WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Godaddy
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They was among the (if not the) first companies to provide managed hosting services specifically for WordPress. Web Hosting Godaddy
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 ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website contractors, the hosting industry has actually become a super-confusing location.
I wrote an entire post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief variation: They all vary in services supplied. Some simply have WordPress-trained tech support. Some offer services such as server-side functions and staging for WordPress.
Then there’s a separate level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not actually buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress set up live. Essentially, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater cost point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site content + functionality.
Every competitor in the Managed WordPress Hosting has a different offering. And there is no standardized “menu” of options, but as a whole, they all compete with conventional shared Linux hosting offerings and tailored WordPress hosting options.
In either case, that’s the field where WP Engine plays. It’s confusing, yes, however it is very important to comprehend before making apples to oranges contrasts.
There are a lot of WP Engine evaluates online, usually with user-generated evaluations based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s great but I take a various method. 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 Hosting Godaddy
I have actually used WP Engine for various projects considering that 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites today (see conclusion), but I do have an existing client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine review structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies pointed out. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying consumer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of WP Engine
To start, WP Engine does pretty much live up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “stunning speed, effective security, and best-in-class customer 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 Hosting Godaddy
Speed and Performance
There are a lot of variables that enter into site speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your website is, the more complex the solutions to speed ended up being.
From package, WordPress is fairly lean and fast. If you are running a primarily text website with a couple of standard plugins and a couple of little images, you’ll be great with a cost effective shared hosting strategy from somebody like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But couple of website owners keep their WordPress set up lean. There’s normally additional plugins, custom theme files, great deals of images, widgets, ads, kinds and more.
All these functions combined with good levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress set up.
However a slow site does not mean that you require a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you have to get smarter about speed. In some cases it’s as simple as getting a more effective server, however sometimes it’s more about caching particular resources in a particular order and enhancing your files. To puts it simply, it gets complex.
Envision you are aiming to transport a trailer with a pickup truck. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not huge enough when you might just have to eliminate the emergency brake, install a turbocharger, revitalize 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 … but either you or a designer need to implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting can be found in. WP Engine takes care of (nearly) all speed concerns. They have tailored servers with very aggressive caching and even advanced “stack” than a common webhosting. They also have actually trained support who will go into your WordPress install and determine the specific chokepoint to get your site moving. Web Hosting Godaddy
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs since they have actually such a personalized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress sets up 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 puffed up style, extra 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 determines how quickly 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 big or intricate the site gets.
*Note that the other point here is that if you are obsessed about speed, you can get back at better numbers with WP Engine than you might get with other services given that you are totally free 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 just offers an incorporated CDN, however they likewise provide international information centers in case your audience is primarily in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Godaddy
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Godaddy
Consumer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch since they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, handled hosting) than a product (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to place a big focus on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of 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 company has grown & changed a lot since then. They went through a stretch where they were getting a great deal of criticism about over-promising on support.
That said, the difficult aspect of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everybody has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is due to the fact that they talked to the one rockstar-vs-rookie having an awesome-vs-terrible day. Like I discuss in every hosting evaluation, the vital part is to see if a business treats support as a financial investment or a cost.
I prefer to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require a financial investment of money, time and competence.
Based on my current interactions and research, they are doing far better hitting all 3 boxes. They keep a range of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a quick, trackable ticketing system and are available everywhere on the site through chat.
Based on their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has connected with actually knew the fine workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most remarkable (yes, this is anecdotal, but still) experience was a three-way call between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not just able to obtain on (and stay on) the phone, but he had the ability to expertly assist us “flip the switch” rapidly in addition to taking care of several issues (ie, publishing a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Godaddy
I make certain that WP Engine still has support problems,specifically due to the fact that their customized platform puts a lot of pressure on quick, accessible support (as I’ll show in the downsides). However they appear to understand that support is core to their value and do make the needed financial investment.
WordPress now powers over a quarter of the whole Web. That implies that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
However there is absolutely nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the upside of being open-source with a huge community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your very own WordPress install, the security fundamentals are fairly 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll observe that despite the fact that security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you do not lock it, keeping your site safe is still eventually on you.
And like speed & efficiency, WP Engine generally takes all those best practices and does them for you. They run automated backups to keep everything off-site & ready to roll back if something happens. Given that you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they take on a lot of security issues worldwide on the server level.
WP Engine likewise works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They likewise make the assurance that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never ever been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), however have actually assisted customers who have actually been. It’s aggravating, tiresome & a normally expensive situation (even if you are using a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Godaddy
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not inexpensive. Their Startup strategy is $35/mo and consists of a single install and just approximately 25,000 visits each month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, reliable VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the same cost from InMotion. And if you are simply starting out with a single domain, you can get a shared hosting plan from Bluehost for simply a couple dollars monthly.
Both which allow for more storage & more visits (ie, essentially as many as you can manage) than WP Engine. I’ve run sites that have had 60k sees monthly 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, but here’s the thing.
For some site owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & consider your own (or your developer’s) time, their prices is amazing.
Just running WordPress updates every month & QA’ing your setup can take around Thirty Minutes every month. If your (or your dev’s) services are billed at $50 (or more)/ hour, then that’s WP Engine’s whole regular monthly charge right there.
If you lose any visits due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s whole regular monthly fee right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t utilize a staging location) 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 concerns or downtime costs lost earnings.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to point out any individual or designer time fixing concerns.
Generally, if your time is much better assigned far from technical issues, 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 an investment rather than a cost.
And that sort of value-based pricing segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Godaddy
Like I stated at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine appears to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of customers, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend procedure, the first client type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to focus on development & design without handling hosting maintenance, and have customers who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the website, then hands the website over to their client.
The designer can guarantee their customer that WP Engine deals with the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous fundamental site upkeep. For this market, WP Engine has fascinating tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second client type is the growing site owner who is frustrated at needing to handle technical development headaches. They’ve outgrown their shared hosting and have to relocate to a much better host.
They’re also developed enough that they have some budget for handled services. WP Engine has tools like the automatic migration tool & client support to make that procedure occur. The phone support is a crucial factor, specifically being able to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The 3rd consumer type is a startup site owner that has the budget and desires a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfy finding out WP Engine’s distinct backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website simultaneously.
They do not have any prior habits or customizeds brought over from previous hosts or sites. Once again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, consumers, and support that they can make guarantees and offer support to win & keep this type of consumer.
With these types of consumers, WP Engine understands how & where they are coming from, a lot of of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), instead of mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, instinctive backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this review modification. Web Hosting Godaddy
WP Engine stands out not just on current functions but likewise on producing new, advanced hosting functions. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new developer functions that WP Engine has been able to integrate.
Even basic web development finest practices have actually changed significantly considering that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has developed tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand sufficient web development to integrate best practices into execution & projects with developers.
Here’s a screenshot of WP Engine’s Git Push setup that has been around for more than 2 years.
Even for non-developers like me, WP Engine has one-click staging areas to allow even DIY siteowners to get away from “cowboy coding” into proper web development best practices.
There are too many other specifics here to name, but in general, WP Engine has a strength in rolling out new, useful hosting features.
Cons of WP Engine
Just like any service, WP Engine is not the best suitable for everybody. There are lots of WP Engine complaints around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And lots of are valid because they merely aren’t a suitable for everybody. For all their awesomeness in some locations, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent suitable for some consumers. I don’t use them for this website due to the fact that I do not require a number of their features and I’m comfortable “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Godaddy
All that said, here are a few of the larger picture drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they assure, WP Engine does things differently. And that difference can be quite made complex– particularly if you have just adequate experience with hosting environments to be dangerous.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, however it’s still custom. It’s absolutely nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike numerous hosting business, they also don’t offer DNS nameservers.
Even if all the features are there, the special backend can lead to some designers making errors ranging from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content issues to leaving the dev website open to the general public or merely not enabling the features you’re buying.
If it weren’t for incredible support, I believe they ‘d lose more newbie customers than they currently do.
Like lots of custom platforms, it makes sense once you get over the knowing curve. But WP Engine’s onboarding is extremely developer-focused & stays so exception-focused that they never discuss best practice for the general user. Web Hosting Godaddy
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve established my share of sites from platforms to custom hosts to cPanel hosting websites, but I needed to view that video several times to make sure I was pointing the right A record/ CNAME to the ideal IP address.
Again, if you remain in WP Engine’s core markets, the custom-made backend isn’t going to be a big deal (when you surpass the learning curve). But for a lot of, you’ll likely get to learn first hand about WP Engine’s support group.
However here’s the thing.
WP Engine never truly stops being wacky and complex. In their knowledgebase, they have a wide variety of site lists to assist 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.
Once again– they have reasons they do all this. And for the most parts, support will just take care of everything.
However, you still don’t get to set & forget your site. Sure, you don’t technically do not need to enter into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a managed VPS), you don’t have to do it anyway, when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Godaddy
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to WP Engine’s special setup. In order to run their architecture along with possible, all the installs on their platform have to be somewhat consistent.
They need to have foreseeable plugins; predictable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limitations), however WP Engine goes a bit additional to define what you can and cannot have on your WordPress set up in addition to tiered overage rates to dissuade seasonal traffic spikes and regional storage usage.
They do prohibit particular plugins & admin habits for good reasons, however those bans restrict versatility and experimentation if your website might handle it.
For instance, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common plugin. It’s resource extensive, however on smaller websites, it does the job well. It’s not enabled on WP Engine. That’s bad or bad necessarily. But it does make WP Engine less flexible and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their rates is structured allows for less flexibility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, however it’s also pricey to pay based upon a number of check outs.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal service; or simply wish to drive a rise of traffic to your website, 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 handle a lot more traffic than WP Engine would allow on a Personal or Business. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for full functionality.
The same chooses storage. With WP Engine, you are paying for efficiency, not for storage. So if you are planning to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
Furthermore, you cannot actually do automated e-mail marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got called for & wound up having to do an uncomfortable migration to another email supplier mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I found with WP Engine, their pricing based on functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are typically spending for efficiency & not needing to believe excessive about upkeep, security & speed. If you take a look at WP Engine’s rates based upon the features you’re getting, you really don’t get a great deal.
And if you are the type who will think of your site’s health anyhow (ie, keeping WordPress updated and normally logging in frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is superfluous. Web Hosting Godaddy
Lots of shared hosting servers can deal with the exact same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a portion of the cost. My individual website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with fundamental caching) managed more than 15,000 visits in a 24 hour duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a dependable VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are relatively transparent about how they count visits, but it can still be quite a surprise for “small” website owners how quickly they can enter the $290 monthly tier.
And as discussed earlier that doesn’t even consist of a number of the functions you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limits on local storage. Anything above the limits needs extra expenses & technical application of Amazon cloud services.
And most importantly for me, you are limited on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the rate. You can’t utilize them to spread out the expense of your strategy,particularly if you are striking your visitor cap instead of your install cap.
If you are planning to spend for hosting: ie, a server that will hold & serve up your website files, WP Engine is a costly choice, specifically compared to other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is best total, however what is finest for you based upon your objectives, budget, resources & habits.
If you are in what I think of as WP Engine’s core markets, they provide a fantastic service with a strong item. Their rates is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting space, and they offer more functions than “WordPress hosting” strategies from other hosting brands. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress website developers and/or high-traffic sites that do not want to worry about hosting issues.
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 warranty. 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 current host & desire more flexibility/ much better prices than WP Engine, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive client service.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting test. I put all these factors into an enjoyable, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Godaddy