WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Uk Reviews
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first business to supply managed hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host Uk Reviews
While they have plenty of competitors in both the basic hosting and managed WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in numerous ways -and they have broad name acknowledgment and advanced features.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short version: They all vary in services provided. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a separate level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not really purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater price 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 alternatives, but as a whole, they all take on traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In any case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, however it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine examines online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different method. This evaluation will 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 Uk Reviews
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks because 2012. I do not use them for my primary sites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who absolutely loves them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they guarantee “sensational speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer care.” 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 Uk Reviews
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the services to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is relatively lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an affordable shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally additional plugins, customized style files, great deals of images, widgets, advertisements, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a sluggish website does not imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, however often it’s more about caching particular resources in a certain order and optimizing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Envision you are attempting to carry 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 just have to remove the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to stay quick as you grow. There are plenty of solutions … however either you or a developer should implement them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with exceptionally aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have actually trained support who will enter into your WordPress set up and determine the precise chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host Uk Reviews
They don’t even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The fascinating thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to start filling the page.
It’s nice to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that way no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get even better numbers with WP Engine than you may get with other services given that you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can quickly manage like image compression, usage of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only supplies an incorporated CDN, but they likewise offer global information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Uk Reviews
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Uk Reviews
Customer support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch because they wased established. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company has grown & changed a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I mention in every hosting evaluation, the fundamental part is to see if a company treats support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of money, time and expertise.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing much better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available everywhere on the website by means of chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and extensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with actually understood the fine functions of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most excellent (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after numerous concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Uk Reviews
I make sure that WP Engine still has support issues,particularly because their custom platform puts a great deal of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show in the drawbacks). 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 entire Internet. That means 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 application. WordPress has the advantage of being open-source with a huge community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security basics are relatively 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 two. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you don’t lock it, keeping your website safe and secure is still eventually 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 whatever off-site & ready to roll back if something takes place. Since you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security firms on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have helped customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Uk Reviews
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and only approximately 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 just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for just a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more visits (ie, generally as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k gos to monthly on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of little WordPress websites off a low cost shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices disadvantage in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & consider your very own (or your developer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & 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 month-to-month charge right there.
If you lose any sees due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better designated far from technical problems, 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 Uk Reviews
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 kinds of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first customer type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & style without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases 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 a continuous standard site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is irritated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re likewise established enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key element, specifically having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy discovering WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website at one time.
They don’t have any previous habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this kind of consumer.
With these types of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), rather than mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host Uk Reviews
WP Engine excels not just on existing functions but also on producing new, advanced hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has actually rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even general web advancement best practices have actually altered drastically given that I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & jobs with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And many are valid since they merely aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a good fit for some consumers. I don’t utilize them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Uk Reviews
All that said, here are a few of the bigger photo downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To achieve the speed, security, and scale they promise, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which distinction can be quite made complex– especially if you have simply adequate experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the distinct backend can lead to some developers making errors ranging from annoying redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like many custom-made platforms, it makes good sense once you get over the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever explain finest practice for the basic user. Web Host Uk Reviews
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I had to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a big deal (when you surpass the knowing curve). But for the majority of, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the important things.
WP Engine never really stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection 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.
Once again– they have reasons why they do all this. And most of the times, support will just look after it all.
However, you still do not get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically don’t need to enter the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host Uk Reviews
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting company has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), but WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for good factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not permitted on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their prices is structured enables less adaptability also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal business; or just wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to aspect additional hosting bills 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 permit on an Individual or Business. And this point goes even more if your website requires lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot really do automated e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & ended up having to do an agonizing 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 pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not needing to think excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and typically logging in regularly), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Uk Reviews
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal 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 reliable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count check outs, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as mentioned earlier that does not even include much of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s plans. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra costs & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test websites, you need to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are wanting to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about what is finest overall, but what is finest for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they use an excellent service with a strong product. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans 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 stress over hosting problems.
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 set up and see what you think about their backend. Make sure to talk w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more liberty/ better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I have actually appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Uk Reviews