WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host Wikipedia
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) very first business to supply handled hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host Wikipedia
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting industry has actually become 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 supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Generally, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + functionality.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of alternatives, but as an entire, they all take on conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
Either way, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s complicated, yes, but it’s important to comprehend prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a great deal of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great however I take a different technique. This evaluation 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 Wikipedia
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs given that 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a current customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies mentioned. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does pretty much measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “spectacular speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their discount pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Web Host Wikipedia
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that go into website speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more intricate the options to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is relatively lean and fast. If you are running a mostly text site with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions integrated with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t indicate that you require a bigger, better server. It does indicate that you need to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting a more effective server, but in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a certain order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Envision you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not big enough when you may just need to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress requires help to remain quickly as you grow. There are lots of solutions … but either you or a developer should execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting comes in. WP Engine takes care of (almost) all speed issues. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a normal web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Host Wikipedia
They do not even permit caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the additional work.
Here’s the speed test for among my clients on WP Engine (who has a bloated theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that sort of speed right out of package, and have it remain that way no matter how huge or complex 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 might get with other services considering that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, but they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host Wikipedia
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host Wikipedia
Client 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 good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 company has actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the difficult aspect of client support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, however you never understand if the story is because they talked with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I point out in every hosting review, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or a cost.
I like to search for access, systems, and understanding, all 3 need a financial investment of loan, time and expertise.
Based upon my current interactions and research study, they are doing better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the website by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has actually connected with actually knew the great functions of WordPress and has actually been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s transition to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, submitting a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host Wikipedia
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically since their custom-made platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, available support (as I’ll display in the disadvantages). But they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the needed investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
However there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress set up, the security basics are fairly uncomplicated:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I use JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the responsibility is still on you to keep things secure. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something takes place. Considering that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a great deal of security issues globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code evaluations in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it totally free.
I personally have never been hacked on my main/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically costly circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Host Wikipedia
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 per month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, dependable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same price 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 per month.
Both which enable more storage & more sees (ie, basically as lots of as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I’ve run websites that have actually had 60k check outs each month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run dozens of small WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices drawback in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is remarkable.
Just running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup 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 entire month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that might be WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
In addition, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing problems.
Essentially, if your time is better allocated away from technical concerns, 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.
Which sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Host Wikipedia
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a suitable for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress developers and designers who wish to focus on advancement & style without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some spending plan. The designer/dev constructs the website directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, introduces the site, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing fundamental website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to move 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 & consumer support to make that process happen. The phone support is a key element, especially being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd customer type is a start-up website owner that has the budget and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on introducing a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, clients, and support that they can make pledges and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive 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 Wikipedia
WP Engine stands out not just on existing features but also on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every version of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer functions that WP Engine has actually had the ability to incorporate.
Even basic web development best practices have actually changed radically given that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know adequate web advancement to incorporate finest practices into execution & tasks with developers.
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 very best suitable for everyone. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Web. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev sites). And many stand because they just aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being a great suitable for some clients. I do not use them for this website since I do not require a lot of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host Wikipedia
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger picture drawbacks of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things in a different way. And that distinction can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has actually gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s absolutely nothing like a conventional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they likewise don’t supply DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions are there, the special backend can result in some designers making mistakes varying from annoying redirect loops to replicate content concerns to leaving the dev website open to the public or simply not enabling the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I think they ‘d lose more novice customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host Wikipedia
Here is their video on pressing your website live –
I’ve established my share of websites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, however I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Once again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom backend isn’t really going to be a substantial offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). However for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never really stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of website checklists to assist 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And most of the times, support will simply take care of it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host Wikipedia
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods regards to minimizing & increasing complexity.
This con is likewise related to WP Engine’s distinct setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform have to be rather uniform.
They have to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable usage cases. Every hosting company has rules (or extremely real physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage rates to prevent seasonal traffic spikes and local storage use.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin behavior for great factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your site could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized websites, it does the job well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured enables less versatility as well. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, but it’s also pricey to pay based upon a variety of gos to.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll have to factor additional hosting costs 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 enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are aiming to use a server for media storage … that utilize case is out.
In addition, you can’t actually do automatic e-mail marketing projects from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & ended up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their prices based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally spending for performance & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the functions you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and normally visiting frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Host Wikipedia
Many shared hosting servers can handle the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My individual website (operating on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) dealt with more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can definitely handle a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, but it can still be quite a surprise for “little” website owners how rapidly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as pointed out earlier that does not even include a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & 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 websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,especially if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your set up cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is an expensive choice, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about what is best total, but what is best for you based upon your goals, spending plan, resources & habits.
If you are in exactly what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a solid product. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & want more flexibility/ much better costs than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I’ve valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer support.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host Wikipedia