WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Reviews Uk
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first business to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Reviews Uk
While they have plenty of competitors in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has become a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short 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.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, however 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 site material + functionality.
Every competitor 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 customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is essential to understand before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine reviews online, usually with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. 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 “finest fit” for. Web Host Reviews Uk
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All data & opinion is based on my experience as a paying customer or specialist to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “sensational speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Reviews Uk
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a few small images, you’ll be fine with a cost effective shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom theme files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, types and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a slow website doesn’t mean that you require a larger, better server. It does mean that you need to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more powerful server, but often it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s pointless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, revitalize the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a designer must implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with very aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Host Reviews Uk
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform due to the fact that their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a puffed up theme, additional scripts, too many uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how rapidly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right from the box, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are consumed about speed, you can get back at much better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can quickly control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an integrated CDN, however they also supply worldwide data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Reviews Uk
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Reviews Uk
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they wased established. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (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:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the business has actually grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough thing about customer support is that a lot 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 point out in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a company deals with support as a financial investment or a cost.
I want to search for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of loan, time and competence.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They maintain a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has communicated with in fact understood the fine workings of WordPress and has 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 representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to adeptly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Reviews Uk
I make sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their worth and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security fundamentals are fairly simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that even though security on WordPress is simple, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a great deal of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with leading security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually helped clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tiresome & a typically pricey situation (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Host Reviews Uk
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up plan is $35/mo and includes a single install and just as much as 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars each month.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, essentially as numerous as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees monthly on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that rates downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & QA’ing your installation 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 entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time repairing problems.
Basically, if your time is better designated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on value. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
Which sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Reviews Uk
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev builds the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the site, 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 basic website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some spending plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & consumer support to make that process occur. The phone support is an essential aspect, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The third consumer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable discovering WP Engine’s special backend and intend on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They don’t have any prior routines or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and provide support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine knows how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, and so on.
This benefit resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s really worth calling out in this evaluation revision. Web Host Reviews Uk
WP Engine stands out not only on existing features however also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out brand-new developer features that WP Engine has actually been able to integrate.
Even general web development finest practices have changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to integrate best practices into execution & tasks with designers.
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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of are valid because 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 customers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not need a number of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Reviews Uk
All that said, here are some of the larger photo disadvantages of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the unique backend can lead to some developers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content issues to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice consumers than they already do.
Like numerous custom platforms, it makes sense once you overcome the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never explain best practice for the basic user. Web Host Reviews Uk
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to watch that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (once you get past the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a myriad of site lists to help repair all sorts of problems.
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 it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter the weeds of a server panel. In many hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Reviews Uk
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin behavior for good factors, however those restrictions limit versatility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized 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 prices is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a positive that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based upon a variety of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element 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 site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your site requires lots of plugins for complete performance.
The exact same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & ended up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you truly do not get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will consider your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host Reviews Uk
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 visits in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly handle a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can get into the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even include much of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on regional storage. Anything above the limitations needs additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a few side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t use them to spread out the cost of your strategy,especially 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 website files, WP Engine is a pricey alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest general, but exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & practices.
If you remain in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a solid product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test install and see exactly what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & want more flexibility/ better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually valued their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Reviews Uk