WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
While they have a lot of competitors in both the general hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting options to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
I have actually utilized WP Engine for various tasks because 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as benefits and drawbacks.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying client or consultant to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service.” 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 That Supports Php And Mysql
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the general rule is that the more intricate your website is, the more complicated the services to speed ended up being.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text site with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s usually additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these features combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish site doesn’t mean that you need a bigger, much 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 particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to transport a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to remove the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress requires assistance to stay quickly as you grow. There are lots of services … but either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the exact chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a customized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since 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, 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 begin filling the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from the box, and have it remain that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Keep in mind 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 may get with other services because you are totally free to concentrate on speed elements 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, but they likewise offer global data centers in case your audience is mostly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are actually offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to position a big emphasis 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 grown & changed 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 difficult aspect of customer 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 review, the vital part is to see if a company deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require an investment of loan, time and knowledge.
Based on my recent interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They keep a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are available all over on the website through chat.
Based on their guide videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with really understood the great operations of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of numerous issues (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
I make certain that WP Engine still has support issues,especially due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). But they appear 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 suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is absolutely nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a concern with all software. 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 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 utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally 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 happens. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a lot of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they take care of it free of charge.
I personally have actually never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have actually assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, tedious & a normally pricey scenario (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and only as much as 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same rate from InMotion. And if you are just starting with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which enable more storage & more visits (ie, basically as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have actually had 60k gos to each month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your installation can take around Thirty Minutes monthly. 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 visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any personal or developer time fixing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on value. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s truly their thing. Hosting services are an investment rather than an expense.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
Like I stated at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everyone. There are 3 types of customers that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type appears to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to concentrate on advancement & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can assure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing basic site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and need to transfer to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget plan for managed 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 “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up site owner that has the budget and wants a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s special backend and plan on introducing a near-complete site at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make pledges and supply support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
WP Engine excels not only on current features but likewise on creating brand-new, cutting-edge hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even general web development best practices have actually altered radically considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & 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
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And numerous stand due to the fact that they just aren’t a fit for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I do not utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require many of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
All that stated, here are some of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be quite complicated– specifically if you have simply sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom-made. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making errors varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website open to the general public or simply not making it possible for the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like numerous custom-made platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never explain finest practice for the basic user. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
Here is their video on pushing your website live –
I have actually set up my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I needed to watch 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-made backend isn’t going to be a huge offer (once you surpass the knowing curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of issues.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Again– they have reasons that they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s unique 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 predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to specify what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage pricing to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those restrictions restrict versatility and experimentation if your site might manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But 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 permits less adaptability also. It’s a positive that they will deal with all the traffic you can send out, but it’s also costly to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just wish to drive a surge of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor extra hosting bills into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible 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 a Personal or Organisation. And this point goes further if your website requires numerous plugins for complete performance.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are wanting to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
Furthermore, you can’t really do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & ended up needing to do an agonizing migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In any case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not having to believe too much about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based on the functions you’re getting, you really do not get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal site (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) handled more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 hour period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trustworthy VPS, you can certainly deal with a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out previously that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you don’t get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits requires additional costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to spread out the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your site files, WP Engine is an expensive option, particularly compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, but what is best for you based on your goals, budget, resources & routines.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use a fantastic service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unequaled for savvy DIYers, WordPress site designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to fret about hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable for you, then go take a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back guarantee. So do a test set up and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & want more flexibility/ better prices than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I have actually appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And finally, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host That Supports Php And Mysql