WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Reseller Free
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first companies to offer handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Reseller Free
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting market has actually become a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as a whole, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting choices.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but 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 reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Host Reseller Free
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous tasks because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based upon my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “stunning speed, powerful 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 Reseller Free
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, but the general rule is that the more complex your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can start to decrease your WordPress set up.
However a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Picture you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to remain quick as you grow. There are a lot of services … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and recognize the exact chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Reseller Free
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs since they have such a tailored caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform because their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, too many 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 information to start packing the page.
Now here is the speed test of a standard WordPress install. WP Engine not only gets strong TTFB times however keep in mind how comparable the First Byte and First Render are to the Unoptimized website.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise supply international information centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Reseller Free
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Reseller Free
Client support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they wased established. After all, they are really selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place 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 actually 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 said, the tough thing about consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 need an investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually engaged with in fact knew the fine operations 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 representative was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous problems (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Reseller Free
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 quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). But they seem to know that support is core to their value and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals 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 commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with leading security firms on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They also make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & an usually pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Reseller Free
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup plan is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the 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 each month.
Both of which allow for more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as many as you can handle) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k visits each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that pricing 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 developer’s) time, their rates is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes each 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 update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month 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 might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better assigned away from technical problems, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are a financial investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Reseller Free
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 kinds of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who want to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget 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 assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools including 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 development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure happen. The phone support is a crucial element, especially being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third client type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on introducing a near-complete website all at once.
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 features, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and provide support to win & keep this kind of client.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, so many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host Reseller Free
WP Engine excels not just on present features however also on creating new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has had the ability to integrate.
Even basic web advancement best practices have changed drastically since I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web development to incorporate finest 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous are valid due to the fact that they merely aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some customers. I don’t use them for this website since I do not need a lot of their functions and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Reseller Free
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture 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 quite made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can lead to some designers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev site open to the general public or just not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner consumers than they currently do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Web Host Reseller Free
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to enjoy that video numerous 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 customized backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to find out first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site lists to assist repair 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.
Once again– they have reasons that they do all this. And in most cases, support will just look after everything.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Reseller Free
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods terms of minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be rather consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or really genuine physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans limit flexibility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured permits less flexibility as well. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element additional hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Company. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automatic email marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail service provider mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are generally paying for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based on the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unneeded. Web Host Reseller Free
Many shared hosting servers can deal with the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) managed more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” site owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limitations needs extra 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,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are aiming to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best general, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you are in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a solid item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they use more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that do not wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back warranty. So do a test set up and see what you think about their backend. Make certain to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ much better rates than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to streamline things. Web Host Reseller Free