php
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the very same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which allow for more storage & more check outs (ie, basically as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & factor in your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is much better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Of Php
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit 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 first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer 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 intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is an essential factor, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once 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 types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host Of Php
WP Engine excels not only on existing features but also on creating brand-new, advanced hosting features. Every version of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new developer functions that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually altered radically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into application & projects 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev websites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they simply aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some consumers. I do not use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need much of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Of Php
All that said, here are some of the bigger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. Which distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s absolutely nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site available to the general public or simply not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the general user. Web Host Of Php
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to see that video numerous 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 substantial offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to learn very 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 variety of site lists 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.
Again– they have reasons why they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Of Php
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit further to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban particular plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad always. However 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 flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also costly to pay based on a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply want to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 enable on an Individual or Company. And this point goes even more if your site needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
Either way, 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 typically paying for efficiency & not needing to think too much about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Of Php
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) dealt with more than 15,000 sees in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even include a number of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a few side projects 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,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are aiming to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared with other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest general, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic 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 unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to fret about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of intuitive backend & responsive client service.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host Of Php