WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Python
While they have lots of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the website 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 choices, but as an entire, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it’s important to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, generally with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting alternatives to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host Python
I’ve utilized WP Engine for different tasks given that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main sites today (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying client or specialist to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount 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 Python
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complicated the services to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s typically additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress set up.
But a sluggish website does not indicate that you need a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however in some cases it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Picture you are attempting to haul a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain quickly as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually tailored servers with very aggressive caching as well as advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They likewise have trained support who will enter into your WordPress install and recognize the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host Python
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 puffed up 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 quickly the server returned enough data to start loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from package, and have it remain that method no matter how big or complex the site gets.
*Keep in mind that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are free to focus on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, but they also supply international data centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Python
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Python
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a huge focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the hard thing about client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never know if the story is because they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three require an investment of money, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing far better striking all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their guide videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my customer has actually engaged with in fact understood the great operations of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Python
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics 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 utilize 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 straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website 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 everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they deal with a great deal of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with top security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the warranty 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 helped clients who have been. It’s aggravating, laborious & an usually expensive circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host Python
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k visits monthly on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing disadvantage 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 developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every 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 whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any check outs due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is much better assigned far from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host Python
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without handling hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & consumer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third customer type is a startup website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s special backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, etc.
This advantage is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host Python
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however likewise on producing brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have altered drastically because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate finest practices into implementation & jobs 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 best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And lots of stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this site because I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Python
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of using 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 made complex– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also don’t provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice clients than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never ever discuss finest practice for the basic user. Web Host Python
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t going to be a big deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection 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 most of the times, support will simply look after all of it.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Python
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather uniform.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or really genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit specific plugins & admin behavior for great factors, however those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller websites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured allows for less flexibility as well. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal company; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs 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 allow on an Individual or Service. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up having to do an agonizing migration to another e-mail supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not needing to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you truly don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Python
Lots of shared hosting servers can handle the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 sees in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reliable VPS, you can certainly manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that does not even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on regional storage. Anything above the limits requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based on your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they offer a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that do not want to worry about hosting concerns.
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 what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more freedom/ better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Python