WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host With Email
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) very first companies to supply handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Host With Email
While they have plenty of competition in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the marketplace leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and cutting-edge functions.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and site builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I wrote a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. However here’s the short variation: They all differ in services provided. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
And then there’s a different level of handled WordPress Hosting where you are not actually purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher price point, so that the website owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + performance.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of choices, however as an entire, they all compete with traditional shared Linux hosting offerings and customized WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but 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 upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different technique. This evaluation will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host With Email
I have actually used WP Engine for numerous jobs because 2012. I don’t use them for my primary websites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “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 With Email
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, however the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your site is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
Out of package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mainly text website with a couple of basic plugins and a few little images, you’ll be fine with a budget friendly shared hosting plan from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these features integrated with good levels of traffic can begin to decrease your WordPress install.
However a slow website doesn’t suggest that you need a larger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but often it’s more about caching certain resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. Simply puts, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to haul a trailer with a pickup. Envision your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply 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 assistance to remain quick as you grow. There are lots of options … however either you or a developer must execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a typical web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress set up and identify the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host With Email
They don’t even enable caching plugins on their installs because they have actually such a tailored caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 theme, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, to name a few things):
Note the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That measures how quickly the server returned enough data to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right out of package, and have it remain that method no matter how huge or complex the site 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 complimentary to concentrate on speed factors that you can quickly control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not just offers an integrated CDN, but they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host With Email
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Host With Email
Client support has been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch considering that they were founded. After all, they are truly selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to position a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my very first contacts with support back in 2012:
Take a look at the response|reaction|action} time, that wasn’t an autoresponder either.
Now, the company 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 hard aspect of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever know if the story is since they spoke to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting review, the fundamental part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for access, systems, and knowledge, all 3 require a financial investment of cash, time and know-how.
Based on my recent interactions and research, they are doing better hitting all three boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are offered everywhere on the website through chat.
Based on their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my customer has actually interacted with in fact understood the great workings of WordPress and has actually had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call between my customer, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to get on (and remain on) the phone, but he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of a number of issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host With Email
I make sure that WP Engine still has support problems,particularly due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they appear to know that support is core to their value and do make the required financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the entire Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware distributors.
But there is nothing inherently insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software application. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community launching updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly straightforward:
- 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll discover that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the obligation is still on you to keep things protect. Just like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe and secure is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those finest practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep whatever off-site & prepared to roll back if something occurs. Given that you technically have an “install” on their server (instead of an account), they tackle a great deal of security problems globally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the warranty that if you’re hacked, they take care of it for free.
I personally have actually never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have actually been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a typically expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security team look after your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Host With Email
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and only up to 25,000 visits monthly.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trustworthy VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the exact same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply beginning with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for just a couple dollars monthly.
Both which enable more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as lots of as you can handle) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve also run dozens of little 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 important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall value & consider your very own (or your designer’s) time, their prices is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates each month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes on a monthly basis. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole month-to-month cost right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly 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 charge right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime expenses lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Generally, if your time is better designated far from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a great deal of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of a cost.
And that sort of value-based rates segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host With Email
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everyone. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget plan. The designer/dev develops the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their customer that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for an ongoing standard website upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has interesting tools consisting of staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing website owner who is annoyed at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to transfer to a much better host.
They’re likewise developed 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 happen. The phone support is a crucial aspect, specifically having the ability to “simply call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd customer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s unique backend and plan on launching a near-complete site all at once.
They do not have any previous practices or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, consumers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this kind of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine knows how & where they are coming from, many of the improvements they make are concentrated on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, intuitive backend, etc.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s really worth calling out in this review revision. Web Host With Email
WP Engine excels not just on current features however also on creating new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer functions that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have altered drastically considering that I began observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to incorporate finest practices into application & 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
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the very best fit for everyone. There are a lot of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand since they simply 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 don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a lot of their features and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host With Email
All that said, here are some of the larger image downsides of using 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 difference can be quite complicated– particularly if you have simply enough experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting business, they also do not offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features exist, the special backend can cause some developers making mistakes ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev website open up to the public or merely not making it possible for the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for amazing support, I think they ‘d lose more novice clients than they already do.
Like many 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 describe best practice for the basic user. Web Host With Email
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, but I had to view that video numerous times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the best IP address.
Once again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the customized backend isn’t really going to be a big offer (as soon as you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to discover very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a huge selection of site checklists to assist troubleshoot all sorts of concerns.
And ” if you did not setup your DNS exactly how they’ve recommended ” your site could go down at any time.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you do not technically do not need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Host With Email
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both methods terms of reducing & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat uniform.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable usage cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very genuine physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit more to define exactly what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for great factors, but those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, but on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and available to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured permits less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also expensive to pay based upon a variety of check outs.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish 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 Company. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The same opts for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you can’t truly do automated email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got called for & wound up needing to do an uncomfortable migration to another e-mail provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are normally paying for efficiency & not needing to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s pricing based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think about your website’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in frequently), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host With Email
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (working on a shared hosting plan 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 reputable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count sees, but it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how rapidly they can enter the $290 each month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not 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 needs extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test sites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to expand the cost of your plan,specifically if you are hitting your visitor cap rather than your install cap.
If you are seeking to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & provide your site files, WP Engine is a pricey option, especially compared to other non-managed hosting options.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based upon your goals, budget plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a solid item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more features than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t wish to worry about hosting issues.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more liberty/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And lastly, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to simplify things. Web Host With Email