WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosted File Sharing
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to supply managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosted File Sharing
While they have lots of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in lots of methods -and they have broad name recognition and advanced functions.
With the growth of both self-hosted WordPress and site home builders, the hosting industry has actually ended up being a super-confusing place.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all vary in services supplied. Some just 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 truly purchasing hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service provides a menu of services customized to WordPress at a higher cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the website content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as an entire, they all take on standard shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting alternatives.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, but it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine reviews online, normally with user-generated evaluations based upon anecdotes and individual experience. That’s great but I take a various method. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting options to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosted File Sharing
I’ve utilized WP Engine for various tasks since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my primary sites right now (see conclusion), but I do have an existing customer on WP Engine who definitely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as pros and cons.
Disclosure: I receive referral fees from any business pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based upon my experience as a paying consumer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does basically live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class client service.” Here is their promotion pitch video:
They primarily target websites that are moving from other hosting companies (ie, customers dissatisfied with current hosting).
Here are some of the big advantages that I’ve seen as a customer & consultant to a customer. Web Hosted File Sharing
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that go into site speed, but the rule of thumb is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the services to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a mostly text website with a couple of fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be great with an economical shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
However couple of website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s generally extra plugins, custom-made style files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, types and more.
All these functions combined with decent levels of traffic can start to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a sluggish website doesn’t suggest that you require a larger, much better server. It does indicate that you have to get smarter about speed. Sometimes it’s as basic as getting a more effective server, however in some cases it’s more about caching specific resources in a specific order and optimizing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting much heavier. It’s pointless to keep complaining that your truck is not huge enough when you might simply have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and combine your load.
The point is that WordPress needs aid to stay fast as you grow. There are a lot of options … however either you or a designer need to execute them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine looks after (almost) all speed concerns. They have actually personalized servers with incredibly aggressive caching as well as more advanced “stack” than a typical webhosting. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the exact chokepoint to get your website moving. Web Hosted File Sharing
They do not even allow caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a personalized caching setup.
The intriguing thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still succeed on their platform since their platform does the extra 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 determines how rapidly the server returned enough data to begin packing the page.
It’s good to have that kind of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how big or intricate the website gets.
*Note 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 may get with other services given that you are complimentary to concentrate on speed elements that you can easily control like image compression, usage of scripts, and so on.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only offers an incorporated CDN, however they also supply worldwide information centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosted File Sharing
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosted File Sharing
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, handled hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes good sense for them to place a big emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from among my 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 actually grown & altered a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That stated, the tough aspect of consumer support is that so much of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, however you never ever understand if the story is since they spoke with the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the important part is to see if a business deals with support as an investment or an expense.
I prefer to look for access, systems, and understanding, all three need an investment of money, time and know-how.
Based on my current interactions and research study, they are doing far better hitting all three boxes. They preserve a range of support channels (consisting of phone for non-Basic plans). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are offered all over on the site via chat.
Based upon their tutorial videos and comprehensive knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has actually interacted with in fact knew the fine workings of WordPress and has had the ability to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my customer’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The rep was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, however he was able to expertly assist us “turn the switch” quickly in addition to looking after a number of concerns (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosted File Sharing
I make certain that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their customized platform puts a great deal of pressure on quick, available support (as I’ll show in the disadvantages). However they seem to know that support is core to their worth and do make the required investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That suggests that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not a problem with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & screening vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, 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 2. It’s made by & powered by Automattic, the business arm of WordPress.
You’ll notice that despite the fact that security on WordPress is uncomplicated, the duty 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 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 & prepared to roll back if something takes place. Because you technically have an “install” on their server (rather than an account), they tackle a great deal of security issues internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works closely with leading security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own team. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they take care of it totally free.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my main/ or secondary sites (knock on wood), however have assisted clients who have been. It’s discouraging, tedious & an usually expensive scenario (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having a professional security group take care of your WordPress set up is a huge pro in my book. Web Hosted File Sharing
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not low-cost. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just up to 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get a powerful, trusted 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 each month.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, generally as numerous as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I have actually also run lots of little WordPress sites off a low cost shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that prices disadvantage 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 & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is incredible.
Just running WordPress updates every month & 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 regular monthly fee right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin update, then that might be WP Engine’s entire regular monthly charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you do not utilize a staging location) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that might be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Furthermore, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to discuss any individual or designer time fixing issues.
Generally, if your time is better allocated far from technical concerns, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a managed WordPress hosting service, that’s really their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their focus on their core markets. Web Hosted File Sharing
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of consumers that WP Engine appears to be a suitable for. For those 3 types of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with plenty of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type appears to be WordPress designers and designers who want to concentrate on advancement & design without dealing with hosting upkeep, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev constructs the website straight in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the site over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for an ongoing fundamental website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The 2nd client type is the growing site owner who is annoyed at needing to handle technical growth headaches. They have actually outgrown their shared hosting and have to move to a better host.
They’re likewise developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a key aspect, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them repair it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget plan and desires a long-term platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and plan on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
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, customers, and support that they can make promises and offer support to win & keep this type of client.
With these kinds of clients, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push performance), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This advantage resembles WP Engine’s market focus, however it’s truly worth calling out in this review modification. Web Hosted File Sharing
WP Engine excels not just on current features however likewise on developing brand-new, innovative hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has presented new designer features that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even general web development best practices have actually changed significantly since I started observing the industry *. WP Engine has actually created tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I know sufficient web development to integrate best practices into implementation & 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 a lot of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are embellishment (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And numerous stand since they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being a good suitable for some clients. I don’t use them for this website because I do not need many of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosted File Sharing
All that stated, here are some of the bigger 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 distinction can be rather complicated– particularly if you have just enough experience with hosting environments to be unsafe.
Their backend setup has actually improved. It’s cleaner, however it’s still customized. It’s nothing like a traditional cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they likewise do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the unique backend can result in some developers making errors varying from frustrating redirect loops to replicate content problems to leaving the dev website available to the general public or just not allowing the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I think they ‘d lose more beginner customers than they already do.
Like numerous customized platforms, it makes good sense once you overcome the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is really developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never discuss finest practice for the basic user. Web Hosted File Sharing
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of websites from platforms to customized hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I needed to view 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 big offer (once you surpass the learning curve). But for most, you’ll likely get to discover first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
But here’s the important things.
WP Engine never ever truly stops being eccentric and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a plethora of site checklists to help troubleshoot 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 in many cases, support will just look after it all.
But, you still do not get to set & forget your website. Sure, you don’t technically do not have to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In lots of hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you do not have to do it anyhow, when you do, the knobs and buttons are familiar. Web Hosted File Sharing
WP Engine’s exclusive setup cuts both ways in terms of lowering & increasing intricacy.
This con is likewise connected to WP Engine’s unique setup. In order to run their architecture as well as possible, all the installs on their platform need to be somewhat consistent.
They have to have predictable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; predictable use cases. Every hosting business has rules (or really genuine physical limits), however WP Engine goes a bit more to specify exactly what you can and can’t have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and local storage usage.
They do ban particular plugins & admin habits for great factors, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website could manage it.
For instance, Yet Another Related Post Plugin is a typical plugin. It’s resource intensive, however on smaller sized sites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s not good or bad always. However it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared to running a shared or VPS server.
The method their pricing is structured allows for less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will manage all the traffic you can send, however it’s also costly to pay based on a number of sees.
If you are running a big launch; are a seasonal organisation; or simply want to drive a rise of traffic to your site, you’ll have to element extra hosting expenses into the mix. That puts a cap on how flexible you wish to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can deal with a lot more traffic than WP Engine would permit on a Personal or Service. And this point goes further if your website needs lots of plugins for full functionality.
The exact same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are aiming to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Additionally, you cannot really do automatic e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up needing to do a painful migration to another email company mid-campaign.
Either way, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their pricing based upon features.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically paying for performance & not having to think excessive about maintenance, security & speed. If you look at WP Engine’s prices based upon the features you’re getting, you actually don’t get a whole lot.
And if you are the type who will think about your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress upgraded and usually logging in often), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unneeded. Web Hosted File Sharing
Lots of shared hosting servers can manage the same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal site (working on a shared hosting plan from HostGator with basic caching) managed more than 15,000 gos to in a 24 Hr period when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a reputable VPS, you can certainly 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 “small” website owners how quickly they can get into the $290 per month tier.
And as discussed earlier that does not even consist of many of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any email from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits requires extra expenses & technical implementation of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side jobs or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are looking to pay for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & dish out your website files, WP Engine is a costly alternative, especially compared to other non-managed hosting choices.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, spending plan, resources & practices.
If you are in exactly what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide an excellent service with a strong item. Their prices is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unrivaled for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that don’t wish to stress over hosting problems.
If handled hosting is a suitable for you, then go check out WP Engine’s strategies here.
They do a 60-day money-back assurance. So do a test set up and see exactly what you consider their backend. Be sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your existing host & desire more freedom/ better costs than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS choice. I’ve appreciated their balance of instinctive backend & responsive customer care.
And last but not least, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these factors into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque test to simplify things. Web Hosted File Sharing