WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Host With Php Support
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 managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Host With Php Support
While they have lots of competitors in both the basic hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many methods -and they have broad name acknowledgment and innovative features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services provided. Some merely have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not really buying hosting per se, however rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service offers a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a higher rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website material + performance.
Every rival in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a various offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, however as an entire, they all compete with 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 is essential to understand prior to making apples to oranges comparisons.
There are a lot of WP Engine examines online, typically with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a different technique. This review will look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all webhosting choices to see who it is a “finest fit” for. Web Host With Php Support
I’ve used WP Engine for different tasks since 2012. I do not use them for my primary websites today (see conclusion), but I do have a present customer on WP Engine who absolutely likes them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any business discussed. All information & opinion is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying consumer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does practically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they promise “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer support.” 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 With Php Support
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 website is, the more complex the options to speed ended up being.
Out of the box, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a mainly text site with a few standard plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an affordable shared hosting plan from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of site owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s usually extra plugins, custom-made theme files, lots of images, widgets, ads, forms and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t imply that you need a bigger, better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, but sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Imagine you are trying to carry a trailer with a pickup truck. Picture your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply need to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs help to remain fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where handled WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed concerns. They have customized servers with extremely aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and recognize the specific chokepoint to obtain your website moving. Web Host With Php Support
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs since they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing 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, extra 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 rapidly the server returned enough data to start filling the page.
It’s great to have that sort of speed right out of the box, and have it stay 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 even much better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services considering that you are free to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an incorporated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Host With Php Support
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 Php Support
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are truly offering more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to put a big 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 business has grown & altered a lot ever since. They went through a stretch where they were getting a lot of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the tough feature of consumer support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand 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 vital part is to see if a business deals with support as a financial investment or an expense.
I want to look for gain access to, systems, and knowledge, all three need a financial investment of cash, time and knowledge.
Based upon my current interactions and research, they are doing far better striking all three boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a quickly, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site through chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the understanding box. Every support that I or my client has interacted with actually understood the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most outstanding (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my customer, myself and WP Engine throughout my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The representative was not only able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to taking care of several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and repairing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Host With Php Support
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,specifically because their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll display in the downsides). However 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 Web. That means that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
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 releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are relatively simple:
- Keep your install & all your plugins updated
- Only install files from reputable creators
- Run a security plugin to lock down the most common brute force attacks
- Keep a backup for when things go wrong
* Aside, I utilize JetPack for the last 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Similar to having a deadbolt not does anything if you do not lock it, keeping your website safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & performance, WP Engine essentially takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & all set to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (rather than an account), they take on a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works closely with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They also 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 primary/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have been. It’s frustrating, laborious & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team take care of your WordPress install is a big pro in my book. Web Host With Php Support
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and includes a single install and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reputable VPS (ie, your own not-shared server) for the same price from InMotion. And if you are just starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting strategy from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars per month.
Both which permit more storage & more check outs (ie, generally as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run sites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually likewise run lots of little WordPress sites off a low expense shared hosting.
However I’ll cover that prices downside in the cons of WP Engine, however here’s the important things.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by overall worth & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Just running WordPress updates monthly & QA’ing your setup can take around 30 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 entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your website down … then that could be WP Engine’s entire monthly fee right there.
Losing visitors due to speed issues or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or developer time fixing concerns.
Essentially, if your time is better assigned far from technical problems, 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 instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Host With Php Support
Like I said at the beginning, WP Engine isn’t for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 types of consumers, WP Engine has a strong focus with a lot of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who want to focus on advancement & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, launches the website, then hands the website over to their customer.
The designer can guarantee their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little requirement for a continuous basic site maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools including staging, git push, website migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd customer type is the growing site owner who is irritated at having to deal with technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and need to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also established enough that they have some budget for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a key factor, particularly being able to “simply call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third customer type is a startup site owner that has the spending plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on launching a near-complete site simultaneously.
They do not have any previous habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or websites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable features, customers, and support that they can make promises and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these kinds of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, so many of the improvements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market improvements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Web Host With Php Support
WP Engine stands out not only on present functions but also on developing brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented brand-new designer features that WP Engine has been able to incorporate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually altered significantly because I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web advancement to incorporate best practices into execution & jobs with designers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Much like any service, WP Engine is not the very best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine problems around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs grumbling about dev sites). And lots of stand because they merely aren’t a fit for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent 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 features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Host With Php Support
All that said, here are a few of the larger image downsides of utilizing WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To accomplish the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that distinction can be rather made complex– especially if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be hazardous.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike lots of hosting companies, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can result in some developers making errors ranging from frustrating redirect loops to duplicate content concerns to leaving the dev site open up to the general public or simply not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for remarkable support, I think they ‘d lose more newbie consumers than they currently do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the knowing curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never ever describe finest practice for the general user. Web Host With Php Support
Here is their video on pressing your site live –
I have actually established my share of sites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to see that video multiple times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the right IP address.
Again, if you are in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a substantial deal (once you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to learn very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a variety of site lists to assist fix 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.
Again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will simply look after it all.
But, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyhow, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Host With Php Support
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both methods regards to lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise associated with WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture in addition to possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting company has rules (or very real physical limits), but WP Engine goes a bit further to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress install in addition to tiered overage prices to discourage seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban specific plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those restrictions limit flexibility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For example, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller sized sites, it gets the job done well. It’s not allowed on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. But it does make WP Engine less versatile and open to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their rates is structured allows for less versatility too. It’s a favorable that they will handle all the traffic you can send out, however it’s likewise pricey to pay based on a number of gos to.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or just want to drive a surge of traffic to your site, you’ll need to aspect extra 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 allow on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes further if your site needs lots of plugins for complete functionality.
The exact same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for performance, not for storage. So if you are looking to use a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my customer got required & wound up needing to do an unpleasant migration to another e-mail service 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 spending for performance & not having to believe excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you actually do not get a lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyway (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually visiting often), you’ll likely be spending for “management” that is superfluous. Web Host With Php Support
Many shared hosting servers can manage the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My personal website (operating on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with standard caching) handled 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 manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count gos to, however it can still be rather a surprise for “little” website owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed previously that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You cannot run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limitations requires additional expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most significantly for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side tasks or low-traffic test sites, you need to factor those into the price. You cannot utilize them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are seeking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your site files, WP Engine is an expensive alternative, particularly compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest overall, but exactly what is best for you based on your objectives, budget, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they offer more features than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website designers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to worry about hosting concerns.
If handled hosting is a fit for you, then go have a look at WP Engine’s plans here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test install and see what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your present host & desire more freedom/ much better costs than WP Engine, take a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS option. I have actually valued their balance of intuitive backend & responsive customer service.
And last but not least, if you are more confused than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these elements into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Host With Php Support