WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Php
While they have lots of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to understand before making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, normally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. 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 Php
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different jobs since 2012. I do not utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), but I do have a current client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying consumer 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 guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 Php
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, however the guideline is that the more intricate your site is, the more complicated the options to speed become.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a few basic plugins and a few small images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s typically extra plugins, custom-made style files, lots of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, better server. It does mean that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but sometimes it’s more about caching specific resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Picture you are trying to transport 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 simply need to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay quick as you grow. There are a lot of solutions … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Php
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually 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 one of my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start packing the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from the box, 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 back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are totally free to concentrate on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host 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 Php
Consumer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are actually 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 first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has 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 stated, the tough aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is since 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 treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to try to find gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all 3 boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has engaged with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of concerns (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Php
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security essentials are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine basically takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Considering that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations 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 main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & a typically expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Php
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are simply starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually also run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & 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 entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is much better designated away from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Php
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first customer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev develops the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, 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 need for a continuous fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget plan for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential element, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete website simultaneously.
They don’t have any previous routines or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host Php
WP Engine stands out not just on present features but also on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has actually presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have actually changed significantly since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web development to integrate best practices into application & jobs with developers.
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
Similar to any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I do not use them for this site because I do not need many of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Php
All that stated, here are some of the larger picture downsides of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite made complex– specifically if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the unique backend can cause some developers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host Php
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video multiple 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 custom backend isn’t really going to be a huge offer (when you get past the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site checklists to assist fix 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 simply look after everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Php
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing intricacy.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit further to define what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban certain plugins & admin behavior for great reasons, but those restrictions restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The way their prices is structured permits less adaptability as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached website on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on a Personal or Business. And this point goes further if your site requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do a painful migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon 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 updated and usually logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Php
Numerous shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled 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 manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as mentioned previously that does not even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited 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 use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is a costly option, especially compared with other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however what is finest for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they use more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Make certain to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more liberty/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Host Php