WP Engine: My Pros and Cons of WP Engine Hosting Web Hosting Html Free
WP Engine is a Managed WordPress Hosting service based in Austin, TX. They were one of the (if not the) first companies to provide handled hosting services particularly for WordPress. Web Hosting Html Free
While they have a lot of competition in both the general hosting and handled WordPress hosting verticals, they are still the market leader in many ways -and they have broad name recognition and cutting-edge features.
With the development of both self-hosted WordPress and website builders, the hosting market has ended up being a super-confusing location.
I composed a whole post about WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting. But here’s the brief version: They all differ in services offered. Some just have WordPress-trained tech support. Some deal services such as server-side features and staging for WordPress.
And after that there’s a different level of managed WordPress Hosting where you are not truly buying hosting per se, but rather services to keep your WordPress install live. Basically, a Managed WordPress Hosting service uses a menu of services tailored to WordPress at a greater rate point, so that the site owner can focus less on speed + security and more on the site material + functionality.
Every competitor 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 standard shared Linux hosting offerings and personalized WordPress hosting choices.
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 great deal of WP Engine reviews online, typically with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine however I take a various approach. This review will take a look at the pros + cons of WP Engine in the context of all web hosting alternatives to see who it is a “best fit” for. Web Hosting Html Free
I’ve utilized WP Engine for numerous jobs since 2012. I don’t utilize them for my main websites right now (see conclusion), however I do have a present client on WP Engine who absolutely enjoys them. Here’s my WP Engine evaluation structured as advantages and disadvantages.
Disclosure: I get referral fees from any companies discussed. All information & viewpoint is based on my experience as a paying customer or expert to a paying client.
Pros of WP Engine
To begin, WP Engine does practically measure up to its pitch on its homepage where they assure “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 Hosting Html Free
Speed and Performance
There are a great deal of variables that enter into website speed, but the guideline is that the more complicated your site is, the more complicated the solutions to speed become.
From the box, WordPress is fairly lean and quick. If you are running a primarily text site with a few fundamental plugins and a couple of small images, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive shared hosting strategy from someone like InMotion, HostGator or Bluehost.
But few website owners keep their WordPress install lean. There’s normally extra plugins, custom style files, lots of images, widgets, advertisements, forms and more.
All these features combined with decent levels of traffic can begin to slow down your WordPress install.
But a sluggish website doesn’t indicate that you need a larger, much better server. It does suggest that you need to get smarter about speed. Often it’s as basic as getting a more powerful server, however sometimes it’s more about caching certain resources in a specific order and enhancing your files. In other words, it gets complex.
Imagine you are aiming to carry a trailer with a pickup. Imagine your trailer keeps getting heavier. It’s meaningless to keep grumbling that your truck is not big enough when you may simply have to get rid of the emergency brake, set up a turbocharger, refresh the transmission fluid and consolidate your load.
The point is that WordPress needs assistance to remain fast as you grow. There are plenty of options … however either you or a developer must implement them.
That’s where managed WordPress hosting is available in. WP Engine looks after (nearly) all speed issues. They have actually customized servers with exceptionally aggressive caching and even more advanced “stack” than a common web host. They also have trained support who will go into your WordPress install and identify the precise chokepoint to obtain your site moving. Web Hosting Html Free
They do not even enable caching plugins on their installs due to the fact that they have such a customized caching setup.
The interesting thing is that even unoptimized WordPress installs still do well on their platform since their platform does the extra work.
Here’s the speed test for among my customers on WP Engine (who has a bloated style, additional scripts, a lot of uncompressed images, among other things):
Keep in mind the Time To First Byte and the Start Render numbers. That determines how quickly the server returned enough information to begin loading the page.
It’s good to have that type of speed right from package, and have it stay that method no matter how huge 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 since you are totally free to focus on speed aspects that you can easily manage like image compression, use of scripts, etc.
. The last observation on speed, WP Engine not only provides an integrated CDN, however they also offer global data centers in case your audience is mainly in Asia and/or Europe. Web Hosting Html Free
If you are trying to get top speeds without messing with layered caching plugins ” the WP Engine does exactly that.
Customer Support Web Hosting Html Free
Customer support has actually been a core part of WP Engine’s pitch given that they were founded. After all, they are actually selling more of a service (ie, managed hosting) than an item (ie, hosting). It makes sense for them to put a huge emphasis on support.
Here’s a screenshot from one of my first contacts with support back in 2012:
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 stated, the tough feature of client support is that a lot of the judgment is anecdotal. Everyone has a story, but you never ever understand if the story is because they spoke to 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 treats support as a financial investment or an expense.
I like to search for gain access to, systems, and understanding, all three require an investment of cash, time and expertise.
Based upon my recent interactions and research, they are doing better striking all 3 boxes. They maintain a variety of support channels (including phone for non-Basic strategies). They have a fast, trackable ticketing system and are readily available all over on the site by means of chat.
Based upon their guide videos and substantial knowledgebase, they tick the knowledge box. Every support that I or my client has communicated with actually knew the great workings of WordPress and has been able to problem-solve on the fly.
The most impressive (yes, this is anecdotal, however still) experience was a three-way call in between my client, myself and WP Engine during my client’s shift to HTTPS/ SSL. The associate was not only able to obtain on (and remain on) the phone, but he had the ability to adeptly help us “flip the switch” quickly in addition to looking after several concerns (ie, uploading a non-HTTP sitemap and fixing insecure image links) within WordPress for us. Web Hosting Html Free
I’m sure that WP Engine still has support concerns,especially since their custom platform puts a lot of pressure on fast, accessible support (as I’ll show 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 Internet. That indicates that it is a prime target for hackers & malware suppliers.
But there is nothing naturally insecure about WordPress that is not an issue with all software. WordPress has the benefit of being open-source with a very large community releasing updates & testing vulnerabilities.
If you run your own WordPress set up, the security essentials 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 industrial arm of WordPress.
You’ll see that although security on WordPress is straightforward, the duty is still on you to keep things secure. Much like having a deadbolt does nothing if you don’t lock it, keeping your site secure is still ultimately on you.
And like speed & efficiency, 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 happens. Since you technically have an “set up” on their server (instead of an account), they deal with a lot of security concerns internationally on the server level.
WP Engine also works carefully with top security companies on code reviews in addition to running their own group. They also make the guarantee that if you’re hacked, they look after it free of charge.
I personally have never been hacked on my primary/ or secondary websites (knock on wood), but have assisted customers who have been. It’s aggravating, tedious & a normally pricey circumstance (even if you are utilizing a service like Sucuri). Having an expert security team look after your WordPress set up is a big pro in my book. Web Hosting Html Free
Pricing on Value
WP Engine is not cheap. Their Start-up strategy is $35/mo and includes a single set up and just approximately 25,000 visits per month.
For benchmarking, you can get an effective, trusted VPS (ie, your very own not-shared server) for the very 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 just a couple dollars monthly.
Both of which permit more storage & more gos to (ie, essentially as many as you can deal with) than WP Engine. I have actually run websites that have actually had 60k sees per month on a shared server. I’ve likewise run lots of small WordPress websites off a low expense shared hosting.
But I’ll cover that pricing downside in the cons of WP Engine, but here’s the thing.
For some website owners, if you break out WP Engine by total value & factor in your own (or your designer’s) time, their pricing is fantastic.
Simply running WordPress updates on a monthly basis & 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 entire monthly charge right there.
If you lose any gos to due to downtime from a bad plugin upgrade, then that could be WP Engine’s entire month-to-month charge right there.
If you do a hot-fix (ie, you don’t use a staging area) on your PHP code, and knock your site down … then that could be WP Engine’s whole monthly cost right there.
Losing visitors due to speed concerns or downtime costs lost income.
Additionally, premium security can cost about $16/month minimum. Not to mention any personal or developer time repairing issues.
Essentially, if your time is better designated away from technical issues, then WP Engine makes a lot of sense on worth. As a handled WordPress hosting service, that’s actually their thing. Hosting services are an investment instead of an expense.
Which sort of value-based prices segues into another pro for WP Engine, their concentrate on their core markets. Web Hosting Html Free
Like I said at the start, WP Engine isn’t really for everybody. There are 3 types of clients that WP Engine seems to be a fit for. For those 3 kinds of clients, WP Engine has a strong focus with lots of tools & focus for each.
From their backend process, the very first consumer type seems to be WordPress designers and designers who wish to concentrate on development & design without dealing with hosting maintenance, and have clients who have some budget. The designer/dev builds the site directly in WP Engine’s staging environment, releases the site, then hands the site over to their customer.
The designer can ensure their client that WP Engine manages the hosting, security & speed. There’s little need for a continuous standard website maintenance. For this market, WP Engine has intriguing tools consisting of staging, git push, site migration and transferable installs.
The second consumer type is the growing website owner who is irritated at having 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 plan for managed services. WP Engine has tools like the automated migration tool & customer support to make that procedure take place. The phone support is a crucial element, particularly having the ability to “just call WP Engine an have them fix it.”
The third client type is a start-up website owner that has the budget plan and wants a long-lasting platform that they can grow with. They are comfortable learning WP Engine’s special backend and intend on releasing a near-complete website all at once.
They don’t have any previous practices or custom-mades brought over from previous hosts or websites. Again, for this market, WP Engine has the scalable functions, customers, and support that they can make guarantees and supply support to win & keep this type of customer.
With these types of customers, WP Engine understands how & where they are originating from, many of the enhancements they make are focused on these markets (ie, the Git push functionality), rather than mass-market enhancements like knowledge-bases, user-friendly backend, and so on.
This benefit is similar to WP Engine’s market focus, but it’s actually worth calling out in this evaluation modification. Web Hosting Html Free
WP Engine excels not only on current features but also on creating brand-new, innovative hosting features. Every variation of WordPress 4 has rolled out new designer features that WP Engine has actually been able to incorporate.
Even basic web advancement finest practices have actually changed significantly given that I started observing the market *. WP Engine has produced tools to match.
* I’m an SEO/ online marketer by trade. I understand adequate web advancement to integrate finest practices into application & projects 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 suitable for everybody. There are plenty of WP Engine grievances around the Internet. Some are anecdotal. Some are hyperbole (ie, SEOs complaining about dev websites). And many are valid because they just aren’t a suitable for everyone. For all their awesomeness in some areas, they have some cons which keep them from being an excellent fit for some clients. I don’t utilize them for this site because I do not require much of their functions and I’m comfy “putting pieces together” w/ my InMotion VPS setup. Web Hosting Html Free
All that stated, here are a few of the bigger photo drawbacks of using WP Engine.
Initial and Ongoing Complexity
To attain the speed, security, and scale they guarantee, WP Engine does things in a different way. Which difference can be rather made complex– particularly if you have just sufficient experience with hosting environments to be harmful.
Their backend setup has gotten better. It’s cleaner, but it’s still custom. It’s nothing like a standard cPanel hosting backend. Unlike many hosting business, they also do not provide DNS nameservers.
Even if all the functions exist, the special backend can result in some developers making mistakes varying from irritating redirect loops to duplicate content problems to leaving the dev site available to the general public or merely not allowing the functions you’re buying.
If it weren’t for fantastic support, I believe they ‘d lose more novice customers than they already do.
Like lots of customized platforms, it makes sense once you get over the learning curve. However WP Engine’s onboarding is very developer-focused & remains so exception-focused that they never describe best practice for the general user. Web Hosting Html Free
Here is their video on pushing your site live –
I’ve set up my share of sites from platforms to custom-made hosts to cPanel hosting sites, however I had to watch that video multiple 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 substantial deal (as soon as you get past the learning curve). But for many, you’ll likely get to find out very first hand about WP Engine’s support team.
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 help 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 why 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 don’t need to get into the weeds of a server panel. In numerous hosting cases (ie, a handled VPS), you do not need to do it anyway, and when you do, the knobs and buttons recognize. Web Hosting Html Free
WP Engine’s proprietary setup cuts both ways in terms of decreasing & increasing complexity.
This con is also related to 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 have to have foreseeable plugins; foreseeable visitor patterns; foreseeable use cases. Every hosting business has guidelines (or very real physical limits), but 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 use.
They do prohibit certain plugins & admin habits for excellent factors, but those bans restrict flexibility and experimentation if your website could handle it.
For example, Yet Another Associated Post Plugin is a common 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 necessarily. However it does make WP Engine less versatile and open up to experimentation compared with running a shared or VPS server.
The way their pricing is structured enables less versatility also. It’s a favorable that they will deal with all the traffic you can send, but it’s likewise expensive to pay based upon a number of visits.
If you are running a huge launch; are a seasonal organisation; or just want to drive a rise of traffic to your website, you’ll need to factor additional hosting costs into the mix. That puts a cap on how versatile you want to be with your marketing.
If you are running a lean cached site on a VPS server, you can manage a lot more traffic than WP Engine would enable on an Individual or Organisation. And this point goes even more if your website needs numerous plugins for complete functionality.
The same goes for storage. With WP Engine, you are spending for performance, not for storage. So if you are seeking to utilize a server for media storage … that use case is out.
In addition, you cannot actually do automatic email marketing campaigns from WP Engine. This was something that my client got required & wound up having to do an unpleasant migration to another email provider mid-campaign.
In either case, that point segues into the last con I discovered with WP Engine, their rates based upon functions.
Pricing on Features and Usage
With WP Engine, you are usually paying for efficiency & not having 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 truly 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 typically visiting frequently), you’ll likely be paying for “management” that is unnecessary. Web Hosting Html Free
Many shared hosting servers can manage the very same traffic numbers as WP Engine and cost a fraction of the cost. My personal website (running on a shared hosting strategy from HostGator with basic caching) handled more than 15,000 check outs in a 24 Hr duration when a post of mine went viral.
And if you are running a trusted VPS, you can definitely manage a lot more for much less.
They are fairly transparent about how they count sees, however it can still be rather a surprise for “small” site owners how quickly they can enter into the $290 monthly tier.
And as mentioned earlier that doesn’t even consist of a lot of the features you do not get with WP Engine’s strategies. You can’t run any e-mail from your servers. You have low limitations on local storage. Anything above the limits needs additional costs & technical execution of Amazon cloud services.
And most notably for me, you are restricted on your installs. If you have a couple of side projects or low-traffic test websites, you have to factor those into the cost. You cannot use them to expand the expense of your plan,especially if you are hitting 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, especially compared with other non-managed hosting alternatives.
Like any service, it’s not about exactly what is finest total, however exactly what is best for you based on your goals, spending plan, resources & routines.
If you remain in what I consider WP Engine’s core markets, they use a great service with a strong item. Their pricing is competitive in the Managed WordPress Hosting area, and they provide more functions than “WordPress hosting” plans from other hosting brand names. Their feature-set is unmatched for smart DIYers, WordPress site developers and/or high-traffic websites that don’t want to stress over hosting problems.
If managed hosting is a suitable 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 install and see exactly what you think of their backend. Make sure to chat w/ support & sales.
If you’re outgrowing your current host & desire more freedom/ better rates than WP Engine, check out InMotion Hosting’s VPS alternative. I’ve appreciated their balance of user-friendly backend & responsive customer support.
And finally, if you are more baffled than ever, go take my WordPress hosting quiz. I put all these aspects into a fun, Buzzfeed-esque quiz to streamline things. Web Hosting Html Free